If you've never managed to meditate this iPhone app might help

Screenshots of the Balance app from the Apple App Store.
With a super simple interface, Balance could be your new favorite meditation app. (Image credit: Apple App Store / Balance App)

The Balance app logo from the Apple App Store

(Image credit: Balance App / Apple App Store)

iPhone - Free (in-app purchases)

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I've always thought that finding the best meditation app for you is a really personal experience. Which means that although I can confidently recommend Headspace if you're new to meditation, Waking Up if you've been doing it a while and Calm if you want soothing soundscapes and 'sleep stories' too, if you don't like the interface of these apps, the style of guidance or the voice soothing you into a meditative state, then they won't work for you. 

So if you've already tried my top three favorites already – Calm, Headspace and Waking Up – and none of them have hit the spot, then I have a new suggestion for you, the Balance iPhone app.

Balance is a meditation app that may look incredibly simple thanks to its super minimal design, but it's packed with loads of different guided meditations, long meditation plans, soundscapes and much more.

Why Balance is one of the best meditation apps

When you first sign up for Balance you need to answer a bunch of questions about your goals – like reducing stress and improving focus – so that the app can personalize your experience and serve up the best meditations for you. 

You'll then see a plan at the top of your main homescreen that you can work through  each day. You're even served up a little calendar that helps you see your progress and track streaks.

But you'll also find plenty more generic daily meditations to choose from, as well as super specific ones to help you deal with emotions and circumstances in the moment, like 'walking', 'energize' and 'concentrate'.

There's a dedicated section called 'sleep', too, which is packed with sleep-specific meditations, whether you want one dedicated to a gratitude practice, daytime naps, getting to sleep or getting back to sleep if you wake up in the night. 

You'll also find 'sleep journeys' in this section, which aren't as extensive as Calm's 'sleep stories' but are a more affordable alternative. For poor sleepers, there are also a range of different noise colors, like white, brown and pink, as well as ambient sounds, including forest, ocean and rain.

One of the things I like the most about Balance is that you only pay as much as you can for the first year. Balance's creators make it clear that it costs the team $63/£63 to keep you up and running during that time, so if you can afford that much, pay it. But otherwise you can choose to pay nothing or a much smaller amount. This is a really admirable way of giving everyone access to a valid wellbeing tool. 


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Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.