The 8 Best Meditation Apps of 2019

Learn to meditate or follow guided meditation on your smartphone

An image of a woman meditating in front of a tablet computer.

EllenaZ / Getty Images

There are countless meditation apps out there that can teach you how to tame restless thoughts and restore your sense of inner calm.

Whether you're a total newbie to meditation or a seasoned meditator looking for something different to try, it can be a big help to have one or two of the best meditation apps to look to when times get stressful.

The following list includes the best meditation apps for 2019, both free and paid, available on both iOS and Android platforms.

01
of 08

Your Most Complete Premium Meditation App: Calm

Three screenshots of the Calm app.

What We Like

  • One new original meditation daily.

  • Music for focus, sleep, relaxation and more.

  • Sleep stories and masterclasses guided by experts.

What We Don't Like

  • Meditations and features are limited with free version.

  • Potential difficulty cancelling subscription before free trial is up.

Calm claims to be the number one app for meditation and sleep. With hundreds of thousands of positive reviews from users on both the App Store and Google Play, it's definitely a favorite.

Calm is actually more than just a meditation app, offering features that cater to sleep, focus, education and physical movement. If you're primarily using it for meditation, you can choose from a large variety of meditations that focus on areas like reducing anxiety, breaking bad habits, improving relationships, forgiving someone/yourself and so much more.

Price: Some guided meditations, unguided meditations and tracking features are free. Calm Premium offers a 7-day free trial, after which it's $59.99 annually or $399.99 billed once for life.

02
of 08

Loads of Free Meditations With An Awesome Community: Insight Timer

Three screenshots of the Insight Timer app.

What We Like

  • 25,000 free meditations plus 10+ new ones added daily.

  • Self-guided courses that run over a period of days.

  • Customizable meditation timer complete with background sounds/sound effects.

  • Community groups for every major religion/spiritual preference.

What We Don't Like

  • App must run in the background to work properly on some devices.

  • Overwhelming amount of meditations with limited ways of searching and filtering them.

If you're not willing to pay for a meditation app just yet, Insight Timer might just be the next best option. It offers the biggest library of meditations completely for free.

In addition to getting access to thousands of beginner to advanced guided meditations and talks led by renowned teachers and experts, you can also use the app's iconic timer feature to customize and practice your own unguided meditations. The app also functions somewhat like a social network where you can connect with other meditators in your local area and around the world.

Price: Free with an optional premium version for $9.99 monthly or $59.99 annually.

03
of 08

Learn How to Meditate and Live Mindfully: Headspace

Three screenshots of the Headspace app.

What We Like

  • Good quantity and quality of bite-sized meditations.

  • Learning guides for meditation and mindfulness.

  • Great interface with helpful animations.

What We Don't Like

  • Most of the app's content is locked behind its premium version.

  • Buggy with some devices when you try to download meditations.

Another very popular meditation app, Headspace, is a premium app that offers hundreds of guided meditations tailored to stress, anxiety, focus, sleep and more. You also get access to over 40 mindfulness exercise that you can practice while doing simple, mundane activities like cooking, eating and commuting.

Headspace is a perfect app for beginners since it will guide you through the basics of meditation upon getting started. You also get super-short meditations to help you build your meditation habit gradually and conveniently fit your practice into your busy schedule.

Price: Free introductory meditations and features with the option to upgrade to premium at $12.99 billed monthly or $7.99 monthly with one annual payment.

04
of 08

Simple Guided Meditations Based on Emotional Check-Ins: Stop, Breathe & Think

Three screenshots of the Stop, Breathe & Think app.

What We Like

  • Suggested meditations based on emotional check-ins.

  • Super simple and aesthetically pleasing app interface.

  • Ideal for both beginner and experienced meditators.

What We Don't Like

  • Somewhat limited meditation library compared to other apps.

  • No way to keep track of previously completed meditations.

If you're looking for a super simple meditation app, Stop Breathe & Think is one that delivers without all the extra fluff. All you have to do is tell the app how you're feeling and it will suggest a couple of guided meditations to choose from.

This is one of the few apps that integrates your current mental and physical state with meditation. You can also use it to track your progress by looking at your weekly settledness, top emotions and more.

Price: Free with premium versions for kids and all ages at a cost of as little as $4.71 monthly.

05
of 08

Short Meditations Plus a Handy Gratitude Journal: Aura

Three screenshots of the Aura app.

What We Like

  • Excellent meditation content ranging from 3 to 20+ minutes.

  • Option for unguided meditation with soothing background sounds.

  • Extra features like short stories, life coaching, melodic music and gratitude journaling.

What We Don't Like

  • Meditations are limited unless you upgrade to premium.

  • Inability to replay meditations with the free version.

Similar to Stop, Breathe & Think, Aura is a meditation app that takes into consideration how you're feeling and then matches your emotions with meditation recommendations. Better yet, it uses AI-powered technology to learn more about you as you use the app so it can deliver the most personalized recommendations, every time.

Meditations from this are especially helpful for relieving stress and anxiety, and they can be practiced in as little as 3 minutes — making them perfect for beginners. This is also one of the few apps that has a built-in gratitude journal where you can express your feelings and reflect on your entries over time.

Price: Free to get one new three-minute meditation every two hours for iOS users and one new three-minute meditation every day for Android users. A premium subscription is available for $11.99 monthly, $59.99 annually or a one-time fee of $399.99 for life.

06
of 08

Relax or Wake Up With This Beautiful Looking App: Breethe

Three screenshots of the Breethe app.

What We Like

  • Sleek, minimal, visually appealing interface with over 1,000 pieces of content.

  • Extras like music, nature sounds, hypnotherapy, masterclasses and more.

  • Alarm clock plus morning meditations.

What We Don't Like

  • Only one free piece of content per category.

  • Many reports of glitches (especially with Android devices).

If you're serious about learning how to meditate as a total newbie or beginner, you're going to want to take advantage of Breethe's 12-week daily meditation program, which will help you build the habit and progressively bring more calm and clarity to your mind.

Breethe has a sleek interface and offers a lot of features that many of the other apps on this list offer, including soothing music, nature sounds, bedtime stories and short meditations. It includes some extras like visualizations, hypnotherapy and a built-in alarm clock.

Price: Free with the option to upgrade to the premium version for $12.99 monthly or $89.99 annually.

07
of 08

Meditations and Mantras Inspired By Ancient Practices: Sattva

Three screenshots of the Sattva app.

What We Like

  • Content based on the most effective ancient practices.

  • Ability to filter content by what's new and popular.

  • Access to in-depth stats, playlists, heart rate monitor and other extra features.

What We Don't Like

  • Not as much content available compared to other apps.

  • Content that was previously free was moved to premium.

Sattva is a unique app for its modern spin on some of the most ancient meditation practices, mantras, chants and music. Its content stems from ancient Vedic principles, with music also brought to you by Sanskrit experts.

This is another app that seeks to personalize your meditation experience by matching you with recommendations based on your mood, your desires or the time of day. You can track your meditation progress by viewing your stats, engage in the community with friends and win trophies as you reach new milestones.

Price: Free with a premium version for $12.99 monthly, $49.99 annually or a one-time payment of $108 for life.

08
of 08

Meditation Recommendations Based Off a Scientific Algorithm: Mindwell

Three screenshots of the Mindwell app.

What We Like

  • Access to over 350 Isochronic tone meditations scientifically designed for your brain.

  • Ability to work through a personalized meditation plan based on your goals.

  • Playlist feature to create your own meditation programs.

  • Access to sleep stories, statistics and affirmations.

What We Don't Like

  • Most of the best content is not available for free.

  • A relatively new app, so there's a greater potential for bugs.

Mindwell is a newer app than the rest on this list, but it's already attracting fans for its unique taken on meditation. It uses its very own AI-powered tool called MindShift works to create psychographic profiles of users based on their mood in order to give meditation recommendations.

The app's meditations blend custom tones and frequencies designed to sync with your brainwaves for added benefit. In addition to receiving a personalized meditation program, you can also track your progress to reach milestones and view history and trends based on your mood levels.

Price: Free with a premium version offering a 7-day trial, after which it costs $49.99 annually.