Best Guided Meditations For Beginners

A Free Guide To Learn How to Meditate

In this, in-depth article, we will show you the best-guided meditations for beginners. Meditating can give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and overall health. Studies show that meditation changes both the function and structure of the brain in many beneficial ways.

an illustration woman meditating lotus leaf and best guided meditations for beginners.

This daily practice can help treat pain, addiction, anxiety disorders, and depression. But it also helps you get in a really good mood and start your day off right.

According to a study by researchers at Yale, meditation helps people deal with physical pain and negative emotions. And that mindfulness — the awareness and acceptance of a situation without judgment — has been shown to have benefits in treating many conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Meditation is the new medicine. As the name says, guided meditation allows you to be guided by someone else. A guided teacher will take you through the meditation step by step. So all you have to do is breathe, relax, and let your mind go. Keep reading for our curated list of the best-guided meditations for beginners.

5 Reasons You Should Meditate

  • Reduces  stress
  • Helps you deal with anxiety and helps you feel more present
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Reduces negative emotions
  • Strengthens self-esteem

The Difference Between Guided and Unguided Mediations

When starting a meditation practice, the first question you should ask yourself is if you want it to be a guided or unguided practice.

Guided meditation describes a type of meditation led by a teacher. A narrator or teacher explains the dynamics and techniques and guides you to integrate all the techniques.

Unguided meditation (also called silent meditation), allows the practitioner to customize ways in which they would like to meditate on their own. *If you are starting this journey I recommended trying guided meditation.

Think about when you want to learn something new. If you want to learn how to play tennis, you hire a  tennis coach to give you lessons, when you want to learn a new language you should work with a teacher or tutor, and when you want to lose weight, you guessed it—hire a  nutritionist.

When learning something new, it’s always best to have an expert there to guide you through it all and hold your hand every step of the way. So try a guided meditation through an amazing app like Insight Timer which is totally free by the way.

You have nothing to lose by trying! This habit can have life-changing benefits that is if you make it a habit and practice it as much as possible. And they have thousands of teachers to choose from.

Easy Steps to Learn How To Meditate

  • Grab a pair of comfortable headphones. I recommend using a Bluetooth pair with no wires. Bang & Olufsen headphones are my absolute favorite. They are the most comfortable headphones I have ever used. It's like wearing marshmallows on your ears.

  • Make sure you have the Insight Timer App downloaded on your phone. It’s free.

  • Choose which guided meditation you would like from the app. In this post, I list out all of my favorite teachers to try.

  • Sit with your back straight and your eyes closed (you can sit on the ground with your legs crossed or in a chair with your feet touching the ground.

  • Relax your eyes, shoulders, jaws, and neck.

  • Take three deep relaxing breaths and then let your body return to its normal breathing rhythm.

  • When your mind begins to wander, gently return your attention back to your breath.

  • Take a little essential oil like lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus, and rub it on your hands with a carrier oil like coconut oil and breathe in and let the aromatherapy do its magic as you listen calmly to your teacher guiding you through the meditation.

The More You Meditate the Easier It Becomes

You should meditate daily to see all the benefits. Make it an essential habit in your life, like eating, sleeping, and brushing your teeth.

When you practice meditation daily you will reap so much of rewards. We have so many tips and products for the best-guided meditations for beginners.

I meditate in the mornings. It helps set my intention for the day and puts me in a positive state of mind. But, the best time to meditate is the time that works best for you and that it doesn't feel forced.

Use essential oils as aromatherapy with your guided meditation practice. I find that it both relaxes and awakens me in the mornings. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both my physical and emotional health.

I use lavender or jasmine essential oils when I want to relax and be in a more chill relaxed mode. When I want to be more alert I use lemon, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil. Rub the oil on your shoulders, feet, temples, and hands (with a carrier oil like coconut oil) and breath them in for all the aromatherapy benefits.

For me, it's key to use essential oils with my guided meditation. They hugely complement each other for maximum effect and benefits. Of course, experiment with different teachers, and oils for some time and see what resonates, and works best for you.

Why Insight Timer is the Best Guided Meditation App

I tried many different meditation apps, and by far, think Insight Timer is the best free app offering many guided meditations. You can tune in to thousands of free talks and podcasts for life advice and inspiration, as well as music tracks to soothe your mind or help you sleep.

**DISCLAIMER** I am in no way connected to Insight Timer. I just think it’s a really useful resource and the best app I have found compared to others like Calm, Headspace, and Simple Habit.

With Insight Timer there are over 45,000 free guided meditations available.  It’s completely free to download and there are no hidden costs. Many of the other apps you need to pay first to get access to. I tried Calm and found that for all the meditations I wanted to try, I had to pay upfront to “unlock” them.

a screenshot of the Insight Timer app and best guided meditations for beginners.
Insight Timer

Insight Timer allows you to pick and choose how long you would like to practice for and what style you'd like (e.g. body scan, loving-kindness, anxiety/stress-reducing, etc.), or set a timer and sit without guidance.

You can also choose if you want background music, I recommend choosing a meditation with background music or with binaural beats for the best-guided meditations for beginners

In addition to 45,000 free meditations, this app features meditative poetry, podcasts, and interviews with experts for anyone wanting to tap into the practice deeper.

I like the multifaceted approach those extras provided. Cost: $60 for a one-year subscription for Insight courses and other premium content. But let me tell you their free content is awesome.

After you meditate, you can choose to donate money to that teacher’s wall after you have listened. The monthly paid plan allows downloads, fast-forward, and reverse. But again the free options are amazing for the best-guided meditations for beginners.

People spend almost 3x more time on Insight Timer than many other apps that have 10x more downloads and a bazillion times more revenue, according to Insight Timers CEO Christopher Plowman. I also like that their motto is "Magic happens when you give meditation away for free. ”And let me add that Insight Timer really does seem to care about how often people return each week — ‘metrics’ that actually matter when nurturing a meditation practice.

I've had approximately 1,065 mediation sessions with a 15.7 average session time (min) and hit 4 milestones while practicing  600 days with at least one session. These are some of the analytics on my personal dashboard on Insight Timer. This practice for me has been life-changing. And I'm only just beginning!

I also filter my guided practices to have background music and lean towards deep lower-pitched voices, such as a Morgan Freeman-style voice. I have so many favorite teachers from Insight Timer that I have tried, and below are my top 5 teachers of all time and best-guided meditations for beginners.

And the closest to a calming Morgan Freeman voice that I have found would definitely be my favorite teacher David Ji. He has a huge following and leads world-class guided meditations.

Top 5 Favorite Teachers on Insight Timer

  • David Ji- an internationally recognized stress-management expert and mediation teacher. He’s also referred to as the “Velvet Voice of Stillness” His voice is so soothing and commanding. I also like that he purposely inserts a minute or two of silence in his sessions to help guide you to try and meditate for a short period of time in silence. Ji is big on mantras and meanings, and I always feel so uplifted after his sessions. He has a huge following of about 124k, and for good reason.
  • Michael Mackintosh- I remember the first time I listened to one of his meditations titled “Let Go Of Anxiety and Worry” it was the first time I heard a recording that included binaural beats. Suffice to say, I have been following and listening to all his meditations after that. I would go as far as to say that Michael is also a favorite top teacher that I practice with on the app. He consistently gets high reviews, 4.7 stars (to be exact), and is also a bestselling author and spiritual life coach.
  • Kenneth Soars-is my go-to when I need high vibration and high energy. If I am feeling like a negative Nancy, or wake up in a bad mood, I always choose Kenneth to get me on track and help shift my energy. He focuses on positive affirmations and I’m ready to tackle the world after listening to his sessions. He also has some great guided sleep meditations. Kenneth has over 15 million downloads and is one of the best teachers.
  • Chantelle Diachina- has one of the calmest and soothing voices I have ever heard. She sets the tone of practice behaving you focus on your abdominal breathing and also focuses on ancient yogic wisdom. She is the founder/owner of Prana Yoga & Wellness, a wellness company that specializes in bringing mindful stress management to the workplace. Chantelle is online at her Prana Mama YouTube channel or in-person at her retreats and workshops.
  • Tomek Wyczesany- is a scientist, meditation teacher, author, and keynote speaker based in Sydney, Australia. He has some wonderful morning meditation practices to get you into the right mindset to start off your day right. He has such a profound and positive effect on showing you how to shift your mindset. But he also is one of my favorite teachers to help me fall asleep as well! I can listen to Tomek morning and night. And with around 42k followers to boast, I’m obviously not the only one who listens.

Happy Meditating!  Drop a comment below and tell us about your experience with meditation, do you practice? Who is your favorite teacher? Did you love our best-guided meditations for beginners? Let us know in the comments below.

Have You Tried A Guided Meditation Before?

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