There are so many aspects of life that can cause stress to a person. It could be work, family, health, or debt. Thankfully, there are several stress-relieving approaches that can help.
One of such approaches is the use of meditation apps, and one of the most popular among the pack is Headspace.
It’s a meditation app that delivers guided meditation resources online to users and it’s accessible to both iOS and Android users.
This app has some decent features, but it’s far from being an all-around solution.
One of Headspace’s major downsides is its high subscription fees. Considering the number of free options out there, why pay more than you have to?
It’s true that Headspace has a free trial version, but using it would require you to input your credit card details and commit to an auto-renewal subscription. You can imagine how much of an inconvenience that can be.
Lastly, Headspace places too much focus on introductory courses. While this may be great for those who are new to the practice of meditation, it doesn’t sit well with more advanced meditators.
That said, I have provided worthy alternatives that are not only free but have a ton of content that can help users stay sharp mentally.
So, here are the 10 best free apps like Headspace 2021.
We live in a time where racial tensions are at an all-time high. This is what makes Exhale so important in this day and age.
One of the things that make Exhale so special, is that it specifically caters to the emotional health of black women. According to the developers, the health and wellness industry is mostly led by white people, hence the need for an app built specifically for black indigenous women of color (BIWOC).
This app is loaded with content curated by BIWOC, and it acts as a home where users can visit as many times as they wish, in order to seek refuge from their day-to-day struggles, and find the healing they desire.
Exhale is the brainchild of Katara McCarty, who partnered with BIWOC cultural leaders, and renowned industry experts to create this meditation solution.
Exhale offers as many as five groups of wellness practices. These include coaching talks, affirmations, breathing exercises, guided visualizations, and meditation.
Each of these five groups operates under the guidance of experienced black women who give priceless advice and tips to users in need.
The best part is, this app is 100% free, and you can get it from the Google Play store or the Apple store. You can begin using the app immediately after downloading, and you will find all the basic features available to you.
However, you will have to pay a $4.99 monthly subscription if you want to enjoy some of its additional features. Even with that, it still costs significantly less than Headspace, so it’s a great option.
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2. Relax Now
Relax Now isn’t just an awesome alternative to Headspace, it’s actually one of the best. Those who use this app have testified that it’s the perfect means by which they can unwind and refresh their minds.
The developers of this app worked closely with some of the most renowned hypnotherapy professionals from around the world. The end result is a groundbreaking app that will help you sleep better, think better, and live better.
Relax Now offers you mindfulness hypnotherapy in an instant, regardless of your location. The app is made up of tracks, which are combinations of spoken words and calming binaural music. All of which are delivered by David Ridgeway D.Hypn., M.N.C.H.
One of the things I love most about this app is its crystal clear recordings. Pair that with the Binaural beat technology, and you have yourself the right meditation app.
That’s not all, you’ll also be getting as many as eight therapeutic videos and a 50-tips ebook. The custom background music also plays its part by setting the mood for your mind to open up and let all the stress out.
As if that isn’t enough, you’ll also be getting a bonus “relax machine”, which is a compilation of soothing sounds and music.
You can now say goodbye to the overpriced hourly rates you get from traditional hypnotherapy sessions and the Headspace app!
After all, you’ll be achieving the exact same stress-relieving therapy you have been craving for. You can also enjoy it as many times as you like from the comfort of your home.
All for free!
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3. Smiling Mind
The name says it all – Smiling Mind was built with the aim of putting your mind in the happiest possible state. This mobile and web-based program explores all facets of mindfulness meditation to leave its users in the best mental shape of their lives.
Smiling Mind can help you when you’re dealing with stress, pressure, and the everyday challenges life throws at you.
You would expect that such an app was built to take care of adults alone, but that is not the case. Smiling Mind also caters to the younger generation, as they too can face some stress in life. Persons aged seven years and older can use it.
Each distinct audio can last between 1 to 43 minutes, and they teach you how to meditate via lessons and activities. During these exercises, you will be guided through the most calming breathing routines and visualizations.
The program also records your sessions as you advance, as well as your mood changes.
Since it caters to users as young as 7 seven years old and above, the programs for educators are split by children’s age groups. These are 7 to 9, 10 to 12, 13 to 15, and 16 to 18.
These programs include lesson plans, take-home activities, as well as meditations.
Headspace doesn’t offer programs for users in such age brackets, and this is one of the major reasons Smiling Mind is a good option. Let’s not forget you can get it absolutely free!
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The developers of the Let’s Meditate app have made a bold claim that their mental wellness solution is the most powerful as far as relaxation, mental detoxification, and meditation are concerned.
Quite a statement if you ask me, but I’ll have to admit, the app does live up to its hype. The fact that millions of people from across 130 countries use this app is a testament to how good it is.
You would think such a widely used app would have high subscription charges, but it doesn’t. You can get it for free!
The advantages of using the Let’s Meditate app are numerous. Let me quickly list out a few.
- Reduces your stress
- Reduces anxiety
- Can help boost your creative abilities
- Refreshes your mind
- Improves your emotional and mental health
- Improves your overall physical being
The app is very easy to use, even for first-time meditators. All you need to do is play the track of your choice and begin meditating.
Speaking of tracks, Let’s Meditate offers a wide variety of them, both long and short. Each of these tracks is centered around a unique topic, which caters to whatever situation you are passing through at the moment.
This gives it a more personalized touch than what Headspace has to offer.
Among the sub-contents of this app are sleep, body scan, healing, anxiety, and a whole lot more.
One of the sweetest features of this app is the ability to receive offline support. It also allows you to save the meditation tracks on your phone’s internal memory, and I find that pretty awesome!
This means you can listen to the tracks without being on the app and without an internet connection. This comes in handy when you’re on a bus or train and in need of some soothing sounds while in transit.
The developers of the Let’s Meditate app were thoughtful enough to keep it sign-up and ad-free. This means fewer distractions and more meditation.
The interface is really nice and clean, which makes the whole meditation experience a lot more relaxing.
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5. UCLA Mindful
The UCLA Mindful app offers you a lot of things, but the first one that caught my fancy is that it caters to both English and Spanish speakers. Another thing I found commendable is its simplicity and focus on basic meditations for those who are just beginning.
Even at that, the UCLA Mindful app has been used to help individuals who suffer from challenging health conditions. Thanks to its very informative videos which show you just how to begin, and its supportive meditation posture tips, you will master the art of mindfulness in lesser time than you expected.
The app has a weekly podcast, which is anchored by UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Each episode lasts for 30 minutes, and it carries different themes. It also has a built-in timer which is very useful when meditating on your own.
The Mindfulness Awareness Research Center (MARC) of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is responsible for developing this app, and they have taken it upon themselves to promote mental health and well-being.
As you would assume, a body like MARC that is so keen on improving the public’s mental health would give out their app for free right?
Well, they do!
Unlike Headspace, there are no payments or subscription plans required to enjoy all the benefits of UCLA Mindful. This app also caters to both English and Spanish speakers, but Headspace caters to only English speakers.
MARC is located at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute For Neuroscience and Human Behavior, at UCLA.
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6. Do Meditate
Do Meditate offers guided meditation practices with the use of calming sounds and breathing exercises. Thanks to its simplistic nature, you can get into the groove very quickly.
You can download it straight from the Google or Apple store free of charge, and you wouldn’t need any paid subscriptions to enjoy its many benefits.
I have to mention that you can use this app on almost all (if not all) smart devices.
I must confess, Do Meditation has a beautiful design, and one look at it will set you on your way to relieving stress faster than you planned. And you don’t even need an internet connection to use it!
A lot of users have confessed that Do Meditate has helped them live better lives and sleep more soundly at night.
Becoming a part of the Do Meditate family is as straightforward as you can imagine. You’ll be glad to hear there’s no long and annoying sign-up process.
You also don’t have to deal with recurring ads. In fact, you don’t have to deal with any ads at all, the app is 100% ad-free!
This means you can remain locked into your meditation without unnecessary distractions.
Do Meditate offers three distinct modes, which have all been put in place to help you achieve a mindful state and improve the overall quality of your day-to-day life.
The first of these three modes is the “Meditate” mode. With this, you can relax your mind using very simple and guided meditations.
The second mode is the “Breathe” mode, and this helps you relax your entire physical being by using simple breathing exercises.
The third mode is the “Listen” mode, which is packed with the most beautiful sounds from nature. This helps you calm your mind, body, and soul, all in one session.
The developers of the Do Meditate app are of the belief that a person does not need to pass through extensive 30-day courses to achieve results. Rather, they believe that meditation should circle around solitude and mindfulness.
Do Meditate’s unique meditation track makes it possible for newcomers to get the hang of meditation in a short period of time while helping more advanced users perfect their meditation skills.
Headspace is only fit for newbies and doesn’t cater to the more sophisticated requirements of advanced meditators. This is why you’ll find this to be a nice alternative.
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7. White Noise
White Noise is the perfect app for those who are stressed and find it hard to fall or stay asleep. It features ambient sounds from nature that can help you feel at peace during the day and have a sound sleep at night.
According to a White Noise spokesperson, this app can help the world sleep better. It doesn’t matter if you’re laying on your couch or kicked back in your plane seat!
Let’s take a look at some of the great benefits that come with using White Noise.
- Helps you sleep faster by eliminating mental distractions
- Helps you to relax and reduce stress
- It can pacify crying babies
- Helps you to increase focus
- It can calm headaches and migraines
Remember, your brain is constantly picking up surrounding sounds even when you’re asleep, and these noises can cause you to wake. But with White Noise, the in-app natural sounds can block out those noises and ensure that you stay asleep.
It generates sounds over a wide range of frequencies, which encompass as many as 40 sound types. These include all the color noises, mechanical sounds such as a bedroom fan or AC, light or heavy rains, flowing rivers, calm beach waves, rustling forest leaves, and a whole lot more.
There’s more good news! You can get the entire list of sounds from the White Noise official website, and you don’t even have to stream to play them back.
The tracks are expertly looped and you can download them for free on the White Noise Market.
One of the coolest features of this app is the background audio support. This allows you to keep listening to the audio even when other silent apps are running.
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With Medito, you’ll be getting a meditation app that will help you boost your mental wellness at no cost at all. It is 100% free to download and carries no paid subscription plans.
With the use of guided meditations, mindfulness practices, simple breathing exercises, and relaxing sounds, you will attain a state of total calm with Medito.
Its holistic approach allows you to explore both guided and non-guided meditations from the Medito Foundation, as well as other renowned organizations like UCLA.
All the approaches carry a mixture of both modern and ancient techniques for best results. All it takes for you to experience the fullness of this app is a few minutes.
As you explore the many in-app features, you will begin to experience all the life-changing benefits it has to offer.
These include the following –
- A more relaxed and refreshed mind
- A more positive outlook on life
- Better sleep patterns
- Improved physical well-being
- Improved concentration and focus
- Improved gratitude
- Eliminate anxiety and reduce stress
- Improved memory
The developers of this app have said that their mission is to guide users towards the path of a happier and healthier daily life that is free of stress, anxiety, and worry. All this is made possible by the many wonderful features Medito has in store.
This app was built by the Medito Foundation, which is a non-profit body, under the firm belief that meditation can affect positive changes in the life of a person.
They also believe no one should pay to meditate, and that is why downloading and installing the app is totally free. A spokesperson said they hope to help as many people as they can to overcome depression, anxiety, stress, and any other form of negative mental state.
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Another stress management app that can significantly improve your well-being is the Breathe2Relax app. It does this through a series of diaphragmatic breathing routines.
This app provides you with very detailed information regarding the effects of stress on your body, and how detrimental it can be. It also offers basic instructions and practices which you can use to perfect your stress management skills.
Breathing exercises have been used for many years to treat stress and anxiety in individuals, and they have proven to be a very effective solution.
These exercises have the ability to reduce the “fight or flight” stress response that all living things possess. It has also been proven that diaphragmatic breathing routines can help to stabilize one’s mood as well as manage anxiety and anger.
Breath2Relax incorporates such breathing exercises, which will help you become a calmer, less stressed individual. You can use it as a stand-alone stress management tool or alongside clinical care as instructed by a certified healthcare worker.
Breath2Relax’s focus on breathing exercises has made them experts in the field. So if this is solely what you’re looking for in a stress-reduction app, then it’s a much better choice than Headspace.
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10. Meditation Music
If you want a meditation app that is as “hypnotic” as possible, then this is the right app for you. You would find it interesting that all the songs on the app were crafted by a real-life professional hypnotist.
There are as many as 17 specially composed songs in the library, and you can play them without an internet connection. Each of these songs has its own unique melodies that speak to you in different ways.
All the users of this product will attest that its power lies in its powerful melodies. They are so soothing, that you will forget all your worries, and focus on the brighter things in life.
All you need to do is sit back, take a deep breath, relax, and turn on any one of the 17 soul-soothing songs available in the app. You’ll be relaxed in no time and all your worries will be gone.
If you’re not the type who indulges in breathing exercises for stress relief but prefers to use music as therapy, then the Meditation Music app is right for you.
Speaking of music, Headspace cannot boast of the same quality of music that the Meditation Music app offers.
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There you have it, my 10 best free apps like Headspace for 2021.
They are all great apps and they definitely make up for some of Headspace’s downsides. As for which of these products I consider the best? Well, I choose Smiling Mind.
My reason is simple!
First of all, the developers were thoughtful enough to consider children when making this product. Kids as young as seven years old can use this app to fight anxiety, stress, and anger. And these will, in turn, help them display more positive behavioral patterns.
The second reason I love Smiling Mind is the varying lengths of the songs. Some are as short as one minute, while some are as long as 43 minutes. This suits diverse meditation needs and time brackets.
I sincerely hope this article has been helpful.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.