Complex Made Simple

Meditation, mindfulness, becoming big business

Mental health disorder issues such as anxiety, mood disorders, and mental stress are growing among various age groups. So are meditation apps

The global mindfulness meditation apps market is expected to reach $6.48 bn by 2027 The practice dates back to the 1500s BC, more specifically in India UAE companies are offering yoga classes to new Indian hires

When The Atlantic wrote about Calm being the most popular mindfulness app and one of the most popular apps in existence, I shrugged.

I looked it up and found that the global mindfulness meditation apps market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 48% from 2021-2027 to reach $6.48 bn by 2027.

Mental health disorder issues such as anxiety, mood disorders, and mental stress are growing among various age groups. 

According to Perkbox, 79% of the employed adults in 2020 were suffering from work-related stress. This value was 20% higher compared to 59% in 2018. Owing to this, a massive population is shifting towards mindfulness meditation apps to practice meditation in their daily hustle.

Diving into the Atlantic piece, I discovered that more than 100 million people now have Calm on their smartphones, I took a deep breath. Can’t help but notice big numbers coming out of the Coronavirus.

Calm promises to give the anxious, the depressed, and the isolated access to a huge variety of Zen content for $15 a month, $70 a year, or $400 for a lifetime. 

For that, its investors have valued the company at $2 billion. Big business.

So, let’s take a look. 

Why Calm?

According to the Atlantic article, Calm is blooming and now producing books, films, and streaming series, as well as $10 puzzles, $80 meditation cushions, and $272 weighted blankets

It is expanding its corporate partnerships, offering meditations on American Airlines flights and in UK Uber rides, in Novotel hotel rooms and at XpresSpas, and for employees of GE, 3M, and a number of other companies. It even has ambitions to move into hospitality, offering real-world oases to match its smartphone ones.

Meditation, for people who practice it, is one way to seek a healthy mind and body, from lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels, to improving moods and reducing anxiety and depression. 

It makes people more focused, more self-aware, more resilient, and happier too.  

The practice dates back to the 1500s BC, more specifically in India.  

“The meditation app is part of a mindfulness trend, which is part of a wellness trend,” says Ophelia Yeung, a senior research fellow at the Global Wellness Institute, who has estimated that “wellness” writ large is a $120 bn a year business.

Read: Virtual volunteering: Not just a good deed, but a must to boost employee morale

Exclusive: Time to wake up to the dangers of insomnia caused by new-age culprits

7 best meditation apps of 2021

According to verywellmind, the 7 best meditation apps of 2021 are as follows:

  1. Best Overall: Calm
  2. Best Budget: Insight Timer
  3. Best for Sleep: Headspace: Meditation & Sleep
  4. Best for Beginners: Ten Percent Happier Meditation
  5. Best Guided: Buddhify
  6. Best For Focus: Unplug
  7. Best Selection: Simple Habit 

A- Calm

The app really focuses on teaching you a variety of tools and using different modalities to help you stay centered throughout the day-to-day.

Their newest offering is Calm Body, which are 10-minute guided videos that teach gentle stretching to help you unwind. One of the best features is “Sleep Stories,” which feature bedtime stories read by the soothing voices of celebs.

B- Insight Timer

Insight Timer offers over 45,000 free meditations. The library allows you to filter by need (e.g. stress, sleep, self-esteem), time (from five minutes to 30+ minutes), or specific benefit (e.g. relationships, spiritual, kids).  

C- Headspace Meditation & Sleep

This app provides breathing exercises, sleep meditations, and wind-down practices.  

While the app is free, a subscription provides access to sleepcasts to help get your mind ready for sleep. 

D- Ten Percent Happier Meditation

This app will teach you the how-to behind meditating in a fun, easy, and accessible way. It’s suited for anyone, but especially those who think they’re “not the meditation type” and can’t find the time to start a meditation practice.

E- Buddhify

This app has a targeted meditation (over 200 of them).

It’s super easy to use and you can create your own “wheel” of meditation practices for quick access when you need them. Each one lasts four to 30 minutes, so you can find time to meditate no matter how swamped you are.  

F- Unplug

Unplug excels in guided meditations but also allows you to self-direct with unobtrusive timers and ambient sounds.  You can tackle their 30-day challenge to make meditation a daily habit for the long haul.

G- Simple Habit

To boost self-confidence, or shake off anxiety, Simple Habit has an extensive library of meditations, all cataloged and easy to find.  

One of the big perks of their premium subscription is that you can use the app offline.  

UAE mindfulness 

Heartfulness Foundation, Dubai, has initiated a ‘Yoga for Unity and Wellbeing’ program that is free for all entailing ‘100 Days of Yoga’, leading up to the International Day of Yoga on June 21, wherein participants can avail the benefits of yoga and meditation through the daily sessions designed to address the intricate internal issues of modern lifestyles.  

Also, UAE companies are offering yoga classes to new Indian hires. As flights are still suspended from India amidst a coronavirus outbreak, UAE companies hiring Indians are organizing yoga classes and meditation lessons in collaboration with well-being firms and hiring agencies to help these employees better deal with feelings of anxiety and loss back as India is where many homes, families or neighborhoods are drastically impacted by COVID-19’s newest variant.