There are plenty of ways to keep our bodies healthy. Eating right, exercising, getting plenty of water and rest- these are just a few important means to keeping our biological engines running in tip-top shape. One element of good health and well-being that often gets overlooked is our minds. A healthy mind helps maintain a healthy body. We’ve got a list of some of the best meditation apps for helping you relax, revive, and rejuvenate your inner self.
Meditation ($0.99) This audio and visual app is great for those looking for serious meditation. Many of the audio tracks are based on Buddhist chants. There are 45 different images that relate to pre-programmed sound sessions, but can be used in conjunction with any sound the user chooses. In addition to the pre-programmed sessions, there are 72 individual sounds, divided by category, that can be played alone, or in combination with others. Create your own sounds sessions to fit your meditative needs. You can set a timer for timing your meditation and the app includes a wake-up timer that users can set to any time of the day or night. If you are the kind of person that needs to be able to see what time it is in the middle of the night, there is also a flip-number clock.
Brain Wave – 30 Advanced Binaural Programs for Brainwave Entertainment ($1.99) If you are dealing with a stressful work environment, or just want a morning pick-me-up, you need this workhorse of a meditation app. It includes 30 multi-stage binaural programs for focus, memory, relaxation, sleep, anxiety, stress, and more. Binaural sounds are based on brainwave frequencies. There are 10 different ambient noises, including nature sounds and atmospheric music. Users can set up to six different alarms that sound at the end of a session to wake you up, including flutes, tabulas and more. You can use pre-programmed sessions for meditation or create your own by combining different sounds. The programs include descriptions of what the session should be used for.
Naturespace (Free) For some people, the best way to relax and meditate is to listen to nature. The sound of a babbling brook or birds chirping might be the remedy to your feelings of anxiety. Naturespace has all the sounds you need to feel at one with the earth. This is the only meditation app that is specially designed for use with Apple’s earbuds (not the upcoming EarPods, though). Included in the free package are six different collections of sound. The Daybreak Songbirds is perfect for waking up to a beautiful menagerie of sound, while the Night at Lake Unknown track sets the sound for falling asleep outside. Each sound track includes recommendations to help you focus on your mediation. In addition to the six free tracks, users can purchase additional sounds, or a collection of similar categories. For $49.99 you can have all 80 tracks in the complete catalog collection.
Natural Sounds for iPad ($2.99) If you are looking for a little more control over they type of nature sounds you listen to during your meditation sessions, this app gives you complete control over every sound you hear. There are 38 pre-programmed audio sessions with moving images for each set. The sets can be manually adjusted to add or remove any sound and adjust the volume of each. You can also create your own session and save it for future use. Individual sounds include four different ocean waves, babbling brooks, rain, birds, insects, three different frogs and wind chimes and four different space-themed ambient sounds. The moving images help relax your mind and let you focus on something other than the spreadsheet sitting on your desk. You can set a timer to turn off the sound when it is time to get back to work, or let the relaxing sounds of nature play in the background while you are performing all your daily tasks.
Ripple HD ($0.99) The tactile sensation of water can be very therapeutic. However, most people don’t have the luxury of sinking into a bathtub while on their lunch break. Ripple HD gives users the sensation of gliding their fingers across a still pond without getting wet. The app includes the image of a Zen garden, but you can add any image you like to use as the background for your water play by selecting it from your iPad’s camera roll. You can also use augmented reality to see your world from an underwater perspective. Use the “sticky water” feature to create interesting abstraction and send pictures of your liquid life to friends and family. If you want to watch the relaxing ripples of water, but your hands are busy doing other things, you can turn on one of the meditation sessions and let the ripples create themselves.
WURM ($1.99) This relaxation app is for the artist in you. Similar to the tactile effects of water, imagine you are finger-painting with a sophisticated pattern replicator. You can pick a shape and the details within it, the color pattern, the background theme and various movement options. If you don’t want to waste time making up your own shape, just pick from the random generator. Users then drage their finger around the screen to lay down repeating patterns that create visually stimulating images that look like they’ve come out of Dr. Seuss’ imagination. There is no audio with this app, so it might not be a bad idea to add one of the other meditative audio tracks in the background while you are creating your masterpiece. Once you’ve finished your work of art, you can send it through email or save it to your iPad’s camera roll.
Magic Window- Living Pictures ($1.99) Sometimes, auditory stimulation is not enough to help you meditate. The stresses of work and busy life can make it difficult to turn off your brain and just relax. Adding a relaxing visual escape can help take you away to a restful place in your mind. This app uses time-lapse scenes mixed with ambient soundtracks to bring you a breathtaking atmosphere for your eyes and ears. The base app comes with 17 different time-lapse scenes, including wildflowers blooming in the morning, sunsets in Hawaii, sunrises in New York, Aurora Australis, and more. In addition to the included scenes, users can purchase 75 more scenes from the app’s store. You can also send your scenes to Apple TV through AirPlay. Need a fireplace scene? Download this app and play it on the big screen.