5 Apps to Add Mindful Moments to Your Day
Last week on Force of Well we introduced you to the topic of mindfulness. This week I am sharing 3 awesome apps that can help add mindful moments to your daily life. These are in no particular order, and I hope you will give them a try.*
*I have not been contacted or solicited to promote these apps in any way.
Headspace is a beautiful app that is easy to use. The interface is user friendly, and seamlessly integrates with the Apple Health app for iPhone users to log mindful minutes. Fun and whimsical animations introduce the user to mindful moments for different contexts and lifestyles. For example, there are exercises for health, sport, relationships, etc. Within these categories are specific topics such as fear of flying, sleeping, walking, and many more. There is also a dedicated kids section to introduce your little ones to mindfulness exercises.
To access the app and the free trial you have to provide them information by creating an account. The biggest downside to Headspace is that it is not free. New users are given a free 30-day trial, but after that it is $94.99 per year, which breaks down to $7.92 per month. While this isn’t going to break the bank, it is still a significant amount. The nice thing is that the trial period should allow plenty of time for you to assess your use of the app and if it is worth the cost.
2: Simple Habit
Simple Habit is similar to Headspace. An interface utilizing stock photographs guides the user as opposed to Headspace’s unique cartoons. It integrates with iOS and can be set up to send you push notifications. In addition to the individual exercises for specific contexts like Headspace, Simple Habit offers an on the go tab. This allows the user quick access to commonly used exercises. This app also offers a social tab where you can connect with friends and share your calendar in the app. So, if you are looking to connect with others, this is definitely the mindful moments tool for you.
Simple Habit is a free app, but offers a limited amount of free content. New users have access to a free two week trial. Two week premium passes are available by inviting friends that create an account. After the trial period, subscriptions are available monthly for $11.99 or yearly for $99.99 ($8.33/month)
Pacifica offers a different take on mindfulness. The interface is very peaceful and customizable to suit your preferences. It integrates with Apple Health and can be set up for push notifications. The background is a video of your choosing from a number of options (only 3 are free). The Pacifica experience is more user driven and relies on you logging your mood, thoughts, goals, etc. It includes “guided paths” and “relax now” tabs which are similar to the exercises offered in other apps. The guided paths are meant to be completed over a number of days, whereas the relax now exercises are an a la carte approach. Pacifica also offers a community tab where you can interact with other users. Here you can share articles, thoughts, videos, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Like the other apps, a subscription is required to access most of the content. There is no free trial option with Pacifica, but it is significantly cheaper at $5.99 for a month-to-month subscription or $35.99 per year ($2.99 per month). This is a much more palatable barrier to entry but, because it is largely user driven, there is less content. If you enjoy logging and like to change habits to track their impact over time, this is the app for you.
One of my favorite aspects of Breathe is that you can browse the app without creating an account. In addition to that perk, Breathe offers a great new user experience. Where you go to learn how to meditate and how to track your progress is very clear. The beauty of this app is in its simplicity. There are few tabs, and everything is self-explanatory. Another plus is that at least one free exercise is available in each category, unlike other apps where the free content is limited to basic introductory content. There is also a fun sticker system to track and share your milestones.
The drawback of Breathe’s simplicity is that there is less content, although some may see this as a perk. Premium content can be accessed for $4.99 monthly or $41.99 per year ($3.50 per month). This puts Breathe at a more expensive price point than Pacific, which offers more content. However, the simplistic app could make it worth it for some people. If you are looking for a well designed, streamlined, and user friendly option; Breathe is your go to mindfulness app.
5: 10% Happier
You cannot help but love the audacity of the name 10% Happier. Who wouldn’t want that? This app is partnered with author and journalist Dan Harris, whose book of the same title is a national bestseller. This app is very well made, and offers some unique features. The one thing that makes 10% Happier stand out the most is the integration of coaching into the app. In the “Coach” tab you can contact an actual meditation coach that will respond to your question within a day or two. There is also a monthly live Q&A with select members of the 10% Happier team. All of the content within the app is created in collaboration with meditation professionals. 10% Happier also has a podcast available through iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
The downfall of 10% Happier is that it doesn’t make the topics contained within its broad categories obvious. While it offers fun titles like “2 Meditators in a Car” and “Can You Hear Me Now?” it is hard to discern what these series will actually be about. This is not necessarily negative, but the app is definitely geared toward the more philosophical user versus the user that wants to quickly find an exercise for a specific need or scenario. 10% Happier offers a moderate amount of free content, which is largely in its introductory materials. To access the premium content and coaching you will need to pay $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year ($6.67 per month), which put it right in the middle of the pack for price.
Which is Best?
All of the apps have their advantages and drawbacks. With the exception of Breathe, all of the apps require account creation before you can use any of the content. My recommendation to anyone looking for a mindfulness app is to utilize the free trials and monthly subscription options before committing to an entire year. 10% Happier likely appeals to the smallest number of people given its philosophical nature, but this also makes it very unique among the group. Alternatively, Pacifica and Simple Habits offer a robust social experience. Headspace and Breathe offer more streamlined experiences with unique images.
Have you tried any or all of these apps? Which is your favorite and why? Do you have a different app that you love for adding mindful moments to your day? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section and on social media!