12 best meditation apps for anxiety and stress on iPhone and Android

Downloading an app to your phone can help you to manage symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Meditating woman

Squeezing meditation and mindfulness exercises into your day is much easier when you use an app.

Advertisement

Meditation can benefit your health in many ways, from improving your concentration to reducing anxiety. It’s a small lifestyle change, but one that can reap big rewards.

There are plenty of calm meditation apps out there to help you deal with anxiety and stress in your day-to-day life, from HeadSpace to Buddhify.

Older woman meditating at home
Getty Images/Fizkes

What are the meditation benefits for the brain?

Research has shown that making meditation a regular part of your routine can actually create physical changes within your brain.

Harvard University research found that brains of people who meditate regularly have more grey matter and thickening in the cerebral cortex, when compared to non-meditators.

Their research found that regular mindfulness or meditation practise for 27 minutes per day made changes to the brain in just two weeks.

Read on to discover an app that suits you.

Woman showering in a waterfall
Meditating woman

Meditation apps to download

1

Buddhify

Android, £1.99, and iPhone, £4.99

Buddhify helps you to bring mindfulness and meditation into your day – in short bursts if necessary.

There are over 11 hours of custom meditations to try which are suited to each part of your life, including travelling, taking a break at work and going to sleep.

Buy Buddhify for Android devices or iPhones/iPads.

2

Calm – Meditate, Sleep, Relax

Android and iPhone, in-app purchases

Take a deep breath and open this app for a dose of instant relaxation.

Bring mindful meditation into your life with the Calm app, which offers a variety of ways to reduce anxiety including guided meditations, breathing programs and Sleep Stories to help you relax.

Download the app for Android and iPhone.

Asian woman meditating
Unsplash/Sean Kong

3

Deep Meditation: Relaxation and Sleep Meditation

Android only, free

The aim of this app is to get you to meditate more often and reduce your stress levels. It’s subscription-free and there are no ads or interruptions.

The app offers 15 unique meditations as well as meditation music and natural sounds, plus there’s a meditation timer so you can easily set the length of each session.

Download the app here.

4

Oak: Meditation and Breathing

iPhone, free

Oak helps us decompress by making meditation practice part of our every day.

Personalise your meditations by duration, and customise with silence or calming background sounds. Oak tracks your progress too so you can keep a record of your accomplishments and earn badges as your mindful journey progresses.

Download Oak on iPhone.

5

HeadSpace Guided Meditation and Mindfulness

Android and iPhone, in-app purchases

While this app offers in-app purchases, the basic version of the app is free to download and covers the basics of living a happier, healthier life.

Once you’ve tried it out, you can choose to upgrade which gives you access to hundreds of meditations covering everything from anxiety to sleep. Get HeadSpace for Android or Apple devices.

Woman meditating by a lake

6

Let’s Meditate

Android only, free

This handy free app can be downloaded from the Google Play store and it’s a great way to get into meditation.

The app contains plenty of helpful meditation exercises which guide you through the exercises one step at a time.

The meditations vary in length, so it’s easy to find one to meet your needs.

Get the app here.

7

Omvana

Android and iPhone, in-app purchases

In Omvana, you’ll find guided meditations by very famous authors, teachers and spiritual celebrities that are scientifically proven to help you enter deep meditative states.

On the app you’ll find hundreds of tracks, music and poetry to calm and relax you as well as a selection to help you feel refreshed and inspired. There is something to suit every mood.

Download Omvana for Android or iPhone.

8

Meditation and Relaxation: Guided Meditation

Android only, in-app purchases

This calming app gives you a selection of meditation programmes in varying lengths – think of them like a mini course in meditation.

Programmes include 7 days meditation for beginners, 14 day advanced meditation and 7 days to stress relief.

There are also programmes tailored to your needs, so you can choose meditations to improve your sleep, for example.

Download the app here.

Woman sitting on a bench meditating

9

Relax Meditation

iPhone only, in-app purchases

Bring positive change into your life with this soothing app, which focuses on mindful meditation.

Pick one of the themed meditation programs to get started – there’s success, self-esteem, creativity and more to choose from. You can try out and contribute your own community mixes too.

There are also sleep sounds to help you drift off to sleep at the end of a hard day.

Download the app here.

10

Smiling Mind

Android and iPhone, free

Developed by psychologists and educators, this app is designed to bring a little more balance to your life.

Follow mindful meditations customised to suit your age group (there are options for children) and specific needs. All you need is 10 minutes every day to start seeing real changes.

Download Smiling Mind for Android or iPhone.

11

Simple Habit

Android and iPhone, in-app purchases

If you’re really short of time and don’t think you can spare a minute for meditation, this app is the answer. It is designed to help users reduce stress, improve focus, sleep better, relax faster, calm their nerves, and breathe easier.

Follow guided meditations, which you can choose according to where you are and how long you have to spend on the app, from teachers, mindfulness experts and even former monks. Just five minutes every day can have a huge impact on your mindset.

It’s available on Google Play and the App Store.

Cat meditation

12

Stop Breathe & Think: Meditate

Android and iPhone, in-app purchases

Use this app to become more in tune with your feelings and aware of your emotions.

Once you’ve gauged how you’re feeling, you can choose a meditation to suit your mood.

As well as offering guided meditations, there’s also a meditation self-timer and a tracker so you can monitor your emotions both before and after a meditation session.

Download Stop Breath & Think for Android or iPhone.

Advertisement

Photos by kosal ley, Lua Valentia and Caleb Frith on Unsplash