Mindfulness Apps That Work: My Top Three Picks

Practicing mindfulness is all the rage these days, but it can still be hard to drown out the noise! I have found these three apps to be incredibly helpful in my mindfulness journey. Here is what worked for me and why.

Woman practicing meditation on a yoga mat

Do you ever feel like you are on a hamster wheel and you can’t seem to stop spinning? The pace of our modern lifestyle and “hustle” mindset can feel all-encompassing, and the resulting stress can hang out in the body and cause inflammation, prevent us from properly digesting our food, and make us feel sad and stuck.

So what’s the fix??

The answer is multifaceted. Yes, drinking more water, getting outside in nature and eating a well-balanced diet are all great ways to reduce stress. But what about the brain: how do we switch off those pesky thoughts so that we can get better rest and more profound relaxation (effectively get off that hamster wheel)?

I have found mindfulness apps to be incredibly helpful. They provide the external structure and expertise to guide me in meditation, allowing me to focus on words, music or sound rather than trying to quiet the mind on my own.

Here are my favorites!

1. The Calm App

The Calm app offers a personalized “mental wellness experience” with a wide range of mindfulness content, including guided meditations, sleep stories, and calming music. It has a very user-friendly interface and focuses on integrating mindfulness into daily life. It’s a popular choice for stress management and overall well-being.

Why I like it:

After doing a trial of the app back in 2018, I purchased a yearly subscription and still use it regularly. I love the variety of sessions they offer and they seem to add more content consistently to keep it fresh – I particularly like the ones by Jay Shetty called the Daily Jay and sessions by psychologist, meditation teacher and author Tara Brach. You can search for content by meditation, sleep, work, movement, soundscapes, mindful tools, etc. I love how easy it is to use and that it provides so many short guided options. Only have 5 minutes to spare? There’s something you can listen to that’s helpful.


  • Calm offers an auto-renewing monthly subscription at $14.99/month and an auto-renewing yearly subscription at $69.99/year
  • They offer a free 7-day trial to make sure you like it before committing.

The Calm App

2. Insight Timer

The Insight Timer app offers a large library of free guided meditations—apparently boasting the biggest available. It’s celebrated for a big range of content including meditation for stress, anxiety, sleep, and more, catering to both beginners and advanced users.

What sets Insight Timer apart is the access to live events, mentoring and workshops, emphasizing community and connection (big values for me!). New users might find the app’s vast options overwhelming at first, but the upside is that you can tailor your mindfulness journey to your specific needs and preferences​, so it’s worth hanging in there!

Why I like it

I love that you can access a lot of Insight Timer on their free plan. They also allow practitioners and experts to contribute to the app, which adds variety and regular fresh content. Dr. Dani Lockwood, a guest contributor for this blog, has a wonderful guided meditation which I highly recommend as an intro.

Insight Timer


  • Their Members Plus subscription costs $9.99 monthly or $59.99 yearly, which allows you to stop and rewind meditations and gives you access to insightful educational courses.
  • Insight Timer gives 50% of its revenue to teachers, which makes me want to support the product knowing it is doing good in the world.
  • They also offer a special program for companies called Insight Timer at Work. It’s geared towards organizations that want to incorporate mindfulness tools in the work environment.

“By cultivating mindfulness, you may find that you are less likely to react impulsively and more likely to respond thoughtfully to challenges.” – Kabat-Zinn

3. Chopra:

The Chopra App blends Deepak Chopra’s deep wisdom with scientific research, offering a more personalized path to well-being. It offers stress relief through meditation sessions tailored to your schedule, emphasizing the ease of fitting self-care into busy lives (um…yes please!). You can take quizzes for personalized guidance, plus they offer custom challenges for sustained personal growth. Unlike Insight Timer’s vast library or Calm’s focus on relaxation, the Chopra App offers a journey tailored to individual needs, making well-being accessible and personal.

The Chopra App

Why I like it

I purchased this app and used it for a year before deciding to end the subscription — the only reason I ended it was because I didn’t need two paid subscriptions. I loved the sessions led by Deepak Chopra but it didn’t seem like the content was refreshed as often as the Calm app.


  • The cost is $69.99 annually
  • They offer a free 7-day trial

Any other apps you would recommend for mindfulness and stress reduction?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Danielle Cullivan Signature

Danielle Cullivan

Career Insight Studio

Danielle Cullivan is a seasoned leader in tech with over 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 companies. She is also the creator of Career Insight Studio, a career and lifestyle blog dedicated to providing insights and new perspectives for working women. Danielle lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and high-school-aged son, and visits her college-age daughter as often as possible! 

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4 thoughts on “Mindfulness Apps That Work: My Top Three Picks

  1. Love your recommendations! I’ve been using Insight Timer for the past year. I especially like the music which I use for my stillness practice. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Whether you have experienced therapy, considered therapy or are currently in the middle of therapy, the prescription to be mindful is universal. As long as we live, breathe, react, without knowing why, it not only robs us of joy, but limits our ability to live the most deliberately fulfilling life. And we become just another episode on a National Geographic special where we find shelter, gather food, produce young, train them, release them, and repeat the pattern in hopes of maintaining the species. (Currently, I have my doubts ❤️)

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