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Top 8 Best Relaxation & Meditation apps in 2021
Jump Down: 1. Calm 2. Relax Melodies 3. Dark Noise 4. Yoga | Daily Yoga 5. Monument Valley 2 6. Thisissand 7. Headspace 8. Meditation Nest We…
We found the best Meditation Apps and Relaxation Apps so you Don't Have To
One of the most popular app categories are apps focused around mediation and mindfulness, so its not surprising that there are thousands in the app store. Fueled, an expert mobile app development company, has put together this list of what we believe are the best of the best making your search for some peace of mind slightly easier.
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Calm- Take a moment for yourself
It’s pretty crazy. I remember when Calm first debuted and it was this simple app with audio to help you relax. Since it’s humble beginning, Calm has since dropped major commercials that consist of 30 second of relaxing rainfall and even a physical puzzle line to help you relax in the real world without an app. But still, the app is its bread and butter and has continued to improve with each major update.
Inside Calm, there is everything you need to de-stress, sleep, or meditate. The app is broken down into different tabs for each of these functions with gorgeous custom line icons. Each of the assortments of audio are featured with beautiful artwork and fonts that do a fantastic job of drawing you in. They all give you the title, the duration of the track, as well as the narrator.
The narrators on the “sleep stories” are reason enough along to try out the app with big names such as Stephen Fry and Eva Green. In music, there are custom mixes that are designed to help you focus, relax, and sleep — again with top stars like Sam Smith.
Rounding out the Calm experience are a series ofmasterclasses. These courses are thought by experts to help you with your goals. Whether it is to meditate better or feel more rested. This app not only looks amazing but is functionally simple, clean, and elegant. It makes you feel calm from the moment you open it. To me, that is a job well done.
Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds - Close your eyes and listen
A recent Editor’s Choice winner, Relax Melodies has over 200 unique sounds and music tracks to help you fall asleep or meditate. That number balloons to over 400 when you include the guided meditations and bedtime stories also packed in this clever app. The composer view is most unique, which features several mixes of audio that compliment each other well. You can pick and choose from all the available sounds to build your perfect audio, each with their independent volume controls.
Relax Melodies has more than 160 individual guided meditations that you can choose from. All this can be filtered based on need — such as if it is for a child, if you are trying to de-stress, or even nap. Some are broken down into their own programs which have multiple sessions within them. This is great for when you find a single session you love and want more that are similar. There are quick sessions as well as longer ones, so pick your poison.
I’m not a fan of bedtime stories, but if you are, there are a huge variety of those here for users as well. All designed to help lull you to sleep rather than keep you alert. Once the session is over, music can continue playing in the background in case you aren’t quite asleep or you can have the app automatically close. It is all up to you and very specific to the niche goal of getting some sleep.
There’s a lot to love with Relax Melodies and it is certainly an app you can get lost in. Start off with some basic white noise and soon you’ll be immersed in custom audio and dreamy stories that will allow you to feel more rested than ever.
Dark Noise - White noise, but better
There is one app on this list that I’ve use more than the rest, and it is Dark Noise. I’m not sure if it was the serene interface or the unique take on white noise. Regardless, the app sucked me and I haven’t stopped using it since.
What makes this app so standout is its iOS-first mentality utilizing a ton of native iOS features such as Shortcuts, dark mode, and widgets as well as its robust set of features. There are more than 30 sounds in Dark Noise from lawnmowers to steam trains and construction to a fireplace. You can create your own mixes that are perfect for you. As an example, you could create a “night at the beach” mix with beach noises, light rain, and seagulls.
With the Shortcuts app, you can even automate your nightly routine. Just tell Siri it is time for bed at which point Siri will set the volume on your phone to ten percent, set Do Not Disturb mode to run until the early morning, and then start your specific Dark Noise mix. You can even have the Dark Noise mix stop at a predetermined time.
If you don’t like using Siri, just create some widgets. Small widgets can feature your mix of choice. Medium widgets can contain four mixes with icons and text or eight icons without text. It is a perfect way to start the audio. If added to a Smart Stack of widgets, iOS will automatically surface your Dark Noise widget at the end of day. Small touch, but it pays off. Dark Noise may not have as many audio clips or features as some of the other apps on the list, but it looks so good and is so well designed that it still winds up being my most used. There’s just something about the attention to detail here that comes through as you use the app. And I love it.
Yoga | Daily Yoga - Get that daily yoga fix
My wife loves doing yoga. Which is great because she always feels more relaxed, energetic, and just overall better after a session. While she does do occasional classes through Apple Fitness+,has been a reliable source of classes and support as she continues to improve her skills.
Daily Yoga is full of classes that span the gamut from beginner to all-out expert. Find classes the meet your skill level and dive right in. Each class gives you a good summary, a level, a time, and the number of calories you’ll burn for participating. As you peruse the app you’ll see groups of courses that focus on a certain goal — whether that is just improving your poses or trying to sculpt that bikini body ahead of beach season.
Within the app is a surprisingly active community of like-minded users that eager to help and share their own progress, not to mention encouraging you on your own. It’s uplifting to see others do well as well as get some love for your own gains.
No surprise here, but Daily Yoga also has a great schedule and calendar in the app so you can keep track of everything you do. See all your exercises on the calendar as well as what classes you did. It shows you a summary of how many workouts you’ve done, how many minutes in the app, and how many total calories you’ve burned.
If yoga is your jam, then Daily Yoga is a reliable source to hone your skills, loose weight, or relax.
Monument Valley 2 - A relaxing game to settle your mind
While I’m not a yoga fiend, I am partial to a good relaxing game. After a long stressful day of writing about apps I love, nothing is better than crashing on the couch and diving into a surrealistic game. There are two games in the series thus far, the original and the equally wonderful sequel — both of which I’ve played through multiple times.
Monument Valley has long been one of my most recommended mobile games that I think everyone will enjoy. The soft, gradient-filled world is beautiful to look at as you explore each and every level. Its pastel-laden world is a joy to behold and reason enough to download the app in the first place.
But once you start, you’re hooked. There is a simple story that drives the game forward as you attempt to move the protagonist through each set of puzzles. You rotate, twist, and manipulate the environment in curious ways that allow your character to pass through.
This strangely engaging app is a treat to play as well as look at, which is a rarity in the world of mobile games that are seemingly cranked out as fast as they can and filled with in-app purchases. This flagship title is an example of a developer that understands its target platform and designs for that first and foremost. Gameplay is perfect and the graphics are second-to- none.
Thisissand - A unique take on coloring
The first time I saw Thisissand, I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at. I didn’t quite get the title and put it together with the colorful landscape-inspired images that I saw. I just knew they were vibrant and fun and I wanted to learn more. Once I realized this is an amazing mobile take on the popular fair activity of layering sand into unique designs, I had to try it for myself.
I very much remember going to local fairs and art shows where I chose my glass bottle then funneled in sand layer-by-layer. After which I took a long chopstick-like stick to push the sand down, creating various designs. With Thisissand, you are doing the same thing but on a 2D plane.
Start with a blank canvas after which you choose your sand color and slowly start to fill it in. The easiest of which is landscapes where you can design abstract representations of layered mountains with rivers running in between. Thisissand helps you recreate your own pics too by choosing the colors based on a source image. After some practice, you can create some amazing works of art.
On top of being an entertaining pastime, the game is also designed specifically to be relaxing. As you layer the sand, you can let your mind wander as you hear the soft sound of sand pouring in. Colors, sound, and artistic expression all help me escape and this is a much more original idea than your typical coloring app.
Headspace - Get your head in the right place
Headspace is yet another app that offers a variety of sounds, music, and stories to help you relax and drift off to sleep. But it also has a variety of other features that make it standout enough to grace this list.
Getting the basics out of the way first, Headspace is home to a laundry list of guided meditations. There are meditations to help you focus at work, deepening your meditation skills, reframing your stress, and more. There are similar sounds to help you sleep that go between stories in soothing voices, exercises to stop waking up throughout the night, or relaxing music.
What I love about Headspace is its commitment to helping you do better in your meditation and day. There are several courses that are geared towards improving how well you meditate where you can walk through various lessons. All guided by a teacher that you get to choose. As an example, the basics course has several sessions, run by either Eve or Andy, that are all between three and ten minutes long.
Celebrities also pitch in on a collection of curated playlists. John Legend has a 60 minute playlist of focus music that is great for making it through the workday. You can save these to favorites and jump into any recent playlist too. There are playlists for focus, meditation, relaxation, and more.
Another fun feature are the uplifting stories. These a great inspiring stories to start your day. You can string a few of these together into a whole playlist. Start with some breathing exercises before you jump into an explanation of the differences between stress and anxiety. They are all positive and get you in the right mindset to have a successful day.
This app is well designed with thoughtful features such as a bright, clean interface during the day but a dark blue and purple interface as you transition to the sleeping soundscapes. It is chock-full of content that always leaves you with something great to dive into. So whether you want to sleep, meditate, relax, focus, or uplift — Headspace has you covered.
Meditation Nest - It’s time for some you-time
Wrapping up the list of my favorite apps to relax is Meditation Nest. Yes — it once again has various sounds to relax and sleep to, but the programs are what has me recommending this modern-looking app.
With a stylish flat interface that is full of original artwork, Meditation Nest wants to help you learn how to better yourself and meditate better. You can meander through the app and discover loads of courses with various goals that you can work on completing. For meditation, you can learn the basics, work on your breathing, and more. Each of those courses has seven sessions within, keeping you up on content for some time.
With seven sessions each, you can make it through each of the courses within seven days. The course on walking meditation starts with how to walk mindfully, before teaching you to realign, focusing on your body, and exploring your senses. Each sessions is 10-15 minutes which is perfect for breaking up your workday.
Meditation is great, but I’m also one that likes to see tangible progress and Meditation Nest not only helps me hone my skill, but see myself growing. I can see the courses I’ve completed and the progress I’ve made. It not only helps me relax and center, but also gives me a sense of accomplishment as those progress bars reach 100 percent.
But enough about other people's apps.