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Feeling Stressed? Find Your Zen with the 5 Best Mindfulness Apps for 2024

Feeling Stressed? Find Your Zen with the 5 Best Mindfulness Apps for 2024

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We’re all so busy that it’s collectively been dubbed the “cult of busy.” Add FOMO into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for, well, feeling like that proverbial hamster on the wheel. It’s time to slow down and practice some mindfulness. But where to start? Not everyone is cut out for sitting on a meditation cushion or gazing at the clouds and contemplating gratitude. That’s where apps come in. Every new habit you want to master becomes much more fun and feels less daunting when you gamify it. We’re here to introduce you to the 5 Best Apps for Being More Mindful in 2024 — because, let's be real, who said self-improvement can't be an exciting adventure?

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a mental state characterized by focused awareness of the present moment, without judgment or distraction by thoughts about the past or future. It involves paying attention to one's thoughts and feelings, observing them without attachment, and accepting them without judgment. Mindfulness is often associated with various meditation and breathing techniques that help individuals cultivate this state of awareness.

 

Mindfulness has its roots in ancient contemplative traditions, particularly within Buddhism. However, in recent years, it has gained popularity in the field of psychology and has been incorporated into various therapeutic approaches, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Mindfulness is often associated with an improvement in mental well-being, stress reduction, and enhanced cognitive functioning. Ready to dive in? All you need is the App Store!

Fabulous App

Fabulous is “an award-winning self-care coaching app that harnesses the power and wisdom of behavioral science to help you develop lasting healthy habits.” Launched in Duke University’s Behavioral Economics Lab, it teaches you how to create meaningful daily rituals and practice “habit stacking” to help you achieve your dreams and goals. Using a science-backed approach, you’ll turn small daily tasks into lasting change, using the same methods that top athletes and successful entrepreneurs use to rise to the top of their game. 

 

With Fabulous, you build and stick to morning and evening routines, daily non-negotiable to-do lists, and choose goals such as better sleep, more exercise, better eating habits, healing your inner child, more meaningful social connections, or a sense of purpose in life and, of course, creating more mindfulness. Fabulous offers journeys and challenges so you can completely customize your experience. There’s a weekly check-in and mood tracker, and if you do all your tasks on any given day, you achieve the golden triangle.

IN SHORT: Find your ultimate daily routine and make it stick.


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Build tiny habits into profound long-term changes.
  • Learn to streamline your mind into a flow state.
  • Powered by a team of behavioral economists, psychologists, and data scientists.

COST: $39.99 per year

Elevate App

Elevate App

Elevate isn’t your typical mindfulness app but an award-winning brain training tool designed to build communication and analytical skills. However, it’s so engrossing and challenging when you “play,” you completely forget the world around you and become engaged with the present moment for the duration of your session. Every day you get a recommended “workout” of five games that challenge your math, memory, syntax, and cognitive skills. 

 

This results in an overall performance EPQ for the following areas: writing, speaking, reading, math, and memory, and the goal is to transcend past advanced to the master or elite level. Now, mind you, these are no average high school problems to solve. As you play and progress, the difficulty level increases, and you’ll find yourself speed-reading and finding synonyms for words like obstreperous and loquacious. It’s a great way to practice becoming the master of your mind rather than letting it run away with nonstop monkey chatter and negative self-talk.

IN SHORT: Brain training personalized for you. 


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 40+ games designed to boost your productivity, earning power, and self-confidence
  • Improve your cognitive skills
  • Measure your performance against yourself and others

COST: $39.99 per year

Headspace App

With Headspace, one of the most popular meditation apps globally, you will “learn to manage feelings and thoughts with the lifelong skill of everyday mindfulness, any time of the day.” Join approximately 70 million users worldwide to get daily personalized to-do lists plus group sessions that foster a sense of community and connection. 

 

The courses are well-organized, user-friendly, and easy to navigate. The app has meditations for both complete neophytes with guided sessions and for advanced practitioners with less-structured programs; in all, there are circa 500 scientifically backed meditations and guided courses to choose from.

IN SHORT: Find your best you.


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 500+ meditations, guided courses, and more. 
  • Create life-changing habits through meditation,  mindfulness tools, mental health coaching, therapy, and psychiatry.
  • Great for beginners and advanced practitioners

COST: $69.99 a year

Healthy Minds App

Did you know that you can learn how to feel happier? Scientists are exploring practical ways to enhance well-being, finding that by nurturing relationships, improving attention and self-regulation, and discovering meaning and purpose in life you can learn and train yourself to feel better. To help people achieve this, the Center for Healthy Minds has devised a scientific framework to understand how to nurture human flourishing, emphasizing four principles: awareness, connection, insight, and purpose. 

 

Research indicates that each of these pillars links to specific brain networks that can be strengthened through practices like meditation and other mental training. Launched in 2014 by noted neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson, the Healthy Minds app blends neuroscience, contemplative traditions, and practical learning modalities to help you build the skills for a healthy and mindful state of being.

IN SHORT: Easy-to-use guide to well-being


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Learn how to be calm and happy.
  • Built around 4 principles: awareness, connection, insight, and purpose.
  • Based on neuroscience and meditation

COST: Free

10% Happier App

In his top-ranking podcast, TV anchor and best-selling author Dan Harris chats with clever folks about “whether there's anything beyond 10%” and “whether you can be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment and inner peace.” Here’s the app to match. It caters specifically to newbies and skeptics, just like the founder himself once was. Using unfussy language and a nice sprinkling of humor, the app focuses on improving sleep, reducing stress, enhancing concentration, and deepening your relationships. 

 

Ten Percent Happier helps you establish and maintain a mindfulness practice with engaging video and meditation combos, a diverse library of over 500 guided meditations, a dedicated sleep section, bite-size stories and wisdom for on-the-go mindfulness, and quick meditations tailored to fit into your busy daily life, be it during your commute or lunch break.

IN SHORT: Become 10% happier.


HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Guided meditations and practical teachings 
  • Free Imperfect Meditation Challenge
  • By New York Times-bestselling author Dan Harris

COST: $99.99 per year

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