Experiencing intense anxiety or stress? The resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic in India has led to an increase in both of these for many of us. Meditation and mindfulness apps can help to some extent, if you are feeling particularly anxious. Here’s a look at the top apps you can consider for meditation guidance, practising mindfulness and calming your anxiety. Keep in mind many of the apps do require a subscription to get access to all the features.
Headspace is a well-designed app and is one of the best in the market for meditation and mindfulness. It has nice animations and a simple user interface. Once you sign up, you can explore and use some features for free, which is great. We liked the fact that the app has plenty of short guided meditations that don’t miss out on any issue that you might be having. There are short courses on cravings, coping with distractions, finding focus or happiness, dealing with regret or difficult conversations, coping with patience or pregnancy, and a lot more.
There is also an SOS section, which offers a number of guided meditations to help you deal with intense emotions. There are also videos on quick workouts, mindful cardio, performance mindset meditations for mental fitness and more. One will also find a ‘Sleep section,’ which offers stories in soothing voices, meditation and breathing techniques, sleep music and some guided exercises for those who find themselves waking up at night.
The Headspace app comes with Headspace Plus subscription, which is priced at Rs 120 per month. There is also a 7-day free trial offer if you opt for the monthly plan. Those who opt for the annual plan will get 14 days free trial. The annual plan will cost you Rs 890. This means that you will be paying Rs 74.20 on a monthly basis. The annual subscription is much better as you save some more money in comparison to the monthly plan.
Wysa: Stress, sleep, & mindfulness therapy chatbot
There is also an app called Wysa, which has a great AI-based mental health chatbot. You can interact with it and discuss your mental health, which is a unique and useful feature. The chatbot helps reframe your thoughts, talks about your issues (to solve them) and tries to come to a conclusion. Once you open the app, you get two options, self-care or therapist.
The self-care option basically means that the chatbot will suggest some spiritual meditation, mindfulness audios, and other self-help tools to help you overcome your mental health obstacles. The app even offers several tools for coping with depression, anxiety, sleep issues, negativity and other mental or emotional issues. There is a premium self tool kit as well, which offers body scan meditation, compassion meditation, and pacing technique, among others.
You can also talk to a therapist through this app for better wellbeing, but for that you will be required to pay for every session. The price for one live chat session (valid for a week) is Rs 749. You get a qualified personal therapist and you are allowed to send unlimited messages as well. The sessions are available in Hindi, English, Telugu and other languages.
Calm is one of the most popular apps and is available for both iOS and Android users. The app offers you guided meditations on different aspects of mindfulness, like anxiety, stress, focus, gratitude and sleep. There is a ‘Quick & Easy’ section, which includes options to calm anxiety or anger, and improve awareness and concentration levels. One will also find a Mental Fitness section, which offers different audio files on mindfulness.
There are also calming bedtime stories (for adults) under the ‘Sleep’ section. There is no interaction feature that you get with the Wysa app, but you a get huge audio library that helps improve your health and retain mindfulness. You will find a ‘Calm Body’ section, which is just great as it offers detailed videos on exercises to your calm body. It includes mindful warm-up, morning stretches, evening stretches, back care and more.
The app even offers audio programs by renowned mindfulness experts, which is the cherry on cake. If you are someone who listens to some of the speakers for a quick dose of motivation, inspiration, humour, and comfort, then you don’t need to go anywhere else. Calm app comes with a 7-day free trial offer as well, so you can explore it before buying the paid subscription. Do note that you will be required to sign up and enter your card details for the free trial. The starting price of the subscription is $49.99 (approximately Rs 3,756), which is a yearly plan. In India you can the Calm premium subscription for one year at Rs 2,949, though it can go up to more expensive version as well with a maximum price of Rs 7,500.
Shine: Calm Anxiety & Stress
Shine is yet another app, which you can check out for improving mental, emotional and spiritual health. On this platform, you will get meditation practices, podcasts, and a big audio library for self-improvement, similar to Calm. The app helps you tackle a number of areas, including mindfulness, focus, stress and anxiety, burn out, acceptance, self-care for online dating, forgiveness, work frustrations and more. Once you start using it, you will get some friendly motivational texts on a daily basis.
If you buy the Premium subscription, then you will get access to the app’s huge audio talks and challenges, offline listening feature and more. It comes with 7-day free trial offer too, so that you can explore all the feature and understand if they will benefit you. The annual cost of the Premium plan is $53.99 (approximately Rs 4,056).