Life as a parent can be hectic and stressful. Find your calm with these seven meditation apps, which teach mindfulness for little or no cost.

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Put simply, meditation is the act of slowing down and letting your mind focus on one thing, instead of the 55 things we know you're juggling as a parent at any given second. It's a mind-body practice that encourages mental clarity and emotional stability by tapping into mindfulness, focused breathing, and other calming techniques. But this practice doesn't need to be costly or time-consuming; in fact, parents can download apps that help you meditate anywhere (including on the bathroom floor when you need a five-minute break from screaming children!) Here, we've rounded up the seven best mindfulness apps for moms and dads.

The Mindfulness App

Best for: Those just getting started with mindfulness

Completely new to mindfulness? Consider downloading this app, which gives a five-day introduction to the practice. Users can choose from guided and silent sessions ranging from 3 minutes to 99 minutes in length (including ones geared toward pregnant women). The short practices let you squeeze in meditation while your kid is, say, taking their afternoon nap or playing with their race cars. The Mindfulness App also provides encouraging reminders and statistics. A premium version for $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year gives you additional guided meditations.

MyLife Meditation

Best for: Understanding and managing your emotions

Created by two moms, MyLife, a sister brand of Parents, offers mindfulness for both adults and kids. A new program just for parents has meditations, self-compassion strategies, and yoga moves, ranging from two to 12 minutes. This meditation app invites you to stop what you're doing, breathe mindfully, and broaden your perspective through thinking. Go to my.life/parents for a free 30-day trial; a premium subscription is $59 per year.

woman at home in kitchen doing yoga and meditation
knape/Getty Images
| Credit: knape/Getty Images

Headspace

Best for: Specific focuses like sleep, productivity, and stress management

Headspace markets itself as your "everyday guide to health and happiness." Users can access select content with a free account, such as the 10-day "Basics" course for beginners. You can also test out the entire Headspace library with a limited free trial, then decide if you want to pay $12.99 per month (or $69.99 per year) for a subscription. The hundreds of guided meditations have specific focuses, including sleep, stress management, exercise, productivity, and more.  As a bonus for busy moms and dads, "mini meditations" give a quick mental reset in only two or three minutes. Pregnancy meditations also helps moms-to-be have a strong, healthy prenatal journey.

Expectful

Best for: Couples who are trying to conceive, pregnant, or postpartum

Expectful takes parents through every step of their fertility journey: preconception, pregnancy, and parenthood. It seeks to foster the connection between your mind and your baby through mindfulness practices. Indeed, according to the Expectful website, mindfulness can enhance fertility, balance hormones, increase compassion, reduce stress, foster a stronger connection with your baby, improve immunity, and lead to an overall healthier pregnancy and postpartum period.  Expectful's mindfulness programs are available in 5, 10, and 20-minute formats. Try out the app for free to decide if you want a subscription for $9.99 per month or $59.99 per year.

Calm

Best for: Achieving overall mindfulness in quick sessions

More than 1.3 million reviewers rated Calm 4.8 stars on the App Store, so you know it's a trustworthy, effective meditation tool! The app helps users achieve better sleep, less anxiety, and less stress. Guided meditations in various topics are available in 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minute sessions, so even the busiest parent can make time to practice! In addition, the app's "Sleep Stories" will help you catch some zzzs, and it features the soothing voices of celebs like Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba. Users also love the breathing programs, 10-minute "Daily Calm" program, soothing nature sounds, and other features. Subscriptions are $14.99 per month $69.99 per year-although you can also rely on a free version of the app.

Insight Timer

Best for: Free guided meditations

Insight Timer won recognition from TIME magazine and Women's Health as a great mindfulness app. Users choose from more than 75,000 free guided meditations led by top mindfulness experts and scientists. The app also has thousands of music tracks, a meditation timer, discussion groups, and stats for tracking progress. Beginners and advanced meditators alike will enjoy the easy-to-follow interface! While Insight Timer has a comprehensive free option, you can also choose a premium version ($59.99 per year or $9.99 per month) for added features. These include personally curated playlists, insight courses, and the ability to listen offline.

Unwinding Anxiety

Best for: Managing anxious thoughts

This meditation app claims to provide "awareness and anxiety relief-one step at a time." Designed by neuroscientist Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., Sharecare's Unwinding Anxiety takes you through 30 modules with short daily exercises to help you manage anxious thoughts. It's pricey at $30 per month, but users say they appreciate the step-by-step lessons.