With so much going on in the world right now, we could all use something to help us feel calmer. Thankfully,
Meditation is a technique that’s been used for thousands of years to develop awareness of the present moment. It can involve practices to sharpen focus and attention, connect the body and breath, develop acceptance of difficult emotions, and even alter consciousness.
However, starting the practice of meditating can feel daunting. With so many apps, tools, and devices out there, it can be hard to sift through what you actually need to make your meditation journey successful.
We polled our editors who meditate to find out what helps them connect with their bodies and minds. Here are their recommendations to get you started.
“This yoga mat is not too firm, but also not too soft. It’s supportive and comfortable — and it makes me feel supported and safe when I meditate or practice deep breathing.
It comes in different color options and is also eco-friendly and biodegradable, so I feel like I’m taking care of the Earth in a small way when I meditate on it.” — Christy Snyder, editor II, Healthline
“I’ve practiced yoga lead by Julie Aiello both in-person and virtually, and through her company Outdoor Yoga SF on the beaches of San Francisco. I have friends who have gone on her yoga retreats and have been doing her small meditation groups. In some cases, it’s helped them feel grounded to have the same people to return to.
“Based on those experiences, I highly recommend her meditation group. But it’s really about any group you can join or create, if a sense of accountability, community, or live guidance is what helps you with meditating.” — Candice Abellon, senior editor, Healthline
“I love having specific scents or aromatherapy tools that I only use for when I’m meditating or relaxing. To me, it kind of signifies to my brain that it’s time to wind down or decompress.
“I light this candle when I’m meditating, and it’s a pretty scent (charcoal and tonka) that isn’t too overwhelming.” — Melissa Lee, editor I, Healthline
- Price: free trial, $ per month
“Before using Peloton Meditation, I wasn’t really someone who could just sit still (I’m a bit of a multitasker). I tried Peloton Meditation during an all-company movement challenge, and 2 years later, I’m still hooked.
“Chelsea Jackson Roberts, my favorite meditation coach, helps me really tune out the noise and focus on an intention. It helps that the music she uses and her voice are both so soothing. The 10-minute Sleep Meditation is a personal fave for my nightly wind-down.” — Anne Arntson, senior copy editor, Healthline
“The research behind essential oils is complicated, but what a lot of researchers have found is that there’s definitely a
“This lavender essential oil roll-on helps clear my mind and allows me to sink deeper into my meditation. I just roll it onto my neck and wrists and breathe deeply. It’s also great for anyone who might have pets that are sensitive to essential oils, because it won’t diffuse the scent throughout the room.” — Jen Anderson, copy editor, Healthline
“The meditation cushion is a practical tool for meditating that helps prevent my legs falling asleep. There’s nothing more distracting while you meditate than suddenly going numb!
I like this one because it’s affordable and the sea glass color is my jam.” — Crystal Hoshaw, special projects editor, Healthline
“A meditation bench is another great option for pins and needles or for those who need an alternative to sitting cross-legged. This allows you to sit in a comfortable hero pose without putting pressure on your knees.
I prefer the teak folding version because it’s high quality wood and easy to store.” — Hoshaw
“I love this little clock as my alarm clock and my meditation timer. It has the option of a single-chime bell or a multi-chime bell, both of which are calm and soothing.
It also has a timer setting so you can sit in meditation and conclude with the bell sound. There’s also a ‘screen hide’ setting so you don’t peek!” — Hoshaw
“The [email protected] app has been foundational for me to build core mindfulness muscles, and also integrate mindfulness into my work rhythms.
“They have practices specifically categorized by key meditation fundamentals (in learning series), mood, and work scenarios. This has also supported my work-life balance over the last 4 years.” — Anthony Machi, senior associate, Medical News Today
“The Radical Self-Care series created by Lama Rod Owens on the Calm app has been healing for me.
Lama Rod’s vulnerability and wisdom in this series has supported me in being present with my natural body, breath, and mind — and embracing myself there. I really have loved this series and practice it often.” — Machi