You’ve no doubt heard about the benefits of developing a daily meditation practice. Benefits of a consistent, dedicated practice include being less reactive to your own thoughts, less likely to coast through life on emotional autopilot, and more likely to set an intention between stimulus and response. As a result, mindfulness can seriously improve your mental well-being.
While there are numerous meditations apps on the market that you can access on a smartphone, some apps offer watchOS versions, which means you can have a pocket guru with you wherever you go.
So stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath, and check out the following apps.
1. Apple’s Mindfulness App
If you’re already using an Apple Watch running watchOS 9 you might be familiar with the Mindfulness app that comes pre-installed. The app encourages you to dedicate a few minutes every day to center yourself using your breath.
The Mindfulness app is very simple. Simply open the app and tap Reflect or Breathe. By tapping Reflect, you’ll be shown a prompt to help you focus your attention for a set period. For example, you may be prompted to recall a challenge you’ve overcome at some time in your life, and what you learned from the experience.
By tapping Breathe, you’ll be able to train your breath by following an animation that appears on your Apple Watch that grows as you inhale, and shrinks as you exhale.
If you need to change any settings, simply open the Settings app on your Apple Watch, then tap Mindfulness. From here you can adjust a variety of settings, including mindfulness reminders (e.g. start or end of each day), whether you receive weekly summaries of your progress, and change your breathing rate (number of breaths per minute).
If you have an Apple Fitness+ subscription, you can also listen to guided meditations on the Apple Watch.
Headspace is a popular mindfulness and meditation app that offers a variety of mental exercises to help you manage stress, induce sleep, and improve focus. The app can be used on a variety of devices, including the Apple Watch.
Like most apps on your Apple Watch, simply download the app on your iPhone and sign up for an account. Once you’ve done that, the app will automatically be installed on your Apple Watch.
You can then use the app to access guided meditations and other mindfulness exercises directly from your watch. By using the app on your Apple Watch, you can set a timer for your daily meditation, track your total meditation time, display your daily meditation streak, set reminders to meditate, and monitor your heart rate.
Download: Headspace for iOS (Free, subscription available)
Calm is a popular mindfulness and meditation app that aims to help you improve your health and happiness. The app offers a variety of mental exercises to help improve your sleep, reduce your stress, enhance your focus, or avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Like Headspace, Calm can be used on a variety of devices, including the Apple Watch. Some of the most useful features of Calm include the 10-minute Daily Practice, which is perfect for those who are new to meditation.
Daily Practices come in two forms: Daily Calm and Daily Trip, each with its own meditative flavor. By using the app on your Apple Watch, you can also access Calm’s library of breathing exercises and follow along with morning and evening stretch routines.
Download: Calm for iOS (Free, subscription available)
4. Ten Percent Happier
Ten Percent Happier is a meditation app created and managed by Dan Harris, a journalist who, after experiencing a panic attack live on TV, dedicated his life to exploring the world of meditation and mindfulness to cope with stress and improve well-being. It’s a great iOS app for self-coaching and care.
The app is available on a variety of devices, including the Apple Watch. It’s designed for beginner and advanced meditators alike, providing a wide range of resources to help develop a regular practice.
By using the app on your Apple Watch you can time your meditation and follow along with the Daily Dose (the app’s daily meditation practice), Quick Hits (popular guided meditations), and meditation talks (15-minute inspirational podcasts).
Download: Ten Percent Happier for iOS (Free, subscription available)
5. Insight Timer
The award-winning Insight Timer offers many useful features for meditators. The app includes a wide variety of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, as well as a social network for connecting with other meditators. It is available for both iOS and Android devices and is worth checking out if you want to improve your well-being.
The Apple Watch version of the app includes several useful features. Like other apps on this list, Insight Timer offers a basic meditation timer as well as reminders, but also offers yoga and meditation courses that you can access from the watchOS app.
Download: Insight Timer for iOS (Free, subscription available)
While not a dedicated meditation app, Spotify offers tremendous value for those looking to practice mindfulness—especially for people who already use the app for podcasts and music. Spotify offers a vast library which, you may be surprised to learn, includes a variety of meditation and mindfulness content.
Mindfulness content that you can access from your Apple Watch includes guided mediations, ambient music, and nature sounds that can all be used to supplement a sit.
Spotify also has a variety of playlists and podcasts dedicated to meditation and mindfulness, including content produced by independent creators and meditation teachers who share their own guided meditations on Spotify.
You can find meditation content on Spotify using the search feature. Content that might be of interest includes Mindful Meditations by Mindful.org, the Meditation Life Skills podcast, and the Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein.
Download: Spotify for iOS (Free, subscription available)
Find Inner Peace with These Apple Watch Meditation Apps
There are many ways to find inner peace with the help of your Apple Watch. At a minimum, you should be using the Mindfulness app to help center yourself every day and focus on your breathing.
If you’re looking to take your practice to the next level or need help making it a habit, you should download one of the many meditation apps that can lead you through guided meditations with daily practices designed for beginners.
Finally, if you’re more advanced, consider checking out one of the apps such as Insight Timer or Spotify to listen to dharma talks and podcasts that can take your practice deeper by teaching you about the philosophy behind it. Learning about Buddhist philosophy—even from a secular perspective—can lead to some of the most meaningful insights you can have. Whatever you do, don’t forget to breathe.