I’m currently participating in a challenge to meditate once a day for 30 days in a row. I appreciate the accountability, because I’ve aspired to implement a daily meditation practice for years and have fallen off the wagon more times than I can count.
I’m a big believer in the power of meditation. No longer considered New Age mumbo-jumbo, meditation and its benefits are backed by countless scientific studies and medical research. General benefits of meditation include reducing stress, increasing empathy, and helping to alleviate some medical conditions, like high blood pressure and IBS.
The work-related benefits meditation brings are worth noting, too:
- Increased focus and productivity
- Enhanced energy and memory capacity
- Better, easier decision-making
- Higher patience and tolerance
I think all PR pros would agree with me when I say, “Sign me up for more of that!”
There are many different types of meditation, and it’s important to find one that works best for you. Thankfully, there are many meditation apps on the market that can introduce you to different techniques and assist with your meditation practice.
Here are four meditation apps I’ve tried, with a little information about each:
I think this app is great for beginners. I’ve only used the free trial version of 10 sessions, but I can say it does a wonderful job of introducing the basics of meditation in ways that are easy to understand. It includes cute animated videos before each guided meditation, and the guide, Andy, has a fantastic British accent.
This app spun off from television journalist Dan Harris’s book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story (which I also recommend). Harris says this app is “meditation for fidgety skeptics.” The app includes videos from Harris and expert teachers who coach you through the basics of meditation.
Breethe is my personal favorite. It offers hundreds of guided meditations for all different types of issues. It also has soothing music playlists that are great for work or relaxation, and workshops on a variety of topics.
Sam Harris, a neuroscientist, philosopher and New York Times best-selling author who wrote the book Waking Up created this app. It places a lot of focus on the theory behind meditation practice, as well as offers guided meditations.
Bonus: Calm is another very popular meditation app. I didn’t include it in the list above because it’s been years since I first tried it and it has expanded its programming since then. However, I wanted to mention it here, as another option to potentially investigate.
All of these apps offer free trial periods. If one piques your interest, test it out and see how you like it. If you don’t care for it, try another. The styles and tones of each are different. It may just be a matter of finding the one that best fits your needs and personality.
Do you meditate? Has it made a difference in your life or work? Tell us all about it in the comments below!