Body, Mind & Spirit

13 Apps That Will Get You Into the Zen Zone

Published on September 9, 2018

Article by Justine Amodeo for Bodhi Tree

1. Headspace

Headspace, self-described as one of the first “gyms of the mind,” helps you get out of your own way with an intro course to meditation and a free “Take 10” program with 10, 10-minute meditation sessions. Paid subscriptions allow subject-specific sessions that can help improve focus, reduce stress, relieve anxiety and exercise mindful awareness.

Why we like it:

The voice of all things Headspace, L.A.–based Andy Puddicombe—ordained in his 20s as a Buddhist monk in Northern India—wrote three books about mindfulness and gave TED Talks on the subject after returning to lay life. His voice is as hypnotic as a Tibetan gong.

Dowload on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

2. Simply Being: Guided Meditation for Relaxation and Presence

Created by meditation teachers Richard and Mary Maddux, this app allows you to choose from 5-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-minute meditations with or without music (composed by Richard), or nature sounds from acclaimed acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, aka “The Sound Tracker.”

Why we like it:

“Silence is an endangered species,” says Hempton, and the earth, as he knows it, is a “solar-powered jukebox.” His nature sounds recorded from his three trips around the globe will relax you to the core.

Dowload on the App Store | Get it on Google Play | Available at Amazon

3. Buddify

This beautifully designed app includes more than 11 hours of guided meditations for 15 modern-life scenarios ranging from “difficult emotions,” “feeling stressed” and “can’t sleep” to “being online” and “waiting around.” Pick one from a multicolored wheel of options.

Why we like it:

A product of the UK creative studio Mindfulness Everywhere, its Glasgow-based director, Rohan Gunatillake, has become an expert in what he calls “urban meditation,” using the sights, smells and sounds of the city as prompts for mindfulness, calm and compassion. He and a half-dozen meditation teachers from the UK and US supply other recordings.

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

4. 10% Happier

This beginner’s meditation app “for fidgety skeptics” features short meditations, mindful-eating tips and interviews with mindfulness experts Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, who lead guided meditation sessions. It’s a companion to the book of the same title, written by Nightline anchor Dan Harris, who, after an on-air panic attack, became a very public meditation supporter.

Why we like it:

Simple, five- to 10-minute guided audio sessions and real-life coaches (new ones are added each month) actually check in via text message to help with follow-through.

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

5. Nobly

The spiritual path also involves being in service, and this app allows users to create and contribute to “a chain reaction of kindness.” Nobly, founded on the ideal of inspiring goodwill, offers the opportunity to not only do good deeds, but also inspires others to pay it forward by connecting people across the world through their acts of kindness and tracking those impacted. It could be a deed as small as returning a lost dog, or as large as making a sizable donation to a charity.

Why we like it:

The app features a “Deed Feed” to observe new deeds popular in its Pay It Forward Network. The social-networking features allow users to add friends and watch as the act of rescuing a deer, partying for a cause or donating food to a children’s hospital can be a catalyst for change.

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

6. Breathe2Relax

Created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, this app includes guided videos on how to do deep, diaphragmatic breathing, and an adjustable timer tells you when to inhale and exhale, accompanied by a self-selected background image and the option of listening to music.

Why we like it:

Diaphragmatic breathing has been scientifically shown to reduce anxiety and stress while inducing calm, and the app’s built-in graphing function includes stress tracking and other helpful resources.

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play | Available at Amazon

7. White Noise and White Noise Lite

White noise—whether it’s pouring rain, crashing waves or your own sound creation—has been proven to block out distractions, from crying children to ringing phones, and is becoming more widely used to improve focus and induce calm.

Why we like it: This simple-to-use tool can help you relax while exercising, working or running errands, with more than 40 sounds and access to hundreds of others via download. For sleep, there’s a continuous playback, from rain showers to frogs at night to an oscillating fan.

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play | Available at Amazon

8. Happify

Studies have proven that happier people have healthier hearts, and this app can help you increase happiness by setting specific goals, as well as offering games to help end negative thought patterns. Answer a few questions and you’ll receive recommended videos from experts from many fields to choose from.

Why we like it:

Sign up for free and receive inspirational tracks and quotes daily, like Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski’s “What a Lobster Can Teach Us About Handling Stress.”

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

9. Yoga Studio

Whether you’re an Ashtanga master or you’re still trying to get into pigeon pose, this app offers a broad range of exercises that allow you to either experience one of five ready-made classes or assemble your own. Unique features like pose blocks (short sequences of poses like sun salutations) and smart-link (a feature used to connect poses) make it simple, intuitive and fast.

Why we like it:

You can choose your level (beginner, intermediate or advanced), duration (15, 30 or 60 minutes) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance or combination) with teacher commentary that’s easy to follow.

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play | Available at Amazon

10. The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu

This Chinese classic is one of the most translated works of wisdom in world literature. A single phrase, with answers to each of life’s questions and solutions to many predicaments, is now available in your pocket. The free version contains the complete first 20 passages translated by Brian Browne Walker, and users can—like a game—hit any random passage to receive the book’s insights.

Why we like it:

Among the many profound quotes by its author, Lao Tzu, it’s good to be reminded that, “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” It can make you ponder the universe for hours.

Download on the App Store

11. 1 Giant Mind

This app trains users in an introductory, mantra-based technique known as “automatic transcending,” referring to the mind’s experience of naturally going into a deeper state of awareness.

Why we like it:

Meditation teacher Jonni Pollard takes you on an effortless journey to understand the nature of your mind in 12 15-minute steps. You can use your own mantra if you’ve been given one by a qualified teacher, or if this is your first, you can use the recommended “Aham,” which means “I am.”

Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play | Available at Amazon

12. The Wholehearted Life

Susyn Reeve, an interfaith minister who apprenticed under author don Miguel Ruiz, wants to help everyone live a life filled with inner peace, self-esteem, shared joy and limitless love. Here she offers a guide to pray, play and passionately pursue a life lived fully from the heart.

Why we like it:

These 365 ideas are day-by-day guides to peaceful and happy living. In this app, Reeve shows you how to create your own perfect spiritual practice, unleash the creative power of your words, be present, and be a force for good through daily acts of kindness.

Download on the App Store

13. Past Life Regression, Discover Past Lives by Hypnosis and Subliminal with Guided Meditation

By accessing your past lives with soothing, therapeutic hypnotherapy tracks from world-renowned master hypnotist Erick Brown, you can learn more about your present self and your path, and unlock unlimited ancient knowledge.

Why we like it:

Brown’s life-changing hypnotherapy has helped hundreds of thousands of people, with issues ranging from weight loss to love to accessing past lives. The four different soothing background animations and sounds help enhance your hypnosis experience, which can be customized with wake or sleep endings.

Download on the App Store

Love podcasts? Read The Best Podcasts for Motivation, Inspiration & Wisdom.

Published on: September 9, 2018

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