Update on 2018-02-23: Apparently this app has moved to a subscription business model instead of a paid-up-front app. This is really disappointing to me, since guilt about not having worked on a habit like yoga or meditation mixed with guilt over also not cancelling a subscription could be detrimental to some people's practice. I seem to be grandfathered into keeping the features I already had, so I won't be searching out a replacement app anytime soon.
Research is still somewhat limited, but there appears to be a lot of benefits to mindfulness meditation for people with ADHD, anxiety, or chronic pain. It is also helpful for someone who needs a mental break to recharge your batteries when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Meditation Studio is my favorite app for a few reasons:
Reduce resistance to meditating:
Never meditated? Don’t know how? No problem.
This app includes short, achievable courses to teach you mediation essentials in bite sized chunks.
It often takes enough willpower for me to just turn on the app. If I have to do all the other steps, too, that’s often just asking too much. In the words of Lindsey Bluth, “I have to come up with another thing?!”
The idea of sitting in silence is another struggle most of us can’t take. Having someone else walk me through it makes it so much more likely that I’ll actually turn on the app. It’s sad that the loud world of “never being bored” or just thinking your daily thoughts has made it harder to want to meditate– since that probably means we need it more than ever!
Includes 2–3 minute meditations
However busy I might be, it’s hard to convince myself that I don’t have 2 minutes to do something that’s beneficial to my brain and, therefore, to my productive work. Also, many of these are designed to be used at the office. Conversely, if you’re feeling ambitions, they go up to 33 minutes. (Maybe the day will come that I will choose that one. But I’m not holding my breath. Because holding my breath would be bad meditating form. ;-) )
Most mediations can be done while walking
They might not state this in the mediation, but you can always adjust the guided meditation to match what you need on a particular day. If the idea of sitting still to meditate makes you crazy (as it does me on some days), that’s fine. And hey, if you’re meditating while getting your step count up, that’s quite a productive break!
Has a lot variety and continuously adds new meditations
Bored easily? Vary it up!
Connects to the iPhone Health app. I don’t know how helpful this data is at present, but automatic tracking always seems like a good idea to this data junkie.
Audio tracks are downloaded, not streamed. This could be good or bad, depending on your needs. But it’s something to be aware of if you have connectivity or storage limitations. Files are small and previously downloaded meditations can be removed individually.
1-time purchase. As a general rule, I don’t use or recommend apps or services that require a subscription in order to be useful. Each subscription brings in an additional responsibility for me to manage or keep track of. I like to build my routines on something that would still be there if I had to make drastic changes to my budget. If this doesn’t bother you, a lot of people like [other app]. Headspace and OMG. I Can Meditate! and Calm.
The app has an option to schedule meditations and get reminders. I don’t use this option since I feel it actually adds to the clutter of unnecessarily stressful notifications. It can be counter to forming new healthy habits by building up resistance and guilt when we receive notifications at a time that we can’t or don’t act on them. If you choose to try scheduling or using notifications, do so with caution and awareness.
Mediation App Alternative
If you want to dip your toe into meditating and aren’t ready to pay for an app, I like Centered. There aren’t many meditations included, but it’s simple to start and there isn’t a bunch of distracting ads or up-selling.