We are all leading increasingly hectic lives – not always helped by technology that means we are constantly checking social media and emails. However, technology can also help you switch off too! Here are the top ten apps for peace and calm to download to your smartphone as recommended by app designer and author of 21 Doors to Happiness Chit Dubey.
All these apps can begin to direct you towards harmony or start get you acting more Zen, reckons Dubey: “Luckily, there are many hidden treasures within our smartphones which we often miss out on – while browsing, messaging or calling – that we could instead use to achieve tranquillity when on the go”.
Price: Free / £9.99 per month.
App store, Google Play
Ten free guided meditation sessions of 10 minutes each to use this anywhere and at any time. Also offers animations, articles and videos.
Has a personalized tracking page, reminders, a buddy system to help keep you motivated with friends, the ability to download sessions for offline use and more. It has got beautiful and sleek user interface. Comes with free 10 day trial.
Founded by Bristol-based former Buddhist Monk, Andy Puddicombe in London in 2010, it became more popular when actress Emma Watson tweeted about it.
Price: £4.99 onetime fee
Buddhify comes with a colourful wheel (see above) which is full of wisdom. It has 80 short guided audio exercises and custom-made meditation tracks to listen to alongside your normal day to help you develop mindfulness, calm and compassion in the middle of wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
You can time yourself, track stats, meditate with others or simply sit back and let the sessions take their course. Users get over 11 hours of content for a good value single one time fee, making it not only beautiful to use, but amazingly good value.
Meditations are customised for at Work, Going to Sleep, When Stressed, Travelling amongst others.
Price: Free, App store
Smiling Mind have already reached more than 2 million people worldwide which include more than 1.5 million students practising this every day and 30,000 teachers.
The stats say that their programs significantly reduce stress, with 68% of participants reporting that they feel a greater sense of calm since using the Smiling Mind app.
Aura has its famous phrase, ‘Mindfulness meets AI’. Aura is one of the best in the market to increase positivity through its three-minute meditations, personalised by AI. Aura provides short and sweet, science-backed, and personalised mindfulness meditation exercises every day to make you happier.
You can also choose how you’re feeling today, and the meditation is customised for you. You can rate your experience, and Aura will learn about you to provide a better session every time.
It tracks your mood, learns about your mood patterns, and sends you daily reminders for meditations.
Price: free/£11.99, only iOS
Inscape merges traditional techniques with intelligent personalization, the app creates a place for yourself wherever you are, designed to fit around your busy lifestyle. In three minutes, Inscape claims to help boost your awareness, enhance your emotional intelligence, energize or relax.
It will help you in such situations like insomnia, anxiety before a date or nervous about a tough decision at work. It includes a journal to record your thoughts, feelings and progress. You can also integrate your meditations with Apple Health.
Price: Free / £319 per month
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word, and it’s a combination of two words: Prana (breath) and Ayama (restraint). Pranayama is an essential part of Hatha Yoga and this technique is bundled into this app. Pranayama’s simple and intuitive guide to deep breathing features a progressive course to help you find balance and relieve stress.
This app uses music and animated visuals to guide you to slower deeper breathing. Practicing slow breathing for just 15 minutes a day can reduce stress and stress-related illnesses. The regular practice of Pranayama helps to control depression, high blood pressure, and improves overall fitness.
Price: Free / £9.99 per month
Besides usual guided meditation techniques offered by many other apps, this offers the unique feature of telling bedtime stories. They have bedtime stories for kids but also for grownups.
The Calm app provides fiction and non-fiction stories, nature stories and sleep music. It helps people unwind and fall into a deep sleep each evening. It is good for beginners but also for advanced practitioners.
Stop Breathe and Think
Price: Free / £9.99 per month
This app sticks to its name ‘Stop, Breathe and Think’. Their philosophy is:
Stop: Stop what you are doing. Check in with what you are thinking, and how you are feeling.
BREATHE: Practise mindful breathing to create space between your thoughts, emotions and reactions.
THINK: Broaden your perspective and strengthen your force field of peace with personalized meditations and activities.
In three easy steps, you could experience the gaps between thoughts which will lead you towards greater inner joy and happiness.
Price: Free / £3.99 per month
The Aware app purely focuses on a technique that guides you through a journey to discover the present moment. It offers various themed courses on health, relationship and performance. You could pick up any course according to your mood and lifestyle.
They have short guided exercises called ‘Energizers’, which you could choose to do any time of the day. The simple breathing exercises and sound immersion exercises help you to be aware throughout the day.
Price: Free / £4.49 per month
Pacifica app is unique as it offers quick daily activities based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behaviour pattern to actively involve you in recovery, sense of control and learning skills that are useful throughout life.
Pacifica attempts to break our anxious or fearful on-going cycle of thoughts, feelings and behaviours using tools that target each of its components.
Day-by-day, you’ll learn to manage your feelings at your own pace. Pacifica says ‘We’re not about quick-fixes or false promises. We are about real progress, a day at a time.’ This app is highly recommended.
About the author
Chit Dubey is a meditation teacher and a consultant in the IT industry. His book 21 Doors to Happiness: Life Through Travel Experiences and Meditation is published in the UK on November 2nd, priced £5.99