Introduction

We live stressful lives and it becomes more and more difficult to recharge our batteries every day. In the face of the constant turmoil of our world, it's easy to feel disconnected and in the grip of anxiety. Over time, this discomfort increases and ends up affecting all aspects of our life: stress, lack of sleep and many more! What if we meditated? This practice is now experiencing a new boom. Proof of its success is that many applications have been created to help us gently introduce ourselves to "mindfulness". And even the most sceptical end up admitting it: when you take the time to take an interest in it, meditation is really good. We have selected for you the best applications on Android to help you find a little peace of mind.

Table of content

- Why meditate?
- A wide choice of applications
- Conclusion

Why meditate?

Scientists will tell you, we can no longer count the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Coming from the East, this practice, which consists of resting and breathing in peace, leaving your mind free, has a positive effect on our emotions, our thoughts and our health.

Here is a small overview of its short- and long-term benefits:
• Meditation reduces stress. 
• It stabilizes mood and helps fight depressive symptoms. 
• It strengthens memory and concentration. In some cases, it even helps reduce attention disorders. 
• It decreases the brain's responses to pain. 
• It affects the heart rate and is a great prevention against heart attacks and strokes.
• It strengthens immunity and decreases inflammatory symptoms.

A wide choice of applications

If there are different types of meditation, it is the mindful method that has established itself in our society. Used in medicine and psychiatry, it has gained popularity in recent years. Most of the software we are going to tell you about today will help you get started and practice this discipline.

Most often, you will have access to a set of sessions, designed by experts and guided by a seasoned meditator. The voices are soft and help to relax quickly. We learn to breathe consciously, to let our minds float without passing judgment, and we appreciate taking a moment for ourselves. It is also possible, when you have enough practice, to do free meditations: in this case, you choose a duration and let yourself be guided by the sound of bells and gongs.

Often, the applications specialize in certain themes, such as sleep, work, health. We applaud the efforts of many of them to include children. Many programs exist to introduce them to meditation and help them manage their emotions. We also note that many applications offer music and soundscapes to promote relaxation.

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Finally, it should be noted that the majority of software is paid. However, all of them offer either a 7-day trial period or a free, open-to-all introductory program. Most meditations last around ten minutes, but some applications include 3-minute sessions for crisis situations and longer sessions for seasoned practitioners. The choice is yours, according to your wishes.

• Calm (Android)

- Special sleep program
- Breathing exercises
- Music and soundscapes

Perfect for anyone who has trouble falling asleep, Calm is a paid meditation app. Ergonomic and lively, it offers many soothing programs.

Calm was developed in 2012 by an American start-up. Specialized in falling asleep, it is ideal for all those who have trouble closing their eyes and falling asleep.Calm requires registration. To do this, you will need to use your email, Facebook or Google account. Once this formality is completed, the application will ask you what your goals are in order to offer you personalized content: reducing stress, alleviating anxiety, sleeping well, being happier, more confident or more grateful, etc. 

Calm is an ergonomic and animated application which is very pleasant to use. The sound of a river accompanies you during your use of the software (like it or not). Plus, pretty visuals invite you to relax.

This software will appeal to all those who want to learn about meditation and progress at their own pace. The voices of the meditators are pleasant and the advice really helpful in learning to let go. We will particularly appreciate the personalization of the programs, which allows you to find yourself in the wide variety of content.

• Headspace

- Attractive presentation
- SOS module in case of crisis
- Connectable to Google Fit

Friendly, modern and colourful, the paid Headspace application will help you discover the benefits of meditation: guided sessions, sleep casts, music, etc. Headspace is a particularly easy to use application. It is based on a look that is both modern and colourful, which should appeal to many users. It is necessary to register, with an e-mail or your Facebook, Google or Apple account, to try it.

Headspace is divided into four parts:
• Your personal space, containing your favorited meditations, your history and suggestions.
• A “Meditation” section, in which the sessions are classified by popularity and by theme. 
• A “Sleep” section, which includes many sleep casts, tips and a music library. 
• A "Concentration" section, filled with good tips and exercises.

This software is educational, fun and well thought out. As proof, in addition to meditations, there are SOS sections, which contain short exercises to fall back to sleep or quickly regain your calm. The application is well categorized and you can quickly access your favourite or recent exercises. Headspace offers ancillary or related content, which is very useful. In addition, it is possible to connect Google Fit for better tracking of your progress.

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• Insight Timer

- Free
- Meditation circles
- Wide choice of meditation topics

Insight Timer is one of the few meditation apps that offers free content. Based on a freemium mode, the Insight Timer app is a great surprise. The vast majority of content is free and that is saying a lot. We therefore have free access to:

- A fully customizable timer (duration, sound, activity, interval bells, etc.).
- Guided meditation sessions. 
- Podcasts, soundscapes and lessons to sleep well. 
- Yoga classes.

The app showcases its huge community (19 million users) by allowing its registered members to create meditation circles and share personalized playlists. These can be downloaded and viewed offline.

It is also possible to follow live events. To register and join the sessions, just one click is enough. Specialists speak on various subjects: yoga, meditation, assertiveness, Qi Gong, etc. It is possible to give them a donation, if the service is appreciated. 

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Conclusion

By acting on emotions and stress, meditation encourages creativity, empathy, caring and compassion. Meditation apps help us to become better. Take a deep breath and exhale ... To find calm, sleep, concentration, in short, inner peace, nothing like a little meditation session. Luckily, the field continues to develop and a number of specialists, teachers, doctors and psychologists have come together to design apps adapted to this practice. The goal is to help you embed this habit in your life.

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