July 02, 2018 Practice Management

Mindfulness 101: Mindfulness Apps for the Summer

By Melanie Bragg

My dear GPSolo eReport friends—there is no excuse over the summer to not see if you can delve more deeply into this mindfulness thing and check out the results we tell you about in our monthly columns. I promise that it will be totally worth your effort!

If you attended our Brown Bag podcast this month, you would have heard Success Coach and my good friend, Jack Canfield, talk to you about the process and the benefits. In future “Mindfulness 101” columns I will get further into of how you can make more money with mindfulness, but guess what? The podcast (“How to Achieve More and Stress Less”) has been posted to our Brown Bag Podcast Library in case you missed it (audio can be found here, and a written transcript here).

Jack is going to be with us at our 2018 YLD & GPSolo Fall Conference: Tradition Meets Innovation, in Charleston, South Carolina, this October 25 to 27. But what I want to do now is give you a rundown of some of the mindfulness apps out there that can make this journey super easy for you. I lifted some of the info below from the apps’ websites and added my comments. All are available for iOS on Apple’s App Store and for Android on the Google Play Store. In full disclosure, the only one I have done consistently for the past few years is Oprah & Deepak’s, but I recently got Calm and am really liking it. It’s good to have options and to keep it mixed up. Having an awesome app such as one of those below will really make this process easy for you. Mindfulness and meditation apps are great tools to help manage your anxiety, get better sleep, increase your focus, and cultivate mindful awareness. So, delve in for the summer and enjoy!! Deep breath in 1, 2, 3, 4....

Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience

(Home page link; App Store link; Google Play Store link)

Created by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra, the 21-Day Meditation Experience app is a workshop with readings and audio programs that gives a one-on-one feel to app users. This app promises that after completing the 21 days, you will be able to enjoy increased immunity, vitality, and overall well-being. It features a library of programs with varying topics such as manifesting your best life, managing time, creating fulfilling relationships, abundance, and the weight-loss journey. A built-in “virtual” journal to write in is included, with accompanying thought-provoking journal questions to anchor the day’s teachings. This creates a safe reflection space for users and is what sets this app apart from other programs. This app is completely free, with another program becoming accessible at 12 A.M. on each of the 21 days. I first learned to meditate with this app, and after my first 21-day free meditation experience the app advertised some of the programs on sale and I made the in-app purchase. It was very cost effective. Since then, I have done all the 21-day free experiences and have continued to purchase more content. (On sale, of course.) I have found that they are very thought provoking and instructional, and I love the virtual journal. I get great insights during the meditations, and it’s amazing what you can figure out and problem solve when you are “not thinking.” A new program is coming up soon, I believe, so check it out.

Calm

(Home page link; App Store link; Google Play Store link)

I just got this app a couple of weeks ago and am loving it already. It has a library of varied music that I can play as I write or work and a series of different types of meditations. They also offer words of wisdom and soothing sleep stories, and it was named the App Store Best of 2017 App of the Year. Calm promises to get you in the habit of exercising mindfulness and making app-guided meditations a relaxing part of your day. This app features “Daily Calm” sessions that offer you a sample from the premium-only programs, which cover topics such as choice, resilience, gratitude, impermanence, and letting go. The overall user experience sets this app apart; as soon as you open it up, soothing background noises and beautiful imagery appears. As noted by mindfulness coach Catherine Beard in her review (theblissfulmind.com), when using this app “I start to feel more relaxed before I’ve even started meditating.” Calm has a free version, which offers a lot of access, but for $12.99 a month you can upgrade to premium features and even more meditations to choose from. I went ahead and got the premium option for $59.99 a year, which comes out to $4.99 a month. About the cost of a latte. No sweat. My piece of mind is priceless.

Breethe

(Home page link; App Store link; Google Play Store link)

Breethe has been featured in Time Magazine, People Magazine, Forbes, and on Fox News as the mindfulness app that makes achieving peace of mind simple. Breethe promises to be the easiest way to meditate, making it so “even the most spirituality-averse person can get into” (People Magazine), and has earned hundreds of glowing reviews for being just that. This app includes access to daily meditations, aimed at tackling hard issues such as weight loss, insomnia, anxiety, work performance, and trouble sleeping. It also has a mindfulness program for kids to enforce good habits and rituals early on. Its guides are accompanied by playful quotes and words of inspiration throughout, making this app a true standout—anyone, with any amount of experience, can use this. Breethe is free, but to upgrade to premium membership (unlocking all content and feature for the duration of the subscription) it’s $12.99 per month or $89.99 per year. I have the free version of this one, and it looks much like Calm, so, for the price, I chose Calm and am keeping an open mind.

Headspace

(Home page link; App Store link; Google Play Store link)

Ranked #10 in “Health & Fitness” on the App Store and earning the “Editors’ Choice” Apple seal of approval, this app may truly be worth it’s price tag. Headspace promises it’s app will give you awareness during daily activities and will teach you the fundamental techniques of meditation and mindfulness. This app offers hundreds of guided meditations on everything from stress and sleep, to anxiety and relationships. Its special feature is it’s “SOS” sessions, which are available at any time for moments of panic, anxiety, and stress. Animations and minimalist design are what set this app apart from any other. Each page has a pleasing, carefully chosen color scheme that makes using this app a calming and enjoyable experience. Headspace has two auto-renewing subscription options, $12.99 per month or $94.99 per year. A subscription gives you access to the full meditation library, including training led by former monk and renowned mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe. For longtime users, there is also a “Forever” subscription option, which is a one-time payment of $399.99 for unlimited access to the Headspace Collection forever. I have heard about this one but have not ventured there yet. If you do, please let me know what you think. It’s gotten great reviews.

Simple Habit

(Home page link; App Store link; Google Play Store link)

Simple Habit is a meditation app for calm and sleep aimed at those with a busy lifestyle. This app promises that by doing its guided meditations for only five minutes a day, you can reduce stress, relax faster, improve your focus and sleep, breathe easier, and more. Simple Habit features the ability to track your personal progress, along with constant access to global guides from former monks and mindfulness experts at Google. The guided meditations that help you relax during specific life situations—such as waking up, commuting, and having a tough day at work—are what truly set this app apart. Simple Habit offers three auto-renewing premium subscription options: a monthly option for $11.99, and yearly option for $95.88, and an unlimited option for $299.99. What I like about this one is the ability to track your personal progress, too.

Make this fun summer count and do something new or delve deeper!

Combining some mindfulness practice every day with exercise, good rest, nutrition, and fun with loved ones will help you have the energy and the stamina to do the hard work we do each and every day, dealing with clients and problems and having all the challenges that go along with our chosen career. These apps make it simple and fast. I still like my own personal meditation tape that I just updated to help me make it through the busy year ahead, but I will use my Calm and 21-Day Meditation Experience apps, too.

Until next time . . . namaste. Please let me know if you have any tips, sources, or experiences with mindfulness you want to share at melanie@bragglawpc.com.

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”—Zen proverb

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Melanie Bragg has long enjoyed a reputation as one of Houston’s fiercest attorneys in her representation of children, the elderly, and mentally disadvantaged people. Her firm, Bragg Law PC, is a general civil firm in Houston, Texas. She also writes and produces legal education programs through Legal Insight, Inc. (founded by Bragg in 1993). Her writing credits include Crosstown Park, an Alex Stockton legal thriller, HIPAA for the General Practitioner, chapters in How to Capture and Keep Clients, 2nd Edition; Effortless Marketing: Putting Your Unique Qualities to Work, 2nd Edition; and The Conscious Lawyer: How the Practice of Mindfulness Will Increase Your Bottom Line, as well as the upcoming book, Defining Moments: Insights into the Lawyer’s Soul, to be published by the American Bar Association (ABA) Flagship Division. When she is not writing, Melanie devotes her time to her work as Chair-Elect of the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice (GPSolo) Division and to sharing ideas with fellow authors. She is interested in your feedback and ideas about how solos, small firms, military, and government lawyers can lead richer, happier lives and thereby improve the delivery of legal services to the public. Melanie can be reached at melanie@bragglawpc.com.