Meditation is a proven method of reducing stress, and increasing your level of physical and mental health. The mind is a powerful device and if you learn to put it to good use, you can tune out a lot of outside noise.
Meditating helps you focus and gives you perspective on time and on what’s really important. However, practicing it can be challenging, especially in today’s world of distractions.
Luckily, there are more resources than ever to help you get in the zone and stay there. Guided meditation is a great way to get into the activity – to finding calm, getting better sleep, lowering anxiety or manifesting your dreams. If you’re just getting into it, or a grizzled veteran here are some guided meditation suggestions you’ll love.
Free Guided Meditation Apps and Websites
QuietKit is the essential source for meditation beginners. They offer a bunch of useful tips to get started and keep up with a meditation schedule. Best of all, it’s all 100% free. That means you can get started today. With 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 minute sessions QuietKit makes sure you can increase the length as needed. Bottom line, if you’re looking to get into meditation, this website has everything you’ll need.
When you first visit Calm’s website and application it’s easy to see their message. The soothing moving water and harmless forest rhythms will have you feeling calmer instantly. Once you get inside you can see why they offer one of the best resources around. They offer professional quality mediation services at no cost. You can track your progress and keep your routine fresh with new unique options. If you outgrow the free service, you can move up to the premium tier for $60/year.
Being a teenager is hard. We all go through it. If you are a teenager, or see a teenager you think could benefit from meditation, it is important to give them information designed for them. This will better help them integrate into a meditation routine. Once you try it wholeheartedly, it’s hard to turn back. However, with teenagers it’s hard to get them to do anything, so it’s best if they come across it on their own.
MBSR or Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is typically an 8-week course designed to help people manage difficulties they’re facing such as an illness or stress through mindfulness and yoga practices. Dave Potter, the founder of the site, is a certified MBSR instructor and offered the free program online through a collection of videos and articles. The webpage has guided meditations and mindfulness practices that you can take advantage of. If you’re ready to make a serious commitment to dropping your stress level, why not start here?
If you’re like most people, work is usually a very stressful place. Whether it’s too much to do, or not feeling fulfilled, a job is rarely perfect. This can cause an imbalance between the workplace and the home where we bring our stress back from the office. Stress Reduction at Work has made it their mission to help a wide range of professionals cope with the pressure of a modern work environment. With lessons ranging how to handle political anger and holiday triggers, you can find something to help you here.
UCLA’s Mindfulness Center has compiled a few introductory meditation lessons. They have provided a spectrum of listening options including publishing to iTunes. Furthermore, they create a new 30-minute guided meditation podcast every Thursday, meaning you’ll never again be without relevant content. Also, they offer transcripts and some sessions in Spanish. UCLA has a reputation for being a great institution of learning and this branch seems no different.
Created by Ohio University graduate David Weibel, these sessions feel more like a passion project than most. Touching on a ton of different themes, such as, progressive relaxation, autogenic training, and visualization Weibel has created a great program for experts and beginners alike. Few free programs offer the gravitas of Ph.D Psychologist at the helm, so take advantage.
This site is a definitive source for yoga-centered meditation. They’ve curated some of the best meditations and yoga sessions around. With such a mix of topics and exercises it’s impossible to get bored. Everything is free, and available for stream and download. There’s really no excuse for not finding what you need on DoYogaWithMe.
One Mind Dharma gives you the option of signing up for their daily newsletter. That means each day your inbox will be transformed from a web of spam to a calming influence. If you’re not ready for that level of commitment, they’ve stashed some of their materials on their webpage. Give it a listen and you’ll be handing over that email in no time.
The website name says it all. There’s no hassles, no hoops, no stress. You simply enjoy the act of meditation. While this webpage only offers 2 unique beginner sessions, the webmaster has linked out to over 50 other high quality recordings. That means as their resources grow, so do yours. It’s a good jumping off point before you see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
11. Meditation Oasis
Meditation Oasis is a constant force in the meditation world. Running on donations and good will they churn out high quality audio for the joy of helping others. What makes them unique is their total devotion to the art across all formats. You can find their material on CDs, podcasts, blogs, videos, apps, and the classic MP3. That means you have no excuse for not giving them a try. Also, many of their sessions are done with music, which many beginners prefer.
12. Dharma Talks
Dharma Talks is a community board designed for posting many different meditation based resources. You are likely to find meditations themselves, as well as advice, seminar recordings and conferences. The interface is not as friendly as some other sites, but if you’re looking for a group of serious enthusiasts, you’ll find them on Dharma Talks.
The Free Mindfulness Project has compiled a bunch of different recordings and put them in one easy to access portal. They arrange them by theme which makes it easy to find whatever you’re looking for and allows you to experience different takes on the same subject. They have an eye for good work and continue to grow their repertoire.
Insight Meditation Society bills itself as one of the oldest meditation centers in the Western World. Their experience shines through in every regard. You’ll find an excellent podcast, sublime guided meditations, and a diverse selection of professional talks. Why not learn from the oldest and wisest around?
15. Yoga Journal
Yoga Journal makes finding the right meditation easy. They let you choose your length, topic, and get started immediately. They also have sessions based on real life issues like finding the correct career path, and mindful eating. These are the type of subjects that shed the mysticism and let everyday people see the benefits of meditation.
The Self Realization Fellowship was founded in 1920, meaning they have close to a century of experience in the field. Their easy to access YouTube videos allow anyone to get involved and get started.
17. Quiet Mind Cafe
Quiet Mind Cafe’s YouTube channel is full of meditation exercises. They touch on many subjects such as, limiting anxiety and focusing on deep sleep. This trusted entity can get you on the road to more restful sleep and a more peaceful existence in no time.
Guided Meditation Practices from Guilford Press is an audio resource from a published book. These snippets center on how meditation can be used to treat depression. If you’re clinically depressed or know someone who is, this can be a great supplementary treatment option (consult your doctor before changing any other treatments).
Mindful.org is an excellent fountain of thoughtful articles and videos. This particular section is an article with associated audio clips that can help you get a feel for being in the present moment. Originally used as a treatment for ADD/ADHD, author Mark Bertin (M.D.) offers his take on how to be mindful of your surroundings.
This is the best site for the truly busy. There is no messing around as the website’s home page simply says “Begin”. Sit down, relax, click “begin” and five minutes later you’ll be feeling much better.
Sonima is one of the most comprehensive collections of online meditations. When scrolling through their library chances are you will find something that can help you. Most likely, you’ll find quite a few.
Renaissance Podcast has compiled a huge selection of podcasts for your listening needs. These include meditations, yoga sessions, and seminars. You can subscribe to one or all and never be left with the same lesson twice.
23. Fragrant Heart
Fragrant Heart’s selection is quite impressive. With some guides as short as 1 minute, and programs formatted specifically for women, everyone can find something they like.
Dr. Kristin Neff has focused on the importance of self-love. Self-compassion is a program that allows you to accept and forgive yourself. Stop being so hard on yourself and learn to let go.
Kelty Mental Health’s Mindfulness Recordings believe that being mindful can help with a ton of different physical and mental ailments. If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or stress, these meditations are made for you.
26. Tara Brach
Renowned meditation author Tara Brach gives away some guides on her website. People pay good money for her books and to see her speak, so why ignore her free material?
The Center for Mindful Learning vows to help us “dance the dance that only we can dance.” So are you ready to tango?
28. Art of Living
Art of Living’s Experience online series allows you to tailor your sessions to your needs. If you’re feeling stressed, there’s a tutorial for that. If you’re in need of some restful sleep, there’s a tutorial for that. Essentially you are the master of your own experience, you decide what you need and they show you how to fix it.
This resource from MSIA gives the listener a more spiritual focus. The goal is to find your essence or soul, and seek out what it needs. This exploration of consciousness is not as much about religion or an afterlife as discovering what you truly are. If that sounds interesting to you, give it a shot.
30. Diana Lang
Diana Lang is yoga instructor with close to 40 years of experience in the field. Listening to her guides on soundcloud is an easy way to take that expertise on the go.
Meditainment’s motto is “Meditation that Takes You Places”, and after one session you’ll see why. They desire to remove you from the stresses of everyday life to a faraway place. Consider it like an audio vacation. With 18 free mental trips, they make sure you don’t need to visit the same place twice. They offer free guided meditations online as well as on their app.
A free resource from the University of Texas’ MindBody Lab, CMHC helps you realize the association between brain and body. Turns out it’s pretty important.
33. UCSD Health
University of California San Diego’s health department has compiled a wide variety of meditations and posted them for download. The sessions range from 6 to 45 minutes and touch on a myriad of issues like kindness, wisdom, movement, and of course, breathing. They also have posted video sessions and yoga exemplars as well. If you download everything here, you’ll be in a good frame of mind for a long time.
34. Audio Dharma
Audio Dharma is a collection of hundreds of meditations on every subject imaginable. It’s a meditation and yoga one-stop-shop.
The center founded by famous Guru Deepak Chopra, and colleague David Simon is one of the formative libraries of guided meditations online. As Chopra’s fame has grown, so has his ability to provide free material. That means you benefit from his success. With 15 home spun sessions, The Chopra Center continues to add new material. If you seriously enjoy it, they also hold live workshops and seminars around the country.
36. Frantic World
Frantic World’s mission is to show you how to relax in a world that can seem out of control. They are a resource for the modern daily warrior and essential for anyone looking to decompress.
37. Dave Vago
Dave Vago is currently employed by Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s hospital where he works on meditation as a means to mental health. You might want to listen to what he has to say.
38. Free Guided Meditation App – Insight Timer
You don’t have to share too much personal details (including your email address) in order to use this meditation app for free. You have access to 20,000 free meditations and 200 mindfulness courses, with a focus on aiding sleep and getting rid of anxiety.