Stress and anxiety have become a very common problem these days, especially among the younger generation. In this fast-moving and busy world, no one has time to relax and meditate.
Whether it is for work, studies, or connecting to people, Every eye is stuck on the screen of mobile phones and computers and this is one of the major sources of mental problems.
With the emerging changes in the world, it has become very important for every person to stay relaxed and calm, no matter whatever the situation is.
Different global surveys have shown that people who are stressed out from their life and work often take interest in practices like meditation and mindfulness.
But, the solution lies within the problem itself. And this article is all about solving your problem of stress and anxiety in the easiest way possible. We are talking about meditation and relaxation apps.
As of now, there are thousands of such apps available for free on your mobile phone. And these apps can help you relax or meditate in just a few minutes.
Calm is one of the most popular apps available on both iOS and Android platforms for absolutely free. But there are also several other apps like calm that can do the job for you.
Still, if you don’t know what Calm is and what alternatives you can choose? We have brought you a detailed guide that will help you out.
Due to the increase in demand, the market of meditation and mindfulness mobile apps has also experienced considerable growth. Tech companies have made these services available online which facilitates a large number of users.
Calm is one of the leading apps for meditation and sleeps on both Android and iOS platforms. It offers services like guided meditation, sleep stories, breathing programs, relaxing music, and all-in-one masterclasses.
The app helps its users to combat problems like stress, anxiety, disturbed focus, and restless sleep. The app is suitable for all beginners, intermediate and advanced users as it offers hundreds of programs.
One thing which has made Calm popular is its guided meditation sessions which are available in an adjustable period from 3 minutes to 25 minutes.
Calm has been remarked as the best app in 2017 by Apple Inc. while it is an Editor’s Choice on the Google Play Store. Several top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts have also recommended Calm to their patients.
When the trend began, Calm initially dominated the market but now somewhere it lacks behind its other competitors. However, several users have reported issues with the Calm App.
People have mostly complained about its paid services which are very costly. Although the app is free to download, it demands a paid subscription after completing a 7-day free trial which becomes a problem for users who can’t afford it.
Users also seem to be disappointed with the updated application interface which has made it difficult for users to navigate across different sections.
The app has a rating of 4.3 stars on the google play store but there is also a considerable number of negative ratings and reviews from users. This is because Calm has added most of its services to premium membership which costs 80 US dollars.
Due to such reasons, users have started looking for alternative apps like calm which are completely free and work the same.
There are even better options available on the internet, all a person needs is to find the perfect meditation app which is suitable for them in all aspects. To help you out, here are some of the best app recommendations you can go with,
Best Alternative Apps Like Calm: Our Top Pick 👌
1. Insight Timer – Meditation, Sleep, Music
With more than 5 million downloads, Insight Timer is the highest-rated meditation app on both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
Insight timer claims to be the number 1 app free for stress, anxiety, and sleep issues. The in-app guided meditation sessions are led by some of the best and most renowned teachers from India and around the world.
Insight Timer has collaborated with personalities like Sadhguru, Paz, and Lama Yeshe Rabgye to offer live interactive sessions on topics such as relaxing mind, deep healing, guided meditation, pain management, and several others. However, these sessions are included in the paid feature- Insight premium meditation.
For the free users, Insight Timer offers unlimited access to interviews and talk sessions by the top mindfulness and meditation experts, psychologists, and neuroscientists from world-famous institutes like Harvard, Stanford, the University of Oxford, and more.
Also, the sleep music tracks available in the app are created by some of the most renowned artists and producers.
Insight Timer has a separate dedicated section for users with sleep problems. This section is useful for people who often struggle with insomnia and restless sleep.
Insight timer offers thousands of free music tracks, soundscapes, bedtime stories, and meditation practices that can help the user to get a better sleep experience.
Not just this, Sleep for Insight Timer offers brainstorming sessions that enable the user to improve the rest and sleep relationship through the night. The sessions and courses teach the user how to sleep effortlessly, overcome insomnia, redefine the approach to sleep, and much more all by themselves.
Through the Insight Timer app, the user can access different types of meditation practices like-
- Yoga Nidra
- Secular mindfulness
- Kundalini yoga
- Advaita Medanta
And many more…
There are also in-app community features where people with similar interests can connect to each other and share their experiences. There are several groups for poetry, Atheism, Hinduism, Christianity, and many others. These groups are free to join for every user.
Overall, Insight timer has something to offer for everyone. Either a beginner or an experienced practitioner, the Insight timer is ideal for each type of personality.
And what makes Insight Timer stand out from all other alternative apps like calm is that it provides a number of services for both paid users as well as free users and the access to the content is not limited to free users as the premium feature is optional.
2. Lojong: Meditation and Mindfulness +Calm -Anxiety
Lojong app is a guided meditation app that focuses on improving the quality of life. Similar to calm, Lojong consists of different features which help the user to meditate, relax and cultivate genuine happiness.
The app provides unlimited access to a number of practices that can bring countless benefits to the physical as well as mental health of the user.
Lojong had dedicated practices that intended to develop mindfulness, concentration, focus, and compassion. This practice gradually reduces the impact of insomnia, anxiety, and stress.
Lojong claims that thousands of people have joined the practices through Lojong Mobile App and have experienced life-changing benefits.
Lojong app also provides the user with a guide for basic physical exercises and training which ensure the physical fitness of the body. If the body remains fit in every aspect, it leads to controlled anxiety, lesser stress, improved focus, and a happier, calmer, and more focused life.
After getting you a stable mental and physical well-being, Lojong can also help you get better and restful sleep with its Sleep Well Program. This program features a variety of meditation practices specially designed to improve the quality of sleep.
The sleep well program consists of a playlist with natural ambient sounds which will help you relax and sleep effortlessly.
Similar to other apps like calm and headspace, Lojong also has a paid premium membership feature which has its own advantages over the free version. However, even the free user can access multiple useful features like-
- Guided journal
- Mind-training programs
- Relaxation practices
- Soothing meditation
- And much more.
Lojong is developed and recommended by several mental health experts, instructors, and therapists in order to benefit as many people as possible.
Lojong’s anger management program has been quite popular among users and is also being used by practitioners around the world for the treatment of their patients with anger control issues.
Competing with the Insight Timer app, Lojong also has a rating of 4.9 stars on both the google play store and the apple app store. Lojong app currently holds more than 1 million downloads across all platforms.
Lojong has gained popularity among users mostly due to its short meditation sessions which are easy to attend and get completed quickly.
The vast concepts of meditation are divided into smaller concepts, which are even further broken into bite-size pieces which makes them easily doable and manageable.
And if someone is unable to afford the yearly membership, the user still can access these meditation sessions by simply watching short ads.
3. Black Lotus: Meditation + Mindfulness = Happiness
Launched in 2017, Black lotus is the fastest-growing app for guided meditation and inner transformation. Black lotus claims to be the most impactful meditation app in 2019.
Black Lotus app is built with an aim to offer quality meditation, mindfulness, and stress management services to its users which can get them more productivity, better sleep, and happening life.
Black Lotus is founded and developed by Om Swami, a tech entrepreneur turned monk and a meditator who is also a renowned prolific writer in the subject of mindfulness and meditation.
He is also a best-selling author and a certified meditation expert. Personalities like Nithya Shanti, Vidith Gujarati, and Melissa Stuart are the brand ambassadors of Black Lotus.
Black Lotus is a one of its kind science and research-backed guided meditation app which works on the basis of in-depth research and understanding of behavioral science.
The app helps its user to foster the habit of meditation while focusing on the quality of life with its features like quality meditation sessions, breathing exercises, and relaxing music.
Black Lotus has also developed its own unique proprietary meditation framework called RARE which stands for Reflect, Act, Reinforce, and Evaluate.
This framework has been said to bring revolutionary changes in the lives of more than 1 million people and created more than 250k impactful stories with its 500k meditational hours present within the app.
The In-app guided meditation sessions are of 15 minutes each and are available for free. This session covers a vast range of topics like,
- Daily wisdom
- Stress management
- Mental wellbeing
- And many others.
The app also offers 1-minute relaxation techniques, especially for work stress management commonly found in working professionals.
The guided meditation sessions are also decided into 50 unique categories on the basis of emotions found in human nature like compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, inner peace, stress response, etc.
These sessions are complemented by different proven breathing exercises, peaceful meditation music, and inspirational quotes or write-ups.
Various alternative apps like Calmare developed with different purposes and have their own motive. Whereas, Black Lotus is developed with a mission to provide access to quality meditation to every possible corner of this world. The founders’ aim is to simply help people in all aspects for having a happy, peaceful, and satisfying life.
4. Art of Living – Meditation, Yoga, Music & Radio
The Art of Living official app is said to be the spiritual library of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar which offers guided meditation sessions, spiritual chants, wisdom talks, and spiritual melodies created by Gurudev himself.
The Art of Living App is an all-in-one platform that provides the best of yoga, lifestyle tips, wisdom, life hacks, meditation, and spiritual music.
The wide range of guided meditation sessions based on various concepts ensures peace of mind within 30 minutes or less.
These sessions are easy to grasp, well-liked, and ideal for both beginners who are curious to explore the idea of meditation and Expert practitioners who are looking to take their next step on the path of meditation.
One thing which makes The Art of Living app different from other apps like calm is its extensive video guide on Yoga. These video guides are prepared by experts which are easy to comprehend and follow. The video guide shares comprehensive knowledge about doing yoga asanas, the benefits of each posture, and tips for beginners.
There are a number of videos, audio, and e-books available in the app prepared by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in which he explains the mysteries of Ved Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Ashtavakra Gita, and other ancient Indian scriptures. These lessons are meant to provide access to spiritual wisdom and a peaceful mind.
The Art of Living app also features a free-of-cost, 24/7 running Radio as a delightful company wherever you go. The Radio feature broadcasts soothing and delightful music, wisdom sessions, and relaxing meditation practices.
The Art of Living Radio also organizes dedicated Q&A sessions for its users where they can directly connect with Gurudev Ravi Shankar.
Users who are interested in attending live Art of Living programs can also get information regarding all such programs happening around the world and can schedule a program for themselves as per their time, location and convenience. There is a wide array of options for the users to choose from and find the best match for them.
Although the app offers a number of features for free users, it also has a one-year subscription plan which provides access to exclusive content.
You can also gift these subscriptions to your friends and family members by taking advantage of member discounts and extensions.
5. Headspace: Google Editors Choice App
The Headspace app, officially launched in 2012, is a guide to meditation, relaxation, and overall well-being for everyday life. The headspace app teaches its user how to meditate and live mindfully, with different guided meditation practices based on stress management, happiness, resilience, physical health, and more.
The headspace app was founded by Andy Puddicombe, a sports science degree holder who later became a Buddhist monk.
Andy along with his co-founder Rich Pierson and a small team initially started to offer free online meditation techniques which are available for people anytime and anywhere.
The users of headspace are spread across 190 different countries and the app has more than 10 million downloads on the google play store. The feature which attracts users to headspace rather than going to other apps like Calm is its Meditation and mindfulness skill training.
The specialized courses on these skills are prepared by experts from around the world including Andy Puddicombe, the co-founder of Headspace.
The app contains various easy-to-use tools which help to focus better, stay calm, and maintain a balance between life and work. Whether you are looking for a stress-free day or having a restful night, Headspace can help you out.
Headspace also offers different paid courses which teach a different set of skills. Users can choose any of these courses as per their needs. The courses are divided such as;
- Anxiety and stress meditation
- Sleep cycle meditation
- Work and productivity meditation
- mindfulness of Physical and mental health
- Guided meditation for students, and a few others.
Headspace has recently added a dedicated Focus section which is useful for professionals who often work remotely. As its name suggests, The newly added focus section helps the user to stay relaxed and focus on work by offering concentration-boosting music. The users can choose music as per their taste from the twelve genres of Focus Music.
Headspace app also features Move Mode which is designed to eliminate problems like anxiety and stress through fitness by providing mood-elevating, in-house workout, and training sessions.
These sessions are led by experienced trainers and include Quick exercises, Audio-guided cardio training, and a full 28-day routine course for fitness freaks.
6. Mindfulness with Petit BamBou
Mindfulness with Petit Bambou is a free mobile app for mindfulness and meditation training that helps the user to live a healthier and happier life with more compassion, self-care, and dedication.
The application is designed in such a way that it can be used anytime, anywhere regardless of the time and location.
The app features varied programs and a diversified catalog of guided meditations divided based on different themes which contain more than 410 lessons. The meditation practices cover topics such as restful sleep, stress management, and benevolent parenting.
The app is designed in such a way that it suits both children and adults so that an entire family can meditate together. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced meditator, the app offers a lot of features that can help you discover and explore a new path of meditation.
The functions of this app are based on simple, effective, and easy-to-use meditation methods like mindfulness, positive psychology, and CBT. The meditation practice begins with the shortest duration of 3 minutes for new users. The duration and intensity of meditation increase as a user spends more time on the app.
Petit Bambou teaches the user to train their mind and cultivate a state of calmness, serenity, lucidity, and internal peace. Users can discover simple meditation techniques and practice them regularly. More than 7 million people are currently using the app to meditate with joy and confidence.
Similar to other apps like Calm, Users can register themselves to get unlimited access to content available on the mobile app. The first 8 sessions are also free for every new user.
Within the app, a six-month paid subscription is also available which unlocks exclusive content on the app and offers a personalized premium guide for meditation.
7. Simple Habit: Meditation, Sleep
Simple Habit is one of the top-rated meditation and relaxation mobile apps ideal for people with busy schedules. This app can help them relieve stress, achieve more success, and a live better life.
Several top psychologists, therapists, and mental health experts have also remarked Simple Habit is the best app for wellness and sleep.
More than 5 million people have joined Simple habit on its life-changing journey since its launch in 2016. Simple Habit app claims to ensure better sleep, good health, and balanced work-life to its users with its simple and unique guided meditation techniques and for absolutely free.
Simple habit has secured the most number of awards when compared to other apps like Calm and it has dominated the Meditation Apps category on the google play store between 2017 and 2018. Simple habit has bagged the following awards-
- Standout Well-Being app Award 2018 by Google Play Awards.
- Best material design Award 2018 by Google Play Awards.
- Best App of 2017 by Google Play Awards.
Simple habit features a wellness and sleeps therapy sessions, which offer guided meditation and mindfulness, daily motivation, and guided sleep coaching by some of the world-renowned experts. These coaching sessions can also be customized as per the interests of a user.
Simple habit offers meditation sessions of 5 minutes to 20 minutes which can help you relieve stress and improve sleep. Simple habit works with some of the world’s best mindfulness experts at Google to former monks and meditation practitioners.
The app also features Progress trackers, which keep stats of your meditation minutes, active sessions, and other activities on the app. This feature makes the app perfect for a user with a very busy lifestyle and unable to keep a track of their mental and physical health.
A unique feature that simple habit provides, not found usually in other apps like calm, is the access to offline meditation sessions for its premium users. So even if a stable internet connection is not available, the user can still meditate at any time and whenever he or she needs.
Additionally, Simple Habit’s on-the-go feature enables the user to calm their anxiety and achieve a sense of mindfulness whenever needed in an intense situation. This feature is more useful for those users who get stressed very quickly or become hyper in a very short moment.
With most of the other apps like calm, Tech companies have begun to charge heavy amounts to provide their services but a major part of the community is unable to afford them. Such people often look for better alternatives to the Calm app which can provide similar features and for free.
So, if you are also one of those people who is looking for apps that can help you meditate or relax and for free, then you can definitely choose any of these 7 options mentioned here as per your interest or whatever suits you.
And It is most likely that you will find your perfect fit and the best app as a companion for your meditation journey.
Still, confused about which one to choose? Yes, it’s hard to decide but note our opinion and give a try to all of them to find the best results for you. We assure you that you will never be disappointed by any of our recommendations.
And we hope that after reading this, you will never need to go back and pay for similar services to other apps because paying to relax sometimes feels odd.