In the past few years, meditation has gone from fringe to mainstream. A quick scroll through the Instagram hashtag pulls up more than 39 million snaps, with everyone waxing lyrical about the life-changing magic of this ancient Indian practice (better sleep! Less stress! More energy! etc) be it schools, social media influencers or even sports teams.
MYND Studios are more coveted than F45 memberships, mindfulness retreats are the new yoga escapes, and you could practically fill a library with all the new book titles aiming to make meditation more accessible to the average humxn.
But despite all these advances – and how simple the techniques seem – meditation can still be tricky for beginners to master: Should I sit or lie down? What if my mind wanders off? How long do I need to do it to reap the rewards?
Rest assured, the Channel Void team have a few tricks up our sleeves. All of us (bar Chris because pro already) rely on meditation apps to keep us on track. Not only can you use them anytime, anywhere (on the train, in your lunch break, at the beach… you get the picture) but there are so many options out there to appease all needs.
Here, we take you through a few of our faves, to help you find the right meditation app for you.
ODETTE, CV CO-FOUNDER
I log into Insight Timer most days for my daily timed meditation. I love the diversity of teachers, courses and lectures available on the platform and in particular, kind of obsessed with the sweet dulcet tones of Sarah Blondin’s Learning To Surrender meditation. This medi is perfect for 8 mins of stress-relief during a hectic day, for a wild mind during insomnia or when embarking on a new adventure and you need a ‘chill pill’ to calm the frayed AF nerves.
I usually tap into a silent, timed meditation for 12 mins each morning after my Owaken breath work practice which is motivated both by the personal gains (clarity and focus) but also, the gamification set up with milestones and consecutive days tracked. The community aspect of being able to see pals’ meditations has the perfect dose of public accountability (with a sprinkling of competitiveness).
In the past, I’ve also been pretty disciplined with Headspace and more recently I’ve been dabbling with The Breathing App, although the latter is specifically for a guided deep breathing practice as opposed to meditation.
SOPH, WRITER & CONTENT CREATOR
I actually use Live Awake podcasts on the Apple Podcast app. I listen to episodes when I need a bit of inspiration, or to shift an emotional blockage and also when I am having trouble sleeping. Sarah Blondin is literally the queen of heart-space and speaks to you like the divine earth angel baby that you are. I can listen to the same episode tens of times and something different will resonate each listening. At the moment my favourite episode is from S02, called Life is Kind (Touch Source).
QUIN, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
I use Insight Timer. I like the streak function which helps to keep me accountable and show up every day.
All my fave teachers are on there, too. I feel like I search something I want, and I almost always find a guided meditation aligned with the keywords. It’s great.
LUCY, HEAD OF EDITORIAL
I have a really hard time meditating. My mind is constantly a jumble of half-written stories, convos I can’t help but revisit and an ever-expanding to-do list. Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re thinking: meditation will help with exactly this! But for me, sitting in nothing but silence isn’t conducive to relaxation or stress relief. As soon as I lower my toosh to the ‘cush, my brain is like, “A-ha! She’s trying to quieten me! How many ways can I fuck this up for her?”
Hence why I’ve dabbled in a toooooooon of meditation apps over the years – some more consistently than others. Through trial and error, I’ve found that I need background noise AND a mantra to drown out the madness. Vedic meditation and the 1 Giant Mind app work a treat in combination. And for beginners like me, the founder Jonni Pollard is epic at explaining the simple principles of meditating without it being a total snooze fest (his voice is like honey for your ears, just FYI).
At the start of each med, he’ll take you through a little refresher on the basics and introduce a new concept (e.g. how effortless can you be?) My favourite function is the journal, which allows you to reflect back after each session and record what did and didn’t work for you that day. There’s also a section for you to look at all your stats – from how many days you current “hot streak is” to your av med time.
Another firm favourite? The Heavily Meditated app. It has a library with a whole variety of meditation techniques and you can even set intentions for each session and finish each with a gratitude ritual. Super cute!