I have been using the popular Insight Timer App to Manage Stress since October 2016 and highly recommend it. It is still a top rated free meditation app in 2020.
Here you are going to find out how this popular App can most likely help you to do meditation.
I do suggest that you use their free version to see if this is for you. If it is, know that you can stay on their free version for ever or you can upgrade to their premium paid version. I myself used their free version for quite some time before opting for the premium version. Both versions are excellent.
Even if you do not experience stress or anxiety, you may find the Insight Timer App to be helpful in your life. They have thousands of different meditations of varying lengths by many different meditation teachers. They also have a number of musical tracks as well.
This is a great handy app for empowering you to do meditation related tasks at anytime. The app can operate in offline mode for some of its functions. They have thousands of different guided meditation sessions covering a large number of topics within the meditation arena, including stress and anxiety.
The App is an application that runs on compatible smartphones on Android and on iOS that empower people to learn about meditation, do meditation, document their meditation progress, perform various countdown functions, do guided meditation sessions online and do unguided meditation sessions along with other functionally within the App itself.
Let’s get started.
Why I Think The Insight Timer App Is Good
Here are some of the ways that I use this App as a tool to help me. For instance:
- I enjoy the timer aspect of the App. Different timers can be customised with different options. For example, how long in minutes, any background noises, any interval bells, the sound of the starting bell and the sound of the ending bell are some of the attributes that can be customised.
- I enjoy different guided meditation sessions that are available. There are many thousands of different guided meditation sessions/recordings available within the Insight Timer App which were and are developed by thousands of different meditation guides.
- I note any meditation sessions that I done outside of using this App, so that all of my meditation times are noted in this App. I find this useful and helps motivate me to do meditation every day. This is good. I have done meditation for hundreds of consecutive days now, so I am unlikely to miss a day now.
- I listen to different talks by different people about different meditation subjects.
My Real World Experience in Using The Insight Timer App
I have been using this App every consecutive day since October 2016.
I use it to note my meditation sessions, using any of the available ways to meditate using the App. For any meditation sessions I do not using the App, I can note those times within the App. I also do some of the many thousand different guided meditation sessions/recordings available online on the App on a regular basis.
I also do some of the Insight Timer Courses. This is included in the premium version, not the free version. The free version and the premium version does give you access to a 7 session/day Insight Timer Course that teaches you how to meditate. One session is supposed to be done daily, however you can do as many sessions in a day that you like. And you can actually do multiple Insight Timer Courses at the same time. More about this later.
I have a number of pre-set timer profiles setup and use the one that I want to do now. The nearby screen capture shows a 3 minute countdown, that sounds a bell every minute. I have configured this countdown to have no ambient sound and to use an ending bell when the 3 minutes is up.
I configured this particular pre-set for my personal use within the Insight Timer App to do a meditation technique called The Three Minute Breathing Space that involves three separate one minute mini meditations in the one session with my eyes closed. I need to know when to switch from one mini meditation to the next, so that is why I have the bell going off every minute in that meditation session. This is just one of the many ways I use this App.
Success using the Insight Timer App
Like a lot of people, I experience stress and anxiety. I also have experienced panic attacks, migraine headaches and have a heart condition. I decided to give meditation a go as I felt that it could help me on the health front and I also felt that it would be of value. Beside which, I discovered that meditation has a lot of potential benefits which I did not want to miss out on.
The Insight Timer App has a number of different functions, one of them is a countdown function which you can configure yourself. I have setup a number of different countdown options based on the length of the countdown, sound options, how often to make sounds, and so on and so forth.
Some of the meditation techniques involve doing tasks on a timed basis with your eyes closed. For example for one minute do this, for the next minute do that and for the third minute do something else. Well, to do this, you need some sort of timer.
This is the sort of thing where you can use the Insight Timer App countdown function. When you do meditation counting down from say 3 minutes, you need an alarm, for example a low sounding bell, to go off when that time is up, otherwise you never end! The Insight Timer App countdown function does this brilliantly.
Of course, I used the countdown timer function on my cell phone initially. It made me jump at the end of the meditation session when its alarm goes off, not exactly what I was aiming for!
The countdown timer function on my cell phone only has a “total” countdown function. It is not able to countdown for one minute, then another minute then another minute.
If my cell phone or smartphone is in silent mode, it flashes when the countdown is complete, but with my eyes closed during meditation, I would not see that!
Again, not exactly what I was aiming for!
So I had a bit of a problem. I needed a solution that was simple, workable and practical. And that was also cost effective!
The countdown function within the Insight Timer looked like such a solution. It turned out that the Insight Timer countdown function works in a way I like and so I have been using it since October 2016.
As well as that, each time you note meditation sessions using that App or do meditation sessions using that App, it notes that information. Those statistics can be retrieved and you can view that information.
I captured the nearby screenshot a while back. At that time I had done meditation every single day for 650 consecutive days in a row, with an average time of meditation of 27 minutes each day. I use these type of statistics to remind me to keep doing meditation every day!
What is the Insight Timer App?
The Insight Timer App is an application that runs on compatible smartphones on Android and on iOS that empower people to learn about meditation, do meditation, document their meditation progress, perform various countdown functions, do guided meditation sessions online and do unguided meditation sessions along with other functionally within the App itself.
This is a great handy app for empowering you to do meditation related tasks at anytime. The app can operate in offline mode for some of its functions.
I connect my smartphone using WiFi connected to a router which in turn is connected to the internet. I then use the Insight Timer App on my smartphone to select and listen to their guided meditation session online and this works very well for me.
The App itself has a number of features which I find very useful to help me to manage my stress and anxiety.
Who Is This For?
This is for anyone interested in learning more about meditation or interested in recording their meditation sessions or interested in listening to guided meditation sessions.
How Is This Helping Me?
This helps me in a number of ways. I can do guided meditation sessions using the App. I can do unguided meditation sessions using the Timer countdown function inside of the App. The number of guided meditations available is quite large and covers a large range of topics relating to meditation.
It helps me to keep my current meditation streak active. In meditation “speak”, the meditation streak refers to the number of consecutive days that a person has done meditation in a row.
What Do I Like?
- Simple to use.
- Timer Countdown function is great.
- It is free. Note that chargeable things are being added.
- The “My progress” section within the App shows some interesting statistical information showing progress over time.
- There are always more meditation sessions/recordings to listen to.
- Bookmark favorites.
- There are thousands of guided meditation sessions/recordings available.
- There are thousands of meditation teachers and musicians adding applicable guided meditation sessions/recordings and other great content.
What Do I Not Like?
- Updating the App takes some time every time that an update is available.
- When doing online guided meditations, on occasion the sound has to be turned up or down. There does not seem to be a standard sound level that is the same level across all online guided meditations. This can also happen with different meditation sessions/recordings developed by the same meditation guide. This is more a minor inconvenience rather than anything else.
- Some of the recordings/approaches/courses actually increase the level of noticeable stress or anxiety as these emotions can come to the surface using these recordings/approaches/courses. The logic I believe is that once these come to the surface it is easier to deal with them. That has not been my experience.
Learn Meditation Using This
There are a number of different ways to learn how to meditate using the Insight Timer App.
An offering within the App is a seven day course called Learn How To Meditate In Seven Days. It was free at the time of writing this, so it may still be free. Each of these lessons with a guided meditation session lasts about 10 to 12 minutes per day for each of the seven days.
Although I do not consider myself as a meditation beginner or as a meditation guru I actually completed this course. In that process I learned new things. I think that it is important to expose yourself to different meditation approaches, so that you are better able to determine which approaches work best for you.
If you are a meditation beginner or not yet a meditation guru, I suggest that you download the Insight Timer App and start this course.
I suggest the following approach:
Get the Insight Timer App. Begin the free seven day Learn How To Meditate In Seven Days course within the App to learn about meditation. This is about 10 to 12 minutes per day. You know pretty quick if you like meditation or not. You also know pretty quick if you like the Insight Timer App or not.
You can always do any number of the guided meditation sessions/recordings online within the Insight Timer App. There are thousands of them to select from, so you should find some that you like.
Why Is It Free?
“At Insight Timer we believe everyone deserves access to a free meditation practice. That’s why we offer the largest library of guided meditations on earth for free, and the world’s most loved meditation Timer, for free. You can meditate for as long as you want on Insight Timer without ever paying a cent.”
Source: Insight Timer App within the “Learn why we’re free” section in late July 2018.
They have a few optional paid features which are completely optional:
1. Insight Premium which covers offline mode, high quality audio and their advanced audio player.
2. Insight Courses which are more in-depth multi session courses. This is discussed further on in more depth later on.
In my opinion, the premium version is well worth it. However I recommend that you use the free version until you are ready to use the premium version. You can remain on the free version for ever.
Insight Timer have make the following commitment:
“If you’re someone who isn’t interested in our paid features, you remain a loved member of community with free lifetime access to 10,000 guided meditations, 2,000 teachers and our Timer. That’s been our commitment from Day 1, and will remain so forever.”
Source: Insight Timer App within the “Learn why we’re free” section in late July 2018.
I expect that over time that some of the information may change however I expect never to have to pay for the lifetime access to thousands of online guided meditation sessions/recordings developed by thousands of different meditation guides and the Insight Timer App.
In-Depth Multi Session Insight Timer Courses
Starting in 2018 they have started to create In-Depth Multi Session Insight Timer Courses. I have done a few of them, so I can comment on how I found those courses. These courses are designed and provided by different teachers within the Insight Timer platform. These are usually 10 sessions or 30 sessions however the number of actual sessions can vary.
These courses are divided up into 10 to 15 minute sessions where people are supposed to do daily. Doing it quicker or slower is totally up to you. The information is provided as an on-line audio lecture/discussion where the meditation guide provides more information about the subject matter.
The subject matter could include more introductory detail about some life improvement topic. When using the App itself to search for guided meditation sessions, if the meditation guide of that guided meditation session has developed one of these In-depth multi session Insight Timer course, the course image and title are displayed as a link.
The seven day Learn How To Meditate In Seven Days Insight Timer course is an example of one of these courses. Note that at the time of writing this, this was free within the App.
The premium In-depth Insight Timer courses that I am aware of within the App consist of 7 or 10 or 11 or 30 sessions. Other courses may have different number of sessions. Each session usually lasts 10 to 15 minutes for the audio component which is an on-line audio lecture/discussion where the meditation guide provides more information about the subject matter. One great advantage is that you can rewind or forward this audio component. I find this very useful and would be lost without it!
Some of the sessions involve doing ‘homework’ which are designed to help you understand the subject matter better and get additional benefit from doing the course. Whether you do the ‘homework’ or not is totally up to you.
Using Insight Timer Conclusion
Using the popular Insight Timer App is a great way to do meditation.
See accompanying screenshot captured on my smartphone using the Insight Timer App on February 14, 2020 showing my meditation streak of 1216 consecutive days in a row.
I started using this app on October 17, 2016 to either note my meditation sessions or do guided meditation sessions using the app or both.
Pretty pleased with this app. 🙂 🙂
Oh, by the way don’t let my meditation streak put you off starting. Back on October 16, 2016, my meditation streak was zero.
One meditation author I know has spent over 18 years practicing meditation every day, so I am never going to catch up with him! I did not let that put me off starting my meditation practice back in October 2016. 🙂 🙂
I am reminded of an old saying:
What is the best time to plant a tree?
Answer: Twenty years ago.
When is the second best time to plant a tree?
This article is part of my Stress Management Techniques series of articles. My Stress Management Techniques article outlines over 20 different techniques. If you want to learn about these, you can read them here.