Many of those who hear about meditation but don’t know where to start, turn to meditation apps. But are they actually worth it?
Does the meditation become more “high quality” when you use a meditation app? There’s no doubt that meditation can have a positive impact on your life.
And there isn’t one meditation that fits everyone, but in general, depending on the person, meditation apps can actually be worth it.
Especially if you’re starting out with guided meditation, meditation apps are a great way to get into it.
Not everyone feels as confident when they are starting to meditate to the point where they can do it on their own. We all have the capacity to do it on our own, but it’s just the confidence that’s missing for some.
The Benefit Of Using Meditation Apps
If you’re one of those that need the extra push to start meditating, meditation apps can be the way to go for you. Some will benefit from the accountability, and even if we aren’t directly interacting with, let’s say, a guided meditation, we can feel like it’s speaking directly to us.
One of the sensations that are commonly experienced during meditation is a spiritual connection. Perhaps you form a spiritual bond with the guru who teaches you to meditate or a particular technique of meditation.
Generally, this can be a good thing if you want to be handheld. You can even start experiencing the benefits of guided meditation relatively quickly, as compared to going on your own.
That’s not to say that going on your own is bad. In fact, it’s the most “natural” way but can also be the hardest. In the end, you know yourself better than anyone else and there are meditations that are designed to tackle specific parts of your life in order to help you improve certain aspects.
When you meditate on your own, you may miss the direction where you want the meditation to head for that reason. Even if I’ve never heard anyone regret a meditation they’ve done on their own.
But the good thing about a meditation app is that it’s in one place, while others launch a movie streaming app as their day-to-day habit, you launch your meditation app and in a way, could help you to create some sort of routine. In that sense, it’s another case where meditation apps can be worth it if they create that routine in you.
One of the hardest parts about meditation isn’t necessarily starting, but sticking with the practice. So if you want to stay on track, and be guided all the way, meditation apps can be highly beneficial.
Is It Worth The Cost?
Some meditation apps cost money. That’s just how things work in a capitalist system. That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with that, but generally, you can find the same material you find on meditation apps through YouTube, completely for free.
The downside is that it’s not as well organized as a meditation app. In a meditation app, you’re restricted to choice, whereas with free videos, you may not know whether you make the right choice.
Additionally, you may be bothered by the ads ruining the meditation experience for you, unless you pay a premium which ultimately would give an equivalent cost to meditation apps to begin with, and it defeats the purpose.
Now, you don’t have to pay for meditation apps to do meditation successfully. Some may feel that because they pay, they have even more accountability and are more likely to stick with something they put their money in.
In that sense, despite the cost, it can be worth it. Is it worth paying anywhere from $10 to $100 a year (possibly even more in some rare cases) if the cost means that it could change your life for the better? I think for a handful of individuals, the answer is gonna be yes. But there are meditation apps that are completely free. Even audio tracks of guided meditation.
But the fact of the matter is that because meditation can change your life to the degree it does, meditation has become quite lucrative for many teachers. Either teaching through apps or through coaching sessions. And there’s nothing wrong with that, in the end, it’s the impact it has that matters.
So, depending on how keen you are on sticking with meditation and experiencing other types of meditation, paying for an app or coaching can be worth it. But trust me, you can absolutely experience all the benefits of meditation without ever having to pay a cent to anyone for it. I’ve personally never paid for a meditation app.
Why Do People Resort to Meditation Apps?
It’s no surprise that many want to learn from a grand guru. Someone that seems to have all the answers, and that’s no exception when it comes to meditation apps.
Those apps tend to have a reputation of people changing their lives, and even particular teachers being able to do so. Social proof is generally a big reason why many choose either a meditation app or a meditation coach.
If people are choosing a certain product, there’s a good reason behind it. Another reason people gravitate to meditation apps is that it’s one of the easiest ways to get started.
Few to no things go wrong when you’re guided through step-by-step instructions and you start experiencing the intended benefit of said meditation.
While I’ve never paid for meditation apps, when I first started out, I started with guided meditation, because I thought it was the “correct” way to go. But there are just so many flavors of meditation, in terms of what each is intended to achieve.
Many coincide with calmness but some are more tailored to improving focus than others. But to some degree, no matter which meditation you pick, you tend to see substantial changes if you stick with the practice.
The Downside Of Using Meditation Apps
Meditation apps are great, but there’s one downside that many would overlook, and that is being dependent on others, or an app to feel like it’s the only means to achieve the benefits of meditation.
We all have the capacity to meditate, and therefore, there’s no need to externalize into an object or someone else. The more the meditation comes from within, the more natural it feels.
I say this because back in 2014, I used to listen to a certain meditation without fail, on a certain site, until they removed it. And when they did, I felt like something was taken away from me, and having a feeling of voidness.
Now, that’s unlikely to happen but the point is that we don’t have to externalize something we can produce on our own, such as feel-good sensations and calmness, when these are things we can find within.
In that sense, it gives you more independence to meditate on your own as compared to meditation apps.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people that always use meditation apps and keep doing it, and continue for years, even throughout their entire meditation life.
Should You Go For Meditation Apps When You Start?
If you’re currently using an app to meditate and refuse to do anything else because that works for you, keep doing that. But if you’re open to trying meditation on your own, meditation apps can get you started, and then help you pivot to self-meditation.
That’s what I did personally. Whether you go at it on your own or through an app, you’re likely to experience the same benefits over the long hall.
Doing it by yourself may take you longer to experience those same benefits, but it can well be worth it. But you don’t have to feel like you don’t make any progress because you choose to go for the unguided route.