Here Are The Best Mindfulness Apps To Help You Change Your Life

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated April 24, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you've heard the term "mindfulness," but don't understand exactly what it means, you are not alone. Understanding what mindfulness is can be complicated.

Many find that mindfulness can define a mindset of presence and grounding in the current moment—no matter what you might be facing or feeling. 

Mindfulness generally holds value to most, as it can help us to take our thoughts off past events or fear of the future and focus on the current moment.

When we focus on the past or the future, it can cause us to have added stress and nervousness that can lead to depression. When we develop the practice of being mindful, however, we learn how to recognize thoughts as they come into our brain and then choose how we want to respond to them.

Read on to learn more about mindfulness, as well as top apps that can help you to develop the skill. 

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Exploring the science behind mindfulness

When we consider mindfulness, it can be helpful to think of your brain as if it were a muscle. We might spend time and effort exercising to keep all our other muscles in shape. With this in mind, we can see that the practice of being mindful is like doing the same thing for our brains. 

Studies have shown that if you practice mindfulness for at least eight weeks, you can grow the part of your brain—the hippocampus—that can be responsible for happiness, emotional intelligence and creativity. When this happens, it can also reduce the area of the brain called the amygdala. The amygdala is responsible for depression, stress and addictive behaviors.

Best mindfulness apps

Now that we’ve defined what mindfulness can do for your mental and physical health, you may be wondering where to start. Many find apps to be particularly convenient and simple to use. 

Here are some of the best mindfulness apps available if you’re looking for a simple way to stay consistent with mindfulness in your day-to-day routine:

The Mindfulness App

The Mindfulness App can be a great fit for many, whether you are just beginning the process or you are experienced in meditation. There is a free version or a premium subscription. The free version includes:

  • A 5-day guided introduction to mindfulness course
  • Timed sessions that include guided meditations with a range of 3 to 30 minutes
  • Meditations you can customize, including an introduction, bells and the sounds of nature
  • Reminders to meditate and mindful notices to help you throughout the day
  • Statistics to help you track your progress

When you upgrade your subscription to the premium version, you can receive more than 200 guided meditations and courses that you can choose to attend to. They are taught by some of the world's most influential teachers. They generally include topics such as stress relief, emotions, sleep and relationships. You can also unlock the option to listen to your meditations while offline and content that is regularly updated.


The Calm app generally focuses on helping you meditate, sleep and relax. This app has been featured in The New York Times and is trusted by millions. Many report that this can be a great app for beginners to use. There are guided meditation sessions that can range from 3 to 25 minutes, covering topics such as deep sleep, happiness, body scanning, forgiveness, calm kids, walking meditation, managing stress and self-esteem. There are also plenty of options for intermediate and experienced meditators as well.

Some other features of the app include:

  • A 10-minute daily calm program
  • Sleep stories to help you fall asleep at night
  • Programs for beginners and advanced users ranging from 7 days to 21 days
  • Unguided time to use with your meditations
  • Breathing exercises
  • Soothing nature sounds and scenes to help you while you meditate or fall asleep

You can also use this app to help track your progress with daily streaks and time spent meditating. 

A woman wearing glasses is sitting at a desk and looking at a mindfulness app on her cell phone; she has a grin on her face.


You can use the Headspace app to teach yourself how to meditate, breathe and live mindfully. You can tailor your journey to peace and healing, selecting mode options for managing stress, sleeping, breathing, focus, happiness and calmness.

If you have never practiced meditation before, many have found that this can be a good app to use. 

Many choose to use the free basic version to learn the essentials of mindfulness and meditation. Once you have finished the basics, there are dozens of packs that you can choose from to use every day. 

Packs include a series of guided meditations, focusing on topics such as: Happiness, health, work performance, sports and students. If you don't want to work through a pack, you can choose from single exercises that you can use each day.

Mindfulness Coach 

Developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Mindfulness Coach is an app that was originally specifically developed for veterans. However, it can be used by anyone. It offers a library of information about mindfulness, including What is mindfulness? and How to anchor your attention.

This mindfulness app includes 12 audio-guided mindfulness exercises along with a catalog of additional exercises that you can download. They also have options for goal setting and tracking—all for free.

Give a mindfulness app a try

If you have been experiencing a lot of stress, nervousness, or sleeplessness, you might benefit from a regular mindfulness routine. These apps—and others you can find online—can teach you how to put mindfulness to work in your own life, and can provide you with plenty of resources to use along the way.

We do want to note that some mindfulness apps are free, while others might come with paid subscriptions. Many of the paid apps come with free trials, however, so you can test them out. Taking note of this ahead of time can help you to avoid fees down the line.

Additionally, some apps may work well for some, while not for others—so it can be helpful to try out several until you find the one that works the best for you.

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How can online therapy help those exploring mindfulness?

If you have been struggling to “get out of your head” and control your thoughts, talking to a licensed therapist can be helpful. 

At BetterHelp, a licensed therapist can meet with you at a time that works best with your schedule. This can be helpful for those who might be experiencing high levels of stress. There's generally no need to go to an office—your session can take place anywhere you have an internet connection. Your therapist can conveniently provide guidance in mindfulness if they feel these practices will be helpful in your situation.

Research suggests that online cognitive behavior therapy has been as effective as in-person therapy in pinpointing issues and working through them. Additionally, a cited study listed in related resources from the National Council on Aging has found statistics that suggest that people of all ages can benefit from online therapy, specifically those experiencing underlying mental health conditions (such as depression or anxiety disorders). 


If you have been caught up in your thoughts for too long and are ready to see positive changes in your life, mindfulness can be a simple and convenient practice to try for most. Online therapy can help you to foster rhythms of mindfulness in your life. BetterHelp can connect you with an online therapist in your area of need.
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