5 Best Meditation Apps of 2021

Meditation apps are great tools to help us build a healthy relationship with the mind, something especially useful in this day and age.

If you have ever tried to escape from yourself, 2020 was probably not the best year to do so. And, as you may have noticed, we can’t really escape from ourselves, because wherever we go, we are there. Meditation has been on the rise this year. It is a gentle way of getting to know ourselves, and befriending our mind.

The whole purpose of meditation is to befriend and understand our minds; all while staying focussed. Although feel-good meditation music can help us relax in the moment, ideally in this stressful world, we all aim to attain self-transformation. That’s ideally a state whereby we are able to rise above our anxious or stressful moments on a daily basis, without having to run to our phones to meditate.

Meditation is designed to equip us with the mindset to deal with our problems better. As beginners, or even as advanced meditators, it surely helps to have a structure to follow. There are many popular meditation apps out there, and there are specific ones you can try, depending on what your goal is. Some apps are great to help us relax immediately, others allow us to fall asleep, whereas there are also experts who used their years of intense meditation as the solid basis in designing the best possible app for long term self-transformation results.

So, without any further ado, in order of ease of use and long term transformation results, here are the top 5 meditation apps of 2021 according to me. I have elaborated on the top 2 in detail followed by three other top meditation apps.

1. Black Lotus App

If you are serious about meditation and wish to bring lasting, profound changes to your brain and life, whilst at the same time reaping the benefits of intense meditation, then the Black Lotus App is for you to try. It has been created and designed by the meditation expert and monk, Om Swami, who practised intense meditation (with more than 15,000 hours under his belt). Backed by science, published scientific research shows extreme stability of Swami’s prefrontal cortex, a phenomenon demonstrated in expert meditators.

Black Lotus is an app that allows one to learn and incorporate the benefits of quality meditation via short guided meditations in daily life. The app deepens the practice by complimenting meditation with daily kindness and mindfulness acts, with habit forming support. The activities involve sharp and lucid meditation sessions, sprinkled with interesting mindful activities. Black Lotus also consists of a well laid out path for serious meditators. The Path gives milestones and achievements required to reach each new step.

  • A commitment of 14–19 mins per day to experience lasting self-transformation.
  • One goal at a time to focus, tame and discipline the mind.

Beginners and advanced meditators.

Individuals who want to:

  • Meditate with the guidance of an expert.
  • Master meditation.
  • Achieve lasting mental, emotional and self-transformation.
  • Instil discipline in their daily lives.
  • Keep their brain and mind healthy.
  • Goal packs have been especially curated by the meditation expert, Om Swami who understands, from experience, how the brain and mind work.
  • All tracks are in the calming voice of Om Swami himself.
  • The packs include daily sessions of guided meditations (R), specialised breathwork(A), Random acts of kindness, specially selected daily reading(R) as well as self-evaluation (E) to end the day (R-A-R-E).
  • Focusses on quality rather than quantity.
  • Recommends how many times each cycle must be repeated, to make the most out of each goal.
  • Very friendly user interface.
  • Daily reminders and notifications three times a day to complete each day’s task.
  • Requires discipline, commitment and consistency.
  • In-depth guidance about how to meditate correctly and hurdles in meditation.
  • Users write stories of their encounters with everyday kindness.
  • Regular live global meditations led by an expert on YouTube.
  • Humour at the completion of each day.
  • Ability to maintain a streak of infinite days.

Trial is available without subscription.
Free goal packs are also available.
Subscription gives access to all goal packs.

2. Headspace

Headspace was founded by a former monk, Andy Puddicombe, and is one of the most downloaded meditation Apps. It has also been used in research to investigate the effectiveness of mindfulness, and provides a wide variety of tracks, most of which require a subscription. If you like variety and you’d like to give meditation a try to feel good and relax in the moment, Headspace could be for you.

Use daily and potentially follow the courses provided as per required.

Beginners and advanced meditators as well as individuals who want some relaxation.

Individuals who:

  • Wish to relax.
  • Wish to try out meditation.
  • Like to have a variety of different teachers and voices.
  • Wide variety of tracks depending on your mood
  • Can swap tracks if the mind feels like it.
  • Ability to choose from various meditation teachers, including Andy
  • Courses tackling different aspects of life are available
  • Quite a lot of tracks makes it hard to surf the app.
  • The app can be confusing to use
  • May be difficult for beginners to understand.
  • It was quite hard for me to find my way around the app.
  • Sleep friendly tracks are available.
  • Useful articles on the Headspace website.

Some free options are available.
Subscription is required for full access.

3. Insight timer

Insight timer is the top free meditation app, providing more than 80,000 free meditation tracks as well as live meditations. Several teachers and voices are available on this app, many of whom are celebrities, hence making the app very popular in itself.

Use daily and it may be useful to follow certain particular teachers for consistency. Variety of options are available, depending on the needs of the mind.

Those seeking relaxation and entertainment as well as beginners, advanced meditators. Those suffering from insomnia would also benefit from this app.

Individuals who:

  • Wish to relax.
  • Wish to try out meditation.
  • Like to have a variety of different teachers and voices, including celebs.
  • Wish to be part of a large community of meditators.
  • Meets a wide range of demand with variety of tracks depending on each individual’s mood.
  • Ability to choose from various meditation celebrities.
  • Several issues addressed.
  • The app lacks simplicity.
  • The large amount of information makes it confusing to use.
  • Beginners and less tech-savvy people may struggle to move around the app.
  • Too many tracks and options confuses the mind.
  • Sleep friendly tracks are available.
  • A wide range of live sessions with different celebrity teachers.

Free options are available.
Subscription is required for full access.

4. Calm

Calm is also a popular meditation app, which provides a free 7-day trial. The app has a wide range of apps which can relax the mind in the moment and the soothing nature sounds can be useful for those seeking relaxation. There are also 7-day meditations to calm down.

  • Nice visually appealing colours and sceneries.
  • Creative ideas with soothing natural music.
  • A wide range of options and tracks.
  • Popular app, which a lot of people find relaxing.
  • User interface is not exactly simple.
  • Confusing for beginners.
  • Many tracks require a subscription.
  • Scenes with sounds, which is quite nice.
  • Many live meditation options.

Subscription required after 7 days.

5. The Mindfulness App

Although a less popular app, I found The Mindfulness App quite easy to use. The design is user friendly and moving around the app is smooth, which would be useful for beginners as well as those who generally meditate. The app also has several famous teachers such as Ekhart Tolle.

  • Simple to use.
  • Many tracks available.
  • Famous teachers which may be appealing to many.
  • Several concepts available.
  • Feel-good meditation.
  • Provides reminders.
  • Less popular.
  • Many tracks could confuse beginners and reduce consistency.

Tracks available for free.
Subscription required for long-term access.

Conclusion

All in all, these were the 5 apps which I looked into. It really depends on your goals and what you wish to achieve. There are many apps which offer simple relaxation, enabling us to feel good after a stressful day as well as apps to guide us if we don’t meditate frequently. I hope you find the apps above useful. I selected the Black Lotus app as the best one, due to the expertise behind its design, for serious meditators and seekers.

So, dive right in! Happy downloading and happy meditating.

Writer, Educator: Simplicity and humour are my forte. Committed to making this world a warmer place by understanding the play of life.