7 meditation apps for parents that only need a minute
Whether you’re a new parent whose entire world has just been turned upside down, or a seasoned professional dealing with a family of 4 while holding down a full-time job, parenting can be, in a word, stressful.
When you have children, taking care of them becomes the number one priority, and many times your own health is relegated to the background. The road rear burner.
That’s why, in addition to your physical health, it’s important to find some time, even a minute or two each day, to take care of yourself mentally. A beneficial way to tune in to your body and mind is through meditation.
Meditating can help improve your emotional state by lowering levels of stress, anxiety and depression, explains Emily Guarnotta, a licensed clinical psychologist in Merrick, New York, who specializes in working with new parents.
“Meditation can improve people’s emotional intelligence (which refers to the ability to understand and manage your own emotions) and has also been found to improve certain executive functions, including inhibition, which refers to controlling your own behavior. Guarnotta says.
“It’s a great first line of defense for people who want to experience less stress and improve their quality of life,” he adds.
If that sounds like you (::raise your hand::), it may be time to try adopting a meditation practice. Fortunately, that’s easier than ever thanks to meditation apps that you can download directly to your smartphone.
“Meditation apps make it possible to practice mindfulness almost any time of day, like during your lunch break, on the way to work, or between meetings,” says Guarnotta. “Everyone can find a few minutes in their day to play with meditation.”
Whether you’re just starting your meditation journey or you’re a seasoned meditator, here are some of the best meditation apps that cater to the parent set.
Some of these meditation apps are recommended by experts in the fields of mindfulness and mental health. Some we chose based on positive user reviews.
Either way, all of the following apps were chosen because they met the following criteria:
- suitable for beginners
- highly rated in app stores
- offer a wide range of meditation and mindfulness styles
- includes content designed with parents in mind
- compatible with iOS and Android devices
Price: Monthly or annual subscription
Created by a licensed child, family, and school psychologist after her own struggles with postpartum depression, this newly launched app is on a mission to give moms an outlet to relax and connect with their own thoughts.
Mindful Mamas offers guided meditations, breathing techniques, mantras (ie “I am worthy”), mini breaks, visualizations and more for every stage of motherhood, from TTC to childhood and beyond.
Related: I don’t like to meditate. Here’s why I do it anyway.
If you are pregnant, this app is made for you.
Mind the Bump’s goal is to help expectant parents learn important mindfulness skills to help them manage the variety of uncertainties and emotions that come with pregnancy and the new parenting package. We especially like Mind the Bump’s focus on inclusion for single parents and same-sex couples.
This app was created by two Australian mindfulness and mental health organizations and offers a combination of techniques. The meditations are short, no longer than 13 minutes, and are tailored to the quarter you are currently in.
The tools you’ll learn during pregnancy are also bound to come in handy months later when you have your little one in your arms.
Price: Two-week free trial followed by a monthly subscription
Although its name is a bit misleading, this app is not just for pregnant people: Expectful also caters to conception and postpartum periods.
“Expectful offers hundreds of meditation sessions that are designed to encourage ease in those TTCs and find calm in pregnancy,” says Certified Holistic Health Coach Alessandra Kessler, who is a personal fan. “It also offers tools to deal with the everyday challenges that come with parenting.”
And while most parent-specific meditation apps focus only on the journey through pregnancy and motherhood, the guided meditations and sleep aids in this app are also for pregnant couples.
Price: One month free trial, followed by a monthly or yearly subscription
Headspace makes meditation extremely easy to use, even (and especially) for newbies. That may be why it is one of the most popular meditation services, with more than 62 million users in 190 countries.
Or maybe it’s because founder Andy Puddicombe has one of the most soothing voices I’ve ever heard: You are the judge.
“Headspace offers a starter pack and personalized meditations for a host of parenting-related issues, including sleep, happiness, stress, and relaxation,” shares Dixie Thankey, founder of Thank you coaching. “They also have well-produced cartoons that grab children’s attention, so it’s great for any parent who wants to incorporate meditation practices into their children’s lives as well.”
Read our Headspace review.
Price: The basic version is free, courses and offline listening require a monthly or yearly membership
Insight Timer offers a huge selection of 40,000 free guided meditations, with an entire section devoted to parenting (including titles like “Mama Me-Time” and “Relax and Recharge for Busy Mums”) and children’s meditation.
Also available with a premium membership is a series of podcast-style discussions with expert commentators on tough topics like burnout and dealing with lawsuits.
It’s a favorite of Emma Sothern, a certified yoga teacher and guided meditation leader. “I love it for the wide variety of meditations, guided singing bowl recordings, and educational courses,” he says. “It includes meditations from many different teachers and styles and has a handy filter option to narrow down your search.”
Price: Free with optional in-app purchases
No matter your level of meditation proficiency, there’s a great place for you to start in the Breethe app. This simple and easy-to-use platform was designed to help alleviate the stress and mental fatigue that everyday life creates.
Breethe offers guided meditations that take as little as 5 minutes of your time (which is sometimes all you can scrape together in those first few months of parenthood), as well as motivational talks and master classes tailored specifically to parenthood. Example topics include how to deal with impatience and develop better conflict resolution.
Price: Limited version is free, premium version requires a monthly or yearly subscription after a two-week free trial
This is a basic meditation app that caters to beginners, especially those who suffer from sleep deprivation (hello new parents!). After creating a profile and selecting a clear purpose behind your practice, you can choose to receive reminder notifications for the time of day you prefer to meditate.
“For any new parent, this little reminder could be the difference between creating a daily practice versus a more messy approach,” Thankey shares. “In addition to their guided meditations, there is a music and storytelling section, both created specifically to help calm the body, sleep and relax.”
There is also an entire section devoted to parenting with short courses including “Conscious Parenting” by Dr. Shefali Tsabary.
Taking the time to focus on your own self-care is crucial for parents at any stage.
Yes, finding the time and energy to invest in yourself can seem impossible when you spend so much time taking care of others. But luckily, there are a handful of meditation apps that make taking a moment of mindfulness for yourself a little easier.
It doesn’t matter how long you meditate, or if you think you’re “bad” at it. Just try it. Two minutes, five minutes – any amount of time you spend on your own health is time well spent.
- Health & Wellness
- become a father
- products and equipment
- HL Reviews