I have been wanting to compile a list of meditation resources for a long time. Meditation has become an everyday tool I use to manage anxiety, connect with myself and my spiritual life, and live more fully.
One of my dreams is to eventually create a library of free guided meditations on this blog! However, until then, I created this list of meditation resources I have used over the years to cultivate my own meditation practice. Included are apps, books, global organizations, and YouTube videos. With no further ado, here is my ultimate list of meditation resources!
Headspace was the first meditation resource I discovered. I was a sophomore in college trying to find a way to quiet my mind and fall asleep amid all the chaos and stress of college life, and I'm sure you can relate to the challenge of unwinding when trying to fall asleep too. Headspace is a great tool to introduce meditation if you're a beginner. They have a free 10-day meditation package called Basics in which you do a series of 10 minute daily meditations for 10 days. Each day builds upon the prior day. The speaker explains how to deal with unwanted thoughts and feelings that arise to help keep you focused and to not give up, which is why I think this is a phenomenal tool to use starting out. Instead of being told to silently meditate on your own, you'll be guided throughout the meditation to teach you how to train your mind into a more peaceful mental space. After the 10-day basics meditation, you can sign up for a free trial. To access the hundreds of hours of meditation on different topics like anxiety, sleep and so on you have to pay for their subscription. I only use the free version and sometimes check in to see the meditation of the day, which you can get without subscribing!
You will find a huge library of guided meditations on every subject imaginable. You can easily search for topics as well to find the perfect fit for you. For example, if an emotion comes up during the day, I can search "fear" "anger" or whatever I'm wanting to let go of to find the right meditation for the situation. They also provide multiple day courses to learn specific breathing techniques or training to live more mindfully. This app is a great resource for new and well-established meditators. If you are more established in your meditation practice and just want a timer, they offer a variety of meditative sounds you can use to set a timer. Once you find the sounds that are your favorite, you can save them as a preset, so you don't have to set it up every time - pretty convenient! Premium access unlocks more meditations and courses. However, you get so much for the free option, I've never upgraded!
This is an app created by The Art of Living, which I'll share more about below! Sattva is an app I use almost daily. You'll find a collection of guided meditations, how to use mudras, audio clips on nuggets of wisdom, chants, beautiful instrumental/meditative music, and meditation challenges. You can pay for premium access; however, I've never found it necessary since I get so much from the free version. The two sections I use the most are the guided meditations and instrumental/meditative music. I love listening to the music as an alternative to listening to the radio in the morning. If you are new to meditation, check out the 3 Day Beginner's Meditation Challenge under the challenge section.
This app is created by Heartfulness, another organization I will share more about below! In HeartsApp you'll find a guided meditation, guided cleaning, guided relaxation and a large library of videos on wisdom. You can even request a trainer to guide you in a meditation through the app for free. These meditations are less guided and meeting with a trainer to understand how to do the cleaning and meditation is helpful!
Books on Meditation
Wherever You Go There You Are - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn is someone I studied during undergrad while working towards my minor in Integrative Approaches to Health and Wellness, and it makes sense why! He is well known as a leader in the area of mindfulness meditation. He's a professor of medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School and founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He's written many books on mindfulness meditation and the mind/body connection in healing. I read his book Wherever You Go, There You Are in college and would recommend it! He also wrote a book called Mindfulness for Beginners. I have not read it. However, the reviews applaud his work as extremely helpful for someone new to mindfulness.
The Book of Joy - Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams
This is one of my top favorite books and one of the few I have taken pages of notes! The book is by the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams. It talks about how to find lasting joy in life and meditation is a huge topic of discussion. They share multiple guided meditations on topics such as anger, compassion, how to do a walking meditation and more. I would highly recommend reading this book! It is filled with so much knowledge and insight on how to live life fully and intentionally.
Global Organizations Teaching Mindfulness
The Art of Living
The Art of Living came into my life around the same time I started using headspace during my sophomore year of college. I credit the solid foundation to my daily meditation practice to Art of Living. If you are in college and interested in meditation, see if "Sky" is a club/organization on campus. Sky is the university program run by Art of Living. I have learned multiple ways to meditate, breathing techniques, yoga and best of all gained an incredible community through this organization. Art of Living is in 156 countries and provides meditation sessions, retreats/workshops, and so many other opportunities. They even perform research on the effects of meditation, yoga and their breathing techniques on the body.
Check out Art of Living
I have recently been getting to know Heartfulness. Since I have moved back home and away from Art of Living, I have been attending group and one-on-one meditation sessions with Heartfulness. They focus on the heart during meditation. Whereas, Art of Living focuses more on the breath. Both are great approaches to meditation and useful. Heartfulness is in 130 countries with thousands of volunteer trainers all over the world. If Heartfulness is established near you, attend three of their introductory meditation sessions, where they teach you how to meditate by focusing on your heart. Then you can meet weekly with them and even use the app to have a trainer guide you in meditation. I love that you can be anywhere in the world and use your phone to have a trainer guide you in meditation - definitely helpful if you travel a lot! They have also conducted research on the benefits of heart-based meditation on health and well-being.
Check out Heartfulness
Meditation YouTube Videos
The Honest Guys: They have great guided meditations and relaxing music for background noise or for meditating.
Michael Sealey: He creates hypnosis and guided meditation videos. Hypnosis is a way to help you deeply relax and release tension - not anything crazy!
Hay House: Hay House was founded by Louise Hay, a top author in self-help. The link will take you to their library of content on YouTube.
Madeline Reinhart: She may not be as well-known as the others, but I really like her guided meditations; they always have great visualizations, which is something I love!
Starting a Home Meditation Practice
Below is a free meditation resource I created for anyone starting a home meditation practice. It outlines 5 tips for starting and maintaining a home practice. I love to meditate first thing in the morning, and this guide is based off my early days of learning how to meditate. Feel free to print this meditation guide and hang it on bedroom mirror or your refrigerator for accountability or pass along to anyone else you know interested in learning how to meditate! Hope you find it helpful 🙂
Well, that sums up my ultimate list of meditation resources! I will update it as I learn more tools. I hope you feel empowered to make more time for self-care! I love hearing about more meditation or mindfulness tools, so comment below if you know of any other resources!