5 Best Mindfulness Apps

One way to develop your mental fortitude is to practice mindfulness — the ability to be present in your thoughts and feelings without judging them. The goal of being mindful is learning which of your thoughts are productive and which are a response to your current situation.

Being aware of your thoughts and how you react to them is a healthy way to navigate through whatever life throws at you.

Having a consistent mindfulness practice can help improve your anxiety, depression, and reactions to stressful events. With a healthier internal life, your external life may improve as well. The more you practice mindfulness, the more natural it will feel. And, as you become more comfortable with the concept, the more you’ll get from your practice.

Though mindfulness is a wonderful thing to do for yourself, remembering to implement this idea into your life is difficult, especially if you’re already having a hard time with your mental health. To help yourself remember to be mindful, try using a mindfulness app.

There are plenty of options in your phone’s app store, but how do you know which ones are worth trying? We’re here to help!

Here are our top five favorite mindfulness apps:

  1. Headspace
  2. Calm
  3. Insight Timer
  4. Smiling Mind
  5. Simple Habit

Each of these resources is available in the Google Play and Apple stores. They can also be accessed online if you’d like to take a break to practice mindfulness during your workday.

While the apps are listed in numerical order, they are not being ranked against each other — not one mindfulness app is best for every kind of user. You might be better suited to Headspace, while your partner prefers Simple Habit. It’s about finding what’s best for you.

What Should I Look For in a Mindfulness App?

When you’re learning about the concept of mindfulness and how to implement it into your life, you’ll need to find an app that helps make this an ingrained habit.

Part of your journey involves better understanding what mindfulness is. You may learn a metaphor about sitting along the bank of a river and watching sticks float by in the current or maybe a narrator will direct you to think of your thoughts as clouds drifting across a blue sky. These examples emphasize being a passive observer to your own thoughts.

Whichever mindfulness app you choose, make sure it teaches you about mindfulness in a way that best fits your learning style. There are a plethora of methods to teach and practice mindfulness, so make sure you choose what makes the most sense for you.

Another part of adding mindfulness into your day is deciding how long you’d like to spend meditating and learning about the concept. There are some apps that advise a short five-minute session, while others suggest 10 minutes or more.

There is no right answer to how long you need to spend on your mindfulness practice. Different times work for different people. When you’re first starting out you may only want to spend a few minutes being mindful and later along your mindfulness journey, you may decide you want to lengthen your sessions into 30 minutes or more.

Before committing to your app of choice, try a few of the guided meditations and other talk sessions it offers. This is useful for a few reasons. First, this will get you on the platform to see if you like its layout and functionality. Second, you’ll learn how you react to the voices of the people giving guided mindfulness activities.

Sometimes, you’ll get someone with a voice that doesn’t relax you. If you’re annoyed by the sound of the instructor’s voice, it’s much harder to be in the moment.

As you use your app, don’t forget to put your phone into Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode. Otherwise, your peaceful session may be interrupted by a string of phone notifications — it’s hard to remain a detached observer when your phone is calling for your active attention.

The most important part of choosing your mindfulness app is finding something you want to keep using. Try out a few, see what you like, and choose what works best for you. It’s about finding what fits best for what your mindfulness goals.

Of the hundreds of mindfulness apps in the Google Play and Apple stores, these five are our favorites.


Cost: Users receive a week-long free trial to see if Headspace is for them. After the trial, subscribers can choose to pay $13 a month ($156 annually), $70 per year, or $400 for lifetime access.

Besides Calm, Headspace is one of the most popular mindfulness apps.

If you’re reluctant to try mindfulness and meditation because of the serious vibe associated with it, Headspace could be a good choice. This app caters its content for skeptics and other beginners just getting into the space.

The goal of Headspace is making mindfulness a more accessible concept and helping users learn how to implement this idea into their daily lives.

On the app there are guided meditations; some to help your ground your thoughts and others to improve your focus. There is also a section devoted to improving your sleep. The creators recently added an exercise section, which has gentle workouts that focus on the mind/body connection.

If you want a well-built app that gives you plenty of methods to practice mindfulness, Headspace may be what you need.


  • Great for beginners
  • Large content library
  • Excellent interface
  • Easily tracks your sessions


  • If you like it, you must pay for a subscription to keep using it
  • It’s expensive
  • Some users reported the app as repetitive


Cost: After a week-long free trial, users have the option to pay a monthly subscription fee of $15 ($180 annually), a yearly fee of $60, or a $400 lifetime access fee.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, Calm is an excellent choice for a mindfulness app. It has a simple interface. The app also has sleep meditations narrated by celebrities like Bob Ross and Matthew McConaughey.

What Calm is best known for is its library of guided meditations. These are divided into topics: sleep, beginners, work, inner peace, anxiety, emotions, and personal growth. Whatever you’re in the mood for, the full version of Calm probably has it.

Even with such a high cost, Calm is the most-downloaded mindfulness app, which definitely counts for something.

There is a free Calm option. Unfortunately, most of the content is extremely limited.

If you’re looking to bring mindfulness to the rest of your family, there’s even a section for kid-specific content.


  • Calm is the most popular mindfulness app
  • Good for anyone; beginners and advanced users
  • The app is easy to navigate


  • You must have a subscription to use most features in the app
  • The monthly option is the most expensive one on this list

Insight Timer

Cost: The app has a free version with access to an enormous meditation library. There is a premium version, which costs $60 yearly.

If you’re searching for a mindfulness app and aren’t keen on paying for a subscription, Insight Timer is a strong choice. While Calm and Headspace are popular, you’ll need to pay to access most of their content.

In Insight Timer, there are thousands of hours of meditation sessions, yoga classes, and even an education section (which is only available in the premium version).

Because there is so much free content, Insight Timer can feel overwhelming for those just getting into mindfulness. While there is a bevy of meditations for adults, children, sleeping, anxiety, depression, and plenty of other topics, trying to figure out where to start can be difficult.

If you’re an advanced mindfulness practitioner or something who isn’t afraid to dig into a content library to find what you’re searching for, Insight Timer could be a great fit.


  • There are hundreds of hours’ worth of free content
  • A strong search function to find the perfect meditation
  • Insight Timer has a community feature which allows you to connect with others


  • Not catered toward beginners
  • The app can be confusing to navigate

Smiling Mind

Cost: This mindfulness app is completely free.

This Australian mindfulness app was originally developed to help children learn how to better manage their emotions. It was eventually expanded to cater to adults as well.

Because the app was created for people who are completely new to the concept of mindfulness, it’s difficult for advanced practitioners to find guided meditations that suit them. On the other hand, it’s perfect for beginners.

Even though some of the content is simplistic, there are still major upsides to using this app. One of the top reasons to try Smiling Mind is the cost — it’s free! It’s nice to have a well-designed app that contains professional-level guided meditations that’s completely free to use.

Besides the cost, or lack thereof, Smiling Mind does an excellent job of tracking your progress as you complete its various programs.

If you want a free app that allows you to dip your toe into the world of mindfulness, download Smiling Mind.


  • Smiling Mind is free — none of the content is behind a subscription paywall
  • The app interface is easy to navigate and understand


  • Advanced practitioners may find the app too simplistic
  • The narration can be too technical

Simple Habit

Cost: There are a few different ways to use Simple Habit. There’s a free version, a monthly subscription for $12 ($144 annually), a $90 yearly subscription, and lifetime access for $300.

Simple Habit is a mindfulness app that was featured on season nine of the entrepreneur investment show, Shark Tank.

This app is filled with meditations for almost any kind of situation: alleviating panic attacks, increasing your confidence, working through a break-up, and plenty of other scenarios.

What makes Simple Habit stand out is its focus on short meditations. Most of the guided mindfulness activities are only five minutes long. If mindfulness is something you’re worried about working into your day, Simple Habit is a great option.


  • There are short meditations
  • Without paying, you still receive plenty of content
  • Very meditations and mindfulness activities for your every need


  • There aren’t many long meditations
  • You can only use the app offline with a premium subscription