I recently committed to make daily meditation part of my health routine. I decided to achieve this goal with a mindfulness meditation app on my iPhone. Here are the Meditation Studio App and Buddhify Meditation App reviews to help you choose the app that is best for you. Each app has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Like many people today, I use my iPhone to read news, keep in contact with family and friends, and record personal information (including health data). With so many mindfulness meditation apps to choose from in the App Store, the challenge was to find one or two mindful meditation apps that met my needs.
My Mindfulness Meditation App Journey
Like many of us, I get restless at times and I want to have more control over my response to stress. After a busy day, my mind frequently races at night and I have a hard time settling down to sleep.
I use each mindful meditation app, described later in this blog, first thing each morning before I start my day. Within a week or so of using these meditation apps on a daily basis, I found that I have a better sense of calm, am more mindful in stressful situations, and can settle my active mind so that I can settle into a good night of sleep.
The two meditation apps I chose are well worth the modest amount I spent. I encourage you to give them a try.
[Note to readers: This blog post reflects my personal journey with meditation and meditation apps and is not representative of large scale studies. A reader pointed out via an email to me and in the comments below that the scientific literature encourages people who want to practice meditation “should be prescribed and monitored by professionals who have expertise in this field because adverse reactions (such as depression, psychotic events, and suicidal thought) can and do occur.” If you are planning on pursuing meditation, the prudent path is to consult with a qualified professional. Updated: June 26, 2018]
Seven Rules on Choosing a Meditation App
I set down seven rules before I chose my meditation app. Here they are:
- I was willing to pay an upfront cost to purchase the app to avoid in-app purchase advertisements.
- I was unwilling to sign up for a monthly subscription service. This eliminated two of the very popular meditation apps: Headspace and Calm.
- I wanted the app to have some instruction on how to meditate.
- I wanted more than a meditation sleep app. The app needed to have a library of meditations covering a range of topics including meditation for sleep, mindfulness, stress management, and other topics.
- The app needed to present meditation in a secular fashion. I did not want any spiritual or religious content or agenda.
- I wanted the app to log my meditation history, preferably in the built-in Apple Health app in my iPhone.
- The app needed to run on my iPhone but I also looked for apps that worked on Google Android devices because many of our readers on this blog use Android.
[Note to readers: When I first wrote this blog post, Meditation Studio was available on the Apple App Store for a fixed, one time cost. Unfortunately, the Meditation Studio app has switched to a subscription only model. Is the Meditation Studio app worth the subscription? I think it is still a very good app but I would opt for Buddhify as long as Buddhify keeps its option for a single upfront charge and does not restrict it’s offering to subscription only. Updated: June 26, 2018]
Some Learnings on Mindful Meditation
I settled on two iPhone meditation apps that met my needs. Before I describe the two apps, here are some of my general observations about meditation:
- Meditation is a way for us to familiarize ourselves with our mind and cultivate our mental and emotional abilities to meet life, and its challenges, head on.
- Meditation has many benefits, including:
- Gaining a healthy perspective
- Strengthening the immune system
- Developing resilience
- Enhancing emotional and cognitive skills
- Meditation, as one of the instructors in the Meditation Studio app said, is “not to do but to be”. In other words, it is not a task you have to do each day but is something that you experience daily — hopefully several times throughout each day.
Meditation Studio App and Buddhify Meditation App Reviews
Meditation Studio app and Buddhify Meditation app reviews follow below.
Meditation Studio App
I started my learning experience with the Meditation Studio mindfulness meditation app. Over 30 meditation instructors contributed content to the mindfulness meditation app. The app has three main courses (Meditation Essentials, Uncovering Happiness, and Changing Habits).
It also has a wide range of meditation collections touching on different topics and themes including sleep, stress management, change, anxiety, pain and more.
Meditation Studio mindfulness meditation app integrates with your built-in Health app in your iPhone and, should you decide to, updates your health calendar each time you complete a meditation.
The design is clean and easy to navigate and the instructors are excellent. This app is highly recommended and I suggest you, like me, start your meditation journey with this app.
Meditation Studio is available for both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.
There is a small fee to purchase this app and the app creators offer a subscription service to access value-added services.
[Note to readers: When I first wrote this blog post, Meditation Studio was available on the Apple App Store for a fixed, one time cost. Unfortunately, the Meditation Studio app has switched to a subscription only model. Is the Meditation Studio app worth the subscription? I think it is still a very good app but would opt for Buddhify as long as Buddhify keeps its option for a single upfront charge and does not restrict it’s offering to subscription only. Updated: June 26, 2018]
Buddhify Meditation App
Despite its name, Buddihfy is not associated with Buddha and is free of any spiritual or religious content.
Buddihfy mindfulness meditation app uses an intuitive approach (with a creative and beautiful navigation wheel) to explore its meditation themes. Once you select a theme you want, you choose a specific meditation session.
Its meditation themes cover a wide range of topics from being online, work breaks, difficult emotions, feeling stressed, can’t sleep, walking in the city, and many other common situations.
There are more than 80 tracks to explore, so you should find something that meet your needs at anytime.
Buddihfy is available for both iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android. There is a small fee to purchase this app and the Buddhify creators offer a subscription service to access value-added services.
Meditation Exercise Without an iPhone Meditation App
Maybe you are not ready to pursue meditation through a smartphone app.
After all, people have been meditating since the beginning of time without the help of Apps.
If you have not explored left nostril breathing, give this stress-relieving meditation exercise a try.
There is a belief that our sympathetic nervous system — responsible for the fight or flight mechanism — is stimulated by breathing through our right nostril. Conversely, our parasympathetic system — responsible for the rest and digest response — is stimulated by breathing through our left nostril.
We can maintain our emotional balance by ensuring that we breathe through the left nostril when we are stressed. Give this a try when you are feeling a bit anxious:
- Cover your right nostril
- Inhale through your left nostril as you count to five
- Hold at the top of the breath for a count of five
- Exhale through the left nostril (keeping the right covered) for a count of five
Repeat this cycle five times. This helps to activate the parasympathetic system and will give you a sense of calm.
Are There Mindfulness Meditation Apps You Like?
If there are mindfulness meditation apps or resources that you like and have found effective, please comment below and let us know and share your thoughts and experiences with your fellow readers.
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Insighttimer has thousands of free meditations, all varieties, stress reduction etc, music, talks and a meditation timer, a community and multiple groups if you are inclined. I absolutely live this app and recommend it to my coaching clients and weight loss groups.
Thankyou for covering such an important topic, our ability to handle stress is so important to our health and well-being
I just looked at Meditation Studio in the App Store and it was only offered as a monthly or yearly subscription, not a one time purchase.
Richard Martin says
Hi Kathy: Looks like the Meditation Studio people changed their terms since I wrote the post.
I vote for Insight Timer as well. I especially like the ability to select a meditation based on a variety of choices, including how much time you hav.
Maureen Bellavia says
Thanks for your informative emails through Melioguide, I thoroughly enjoy them. I would like to comment on your recent information with regards to meditation. I am a physiotherapist, and also have taken Mindfulness meditation facilitation training. I am a little concerned about people recommending meditation and mindfulness without providing people with the entire picture. The literature routinely paints this practice as helpful in all aspects of life. We should remember that it is the brain we are dealing with, and, just like with exercise, mindfulness and meditation should be prescribed and monitored by professionals who have expertise in this field because adverse reactions CAN and DO occur. If you look up the literature on adverse reactions with meditation and mindfulness, there is a plethora of information. It is not necessarily a common thing but it is a real issue. The interesting thing is that adverse reactions (ex. depression, psychotic events, suicidal thoughts etc.) have occurred in both short and long term meditators without any history of mental health issues or past traumas. I have specifically looked at the work of Dr. Willoughby Britton, Dr. Lorin Roche, Dr. Dean Shapiro, Dr. Miguel Farias, and Dr. Stephane Treyvaud. They are all either academia/research or in the medical profession and all are meditators. So at the very least you should let your clients know that it is not necessarily a practice for everyone, and that if they have any concerns, to do so under the supervision of a trained professional.
Cheers, Maureen Bellavia, PT
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Jackie Kimpton says
I love insight timer. You can get the basic app free which gives you a lot of options.
Nuala Martin says
After reading a review for insight timer I would not recommend this app. You can design your own meditation and share it with other users of the app who can meditate alongside you. If the content is not acceptable you may be blocked, with no explanation given. This does not seem
Ike meditation to me!