Why Are Meditation Apps So Popular? Analyzing Their Growth

April 5, 2024

It feels like today we have mobile applications for every purpose: To control our smart homes and cars, watch movies and shows, and even track our sleep overnight. One category has caught our attention for a closer examination, given that we observe a growing trend in its popularity, and that is meditation apps, of course. Even if you are not into it, you might have heard about the platforms like Headspace, Cal, Ten Percent Happier, etc. They advertise their services heavily, emphasizing the fact that mental wellness cannot be compromised and it does matter. These campaigns are, in fact, effective, as the statistics show that 15% of all app downloads belong to meditation and wellness apps, which speaks loudly about the growing demand.

To be honest, everyone’s stressed these days, right? Just think about your own life for a second: Work deadlines looming, bills piling up, worries about family and health – it’s no wonder a recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 84% of adults in the United States have experienced at least one symptom of stress in the past month. That’s a lot of stressed-out people!

Don’t get this wrong, there is no problem with being stressed since that’s what our world looks like today. Luckily, meditation and wellness apps offer a way to at least combat that stress in a convenient and accessible way, and they have several factors contributing to their growth and demand curve in the market.

A good alternative to entertainment options

Everyone loves some ways of entertainment, from music streaming to playing online games. Moreover, those who enjoy gaming, find it as an accelerator to their creative thinking abilities. We can just bring the example of poker games, which are full of strategic challenges. Finding yourself in a situation where you need to make a decision and come up with a winning solution is truly exciting. People who play Texas Hold’em online on digital platforms, enjoy the game as a distraction from daily routine and an immersive variant for entertainment.

Strategic games do have the ability to keep the balance between entertainment and pushing the brain to work creatively. However, there are times when we might crave a different kind of downtime – moments when we want to step away from active engagement and seek a deeper sense of calm. It’s in these circumstances that meditation apps shine. Here’s how they broaden our options:

  • Recharging Your Batteries Differently: Entertainment often involves stimulation and external input. Meditation apps offer a chance to recharge by turning inward, offering an alternative focus and relaxation practice.
  • Mindful Breaks: Instead of reaching for your phone out of habit, meditation apps provide short sessions to re-center yourself. A 5-minute breathing exercise can work wonders for your focus and reduce any negative feelings.
  • Practicing Presence: Entertainment can sometimes be a way to escape the present moment. Meditation helps cultivate a deeper appreciation for the here and now – a valuable skill that can enhance all aspects of your life.
  • Improved Sleep: While some enjoy winding down with shows or light reading, meditation apps offer sleep-focused content designed to optimize your sleep quality.

Many of them are affordable

If you are curious about meditation but worry about the cost, don’t! Meditation apps are surprisingly affordable. Many offer free trials or basic plans so you can dip your toes in without spending a dime.

Even those fancy premium subscriptions are usually way cheaper than things like therapy sessions (which can easily run $100-$200) or a relaxing spa day (think $300 or more). Most meditation apps have introductory offers and then charge somewhere between $5 and $15 per month. There are options offering a whole year of free subscription, like The Balance App.

Beyond prices, most of the platforms allow you to download the content to have it accessible anytime, so when you are on a plane or traveling, those guided sessions are always one click away.

The potential to become more immersive

As technology brings new products to the market, we expect wellness applications to grow fast into another dimension of immersive experiences. Virtual reality can boost the relaxing effect those platforms are supposed to ensure by transferring the users to a different reality. We have already seen companies introduce their refreshed apps, such as Calm presenting the innovative version of their app, ready to be accessed with Oculus Go.

These days, meditation apps adopt different strategies as well, to be compatible with VR experiences. Understanding their main features and options to make those immersive is another factor for the growth. If some platforms offer voice meditation, others simply integrate visuals promising to transport the users to another environment, where they can achieve full mindfulness based on sounds and pictures as well.

Mental wellness has become important

A decade or two ago, discussions about mental health often carried a hushed, unspoken stigma since admitting to feeling stressed, anxious, or simply “not okay” could feel uncomfortable or even shameful for some. Thankfully, times are changing, and meditation apps have their portion of the responsibility in altering people’s attitudes toward mental health. There have also been several campaigns by celebrities and athletes who spoke out about well-being other than physical. Truly, physical health is not unimportant, but many of us finally have accepted that there is no physical health without mental well-being.

In fact, research continues to demonstrate the strong link between these two, proving the viewpoint that neglecting our mental well-being has real, negative consequences for our overall quality of life. So, it’s no longer surprising to hear someone say they’re taking a “mental health day” from work or discuss their meditation practice with the same ease they talk about their gym routine. This shift is encouraging. While we still have a long way to go in propagating the importance of mental health and providing adequate support systems, the mere fact that we’re talking about it and even using digital platforms for mental health practice is a huge step forward.

You may also like