The 10 Best Free Meditations Apps of 2023

The 10 Best Free Meditations Apps of 2023

Woman using free meditation apps on her phone

Looking to reap the benefits of meditation? There’s an app for that. Check out these free meditation apps — handpicked just for you.

Meditation has quite a number of science-backed benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. And according to Dawson Church, meditation and neuroscience researcher who’s also the trainer of Mindvalley’s Mystic Brain Quest, there are seven key neurochemicals produced in the brains of mystics through meditation.

If you experience the right meditation approach, it’s possible to rewire the neurochemistry of your brain to create:

  • States of bliss,
  • States of internal gratitude,
  • And states where you feel connected to life itself.

What’s even better is that it’s one of those activities you can do anywhere. That’s especially true in this day and age when apps are only a download away.

So to help you prioritize self-care, we’ve put together a list of this year’s best free meditation apps.

What Are the Best Free Meditation Apps?

There are definitely some great contenders out there, but these meditation apps rank at the top of our list. Here are five — hand-picked for their content quality and quantity, user reviews, and, the main reason of all, its cost (free!).

#1: Mindvalley

The Mindvalley app is definitely one of the most recommended free meditation apps out there. While there’s a subscription for the personal growth programs (or what we like to call ‘Quests’), there’s a whole library of meditations that you can access for free.

The guided sessions tap into every emotion, allowing you to journey through your transformation in mindset, self-mastery, spiritual awakening, performance, and even love. It also offers a suite of sounds, like solfeggio frequencies and binaural beats so you can level up your overall meditation experience.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “This is so far the best education app I’ve ever come across. The 6 Phase Meditation by the founder of Mindvalley, Vishen is mind-blowing and, of course, it’s practically useful in our daily life. I have been practicing the 6 Phase Meditation since I went through the Quest. It has literally changed my mindset and the way I live. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for ways to enhance their human consciousness in this modern tech life.”

mindvalley app mockup

Download the FREE Mindvalley App

The world’s greatest teachers assemble on one learning platform. From Quests, guided Meditations, to Mentoring, access all your Mindvalley Programs on the Mindvalley app.

#2: Insight Timer

As the story goes, Insight Timer started off as a simple timer app for meditating. Now, it features thousands of guided meditations for those on the go and those who prefer a longer and deeper session. There is a range of meditation techniques to choose from: Buddhist mindfulness, Kundalini yoga, walking meditation, and so many others.

Plus, it has a neat little feature: an in-app progress keeper so you can chart your progress as well as a reward system where you earn badges for the time you’ve spent meditating.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “I’ve been through quite a few meditation apps, but Insight Timer is by far the best and the one I’ve been using consistently for months now and plan to continue using. Unlike other apps that only feature their own meditations or require you to pay to access all of them, Insight Timer allows users to upload their own meditations and there is an enormous catalog with more added each day. Also, you can choose from the amount of time to the category of meditation you want and see/leave ratings and reviews on anything. As if this weren’t great enough, it also has the best meditation timer I’ve seen in any app.”

#3: Smiling Mind

This app is brought to you by the ‘Land Down Under’ (that’s Australia, for those of you who’re unfamiliar with the term). Developed by psychologists and educators, its main focus is mental health and looking after the mind.

There are programs for adults, teens, and kids — all designed to help you deal with the pressures, stresses, and challenges of life and bring it back to balance. An amazing bonus is that the app includes a number of guided meditations in Indigenous Australian languages: Kriol, Ngaanyatjara, and Pitjantjatjara.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “I found mindfulness meditations in this app very useful in reducing anxiety and coping with stresses of daily work/life. Would 100% recommend it to anyone interested in improving their mental well-being.”

#4: Let’s Meditate

Let’s Meditate app is one of the most straight-forward apps out there. It has one goal in mind for you: just press play and start meditating.

The app’s guided meditation tracks range from 5 minutes to 40 minutes. And its curated library hosts a variety of topics, including anxiety, boxy scan, healing, sleep, mindfulness, and many more.

The best part? It’s ad-free with no sign-ups and it’s available offline. It’s as simple as it gets.

Learn More About the App:

User Review: “Lovely little app. A great tool to have in the self-care kit. I use it in stressful times to help me relax and get to sleep. And had a profound and unexpected moment listening to one meditation that deepened my understanding of myself and history. And all for free! Amazing!”

#5: Exhale – BIWOC Well-Being

Here’s one especially for the ladies. Created by founder Katara McCarty, EXHALE is about letting go of all that isn’t serving you, so you can breathe in life, energy, healing, and love. The well-being app cultivates a safe, emotional space for Black, Indigenous, Women of Color (BIWOC) by BIWOC.

Breathwork isn’t the only thing on the agenda at EXHALE. You can also find meditations, guided imaging, coaching talks, and affirmations

Learn More About the App:

User Review: “I have not been a big fan of meditation apps in the past. This one works well for me. I’m obsessed with the breathing section. They are pretty short (about 5 minutes), but I also feel so much better after doing one. Even more than that, I love the daily push notifications that remind me to take time to focus on myself, even if I don’t necessarily spend time doing one of the sessions in the app. The messages are always right on time for me and I never get tired of them popping up (I keep push notifications turned off for all the other apps I use because I hate them).”

#6: Mindfulness Coach

This app is mainly geared towards veterans, service members, and anyone else who wants to give mindfulness a try.

Created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD, the features of Mindfulness Coach include guided audio meditations, goal setting and progress tracker, a library of information, and a growing catalog of self-guided training programs. It’s a great resource to help you understand and adopt mindfulness practices.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “I can’t believe how this app has helped me with experiencing love and being present. Most of us vets with PTSD and emotional issues have focus and issues simply being present. This has really helped my love for people and with being present and not focusing on issues that are over. I do it at lunch in my car after I pray every day and people can really see how calm and present I am.”

#7: UCLA Mindful

Whether you’re just starting out or have done meditation for years, this app aims to promote an attitude of openness, curiosity, and a willingness to be with your experience. It’s the brainchild of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, so rest assured that the content is filled with quality research-based mindfulness.

UCLA Mindful has all the features you need to get started: wellness meditations, informative videos (like posture positions and the science behind mindfulness), weekly podcasts, and a timer so you can meditate on your own. One aspect of this app to highlight is that it’s available in English and Spanish.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “This app is comprehensive but uncomplicated. I especially like the podcasts which are relatable, informative and actually help me remember I am not alone with my worries and troubles. Self-learning meditation is so much easier with this particular app and less daunting and time-consuming than weeding through the internet. It is formatted in such a way that it does feel more personal and tailored than I would have expected.”

#8: Healthy Minds Program

If you’re looking for an app with zero fuss, yet powered by science, the Healthy Minds Program is a great option. It’s backed by four decades of research from Dr. Richard Davidson and his team at the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and its affiliate, Healthy Minds Innovations. 

The app focuses on four key pillars: awareness, connection, insight, and purpose. And through meditation and podcast-style lessons, helps train your mind to gain focus, reduce stress, and maintain positive social connections.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “This app has been my daily dose of brain training, truth learning, and reawakening to what it feels like to engage with calm focus. Now, I don’t get it all the time. Focus is tricky and will always be in contention with all of the barrages of distractions but it has helped. Learning about things like ‘decentering’ is a game-changer for anxiety. Thinking about bringing compassion and purpose into every single thing and then practicing absolutely daily is finally crowding out the external noise. The nonsense that is 99% of what alerts us on our phones. Instagram has taken a hike as has Facebook and I will never look back. I don’t want that noise to combat this work.”

#9: Simple Habit

One of the best things about Simple Habit is it was built for those with busy lifestyles in mind. The app’s programs range from bite-size sessions to longer sessions and are designed to quickly calm your anxiety so you’re able to have a sense of mindfulness and even sleep better.

There’s a whole list of sessions you can choose from, be it guided mindfulness sessions, daily motivation, guided sleep meditation, and coaching by top mindfulness experts, from those at Google to former monks.

The app is free for both iOS and Android. However, it limits you to only a handful (but yet, very powerful) sessions. If you’re willing to fork out some money, though, one of the best features of the premium subscription is that you can use the app offline, making moments of mindfulness even more accessible.

Try This Meditation:

User Review: “Easy to use and rewarding! I love the “What are you doing?” wheel when I’m struggling to choose a topic for meditating. I love that there are lots of good teachers and varied meditations… The achievements for meditation streaks are also great!”

#10: Meditation Studio

The mind can be a mess at times, but your meditation doesn’t have to be. Especially not with Meditation Studio. 

The app boasts a diverse selection of over 200 guided meditations featuring different teachers and styles. It allows you to focus on topics, like stress, sleep, confidence, happiness, performance, and more. The sessions are customizable for parents, teens, kids, and whoever else wants to try.

For iOS users: While there is a subscription fee to access the full app, the free version includes a number of the most popular meditations, meditation timer, and more.

For Android users: The app is $3.99.

Learn More About the App:

User Review: “I have tried many apps for meditation and anxiety refocusing techniques. Most were given to me as suggestions from psychiatrists and behavioral health specialists. The stuff they gave me was ok when in a pinch, but nothing I would stick to. This app is on a whole other level. I am relaxed in such a way that once I start a meditation it’s almost as if I have floated off into some peaceful dream as my anxiety melts away.”

Breathe In, Breathe Out, and Go

With all that’s going on in this world, it’s always a good decision to turn to mediation, no matter where you are. As the saying goes: check yourself before you wreck yourself. 

Man sitting and meditating

While using an app on your device may sound like a paradox, it so happens that there are science-backed benefits to using guided meditation apps.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley collected studies on whether mindfulness apps work or not. They found that there are indeed “potential benefits for our stress, emotions, and relationships.

So whether you have an iPhone or an Android, hit that download button and get to meditating.

mindvalley app mockup

Download the FREE Mindvalley App

The world’s greatest teachers assemble on one learning platform. From Quests, guided Meditations, to Mentoring, access all your Mindvalley Programs on the Mindvalley app.

Written by
Tatiana Azman