A free meditation app?

After my recent experience with the Black Lotus App (see Meditation YES, Black Lotus app NO), I decided to stop using it (see Black Lotus app – last update), but not to stop to meditate. Given the beneficial effects of meditation, I was resolute to continue the practice and enjoy the science-backed benefits of meditation. Resolute, yes! But not at any cost. Or more precisely, I wanted something free.

My first reflex was to check YouTube; there are indeed countless YouTube channels that offer free classes.

There’s a lot of videos on YouTube you can use to meditate. A lot. I use them all the time. I stopped using apps because they suck and you have to pay.A_Mans_man23

There are indeed, but too many. The problem is that the options are seemingly endless and with choice overload comes the paradoxical phenomenon of analysis paralysis. Not knowing where to start, I decided not to…

Then, I thought that maybe I could find a podcast instead. The problem was the same – how to find the ONE among so many? There are indeed plenty of meditation podcasts filled with guided meditations. However, they also come with inspirational quotes, and expert interviews on topics related to yoga, health, stress, sleep, and so much more. Too much again! After trying a few, I gave up this path too.

The confusion about how and where to start was not helping…

By Dr. Allison Answers
Mindfulness apps are an awesome tool to help you get started, stay consistent, and grow roots in your practice. I think they’re best for beginners and those at an intermediate level. Then, as your practice advances, you can use the app less, relying on the roots you’ve grown and the skills you’ve developed!Allison Niebes-Davis, Ph.D.

A little reluctant at first, I ended up looking for an app. But is there a free meditation app? If you believe the many articles about “Free Meditation Apps,” the answer is YES. But, the truth is a little different 1, though. Anyway, these “BEST”, “TOP,” or similar kinds of articles helped me to start filling my list of free meditation apps. However, it is in forums or the like that I found more suggestions (than the same 3 apps repeatedly listed). There, I also realized that my question should have been Is there a truly free meditation app that’s actually good? instead.

Mindfullness.com – Insight Timer – Smiling Mind – UCLA Mindful – Healthy Minds Program – Breathing Space – Stop, Breath & Think – Simple Habit – Waking Up – Medito – Moments of Space

From there, I started to search for more info about each of them, continuing to read forums, checking blogs, and watching YouTube reviews. While some were easy to discard (e.g., Waking up at $119.99/year is not really 2 free), some were starting to stand out from the crowd. After hours on the web, I had shortlisted two: Insight Timer and Medito. Of note, I could have rejected Insight Timer because offline is only available to their premium subscription 3, but I decided to give it a try anyway…

Please, do not hesitate to leave a comment on my choices or suggest any other free app. Thank you.

1 Often, they list apps as free, but in reality, these apps offer a 14-day free trial. That is not the same! ^
2 Now, it is true that Waking Up is free for anyone who can’t afford it. However, to benefit from this, you have to Request a scholarship. While my budget is indeed limited, I did not feel at ease with asking (every year) not to pay for the membership. ^
3 But the Timer can be accessed offline by everyone. ^

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