Mindfulness apps: the new way to meditate


Julia Kasabian ’21

Everyone gets stressed, especially teens. That’s a fact. Whether it’s about school, family or friends, teens have a lot of stress. According to a 2013 study from The American Psychological Association, a healthy level of stress in teens is a 3.9 out of ten. Teen’s actual stress levels were an average of 5.8. Teens need to find ways to relax and control their stress. Mindfulness meditation is a great way to combat stress and improve your all-around mental health.
Many ways to practice meditation are quick and easy, but one of the newer ways to do so is through mindfulness apps. There are hundreds of options to choose from. Which one works the best? I chose two apps to test: Simple Habit and Calm.
I started with the Simple Habit app. According to the app’s website, Simple Habit’s mission is to make people stress less and have an overall better, happier life. Simple Habit provides many different five minute meditation sessions. The app lets you pick a situation or feeling that you’re experiencing, then finds meditations to target them. This made the mindfulness experience much more personal, which made the meditation work better. I chose meditations for situations like “hard day,” “need a break” and “stressed out.”
After the meditation for dealing with stress, I felt much calmer. On the other hand, when I tried the meditation for a hard day, I felt much happier and at ease. The meditations focused mainly on deep breathing, which I enjoyed and thought were helpful in de-stressing.
Additionally, most meditations only require five minutes, so you don’t have to take too much time out of your day. Some of the meditations require a subscription, but I really enjoyed using the free meditations. I would absolutely use the app when I’m worrying about school and need to calm down. Overall, Simple Habit is a great way to relax and significantly decrease stress.
Next, I tried the Calm app. Calm provides many meditation sessions, as well as sleep help and calming sounds. It lets you choose what kind of meditation you want, like Simple Habit, but isn’t very specific in choosing the situation in which you would meditate. According to Calm’s website, you can try over 100 meditation sessions to help stress and anxiety levels, but most of these meditations aren’t accessible to users who don’t have a subscription. The meditations are often over 10 minutes, which can be very inconvenient.
The sessions I tried were spoken over ocean sounds, and I couldn’t really hear what the person leading the meditation was saying. The meditations weren’t calming whatsoever and made me feel bored bored instead of peaceful. I definitely wouldn’t use this app again and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking for a mindfulness app to use.
All in all, Simple Habit was by far the better app to use. It was easy, specific and extremely calming. It doesn’t require a lot of time and gets the job of de-stressing done perfectly. Stress is a huge problem for teens, but we can significantly reduce it with meditation. With mindfulness, we can connect to our best selves. Who wouldn’t want that?