In this culture where we are all superglued to our phones, mindfulness can be tricky to do properly. So in order to prevent any withdrawal symptoms, here are some apps to help you with your Mindfulness practice (Just don’t forget to turn your phone on do not disturb first!).
We’re all using our phones constantly at the moment. So it can feel a bit weird to unplug from it when we want to practice meditation. There is always a little voice waiting to remind us to check for notifications. If this is you, why not compromise and use your phone during your mindfulness practice? There are so many apps out there to support you in loads of different ways. Some of them do require a small fee to access all their resources, so have a try of a few different ones before you commit to make sure you’re completely happy.
All of these apps I have used or am currently using. Some of them are similar in what they offer which is why I don’t use them all at the same time. The main thing about mindfulness is to be comfortable in your practice, so hopefully this will give you some information to get you started in a direction that works for you.
One of my favourite apps to use when being mindful, Calm has some awesome guided meditations to help you ground yourself in the moment. I raved about the sleep stories in my article about getting better sleep, but there is so much more to this app than helping you nod off.
Tailored according to what you want to focus on how how much time you have, there are a whole bunch of resources available to you for just £35 a year. There is a free version which you can try before you commit to the full version, but bear in mind you might start a series and not be able to finish it with subscribing.
If you suffer from panic attacks, there are also great ‘SOS’ style resources for when you need help to calm down quickly. There is also a feature to check in everyday to see how you are feeling which is great if your into tracking your mood.
An alternative to Calm, this app also has a free and subscription version depending on what you need or want.
Much like Calm, Headspace has sessions for every mood. There is even courses of sessions for you to work through if you have specific things you want to work on, such as anxiety.
The great thing about both Headspace and Calm is that you can listen to them anytime, anywhere (although Headspace does also allow you to listen on your computer from their website too if you prefer). Having this flexibility means that you don’t have to wait until you’re at home to practice your mindfulness. You can do it on your lunch break or in the park if that’s what you want!
I’m pretty sure most of us (if not all) have YouTube on our phones now. I watch it every day and some of you may know I even have my own channel.
But what you may not know is that there are millions of different mindfulness videos on there to suit your needs. From guided mediations to full on yoga routines, have a browse and find what works for you. I am a big fan of Yoga with Adriene which is a great way to practice mindfulness and get some exercise too.
If you’re not into anything too active, then have a look for guided mindfulness mediations which again can be tailored according to how long you have.
4. Spotify/Apple Music
Everyone has music on their phones now, right? And most of us have some sort of music subscription too.
Meditation music can be a great way to get into the right headspace for mindfulness, and Apple Music and Spotify both have great curated playlists if you don’t know where to start looking for something that works for you.
The best bit about these apps is that after a few listens they will start to suggest other similar tracks which you may also like. This is great for people like me who hate it when a song gets overplayed. There is nothing worse than suddenly starting to hate that track you previously loved. And it’s certainly not going to help you find your zen if that annoying music keeps coming on when you’re in the middle of your mindfulness practice!
This one might sound a bit weird, but how often have you found yourself in a weird black hole of thoughts when you where trying to practice mindfulness or even just have a quiet moment? We have so much to worry about that sometimes it can be really hard to stay in the moment for 30 seconds, let alone 5 minutes.
This is where your notes app comes in. Right before I sit down to do my mindfulness session, I’ll write down everything that is spinning around in my head. It doesn’t have to make sense. Just allow yourself to write mindlessly. Don’t stress about full sentences and grammar, you’re not going to be marked on it!
Once you’ve done this, tell yourself that for the next five minutes you’re not going to worry or think about these things, but you can once the five minutes is over. I find by doing these two things in combination I find it a lot easier to stay in the moment when I do then start my mindfulness practice.
Offloading like this into a notes app can also be quite eye-opening. It’s interesting to see in black and white what exactly is going on inside our minds and sometimes just the act of writing it down can be enough for us to stop obsessing over certain thoughts.
Reflectly is a great app both for when you’re being mindful and to allow you to be mindful down the line. A journaling app which helps you track your mood, reflectly helps you work out what triggers negative emotions and identifies patterns in behaviour.
The app has recently had a huge update as well, which allows you to enter data multiple times a day (because we rarely just feel one emotion all day). It even lets you upload photos so you can create a little scrapbook directly on your phone. There is also a gratitude journal built into the app, which is great for reflecting on the day and boosting your mood.
Not only is this great for keeping in touch with yourself and being mindful of your emotions, I find this is also a great tool for identifying when its best for me to practice mindfulness. For example, I am not a morning person and am often quite grumpy first thing. This is not always going to be the best time for me to be trying to be mindful. I’m much better off waiting an hour for my coffee to kick in and I’m a bit calmer. By tracking my emotions on the app, I have found out when it’s best for me to practice.
Much like YouTube and the Spotify, there are many different podcasts available for you to use when practicing your mindfulness. Some of them go through the routine for you via guided meditations, some give you tips and tricks to make it easier for you in the long run.
Some mental health series may only feature one episode on mindfulness, so look out for these corkers hiding in amongst other podcasts. A particular favourite Episode for me is by the Mental Health Foundation Project (you can find the episode here).
If you want to look at what’s available on your podcast app, simply type mindfulness into the search bar and get browsing. This should show you both series and episodes which feature this topic too. Have a listen to a few different ones and you’re bound to find one that works for you.
Those are my favourite mindfulness apps, but there are loads out there. Have a search and try out different ones, especially if you’re thinking about paying for content. It’s important to be confident in what you’re signing up to.
Are there any apps you love which I haven’t talked about here? Let me know in the Mindfulness Community.