Looking for a little stress relief these days? Who isn’t? There are countless ways to de-stress in NYC, but unfortunately, the pandemic has curtailed many of them. These days, a vigorous gym session or night out with friends just isn’t possible for most of us. Luckily, you can still meditate, which is perfect for those of us who are quarantined and social distancing.

The benefits of meditation are boundless. Experts agree that meditation can curb stress, reduce anxiety, and generally promote emotional well being. It also might lengthen your attention span, sharpen your memory, and improve your sense of gratitude.

Not sure how to get started with meditation? Luckily there are several excellent apps that can guide you. These are a few of our favorites!

Inscape:



 

We’d be remiss if we didn’t first mention a NYC local. Inscape isn’t just an app, it’s also a soothing Manhattan-based studio. You don’t have to visit their studio or have a membership to this well-regarded haven of zen to enjoy the benefits of Inscape's popular meditation programs.

The Inscape app doesn’t just have guided meditations created by experts. Having trouble sleeping? Try their customizable sleep sessions. Feeling the heat in life? You might enjoy their specified stress relief programs. They’ve got sessions to address everything from Tinder woes to trouble focusing on your studies. You can try Inscape for free for 1 week. After that, it’s only $10/month or $59/year. Follow the link above to give it a try.

Serenity:

If you’re new to meditation, you may want to try Serenity. It’s a great app for beginners because of its short meditation sessions and simple narration. If you're ready to get started with meditation, you'll only need to set aside 10 minutes a day to use this helpful app. In seven days, they’ll teach you all of the basics.

If you enjoy the introductory course, you can pay for the full app and move onto longer, more in-depth sessions. These sessions will help you build new foundations of mindfulness, gratitude, and focus. The folks who created Serenity are adding new features to the app regularly, which means it’s well worth downloading. Check it out on IOS or Android. 

MyLife from Stop, Breathe & Think:



Life comes at you fast, which means it can sometimes be hard to slow your racing thoughts when things go pear-shaped. A rude stranger, a messed up order, or a spilled drink can send us spiraling into a dark place. That’s what makes the MyLife App from Stop, Breathe & Think so valuable. It's designed to fit into the cracks of life so you can take a break from what's stressing you out, even if it's only for a few minutes.

MyLife stands out from other meditation apps thanks to the massive amount of content that it offers, free of charge. This app invites you to step away from endless scrolling on social media to reflect on how you’re actually feeling. After that, it’ll gently direct you to a guided meditation to fit your specific needs. 

Smiling Mind:

Smiling Mind isn’t just a great meditation app, it’s also totally free. It was created by a group of benevolent educators and mental health experts who truly believe that everyone can and should benefit from mindfulness meditation.

This app can seriously be used by just about anyone and in almost any setting. They’ve got mindfulness sessions for kids and adults whether you’re working, at school, or getting ready for bed. If you’re looking for a really solid, science-backed meditation app that’s entirely free, you should look no further than Smiling Mind.