Nowadays there is an app for everything, and anything. Apps that promise to get their users into their daily routines, help them lose weight, control their ﬁnances, learn a new language, look for a dog sitter – the list goes on. But one of the most popular terms we have heard in the past years, especially 2018, was mindfulness: the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be cultivated through practices like meditation.
Of course, it being the 21st century, app stores have been booming with interesting apps promising users ways to combat their anxiety, get better sleep, increase their focus, manage their weight, improve their sleeping habits and much more. Yet, for the ones who have not yet jumped on the ship yet and tried one of the US-based market leaders in meditation such as Calm and Headspace which have already gained a huge following – do not worry, their European counterparts are not to be underestimated.
Compiled below, find the 10 most exciting European apps for mindfulness, meditation, relaxation, stress reduction, and peaceful sleep.
Flowvr – This new meditation app delivers highly effective guided mediations using virtual reality to provide a more immersive experience. The co-founders Tristan Elizabeth Gribbin and Póra Björk Elvadsdóttir from Iceland have designed the app to give immediate access to mediation’s endless beneﬁts on the user’s very ﬁrst try. To use the app, however, you’ve got to first have access to VR goggles such as a Samsung Gear VR headset or Oculus Go. The startup also offers corporate workshops for reducing employee stress.
The Meditation Company – Founded in 2017, this startup’s app, Meditopia, provides guided meditations, music and contemplative content in a therapeutic context to improve mental wellbeing. The Berlin-based startup founded by Fatih Mustafa Çelebi provides a meditation diary as well as a collection of over 250 meditations and relaxation tracks, including specific guided meditations for themes such as compassion, deep sleep, gratitude, body awareness, stress relief, self-confidence, and motivation. The company has raised $660k to date.
7mind – This German mindfulness app helps integrate the practice of meditation into users’ daily lives. The app counts more than 750,000 users across Europe, offers the product in three languages so far (German, French and Dutch), and provides an easy access to meditation for everyone, from beginners to experienced meditators. The product is scientiﬁcally tested and proven, and the meditations have been created together with experts, including renowned Zen-teacher and entrepreneur Paul J. Kohtes, mind and body scientist Prof. Dr. Med. Tobias Esch, and Jonathan Lehmann.
Pop & Rest – Founded in London in 2015, Pop & Rest is a platform that allows busy travellers, workers, and party-goers to book private spaces (or “pods”) to relax, nap, or meditate in the city. Users can book the pods – which are scented with lavender and equipped with ear plugs and eye masks – for periods of 30 minutes to 4 hours to have a rest – for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. Though only a few pods are currently available in the city, Pop & Rest is looking to expand into more locations, creating “oases of peace” throughout London, and has plans to develop a mobile app for easy booking.
Samten – One of the “new kids on the block” when it comes to mindfulness apps, this UK-based startup provides mindfulness for daily life, with the meditations on the app guided by none other than the Tibetan Buddhist monk Gelong Thubten. It offers 5 to 10 minute sessions, a 30-day challenge, and the opportunity to meditate with other family members. According to Samten, it reinvests 50% of its proﬁts back into projects that promote mindfulness and wellbeing.
Asana Rebel – For those who find meditation difficult, yoga is a great way to clear your mind while moving your body. This Berlin-based startup founded by Pascal Klein and Robin Pratap in 2015 is a yoga and ﬁtness app that promises their users a “gentle way to get in shape”. It is available in six languages and has been featured multiple times by Apple and Google and rated one of the top ﬁtness apps currently on the market. By practising yoga through the app, you can get your daily exercise, relax, and cultivate mindfulness all at once.
Yocalm – An online wellness platform for the corporate world, this startup offers yoga, meditation, and relaxation courses via audio and video to improve employee wellbeing. Based in the UK, Yocalm provides easy solutions for self help and discovery with sessions ranging from 3 to 90 minutes.
DeepH – This startup encourages its users to lives by the 3 H’s: Health, Happiness, and Harmony. In addition to its meditation timer, the app offers solutions for health monitoring, including factors such as steps walked, calories burned, weight, sleep patterns, and blood pressure to reduce stress and prevent chronic disease. Based in Vienna, Austria, and founded by Olga Pavuka and Jelena Gvozdecka, the startup then analyses its users’ data and generates individual feedback.
Jinglow – This customisable mindfulness app allows the user to record their own voice and pair it with soothing background sounds. The UK-based startup offers guided meditations, a large library of sounds and is perfect for stress relief, and a great companion for optimised sleep. The app plans to launch on iOS and Android in early 2019.
Mind Hero – This German startup based in Hamburg offers guided relaxations for calming down in difﬁcult situations, handling stress, releasing pain and re-energizing. The pro for using this product is that the founders state, that while using Mind Hero its users need to do absolutely nothing in order to relax – just listen to one of its 20+ audio tracks. They don’t ask one to focus on something particular, sit in a certain position, repeat any mantras, nor visualise anything. They ask you to “just be”, which can be more difficult than it seems, as our bodies and minds tend to be in a 24/7 state of tension.
If you try an app and it does not seem right for you, don’t hesitate to choose another. Especially when it comes to mental health and wellbeing it is a trial-and-error process and in the end you will benefit from finding one that works for you.