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    Stress won’t let you sleep. And less sleep gives you anxiety. And anxiety makes you stressed. It’s a cycle and it’s time to put a stop to it with the best meditation apps in the market.

    “Is meditation for me?” If you’re anything like us, this thought might have crossed your mind. And yet, considering that you are here, reading this, means you’re already halfway there.

    What exactly is meditation? Meditation is the process of aiming to purify your mind and thoughts, to reach a calm and balanced state of mind that allows you to be at peace with yourself. There are many benefits to meditation, such as being able to control anxiety, reduce stress, becoming more self-aware, promoting better mental and emotional health, and the ability to heal within. In a world where we are trying to perfect our self-image via social media and racing time, there are moments when it all gets a little overwhelming. Whilst we are constantly glued to our smartphones, why not utilise that time to do something for ourselves? Remember that your mind deserves as much attention as your muscles.

    Don’t find the time, but create time for yourself to follow some stress-relieving activities. We’ve rounded up the best meditation apps that you can easily download from your Apple or Android store that are apt for beginners and experienced practitioners. Get yourself in the zen mode because self-love is important and should be celebrated throughout the year.

    Calm

    Just like it’s namesake, Calm is a portal for you to relax and find peace of mind. Whether you are going through anxiety, a stressful week, a rough phase in your relationship, or insomnia, breathing programs and sleep stories can help you destress and lull you to sleep. Not to mention, the sleep stories in this meditation app are told by well-recognised talents such as Stephen Fry or Leona Lewis, who take you through a calming journey between the lavender fields. Simply start with the ‘7 Days of Calming Anxiety’ program or listen to their music to help you improve your focus — explore what suits you the most. This award-winning app has been certified by experts and can be downloaded free with optional in-app purchases both in Apple and Android stores, too. A mindful experience awaits you.

    App: Free; Calm Premium: Rs 4,700 a year

    Headspace

    Here’s your gym membership for the mind. Remove those negative thoughts running through your mind and get started with Headspace to bring balance back to your life. The guided meditations will allow you to focus on exercise, sleep, and other fundamental techniques of mindfulness. Unwind at bedtime by listening to Headspace’s original sleep casts or nature soundscapes that will transport you to a more peaceful space. What we like about this app is that it allows you to personalise and focus on what you want to get out of it. Set your meditation goals and track your progress to feel good about yourself. The delightful animations are just something that cheers you up immediately, too. Headspace can be downloaded free with optional in-app purchase in both Apple and Android stores. Shower yourself with some love with some impactful skills.

    App: Free; Price: Rs 1,000 a month and Rs 5,000 a year

    Buddhify: meditation on the go

    Simplify your life with Buddhify. How? In the digital era, our entire life is on-the-go and that’s what makes this app so efficient: it’s that missing piece of the puzzle that brings stability to our life. Maybe, you had a rough morning and just need to refresh your mind during lunch. Luckily, with this app you could take a ‘work break’ meditation and calm your nerves. Choose a meditation session with lengths from 3-40 minutes to match your convenience anywhere and at any time of the day. This app is very mobile with on-the-go meditation sessions that make you feel more comfortable, because sitting still for an hour or so can be quite painful. There are no rules here; no formal sessions. So, those who don’t have time, there’s no excuse now. Track your Mindful Minutes of all them meditations you’ve been listening to for your anxiety or even eating disorder, and keep it going.

    Price: Rs 399

    Oak Meditation and Breathing

    A simple guided app that leads you on from mere experimenting to creating habits. Build a healthy meditation routine with the mantra meditation, or choose your music, and inhale and exhale your way through. Having trouble waking up early? There’s always a solution. The sleeping section of the app can help you sleep soundly with their range of music — whether it’s the sound of rainfall or a waterfall. Also, if you’re facing difficulty in life and just need to find your true self, there’s nothing better than spending time with your mind. The more you breathe, the more badges you get — adding a real sense of accomplishment. For those looking for a less complicated and more simple way, this one is your ultimate option.

    App: Free; Premium: Rs 499

    Stop, Breathe & Think

    “How are you?” That’s really what we need to hear sometimes. This app is your best friend who really checks on your emotions and hears you out. As you get started on the app, there’s a ‘check-in’ feature that identifies how stressed you are or whether you’re getting enough sleep. That’s one killer feature that makes this app stand out from the rest in this list. Then, it tracks your overall mood to ensure you are offered tailored meditations that will help you be at ease. Apart from tracking your pre and post-meditation, it also offers acupressure and yoga videos to help with depression and anxiety. Not to mention, there are proven results that suggest a positive outcome after the first session, which makes it really worth a try.

    Price: Rs 700 a month / Rs 4,200 a year

    [Hero Image credit: Stop, Breathe, and Think; Feature Image credit: Headspace]