Top 8 Meditation Apps for PCOS
Everyday life can be stressful but when you throw having PCOS into the mix, stress levels can skyrocket. Finding a health professional who understands what you are going through, dealing with weight gain (for no reason) and/or difficult losing weight, problems with hair loss or growth, mood swings, sleep problems, and fertility issues … who wouldn’t be stressed!
And then it’s a viscous cycle because stress can raise cortisol levels which can promote weight gain. Stress can worsen mood issues, cause sleep problems and exacerbate carb cravings. Women with PCOS have higher rates of depression and anxiety … so this added stress is the last thing you need. It’s important to find a way to deal with your stress. Here is one way – try meditation!
Here is my experience with meditation
I was never a “meditation” type of person. While I loved the idea of it, I was too hyper to sit still and quiet my mind. But as a health professional, I was well aware of the health benefits and frequently recommended it to my clients. But I didn’t do it myself. Then I started taking yoga about 6 months ago and loved the breath and meditative part of it. I found it had a very calming effect on me. Since I always have my phone glued to my hand, I decided it was time to check out some meditation apps. The verdict – they’re great! They definitely help me with mid-day stress, feeling more mental clarity and sleeping (a problem area for me). I did a round up and picked out a few of my favs as well as some of the most popular ones.
The science behind meditation
People have been meditating for years. Research is showing there is a good reason to meditate. It can improve heart health, reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and improve mental clarity, memory, awareness and sleep. Check out this blog post on 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today.
6 great apps for meditation
Most of us can’t bear to be separated from our smart phone for more than a minute or two. Why not use this over-reliance on technology in way to boost our health, well-being and focus with a meditation app? The fact that they are on your phone makes them so convenient to use. Keep headphones in your office and meditate in between clients, on the bus/train when commuting, or before bed. And lack of time should not be an excuse as some of them are only 5 minutes!
Here are a few of my favorites as well as recommendations from friends and colleagues on Facebook.
This one is my favorite. It was also the fav from my FB poll. You can pick from 4240 free guided meditations that vary in time. I often do one that is 5-10 minutes in the middle of the day to chill my “frenzied” mind! There are thousands of choices ranging from guided meditations to music, binaural beats, etc. on all types of topics; chakras, healing, affirmations, sleep, anxiety.
– 900 meditation teachers
– 3,500 free guided meditations
– 500 free music meditation tracks
– 22 meditation Playlist
– 4,000 discussion groups and local meet-ups
An introduction to meditation featuring a 10 session 10 minute class, progress reports, a buddy system, reminders and rewards. I like the guided sleep meditation.
– Free access to Take10, the first level of our Foundation Course – learn the basics in 10 x 10 minute meditation exercises designed for beginners
– Personalized progress page to track your stats
– Buddy system for you and your friends to motivate each other on your Headspace Journey
– Rewards for regularly using our meditation app
– Reminders to keep you on track with your practice
– Options for you to continue your journey after Take10, with inspiring packs and one-off sessions on a range of topics such as stress relief, happiness, mental health and appreciation. They even have a Fear of Flying Guided meditation!
Cost: introductory features are free, premium subscription is $12.99/month
Buddhify increases your wellbeing by teaching you mindfulness-based meditation on the go … great for the person with a hectic schedule. Over 80 guided meditations that help you achieve your goals: sleep, working through difficult emotions, productivity, etc. App provides a timer, a tracker and meditations for different circumstances (e.g. while you are commuting). With over 11 hours of custom meditations for 15 different parts of your day including traveling, being online, taking a work break and going to sleep, buddhify gives you a simple but effective way to bring more mindfulness and calm to your busy day.
– 80+ custom guided audio meditation tracks
– Tracks are designed for 14 activities such as sleep, work & difficult emotions
– Tracks range from 5 – 30 minutes
– Solo meditation timer
– Integration with HealthKit so you can track your meditation alongside other activities
– Check-in system allows you to measure how you’re doing
– Stats showing your usage and progress
Cost: One time fee: $4.99
Calm: Meditation to Relax, Focus & Sleep
App for mindfulness and meditation. Perfect for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditations are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes. Topics include: calming anxiety, managing stress, sleep, focus and concentration, happiness, gratitude, self-esteem, walking meditations, etc. Guided and unguided meditations.
Cost: Free. Premium content is $4.99-$12.99 per month
Stop, Breathe, Think
Ranging from 2-20 minutes, guided and unguided. Numerous categories to choose from. You can also customize meditations based on your mood. Pic credit:
Cost: Free (pic credit: Stop, Breathe, Think)
Sattva – Meditation Timer & Tracker
This app is relatively new, but is one of the most comprehensive and advanced meditation apps out there. It offers a wide variety of guided meditations by experts in the field, includes a meditation timer, a heart rate monitor, a mood tracker, challenges and trophies to help you keep track of your goals and an insights engine so you can track meditation’s impact on your well-being.
Free Guided Meditations & Chants
Heart Rate Monitor(to track your heart rate before and after sessions)d. Mood Tracker (to track your state of mind before and after sessions)
Reminders – To help you stay on track
Insights Engine – To demonstrate how meditation is improving your life
Challenges & Trophies to Inspire you and reward you
A community of like minded people to inspire you to meditate
Sattva integrates seamlessly with health kit, and works on your Apple Watch
The majority of people I know live frenzied lives and and/or complain of sleep issues and high levels of stress. I find that my patients with PCOS experience even more stress due to physical and mental symptoms. I’d highly recommend that you try out of some of these apps. Find one that resonates with you and give it a chance. The goal would be to do it on a regular basis to see results.
What are some of your favorite meditation apps?
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I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.