The best meditation apps to cut through the noise
One, two, three…ohhmmmm
Let’s face it, the entire planet is in chaos at the moment. Even when self-isolating, it is hard to drown out the constant noise. Not only that but being in isolation from other direct human contact is tough on the old brain. It is no surprise that people can start to feel mentally drained.
While it can sometimes add to your frustration, tech does often help facilitate a calmer ambiance. There are plenty of computer games out there to help you feel totally zen. Likewise, there are loads of apps that serve as a welcome distraction from the world around us. But what about meditation? Are there any ways in which tech can help us manifest our inner Buddha? Take a look at the best meditation apps and get instilling that inner peace.
Also, if you are new to the act of mediation, make sure to check out our guide at the bottom going over some of the different terms we’ll be using throughout the piece and within the apps listed.
Atmosphere: Relaxing Sounds
Few relaxing sound apps are as immersive and customizable as Atmosphere: Relaxing Sounds from Peak Pocket Studios. There are loads of options available in respect to the sounds you have at your fingertips, without having to buy more. You can select from a range of categories, from the forest to the ocean, and even city sounds. There are also several isochronic tones and binaural beats to achieve a zen-like state.
But what we really love is the ability to combine each and every sound on there. Want to listen to a 6 Hz isochronic tone for stimulating creativity? How about you do that in an East Asian monastery while monks chant and play Tibetan Singing Bowls? Want that monastery in the rainforest, too? You got it. Want to put the whole scene underwater instead? You can.
Declutter the Mind
You may know we’re fans of decluttering here at KnowTechie. So, it goes without saying, we think that Declutter the Mind from Galleon Co. Inc is a great little app. It is a guided meditation application, so it involves the kind of meditation where a narrator tells you what to do. The deal sweetener here is that the developers and their experts think that everyone should have access to meditation tools.
With this in mind, the app is largely free and you get access to loads of good-quality recordings to guide your spiritual self. There is a subscription service available, which grants you access to additional content, but the free material gives you plenty to go on in the first instance. The meditations range based on experience level, from straight-up noob to full-on pro meditator.
Waking Up: A Meditation Course
As the title suggests, Waking Up: A Meditation Course is exactly that; a meditation course. This is important to point out, as most meditation apps let you pick and choose what meditations you use. However, this can end up meaning a beginner could fling themselves straight into an expert meditation before “learning the ropes” so to speak.
The concept here is that a beginner will have more distractions in their mind which will sweep them away from the meditative state. An expert will have less and so can carry out more focused meditation. If you follow the steps in the app, you should find that you can switch off a lot easier as you progress through the levels. Waking Up is a subscription app so carries a fee.
Aura: Mindfulness, Sleep, & Calming Meditation
Aura is a nice app that incorporates both meditation and mindfulness. This makes it great in a situation like we are currently finding ourselves in. That’s because it can help relieve tension within an isolated household and give us mechanisms to be more understanding with each other while taking care of ourselves, too.
You can select from a wide range of meditations within the app. This can be based on how you’re feeling at the time, the goals you wish to achieve from the meditation, and more. The developers bill the app as a kind of Spotify for meditation. You have access to thousands of lessons from teachers spread across the globe. Aura is free for a week and then a subscription thereafter.
Unplug Meditation from LA-based mindfulness studio Unplug. This is a video app, with all of the meditations filmed in the aforementioned studio. With this in mind, when using the app you do feel like you are at a meditation class, which can assist in drawing you further into the meditation itself. It feels immersive because of this professional touch.
As with Aura, the meditations can all be filtered, so you can choose a class for a particular mood, or based on a favorite discipline or teacher. You can get a free trial for a week with the Unplug app, which is great because that means you can see if the lessons gel with you. After that, it is a monthly or yearly subscription.
Android | iOS
Muse: Meditation and Sleep Assistant
We wanted to include Muse: Meditation and Sleep Assistant in this list because it is part of a larger (and much cooler) package. The app is what it says it is – it helps with mindfulness and sleeping. However, it complements a nice piece of kit that can help you with your meditations.
See, Muse monitors your brain activity via a headband, which means you can see whether your mind is a bit on the overactive side. That way, you can take steps to calm your weary brain before you lose clarity, helping maintain focus. The app monitors your brainwaves and finds a suitable sound to soothe your mind. You can check out the monitors, here. The Muse app is subscription only.
Get the lingo
There are a couple of terms you might need to understand before playing around with these apps. They can be a little bit jargon-filled so here are some key terms you should know before downloading them. Also, don’t be that person who listens to deep sleep frequencies before or during driving. Or anything else dangerous, for that matter. That’s just silly.
- Hz (Hertz) – In this case, Hz or hertz is a measurement of sound frequency, in the most basic of terms. One Hz is equal to one sound vibration per second, so the numbers you see next to a Hz measurement is displaying how many times a sound signal vibrates within one second. This is why bass frequencies for example, which vibrate slowly and sound deeper, have a lower Hz value and treble is higher.
- Isochronic Tone – An isochronic tone is a single, continuous sound signal. Its frequencies can be altered to allegedly achieve different effects on your brainwaves and so these are great for meditation.
- Binaural Beat – A binaural beat is an interrupted sound signal, hence the “beat” part of its name. As with isochronic tones, the frequency of a binaural beat can be altered to suit different meditative states.
- Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a mental exercise that makes you more aware of the effects of your actions on the world around you. It can help you process difficult situations quickly and rationally.
- Meditation – Meditation is the act of clearing your mind, which practitioners believe results in a more grounded feeling. It is considered an excellent escape from the world around you, which ultimately helps you remain calm and focused.
Hopefully, there are a few apps here that can help with cutting out some of the noise from the chaos around you, whether that is from the outside or the inside world. If you want some other suggestions for ways to relax, why not check out the best calming games right now, or try an audiobook?
What do you think? Could you see yourself using any of these apps? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.
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