By: Ellen Symons
Ellen is a registered massage therapist and a devoted meditator who appreciates support in her practice
The positive effects of meditation on our bodies are increasingly well documented. But knowing it’s good for you is not the same as being good at it. You might want to start a meditation practice but not know how, or you might have a long-standing practice that feels lacklustre and fitful.
Either way, one of the easiest and most charming meditation support apps out there right now is the free-to-low-cost Stop, Breathe, & Think, “Guided Meditations Tailored to Your Emotions”, by the non-profit Tools for Peace.
The daily check-in lets you record your mental, physical, and emotional states, and keep track of your history to note changes over time as your practice becomes more solid. The wide variety of guided meditations, including several by Grammy award-winning Canadian musician k.d. lang, are presented as curated options depending on your choice of emotional keywords for the day. There’s a section on learning to meditate. When you want a quiet sit without guidance, the self-meditation timer offers you a timed session from one to sixty minutes long. And if you’re motivated by gold stars, you can collect up to 21 virtual stickers by demonstrating your daily sticking power! You’ll also get encouraging and congratulatory emails from the folks behind the scenes.
A Webby Award (People’s Voice) Winner for 2015, Stop, Breathe, & Think is available for iOS, Android, and Web. There’s enough free meditation content to keep you happy while you solidify your meditation practice; and if you want to invest a small sum to support the work of Tools for Peace, you can purchase small extended packages and special meditations for around $3.00.
A couple of the guided sequences have what feels like awkward language and too brisk a tone to me. But overall, this app is accessible, sweet, smart, and like having a good friend who’s always there to help me keep going.