The cure for literally everything: mindfulness. At least, that’s what science won’t shut up about lately. Over the last few years, researchers have suggested that being mindful, or tuning into the present moment, can help people focus at work, reduce anxiety, diminish junk food cravings, and motivate people to work out more. So, yeah, it’s magic.
But how the hell do you start living your best mindful life? Well, for starters, you can download these apps that that’ll teach you to live in the now. Here’s the best one…
1. If you’ve never meditated but want to make it a thing:
Free to download or $12/month for unlimited access on iTunes and Google Play
Simple Habit is all about creating a routine of meditating. The Simple Habit Starter program encourages you to practice regularly by performing five minutes of mindfulness meditation every day for seven days. During your zen time, you’ll learn how to focus on your breath and home in on your senses.
2. If you want that mean voice in your head to STFU:
Free to download or $15/month for all access on iTunes and Google Play
Constantly putting yourself down or thinking the worst about every situation? Happify is dedicated to helping you think more positively. After you download the app, you’ll answer a series of questions about your stress levels, how you view your current life situation, and your feelings on meditating. After learning about you, the application suggests a series of meditations and mindfulness tasks to complete each day that can improve your outlook on life.
3. If you want better focus at work:
Free download or $13/month on iTunes and Google Play
Once you complete Headspace’s free course on the basics of meditating and mindfulness, an app subscription gives you access to 30-day programs focusing on a variety of specific goals. And if you’re feeling scattered, the application’s month-long Performance Series can help. Each day, you’ll complete a new meditation designed to help you get those creative juices flowing and stay honed in on the task at hand. Prepare to be slayed, to-do list!
4. If you like to run:
Nike Run Club
Free on iTunes and Google Play
Nike and Headspace have teamed up to help you stay in tune with your body as you run. You’ll find tons of audio-guided running exercises talk you through your morning jog, on race day, and when you have zero energy to work out but decide to hit the road anyway. And with Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe’s sexy British accent talking you through, you’ll feel amazing mile after mile.
5. If you have zero downtime:
If squeezing more mindfulness into your life means multitasking, Buddhify is here for it. The app features meditations designed to listen to while traveling, walking, before bed, and right when you wake up, which is great if those are literally the only times you have to yourself. Each session clocks in under 20 minutes, so it’s extra easy to hit play whenever you think of it.
6. If you thrive on seeing progress:
Stop, Breathe & Think
Free to download or $10/month on iTunes and Google Play
Check in with this app every day to log how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally at that given moment. From there, Stop, Breathe & Think suggests meditations to remedy what’s going on with you. For example, the sessions might focus on happiness or managing stress. To keep you motivated, your progress page tracks your daily check ins and meditating streaks as well as an overview of what your mood looked like for the week.
7. If you need a coach:
Free to download or $100/year on iTunes and Google Play
Created by TV news anchor Dan Harris, author of the book, 10% Happier, this app aims to get people to start a daily practice. To do that, it offers a 5- to 10-minute meditation every day, as well as single sessions for newbies, stress relief, better sleep, happiness, and focus. But if you find yourself wondering, “Am I doing this right?” or “why can’t I stay awake?” you can chat with a real, human coach anytime.
8. If you’d be lost without push notifications:
$3 to download on iTunes
Sometimes you just need a little ping to snap out of a day dream and back to the present, and that’s what this easy-to-use app does for you. Set reminders to pop up at random hours of the day, and a notification will show on your phone, telling you to take a minute for gratitude, a deep breath, or notice something pretty around you. You can set how many reminders like these you want per day and when you’d like to be left alone. There’s also an assortment of soothing alert tones—because why not?