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Daily practices, walking meditations, and podcasts — we searched for the best online meditation options. All you have to do is listen.

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You may have heard that regular meditation offers a wide range of benefits, and science can often back up these claims.

Meditations and mindfulness-based therapy can be effective treatments for a variety of psychological conditions, and may be especially helpful for reducing anxiety, depression, and stress. In fact, some research even suggests that meditation can physically change the brain.

Still, even if you’re convinced of the many benefits of meditation, finding the best way for you to learn how to do it can be challenging.

Countless apps, podcasts, and YouTube channels are dedicated to meditation in all forms, but with so many choices at your disposal, it can be tricky to know which one to pick.

We’ve narrowed it down so that you can begin, or continue, your meditation practice without spending hours trying to find the best way to do so.

Many types of meditation exist. Here are some common ones:

  • Guided meditation. Great for beginners, guided meditation uses a teacher to guide you through the basic steps of meditating. This can be done in person or via apps, podcasts, or videos.
  • Unguided meditation. Done alone, unguided meditation involves sitting quietly and paying attention to your body and your thoughts for a certain period of time.
  • Visualization. This practice involves picturing something, or someone, in your mind while focusing on how that image makes you feel mentally and physically.
  • Reflection. For this type of meditation, you ask yourself a question, like “What matters to me the most?” and focus on your feelings (not your thoughts) about this question.
  • Yoga meditation. There are a number of styles of yoga meditation, but the most important part of any yoga meditation is the Relaxation Pose, which serves as a way to relax your body and relieve tension.
  • Chakra meditation. With chakra meditation, your goal is to keep your body’s core chakras (which are known as your centers of energy) open, aligned, and fluid.
  • Walking meditation. While taking a walk, focus on how your body feels and moves, as well as the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
  • Mindfulness meditation. Instead of thinking about the past or future, focus on the present moment without passing any judgment as to what is happening.
  • Breathing meditation. This is a type of mindful meditation where you breathe slowly and deeply, counting and focusing on your breath.

To find the best online meditation options, we reviewed many apps, podcasts, and YouTube channels, looking at the following:

  • Ratings. We looked for options that had the highest overall ratings from thousands of users.
  • User reviews. We read what users had to say about the products.
  • Price. We included a range of prices and several free options to fit a variety of budgets.

Best for daily meditations

Calm

Price: Free YouTube channel. App offers some free features, otherwise it costs $14.99 per month, $69.99 per year, or $399.00 for a one-time purchase for premium.

Daily meditation can make you less stressed and more focused and mindful, and research shows the Calm app can even do this for college students who feel very stressed.

Calm offers a new and original 10-minute Daily Calm meditation, and in January 2021, the app launched a new series called the Daily Trip. It features “adventurous and exploratory” meditations that feel like a “mini trip for your mind.”

Calm also has nine Daily Calm videos on its YouTube channel that you can watch for free.

What we like

  • New 10-minute daily meditations can keep you from getting bored.
  • If you need some visual stimulation while you meditate, Calm also has a YouTube channel.

What to look out for

  • You’ll need to pay for the premium version to receive a new meditation daily.

Best for walking

Headspace

Price: Free YouTube channel. App is free for basic services, otherwise it costs $12.99 per month or $69.99 per year for premium. Student and family plans are available.

While you can definitely do walking meditations on your own, Headspace can make this practice even easier.

You can review the explanatory guide on the Headspace website before heading out for a stroll, or you can download the app to guide you through your journey. You can listen to a meditation as you walk:

  • through nature
  • in the city
  • in your home

Other options include:

  • walking for sleep
  • intention walks
  • walks to help you work through your frustrations
  • a walk in which you take your tea or coffee with you

You can also visit Headspace’s YouTube channel for meditations that you can do while walking.

What we like

  • The variety of walks fit many environments and moods.
  • Most of the meditations are short, between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • If you live in or near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, or London, England, Headspace can set you on a guided meditation in these cities.

What to look out for

  • You’ll need to pay for the app to access the majority of the walks.

Best relaxation music

Soothing Relaxation

Price: Free

Norwegian composer Peder B. Helland wants you to relax, so he created an entire YouTube channel for you to listen to his music. He offers videos by length and type, such as for:

You can also select a variety of songs combined with nature sounds, like:

  • rain
  • birds
  • the ocean
  • water

Helland also offers seven albums with titles like “Bright Future” and “Sunny Mornings.”

What we like

  • With so many options to choose from, you’re bound to find at least one composition that puts you into a calm, meditative state.
  • The videos are relaxing.
  • The more you explore this channel and uncover the hours and hours of music Helland has created, the more you realize that he’s truly trying to help people relax and feel better.

What to look out for

  • Nothing — we couldn’t find one downside to Helland’s channel.

Best sleep stories for kids

New Horizon

Price: Free

If your child has trouble falling asleep, the United Kingdom’s New Horizon Holistic Centre YouTube channel or app may be good options to check out.

Although it was originally founded as a holistic center, when the guided meditations took off, New Horizon recognized the potential in this area and decided to focus efforts only on developing guided meditations.

New Horizon has written and performed a wide variety of sleep stories just for kids that are designed to help ease your child’s worries so they can relax and drift off to sleep.

What we like

  • With more than 100 stories to choose from, your child won’t get bored.
  • There are even a few stories created for parents, or any adult, as well.
  • The app is kid-friendly and ad-free.

What to look out for

  • The children’s meditations are mostly geared toward younger kids.

Best for the skeptic

Ten Percent Happier

Price: 7-day free trial, and then $15 per month or $100 per year.

If you’ve been told meditation is good for you but you’re not yet convinced, Ten Percent Happier is the app for you.

The founder, Dan Harris, is himself a skeptic turned believer. His podcast and app are infused with a sense of humor to help beginners ease their way into meditation.

Longtime meditators can also find happiness here thanks to a selection of teachers that are well-known experts in the field.

What we like

  • The app teaches you how to meditate instead of assuming you already know.
  • Teachers use humor and avoid the “spiritual speak” that can be a turn-off for some people.
  • Each meditation has an introduction so you know what you’re about to experience.

What to look out for

  • If you enjoy the spiritual component of meditation, you won’t find that here.

Best comments section

The Honest Guys

Price: Free

Come for the meditations, stay for the comments.

While Rick and Kev, aka The Honest Guys, have more than 1 million subscribers and offer meditations that feature everything from guided imagery to fantasy visualizations, it’s the comments that make this YouTube channel really stand out.

Click on any guided meditation and you’ll likely find a complete stranger wishing you happiness or joy in your life. Others will let you know that they’re praying for you. You’ll be encouraged not to give up and to stay positive. You’ll be reminded that you’re special.

The Honest Guys haven’t just created some of the best meditations available, they’ve also created a very supportive, encouraging, and compassionate community.

What we like

  • The incredible community makes you even more likely to listen to the meditations.
  • The meditations are great, too!
  • New content is published weekly, so you’ll always have something different to listen to.

What to look out for

  • They’ve been around for more than a decade, so some content may seem dated.
  • If you hate being encouraged, don’t read the comments.

Best podcast

The Meditation Podcast

Price: Free, but they hope you’ll donate to their Patreon.

Since 2006, the husband-and-wife team behind The Meditation Podcast have helped thousands of people through their guided meditations. With more than 30 years’ combined experience, Jesse and Jeane Stern have created hundreds of meditative podcasts to help you relax or heal.

What we like

  • With such a long run, you can rely on Jesse and Jeane to be a regular source of meditation in your life.
  • Their calm, mellow voices can help you relax and even put you to sleep.

What to look out for

  • Older podcasts are no longer available unless you subscribe to them on Patreon.
  • Subscribing to their Patreon will also give you access to their chats, which discuss general life issues, meditation, the podcast, and much more.

Meditations are for everyone. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, manage your anxiety, or better your emotional health, meditation can be a tool to help you improve your mental health.

Between YouTube channels, apps, and podcasts, there’s at least one meditation program out there designed with you in mind.