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5 best meditation apps for better sleep and keeping calm

By Faye Bradley 2 March 2020 | Last Updated 28 February 2023

Header image courtesy of Headspace

Sometimes we need a reminder to take a breather from city life—the hustle of Hong Kong can be overwhelming, as we’re all aware. Although the ideal solution would probably be to find yourself on a Himalayan mountain or retreat to a deserted beach for meditation, it’s a little aspirational and out of reach for the everyday Hongkonger.

But not all is lost: Stepping in via our most indispensable piece of technology—the smartphone—come meditation apps. We’ve rounded up five of the best meditation apps which are easily accessible—with just a few clicks—for daily stress relief. You may not be sitting on a sand dune with the vast desert ahead of you, but it will sure feel like it when you close your eyes.

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Simple Habit

Designed for the busy soul, Simple Habit was founded by Yunha Kim with the intention to achieve quietude—five minutes at a time (you can go up to 30 minutes).

These brief sessions are perfect to integrate into your daily regime without compromising an exhausting amount of your already overwhelming day, not to mention planting the seeds of a new habit. When you open the app, it asks you to pick topics that interest you most, whether it be post-break-up blues or help for a stress-free commute.

While you can access a selection of meditation guides by the world’s best teachers—from mindfulness experts at Google to former monks—for free, users can also opt-in to a reasonably-priced subscription for unlimited access to the full library. Download for free on the App Store or Google Play with in-app purchases


Find your inner calm with this app which takes you on a journey to relieve the mind. Featuring a variety of guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing programmes, stretching exercises, and soothing music for optimum mindfulness, Calm is consistently lauded as one of the best meditation apps for better sleep, stress relief, and relaxation, effortlessly sweeping up recognition on the App Store and beyond.

This app is ideal for beginners to intermediate meditators and you can choose different time lengths for your session. Sleep Stories is an interesting concept that combines stories with an almost lethargic take on podcast episodes, allowing you to listen to bedtime tales narrated by household names like Leona Lewis and Matthew McConaughey to Stephen Fry to help you drift to your deep dreamland. Download for free on the App Store or Google Play with in-app purchases


No doubt you have already come across at least one of Headspace’s colourful cast of characters before. This illustration-driven app takes the frou-frou and mudras out of meditation and replaces it with a modern approach to mindfulness, cementing its place as one of the most popular options for meditation apps through the years.

From stress and anxiety reduction and sleep management to help you achieve your state-of-mind goals, Headspace teaches everything from the fundamental techniques of meditation and mindfulness to advanced courses on how to achieve better focus and gain life-changing skills relaxation skills, all in a digestible format that is both entertaining and visually pleasing.

Drift off with Headspace’s selection of relaxing sounds to help you unwind at bedtime and calming sounds to improve sleep patterns or go on a mindful stroll with their on-the-go guided walk and run sessions. Download for free on the App Store or Google Play with in-app purchases

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Boasting over 200 meditation sessions to help overcome anxiety, stress, pain, and negative emotions, comes Buddhify, an interactive, colour-coded app to help overcome life’s challenges. Find clarity and calm through the app’s designated exercises, which can be used anywhere and anytime—whether you’re travelling, waking up, sleeping, or even at work.

Suitable for complete beginners as well as experienced meditators, guided sessions range from three to 40 minutes, with an option to choose a voice and style that’s right for you. For those looking to deepen one’s meditative state, there is also a solo timer for seasoned practitioners to track their independent meditation sessions. Download on the App Store or Google Play

10% Happier

10 percent may not seem like much, but even an incremental increase in our happiness makes a lasting impact. 10% Happier is designed to improve sleep, relationships, and happiness through a method of guided video meditation.

Highly rated by the New York Times, the app offers insight on topics like how to increase your focus and what approach suits you at the right moment.

Explore the Sleep section, which is filled with relaxing meditation sessions, or visit the bite-sized stories for some daily wisdom and inspiration, updated weekly to keep you occupied and increase your enjoyment of the app’s mindful benefits. We also like its tracking function, which informs users of their meditation streaks and encourages building a new and healthy habit. Download for free on the App Store or Google Play with in-app purchases

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Faye Bradley


Faye Bradley is a freelance writer based in Hong Kong, covering topics in travel, wellness, F&B, and the arts. As the editor and business development executive for Cha Siu Papers Times and Compare Retreats, Faye has experience in writing predominantly about luxury travel and well-being. With a keen eye for finding hidden gems, exploring new destinations, and tasting best-of-the-best cuisines, she continues to pursue her love for writing about travel and visiting remote lands. You can find her by the pool with a good book and a mojito in hand.