Completely free apps for meditation and mindfulness:
Meditation is one of the most important habits that we need to implement in our daily lifestyle if we want to stay happy and productive.
But in today's busy day and age, we rarely get time to meditate and even when we take out a little bit of time just for meditation, our mind doesn't let us meditate!
That's why meditation apps seem to be very useful since they help us to meditate in a proper, guided way by which our mind stays focused and helps us to meditate for longer periods and makes meditation a fun experience.
So let's first take a look at the best free meditation apps with no subscription:
Best Free Meditation Apps (No subscription required):
1. Let's Meditate: Sleep & Guided Meditation (Android)
You can download the guided meditation tracks and listen to them offline - so it helps save your data. Instead of storing every guided meditation track and taking up your storage, Let's Meditate gives you the ability to choose what you want to save so that you don't need to worry about storage and you can just focus on meditation.
It has a wide variety of guided meditation tracks for healing, anxiety, sleep and many more.
Let's Meditate - Android
Insight Timer is the most content rich meditation app. It is the only meditation app where you can get plenty of features, all for free.
When you first install the app, you can see a "start 7 day trial" button. If you want to use it for free, you can skip it by scrolling down below. Immediately after scrolling, you can see the world map which displays the statistics of real time meditators.
Except the courses, all the contents including the famous "Timer" of Insight Timer and all the guided meditations are completely free.
You can check out the different features of the app by tapping the icons below like the Meditation icon for different guided meditation sessions and the Timer icon to access beautiful sound meditation which also includes different variations of Gong sounds.
Insight Timer - Android
Insight Timer - iOS
They are not driven by profit and hence provide all the contents of the app completely free of charge.
Smiling Mind has content curated for everyone including teens, adults and also for teams, classrooms and workplaces. Their guided meditation programs aim to improve sleep cycles, increase focus and concentration and also provide programs for sports, relationships and various other aspects of life.
Smiling Mind - Android
Smiling Mind - iOS
4. Prana Breath (Android)
Prana Breath consists of various special meditations for different purposes like anxiety, relaxation, appetite loss, cigarette addiction, development of a clear mind and many more.
In the free version itself, you can get all these options for improving your meditation journey. They also have options for setting up dark mode, different music and background sounds for a better and different experience each time when you meditate.
The Prana Breath app calls the special breathing exercises for meditation "Breathing Gymnastics", as daily practice of the exercises will give you the ability to control your breath and thus your mind will stay in control. You will stay away from negative emotions.
Breathing gymnastics was known by different names in ancient times and many cultures practiced them, like the Yoga cultures, the Qigong philosophy and were given high status by ancient meditation gurus.
In the yoga philosophy, breathing exercises or Pranayama is known to clear and remove the veils over the light of the soul and also makes the mind fit for one pointedness and focus. After you use the app for some days, you don't have to rely on the app for every breathing exercise.
You will get an idea of how and when to exhale, inhale and so on. After that, you can implement your own idea and duration of breathing meditation and you will be able to meditate whenever and wherever you want, without the need of an app.
But the main goal of the Prana Breath app is to make breathing meditation exercises accessible to everyone without needing to read and find out yourself about how to breathe for meditation. You might have heard the term "Breathe" "Just Breathe" and focus on the breath when you meditate.
But how do we know how to focus on the breath and for how long? How long do we need to exhale, for how long do we inhale? The questions to these answers are solved by the Prana Breath app.
The app is designed in such a way that you just need to breathe and the rest of the problems will be taken care of by the app, like the duration of the inhale and exhale.
Some benefits of doing breathing exercises according to the Prana Breath app are memory sharpening, cerebral circulation improvement, relief from migraine headaches, developing and mastering the skill of concentration and focus, anxiety reducing before serious events like public speaking, examinations etc.
Prana Breath - Android
UCLA Mindful is a great meditation app built by UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Mindful Awareness Research Center. It is based on scientific research and methods for improving your state of mind.
The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center of UCLA is dedicated to make science based mindfulness meditation accessible to everyone. Every week, they organize a 30 minute guided meditation session led by Diana Winston, Director of Mindfulness Education at MARC, UCLA.
The special guided meditation is then made available for all the people in the world through the UCLA Mindful app. Each week consists of different themes and various types of guided and silent meditation. You can access the latest special guided meditation in the podcast section of the app.
The app offers meditation sessions in both English and Spanish. It also has basic and wellness meditation for people suffering from anxiety for body awareness, developing kindness and gratitude, working with difficulties, sleep etc.
UCLA Mindful - Android
UCLA Mindful - iOS
This is a very useful and lightweight tool for meditation that will come handy whenever you want to meditate without a lot of bloat and distractions. Sometimes we just need simple things for peace of mind.
Meditation Timer & Log is completely free and doesn't force you to subscribe. It has a meditation timer which you can customize according to your needs and your mood.
You can create your own sessions for meditation according to your need. Click on the new session button for creating a new meditation session and select your choices from the various options provided like time for preparation.
You can select a time for meditation preparation when you can get ready to meditate. The time can be 5 seconds, 10 seconds up to 3 minutes. You can also leave the preparation time out and choose the other options.
Other options include the duration of your meditation session. It consists of various intervals like 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes up to infinity!
You can also select a background music of your choice. You can find a variety of background music including inner peace, winds, sea sounds, forest river, puffy white clouds and various other specially made music which have different vibrations like the forbidden technique etc.
The app also gives you the option to select your own music from your phone's library. If you like taking intervals between your meditation sessions, you can select a timing for intervals and select your music of choice for your intervals.
Just like the interval and interval sound, the app also provides the option to choose your own sound for the end of the meditation session.
Meditation Timer & Log - Android
Meditation Timer & Log - iOS
Mindfulness 22, formerly Mindfulness Being Human (Lite) is a special meditation app where the content is divided into sections: knowledge and experience. Knowledge consists of techniques and insights into the human mind, thought patterns and behavioral patterns.
Experience means the practical part - where one gets the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge. It consists of different sets of guided meditations which covers the topics, ideas and concepts explored in the knowledge (theory) part of the app.
If you don't want to know a lot about the theoretical aspects of meditation and its benefits, you can skip the theory and just practice the experience (practical) part of the Mindfulness Being Human app.
The app also encourages to make meditation a ritual - an activity which you practice daily preferably at the same time, every day, that's why it talks about the benefits of the eight week challenge and an eight day challenge.
Mindfulness: Being Human (Lite) - Android
Mindfulness: Being Human (Lite) - iOS
The Oak Meditation app offers various meditations including mindful meditation where the goal is to make the mind stay at the present moment and let pure consciousness shine - a stress free and calm state of mind.
You can also find other meditation tracks in the Oak meditation app including loving kindness which helps develop deeper appreciation and love for yourself and your surroundings for a satisfied and happy life.
You can select the background music and instructor and also the duration for the meditation session. If you prefer, you can also select and practice your meditation sessions with the unguided track. You get the option to select intervals and interval bells like zen temple bell, sparkling bell, Japanese temple bell etc.
The app also offers background music for your meditation sessions like ocean rain, deep rolling thunder, deep sleep beach, tropical rain forest and many others.
If you don't want to do meditation sessions and just want to practice breathing exercises for a clear mind and energy, you can select the tracks from the Breathe category. This category offers exercises for relaxation and clarity of mind.
In the Breathe section of the app, you can find a technique called box breathing which is a technique designed for increasing your performance and concentration. This is a special technique which is used by athletes and Navy SEALs.
There is another breathing technique in the app called "Deep Calm" which is known as a natural nervous system tranquilizer. This method puts your mind and body at ease quickly. Doing these exercises everyday will definitely prove to be very beneficial for your body and mind.
The Awake breathing way which you can find in the app is said to be the perfect substitute for coffee. It will help you feel more awake and revived and will make you energetic for productivity or just overall well-being.
Moreover, the app also provides sleep sounds for sleeping and relaxing purposes. You can use them whenever you want, not just while sleeping and feel relaxed even if you're very tired but it's better to use the sleeping music while at home and relaxing since they relax your mind a lot and can make you fall asleep.
In the stats tab, you can see the various stats like how many people are meditating today, how many have completed their meditation sessions and how many are meditating right now.
You can also find your own stats like how many meditation and breathing exercises you have completed.
Oak Meditation - Android
Oak Meditation - iOS
9. Senseful (formerly Meditation Basic) (Android)
Senseful (formerly Meditation Basic) focuses on meditations for people who have a busy life. It emphasizes on just pure meditation rather than a lot of categorizing and overload.
You can find mainly four categories in the app. A basic overview of mediation, Guided Meditation, Silent Meditation and the best part - Meditation Games which makes the habit of meditation a very fun and engaging experience.
Meditation Basic helps your mind become calm and your body energized and makes you ready to tackle challenges of life even if you have a very busy lifestyle. You can use it on the way to work, on your work when you get a short break or anytime when you have free time. Even short moments count but you have to create the habit of meditating daily for better benefits.
Senseful - Android
Urban Yogi's aim is to make real yoga accessible to everyone. Yoga is not just about physical postures and exercises. It's a very subtle art that has to do with mind control and mastery.
If you often find yourself with stressful thoughts bothering you, Urban Yogi promises to solve your problem. It brings you meditation sessions that are based on ancient Yogic practices of dealing with the unstable mind.
It will help you calm down and get rid of all kinds of stressful and negative thought patterns. It has various categories of guided meditation tracks, sleep sounds, relaxing tunes and so on. Urban Yogi ensures that you get all the benefits of yoga and meditation combined.
It can also be useful for kids well-being since the app focuses on children's wellness too. For young adults too, they provide study music, meditation for increasing brain performance, for improving focus, dealing with stress and for enhancing decision making.
For kids, Urban Yogi provides sleep music so that kids can fall asleep without any difficulty. Moreover, the app through their meditation programs plans to help everyone with special mantras which are based on yogic principles.
Mantras are affirmations which are positive that are to be repeated for motivation and self-confidence. Even if you practice physical yoga like the postures, you can use the app for motivation and various music tracks.
UrbanYogi - Android
UrbanYogi - iOS
HeartsApp is made in collaboration with certified meditation and wellness trainers. You can attend various guided meditation classes for cleansing your mind and aura, relaxing the mind and body and prayers for well being.
You can also meditate with certified trainers by going into the Meditate with a trainer section. If you want to meditate alone, you can choose the various guided meditation practices.
You can also join the masterclass for meditation. There are heartfulness masterclasses with Daaji where the instructor will introduce you to various relaxation and mind cleansing techniques to let go of stress and mental burdens that pull you into stress and anxious feelings.
You have to unlock the locked meditations by completing the given meditations for the day. Doing this will automatically unlock the new meditations for the next day - new meditation for a newer and brighter day.
HeartsApp - Android
HeartsApp - iOS
The breathing exercises are designed in such a way that the mind will stay in control along with the breath. If you do these breathing exercises daily, your breathing patterns will automatically change for the better.
When we are stressed, we often have a different breathing pattern than when we are not stressed. So the breath is directly connected to our state of mind.
The app presents to us the exercises in a clear and simple way. It consists of a big circle which is like the sun in a beautiful beach at the time of sunset!
Tap the sun to start your breathing exercises and inhale from your nose by following the timer on the bottom-right side of the app. Similarly, hold your breath and exhale by following the instructions on the bottom-left corner of the app.
You can end a particular meditation session before it is completed by tapping the "End now" button or continue your session. It's better to continue since the sessions are short, which is very helpful for busy people.
At the top-right corner, you can check the total rounds of meditation sessions left to do after the starting of a session.
13. Do Meditate (Android)
It has 3 modes -
Breathe - This is a simple breathe in and out mode with a little pause for holding the breath. It has 3 timers - 2 minutes and 30 seconds meditation, 5 minute meditation and 10 minute meditation.
Meditate - This mode can be accessed by swiping left. This mode provides a guided meditation and 3 timers, which are of 5 minutes, 10 minutes and 20 minutes.
Listen - This mode is just for relaxing and unwinding. If you want to just relax, you can select the 15 minute or 30 minute timer or the 60 minute one if you want to fall asleep while listening to the music. It offers 5 types of music for relaxation - Birds, crickets, fire, ocean and rain.
The voice for the guided meditation can be also be changed by going to the settings on the top-right.
The six modes are -
Awake - This meditation mode is recommended for mornings, just after waking up, since this breathing pattern is known to make your mind stay fit throughout the day.
Deep calm - Practicing this mode daily can make not only your mind but your whole nervous system tranquil. This is the popular 4-7-8 breathing technique where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.
Pranayama - This name comes from the Sanskrit word Prana - life force and Yama - restraint, which means controlling our vital life energy by controlling the breath. A lot of energy gets wasted daily due to unhealthy, anxious and negative thoughts. But if you practice Pranayama daily, your mind and breath will start to stay in control and hence the energies of the body and the mind will also stay in control in a healthy and natural way, without the use of external stimulants, artificial gratification or medicines.
Square - The 4 square breathing technique is also commonly known as the box breathing technique and it can be practiced any time throughout the day since it's very simple. You just have to inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds and hold again for 4 seconds.
Ujjayi - It means the victorious breath. You can use this breath for getting extra energy or restoring your lost energy. The main goal of this breath is to make you victorious in daily life, victorious in battling away negative and anxious thoughts.
Custom mode - In this mode, you get all the freedom to make your own breathing mode! You can choose and set the timings according to your liking. So go ahead and experiment with different timings and have fun!
Best Freemium Meditation Apps:Freemium meditation apps offer some of the contents of the app for free but to access all the other contents and more features, they charge a fee. Below are some of the freemium apps worth mentioning.
Simple Habit has many guided meditations for specific needs such as sleep, concentration and many more.
There are special special sleep meditations just for having a perfect and deep sleep. You can also enjoy various soothing sleep sounds that will help you fall asleep with sounds of rain or let you relax and sleep with calm ocean waves or the sound of peaceful crickets that can soothe your mind and make you sleep quickly.
These sounds create a relaxing and sleepy environment and you can use it not only for yourself but also for the kids so that they can fall asleep quickly.
Simple Habit also helps to increase your motivation so that you get more work done and stay productive and happy. The meditations are designed in such a way so that you become positive and gives you the ability to tackle daily life in a calm and serene way - without stress.
For busy lifestyles, they have made short meditation sessions like 5 minute, 10 minute and 20 minute sessions so that even if you have a busy life, you don't miss out on your meditation sessions. You can also track your sessions and set reminders.
With Simple Habit's unique on the go feature, you can quickly calm your nerves and anxiety and achieve a sense of peace and tranquility even if you're busy and on the go.
Apart from special guided meditations for sleep like mentioned above, Simple Habit app also has guided meditations for specific symptoms like anxiety, stress, depression and for specific life situations like public speaking, commuting, dealing with business or work related stress etc.
Simple Habit won various awards such as the Best of 2017 - Google Play award and Best Well Being app for 2018 - Google Play.
Simple Habit - Android
Simple Habit - iOS
This app is very popular in Europe, particularly in France. Petit BamBou offers a range of meditation sessions that follows an effective and simple approach.
The meditation guides cover specific aspects like sleep, stress management and anxiety issues and helps resolve the various issues arising from stress or anxiety.
The app provides the ability to download the meditation sounds for offline listening and also has the function to set the duration of your meditation sessions.
It has different nature sounds like Woodland Birds, sound of the flowing of wind of big trees, sounds of a night forest in the free version. In the premium version, you get access to extra sounds of nature like Gushing winds, forest sounds and thunder and rain.
Even in the free version you get access to many sounds. Just like the nature category, Mindfulness with Petit BamBou also offers other categories of soothing sounds for healing and meditation like the Water category which includes sounds of Vancouver ocean side and cold rain which are also available in the free version.
Another category of sounds for meditating in this app is Cozy Atmosphere. This category consists of cozy fireplace sound and even the sound of a purring cat! The best thing is that both the sounds are free to access.
Under the travel category, currently there is a track called Tropical Jungle which is also free. You get a lot of good sounds for meditation in the free version including the wonderful tool called Cardiac coherence.
Cardiac coherence teaches you how to control your breath for anxiety and stress management. It is based on the principle that mastering your breath allows better control of your heartbeat which in turn allows better control of the mind.
You can choose the duration and select modes to get the most out of Cardiac coherence. If you have a smartwatch or fitness band with a heart rate tracker, you can test it out yourself. When we control the breath, the heart beat becomes stable and the BPM becomes less.
But when we are anxious, the mind and the breath does not stay controlled and therefore the heartbeat increases. By practicing breath control daily with Cardiac coherence, we can control our breath and the mind for a more focused and a calm mind.
Mindfulness with PetitBambou - Android
Mindfulness with PetitBambou - iOS
This app offers meditation activities for all levels - teens, adults and even kids. You can use the meditation timer to focus on your breath and count your breaths.
Stop Breathe & Think also comes with sleep sounds, other guided meditation tracks for healing, soothing sounds, morning meditation, meditation for improving focus, meditation for depression, meditation for traveling etc.
The app also comes with guided meditation tracks in languages other than English such as the Spanish language.
It also has a mood tracking feature available and recommends guided meditation tracks, acupressure videos and yoga guides curated just for you according to and based on your mood.
You can also track your progress for your mental well being. It gives you the ability to track your mood and your state of mind before and after the meditation sessions.
Stop, Breathe & Think - Android
Stop, Breathe & Think - iOS
The Aware app lets you access the 7 days of the Foundational Course for free. If you pay for the app, then you can access the full Foundational course and all the other contents of the app.
The Energizers are accessible for free. They include Breath Awareness for retaining focus and staying calm , Breath Count, Body Scan for releasing stress and relaxing and Sound Immersion.
Premium content includes a variety of masterclasses, courses, special content for students like managing anxiety, exam stress etc. The app even includes meditation for pregnancy and prenatal meditation.
Aware - Android
Aware - iOS
MindFi helps you to stay mindful anytime, even if you have a busy lifestyle. They have guided meditation sessions categorized according to your mood. You will get different recommendations for different moods.
To reduce distractions and recharge yourself, you get a pomodoro timer to stay focused and relax yourself deeply and turn your down-time into a me-time.
MindFi has a special Deep Work mode to stay focused and get more work done. Even if you have a busy lifestyle, to help you get the most out of MindFi, they have made a 3 minute and 10 minute mindfulness meditation sessions. You also get access to short sessions to listen during your meals or commutes so that you can make the best use of your free time - even if you have very little free time.
MindFi is advised by top meditation teachers and mindfulness researchers like Professor Steve Hickman (founder of UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness).
MindFi - Android
MindFi - iOS
So now you have the list of the best meditation apps. The listed apps cover various techniques of meditation and mindfulness. You can try each one of them and practice your daily meditation sessions with whichever meditation app you like.
Most of the freemium apps also offer a lot of the features for free but some apps might require premium subscriptions for extra features. From the list, almost all of the freemium meditation apps offer a lot for free of charge.
About free trials:
Just to let you know if you ever come across such apps that some apps might offer free trials - something like "Free for 7 days". Be careful when accepting a free trial. If you don't cancel before the end of the free trial, then the app will cost you money. Cancel the free trial 24 hours before the expiring of the free trial just to be safe.
Some apps are designed in such a way that the user immediately clicks the free trial button, so be very careful when opting for free trials.
Immediately after installing the app, you will see a "Continue" button in many apps. Many people might think that the button's purpose is just to let us continue to use the app. But instead it starts the free trial and if you somehow forget to cancel the subscription before the free trial ends, the subscription fee will be automatically deducted from your account.
That's why always cancel 24 hours before the expiry of the free trial.
It's better to use the app without the free trial for some days and go for the free trial only if you like the app a lot, but always remember to cancel before the ending of the free trial if you don't want to buy the app.
For example, in the case of the one such app, you are greeted with the "Continue" screen after you open the app after first installing it. If you want to check out the app for free, tap the "X" icon on the top left of the screen of the app so that the free trial doesn't continue.
In the case of another meditation app, you are immediately greeted with the "Continue free trial" screen after you open the app for the first time after installing. Here, you don't even get a button to cancel. The only way to not start the free trial is by clicking the back button. So to stay away from continuing free trials is to use the back button or look out for any close symbol ("X" symbol) on the screen of the app.
So you see, some of these apps are designed in such a way that users who are not used to such tricks will click the button for accepting a free trial and if for some reason they forget to cancel, then immediately a lot of money will be deducted automatically after the free trial expires. Why I say "a lot" is because not all apps charge for 1 month. Some apps will charge you for 6 months or for 1 year right away.
So it's better to always be very careful and read carefully about all the free trials and conditions like the free trial is for how many days? After the ending of the free trial, is the subscription for 1 month, 6 months or 1 year? These are the things you need to keep in the mind before going for a free trial.
But not all apps are designed in a deceptive way. Here are some good apps that also offer free trials but doesn't force you to subscribe and has a nice set of features:
Best freemium meditation apps with free trials:
1. The Mindfulness App (Android, iOS)
The Mindfulness App will help you to meditate even if you're a complete beginner to meditation. They have five day guided meditation sessions for introduction to meditation and mindfulness.
You can choose your duration of guided meditation from 3 minutes to 30 minutes. For convenience and data tracking, you can also connect the Mindfulness App with Google Fit. It will help you with syncing your meditation progress. You can also set reminders for meditation so that even if you forget to meditate for some reason, the app will remind you.
It has various categories for meditation like relationships, mindfulness for school, for improving focus, developing kindness and body awareness, for dealing with emotions etc.
You can also find meditation programs for stress relief and sleep improvement and several guided programs for complete beginners to meditation. It will teach you how to meditate properly and consistently by using the reminders and other features like setting your favorites.
The Mindfulness App also provides timed sessions which includes features to set timers with or without a background sound. You even get the option to select whether you want your meditation to be guided or non-guided - that is completely silent meditation, without any guidance.
Meditation doesn't always have to be guided. Sometimes we just need complete silence for the mind to be focused and to experience the feeling of relaxation. You can set timers for 5 minutes, 10 minutes or personalize your meditation session by including more options like sounds, guided or silent and interval selections with bells.
The Mindfulness App - Android
The Mindfulness App - iOS
2. Serenity: Guided Meditation & Mindfulness (Android, iOS)
Serenity provides various methods for improving your meditation progress and helps you learn more about mindfulness and meditation for daily benefits in your life.
They also have a free 7 day audio course to help you get the knowledge required to become a meditation expert.
It has programs designed to give relief from stress and anxiety and has tracks to make you learn how to separate thoughts from your feelings so that you can have a stress-free and clear mind. Clarity of thoughts is very important. It not only helps you to make the right decisions but also saves you from unwanted thoughts and daily meditation is the best way to develop clarity of the mind.
Serenity - Android
Serenity - iOS
3. breathe (Android, iOS)
breathe is a German made meditation app. It has a beautiful timer where you can set various time intervals for your meditation sessions.
The time interval has features to set time duration from 1 minute to even 10 hours! There is also an option for endless meditation which you can turn on by going into the timer tab.
You can also set up warm-up sessions for 5 seconds to 1 minute. There are also options to go completely silent - that is silent meditation or you can choose from a variety of sounds and music for meditating. If you like a particular meditation track, you can set it as your favorite and access from the favorites section.
You can also change the background and check your statistics by going into the profile tab. But for that, you need to create an account. You can set up particular gong sounds for the beginning and end of the meditation track.
breathe - Android
breathe - iOS
Even if you practice for just 10 minutes daily, it will be very beneficial than no practice at all. That's why, try to practice every day even when you don't feel like it since meditation is such an activity that is actually beneficial for long term and the benefits that you get from your meditation sessions are permanent, not temporary.
Most of the benefits that you can get by practicing daily meditation are related to the mind. It will change your thought patterns and behaviors like how you react to various situations, will help reduce stress and anger and will give you the skill of mastering the mind - that is, you will be able to control your thoughts and emotions, the thoughts and emotions will no longer control you.
Along with daily meditation, also try to develop a positive and content mindset to get the most out of our daily meditation sessions. Have a great meditative journey!