The 5 Best Meditation & Breathing Apps To Reduce Anxiety
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Deep breathing and mindfulness have long been considered solutions to stress; the focus on inhales and exhales centers us in the present moment and helps to keep us grounded. It’s no surprise, then, that meditation and breathing apps are so helpful to combat anxiety and depression, as well as life’s everyday challenges.
These specific apps focus on meditation, deep breathing, and sleep sounds. Many include daily push reminders, guided lessons, calming music, and nature sounds to round out the experience. No matter what you may need, the right breathing exercise can help you keep calm and carry on.
If you want to get your kids involved, here are the best mindfulness apps for youngsters! And if you’re seeking out one-to-one support, we have online therapy options that are both affordable and accessible.
Best For | Meditation & anxiety
Cost | Free for basic features, $12.99/monthly or $69.99/annually; family, student, and educator plans available
Features | Free basics course, guided & short meditations, sleep time sounds, focus & bedtime practices, Headspace at Work options
If you’re new to meditation, check out Headspace—the app is the best 101 we’ve found, and we love the 10-day basics course. Created in tandem with scientific research and meditation history, Headspace takes a clinical approach to the many benefits of mindfulness. With hundreds of meditation options starting at three minutes and resourceful blog posts on sleep, stress, and mindfulness, you can gently hone your skills with clarity and reduce anxiety levels in a few days.
Best For | Meditation & anxiety
Cost | Free for basic features, $14.99/monthly, $69.99/annually for Calm Premium, or $399.99 for a lifetime membership
Features | Guided & open-ended meditations, sleep stories, Daily Calm, mindfulness programs & masterclasses
Previously named the #1 App of the Year by Apple, Calm is a game changer for those in need of peace. It’s one of the top ranking apps in the Health and Fitness category, for good reason. Millions of people swear by Calm for their breathing programs, stretching exercises, and even sleep stories (voiced by the likes of Matthew McConaughey and Bob Ross). Whether you’re a beginner and want to try a weeklong trial or you’re ready to commit to the 21-day meditation program, Calm will help keep you grounded and reflective on the daily.
Best For | Music-driven breathwork
Cost | Free for basic features, $17.99/monthly or $129.99/annually for a premium membership; scholarships available
Features | Five rotating free sessions, 500+ guided sessions, sound healing, hypnosis, somatic release therapy, vocal toning, self-massage, mindful walking + working, movement + dance
An app that skillfully combines breathwork and meditation, immersed in music, with sessions ranging from 60 seconds to 60 minutes? We’re in! Othership makes choosing easy, with sessions that energize (“Up”) or calm down (“Down”), as well as all around options meant to support your brain, body, and what they call Big Lung Energy. Guided by psychotherapists, wellness practitioners, hypnotherapists, artists, DJ’s, spiritual teachers, and life coaches, these sessions are anything but boring, and are sure to help you develop a strong, meaningful mindfulness practice you’ll be sure to stick to!
4. Simply Being
Best For | Affordable meditation
Cost | Free for basic features, $7.99/monthly, $49.99/annually
Features | Five meditation time-lengths up to 30 minutes, additional music/nature sounds
Launched by the Maddux duo (they have more than 40 years of meditation training and are most known for their popular Meditative Oasis podcast and apps), Simply Being offers you peace during the most stressful moments of the day. With five time-lengths and an intuitive user experience, you’ll find yourself immersed in soothing music and gentle instructions. For just $1.99, you can unlock everything within the app, including optional nature sounds and 30-minute voice-guided meditation.
Best For | Breathing & anxiety
Cost | Free for basic features, $2.99 to remove ads & other in-app purchases to customize options
Features | Pre-defined presets, customizable reminders, can send breathing exercises to others
If ease of use is the name of the game, then iBreathe is right up your alley. This uber-simple, beautifully designed app reduces clutter to ensure a mindful and centered experience. Whether you’re battling anxiety or insomnia, iBreathe offers deep breathing exercises for relief. Best of all, the app pushes reminders to your phone, so you can take some time out of your busy day to be fully present. Plus, you can send breathing exercises to friends and go through them together for shared moments of zen.