Whether you’re looking to reduce stress a bit or spruce up your morning routine, meditation can be a helpful tool in carving the way. Although there are exceptional meditation apps for smartphones, I find the smartphone distracting during sessions. Fortunately, I have an Apple Watch that I can use to meditate efficiently and not get distracted by technology. If you are in the same boat as me, you would like these meditation and breathing apps for Apple Watch.
Meditation and breathing apps for Apple Watch
I would focus on the experience of apps based solely on the Apple Watch. As the iPhone counterparts of these apps offer many more features than the Apple Watch, it is beyond the scope of this article. Also, it would make more sense to compare the features offered only in the Apple Watch app. If you want to use meditation apps on both iPhone and Apple Watch, you can check out this article on the best meditation apps for iPhone.
Best breathing apps for Apple Watch
Right off the bat, Unwind is the simplest breathing app you can get for the Apple Watch. However, simple doesn’t mean bad, and relaxing proves it. It has three modes; morning, day and night they offer different breathing exercises. For example, the morning routine follows the inhale and exhale, the night routine adds a hold section in between, and the daily routine is a box breathing exercise. All exercises have haptic feedback and you can adjust the exercise time for each exercise.
Unwind is a free app and there are no features in the Apple Watch app that you have to pay for. However, there is a pro version that unlocks more features in the iPhone app.
- Three exercise modes
- Adjustable duration
- There is no way to add other exercise options in the app
Get Relax (free in-app purchases)
2. 3 minutes of mindfulness
3 Minute Mindfulness offers popular breathing exercises that you can control directly from your watch. There are a total of 6 different exercises including Box Breathing, Pranayama, Vital Breathing, Maternal Breathing, 4-7-8, and Equal Breathing. The application does not need to be connected to the iPhone, as it can work independently. It also allows you to customize each exercise according to your preferences.
For example, you can change the duration of the exercise and control how long or short each repetition should be. On top of that, in-app haptic feedback creates separate feedback for each cycle to allow you to focus on your breathing without even looking at your watch.
3 Minute Mindfulness is a free application that costs a monthly subscription of $ 6.99 per month on the iPhone to unlock the 6 exercise modes on the Apple Watch. You can start with a 7-day free trial to test the fit of the app.
- Haptic feedback
- Customize the exercises on the Watch itself
- 6 exercise modes
- No audio commentary
- No more exercises can be downloaded to the application.
Get 3 minutes of mindfulness (free in-app purchases)
3. Box Breathe
Box Breathe is another breathing app for Apple Watch that allows you to do breathing exercises effectively. Although the name implies an exercise, you can customize each section in the application itself. The box breathing technique basically consists of dividing a complete breathing cycle into four parts, namely: inhale, hold, exhale and hold. You can keep the four parts the same length or change it according to your preference. Once created, the preset is saved in the Watch app and can be accessed with one tap.
The haptic notifies you every cycle and you can enable the second haptic, which would make the app work every second like a metronome. This would help you count your session without looking at the clock. Box Breathe is a paid app that costs $ 1.99.
- Customize each part of the respiratory cycle
- Different haptics for inhaling and exhaling.
- metronome to count seconds
- Basically just one breathing exercise that can be customized in different manually
Get Box Breathe ($ 1.99, in-app purchases)
4. Wim Hof method
Wim Hof, also known as the Iceman, has a super popular breathing technique known as the Wim Hof method. The Apple Watch app lets you practice that breathing exercise where you can monitor your heartbeat and add the results to your health data. The application is really simple and has only one button to start and end the round. The application interface also shows the current heart rate during exercise, which is good.
The Wim Hof Method app is free on the App Store.
- Show and sync your heart rate with the Health app
- Easy to follow audio instructions
- No haptic feedback during the hold cycle.
Get Wim Hof method (free in-app purchases)
Best Meditation Apps for Apple Watch
Moving on to the meditation apps, Breethe is a meditation app that gives you a meditation audio track for each scenario. The Apple Watch app has six meditation modes: start your day, enrich your trip, focus on work, take a break, and go to sleep. Each meditation mode has multiple audio lessons and brings you a new meditation guide a day. Not just audio lessons, but the modes also have special music to help you focus or relax without any voice-overs.
Guided meditation lessons work well on the watch, but you’ll need to connect AirPods or any Bluetooth headset to start a session. You can adjust the volume, pause, search forward and backward fifteen seconds with the onscreen controls. The audio lessons are of high quality and professionally recorded with ominous music in the background.
While the audio lessons don’t change, you get a new lesson every day. The app has over 1500 such lessons that you can get by subscribing for $ 12.99 / month.
- 6 meditation modes
- Guard controls
- The iPhone app doesn’t need to work
- Requires an audio headset connected to Apple Watch to function
Get Breethe (free in-app purchases)
6. Ten percent happier
Ten Percent Happier, as the name implies, is a mindfulness and meditation app that aims to improve your mood. The Apple Watch app has three categories of meditation: quick taps, conversations, and daily dose. Whereas Quick Hits and Talks has a series of little audio lessons that you can listen to when you have a little time during the day and the daily dose is a ten minute long audio clip.
All audio lessons are high quality and have a more robust voiceover that feels like normal conversation rather than divine lesson. If you’re not in the mood for audio, you can start a timer from within the app and fly by yourself in complete silence. Ten Percent Happier is free on the App Store and costs $ 9.99 to unlock the entire library which has over 500 topics covering anxiety, stress, focus, parenting, etc.
- Built-in timer for silent meditation
- Daily Suggestion of Audio Lessons
- Audio headphones required to listen
- There is no option to add new audio lessons or clips to the watch
Get Ten percent happier (free in-app purchases)
Sattva takes you back to the ancient roots of meditation and offers selected meditation sessions. The app on Apple Watch works in conjunction with the iPhone app, which means you can bookmark a lesson in the iPhone app and it will appear in the watch app. Then you can listen to the lessons on your watch by pairing AirPods or any other Bluetooth headset. This is much better than the other apps because you get full control of the content that you can put on the watch. Not only that, any content that is played on the iPhone can be controlled with the watch.
Apart from that, the clock app also has a timer for silent meditation sessions and you can add those minutes to the existing data. Sattva has a huge catalog of Vedic mantras and chants that can help you meditate. The app is free to use, but some of the content is locked behind a paywall that can be removed with the $ 12.99 / month subscription.
- Set a timer for silent meditation
- Add any lesson to your watch from the iPhone app
- Control meditation lesson on iPhone with watch
- The app is not optimized for the clock and is sometimes unresponsive
Get Sattva (free in-app purchases)
Meditopia is a sophisticated meditation app due to its content and implementation. The clock app displays a selected list of meditation clips tailored to your needs. When you sign up and create an account using iPhone, the watch app syncs and searches for relevant content. You can listen to relaxing music, meditation lessons, or mindfulness stories that appear on the clock.
It is the only app with a profile page that collects statistics and displays information such as Aware Minutes, Weekly Usage, Total Sessions, and Current Streak. Also, you can browse the app and watch without stopping your current session. Meditopia gives you access to thousands of meditations in 9 languages with a subscription of $ 9.99 per month.
- The Watch application calculates statistics and displays them within the application.
- Background music can be played.
- Option to favorite service meditations.
- No option to control iPhone meditation session
Get Meditopia (free in-app purchases)
What is the best meditation app for Apple Watch?
These were some of the best breathing and meditation apps for Apple Watch. I divided the list into two parts because the breathing apps do a fantastic job of helping you to be alert and relaxed.
On the other hand, 3 Minute Mindfulness does a good job of helping you exercise your breathing. Meditopia is my choice as a meditation app because it has a great interface and features that make it a pleasant experience.
I didn’t mention Calm, Insight Timer, and Headspace because they don’t offer much value in the Apple Watch apps. Those are good meditation apps for iPhone and they are recommended, but I don’t recommend them specifically for Apple Watch. If you are already subscribed to any of these, use the Apple Watch app as well. What do you think? Let me know on Twitter.
Read also: Top 8 Apple Watch Timer Apps (2021)