So, you’re curious about all this meditation stuff, but you aren’t quite ready to commit to taking a course that lasts several weeks and a book just doesn’t feel practical. Or maybe you’re already convinced and want to start a practice right away, but you’re not confident you can do it without guidance. Meditation apps are convenient and practical, with a wide variety of guided meditations, and can be a great way to get started, or even to just explore new styles of meditation.
Here we offer a selection of high-quality apps that are completely free (no in-app purchases!), plus two more with paid options that are still worth considering. We’ve also added a handful of free minimalistic timers, method-specific apps, and apps for study. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, join our online Discord community and ask other meditators which apps they recommend.
Full-Featured Meditation Apps
Buddhist Sutta/Sutra Study
Smiling Mind App
Smiling Mind is a FREE mindfulness meditation app developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to your life. Just as we eat well and stay fit to keep our body healthy, mindfulness meditation is about mental health and looking after the mind.Our programs are designed to assist people in dealing with the pressure, stress, and challenges of daily life. Listen to meditations as guided by smooth and calming voices. Smiling Mind includes a number of meditations in Indigenous Australian languages (Kriol, Ngaanyatjarra & Pitjantjatjara). We offer programs for all ages including Kids (3-12), Youth (13-18) and Adults (19+).
UCLA Mindful App
With this easy-to-use app, you can practice mindfulness meditation anywhere, anytime with the guidance of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Scientific research shows mindfulness can help manage stress-related physical conditions, reduce anxiety and depression, cultivate positive emotions, and help improve overall physical health and well-being.This app offers: (1) Basic Meditations for getting started, in both English and Spanish; (2) Wellness Meditations for people suffering from challenging health conditions; (3) Informative videos exploring how to get started, supportive meditation postures, and the science of mindfulness; (4) Weekly podcasts from UCLA's Hammer Museum--a 30 minute meditation on different themes you can search for and bookmark; and (5) A timer to meditate on your own.
Healthy Minds Program App
Backed by four decades of research from world-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson and his team at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin - Madison & Healthy Minds Innovations, the Healthy Minds Program trains your mind through meditation and podcast-style lessons to develop skills - to gain focus, reduce stress, and maintain positive social connections.The ground-breaking Healthy Minds Program App uses neuroscience, contemplative traditions, and skill-based learning methods to help you develop the skills for a healthy mind.
VA Mindfulness Coach
Mindfulness Coach 2.0 was developed to help Veterans, Service members, and others learn how to practice mindfulness. The app provides a gradual, self-guided training program designed to help you understand and adopt a simple mindfulness practice. Mindfulness Coach also offers a library of information about mindfulness (for example “What is Mindfulness?”, “How to Anchor Your Attention”), 12 audio-guided mindfulness exercises and a growing catalog of additional exercises available for free download, goal-setting and tracking, a mindfulness mastery assessment to help you track your progress over time, customizable reminders, and access to other support and crisis resources. Mindfulness Coach is free, doesn’t take or share any of your personal information, and doesn’t require add-on purchases.Mindfulness Coach was created by VA’s National Center for PTSD.
Plum Village Mobile App
Looking to touch peace, calm and ease in today’s frantic and often stressful world? The Plum Village practices are an invaluable support.Use mindfulness meditation techniques taught by a renowned Zen Buddhist Master to connect deeply with the present moment, soothe anxiety, experience more joy and happiness, and taste enlightenment.Explore a wealth of easy-to-use guided meditations, relaxations, and talks.
Breathr: Mindful Moments
Breathr shows you easy and fun ways to practice mindfulness. It was developed for youth by BC Children's Hospital with experts and the help of young people - but open for anyone to give it a try.Begin to explore and experience practices of mindfulness and self-compassion, choosing from a variety of practices. Breathr can help you to live in the present moment, while providing interesting facts about the many benefits of mindfulness.
Oak Meditation and Breathing
Oak helps you decompress by transforming your meditation practice from an experiment into a habit. We support you from your first session to your 500th, with mindful, loving-kindness, and sleep meditations as well as unguided sessions and breathing exercises. Individualize your meditations by duration, and customize with silence or calming background sounds. Oak tracks your progress and encourages you to continue building a healthy meditation practice.
The number 1 free meditation app. Guided meditations and talks led by the world's top meditation and mindfulness experts, neuroscientists, psychologists and teachers from Stanford, Harvard, the University of Oxford and more. Music tracks from world-renowned artists. Join millions learning to meditate on Insight Timer to help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, manage stress, sleep deeply and improve happiness.With 80+ new free guided meditations added daily, more meditation is practiced on Insight Timer than anywhere else. Great for both beginners and experienced practitioners.
Discover daily mindfulness and meditation with Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author—and explore the theory behind meditation practice. Daily guided meditation sessions, lessons on zen, the stoic path, on-demand mindfulness sessions, as well as a practice timer will build your understanding, balance your mind, make your practice shine, and help turn meditation into a new habit. For inquiring and curious minds, learn the related science, philosophy, and ethics in short audio lessons with Sam and through his extended conversations with other influential meditation teachers, scientists, and scholars.
Brightmind’s approach to teaching meditation is to “make it as simple as possible, but no simpler". So we take deep and transformational concepts and practices, and explain them in simple and practical ways. Making things as simple as possible, but not any simpler, leads to efficient and effective learning and growth.
Center Meditation Timer
No unnecessary voice over guide. No background music or ambient sounds. Just you and your mind, the way mindfulness meditation was meant to be.Center is an elegant meditation timer which tracks your sittings in a beautiful and simple way. With HealthKit integration so you can see your daily mindfulness practice stats right from the Health app.The app uses haptic feedback in addition to classic meditation chimes: one chime to start, one chime for intervals, and three consecutive chimes for ending a meditation session.Before you begin you can edit your sit time, set a delay to prepare, plan interval sounds to keep you focused, and get meditation insights. After each session the app tracks your meditation practice and provides custom insights to help you. This is what makes Center a valuable app: simplicity and a tailored experience to improve your practice the more you use the app.
Simple Meditation Timer
A minimalist timer. Elegant and peaceful way to meditate or practice restorative yoga. Simply counts down your session, then chimes the Keisu zen bowl. No additional "stuff" or distractions. Set your Simple Timer, take a few deep breaths and relax. You can choose to record your session as Mindful Minutes in the Health App.
The Jhana meditation app is built as a free tool to help assist you on your journey. The app is completely free, with no ads, and no tracking. All data is kept locally on your device, and is viewable only by you.The app now has a background audio selection, as well as haptic feedback when pressing UI components.
Meditation Timer Online
Meditation Timer Online is the ultimate meditation timer for the web.Set your desired meditation duration, select the intervals and let the gentle Tibetan bells guide you into a profound state of relaxation.
The Headless Way
Explore this portal into the Headless Way - a modern path to the one faceless Self we are all looking out of! Enjoy the many short video clips that are nowhere else available, be inspired by the randomly chosen quotations, do the experiments, read the articles, and set your alarm to remind you about your Self!
1 Giant Mind (Vedic/Mantra)
Learn to meditate in 12 easy steps, then take the 30 day challenge to make meditation a daily habit.The 1 Giant Mind app is for anyone who wants to feel less stressed, more calm, present, and experience greater health and wellbeing. Our approach to meditation is easy and effortless. and no previous experience is required. Anyone can learn this technique in 12 short steps and begin to experience the benefits immediately.
Humanly (NVC/Atomic Habits)
Identify your feelings. Connect your feelings to underlying needs. Develop habits to support your underlying needs. Allow your mental health to flourish.Humanly combines Spiritual, Philosophical, Scientific, and Practical perspectives to create a comprehensive guide towards mental health.Through guided journaling, habit tracking, lessons, exercises, and insights users learn how to fulfill their needs and help make life wonderful for themselves and those around them.
Inner Giraffe (NVC)
Practice self empathy with nonviolent communication (NVC).For those of us who grew up in a dysfunctional environment, learning to communicate with empathy is like learning a new language, and practicing new vocabulary is part of the journey.This app is designed to make the practice as convenient as possible.
Access to Insight (Pali Canon)
This is the entire offline version of John Bullitt's widely recognized and highly recommended Access to Insight (www.accesstoinsight.org) web site, a massive compilation of material about Theravada Buddhism and Buddhism in general.Herein are contained over 1,000 *actual suttas* (skt: 'sutras') from the Tipitaka (body of Buddhist canonical texts) translated into contemporary English with scholarly rigor and precision by recognized subject domain experts.
84000 (Tibetan Canon)
Access a dynamic collection of teachings on the mind, straight from the source. The 84000 app offers a growing digital library of the Buddhist sūtras set within a minimal, functional design for a clean reading experience.84000’s interactive Reading Room is a leading resource for accurate and nuanced translations of the words of the Buddha used by scholars of Buddhist Studies, Tibetan Buddhist teachers of the living tradition, and practitioners.