Can you meditate and use your tech at the same time? The simple answer is yes—and you don’t even need an app to do it. It’s called a meditation podcast, and it’s something that can help us cultivate calm (even on those overwhelming, no-time-to-think days). One thing that doesn’t cultivate calm? Trying to find the right podcast for meditation in the first place. With so many options, it’s hard to filter the transformative from the trash. That’s why we did it for you.
We’re breaking down the best meditation podcasts out there, so you don’t have to go searching when you’d rather be reaping the benefits of breathing deeply and being present. And even if you’re a complete meditation newbie, don’t worry. We’re including podcasts that are perfect for beginners as well as ones that will challenge more experienced practitioners. Looking for options on Spotify? We’ve got those too. We’re even suggesting episodes to start with. Because we want to make this easy for you. And we believe that meditation works. (So does science.)
Meditation Podcasts: 3 Benefits of Listening In
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the advantages of listening to podcasts over using other methods (e.g., apps). And for the record, we still believe in meditation apps. But we also believe in options. Here’s how following a meditation podcast might benefit you.
- Podcasts are hosted by real people. This means there’s an expert guiding you through the process providing in-depth information on meditation as a whole, different styles to try, commonly-shared problems, and how and why it works in the first place. And that’s in addition to providing guided meditation exercises. Sometimes people > tech. (We know.)
- Podcasts make meditation easier. You don’t need to install an app, deal with updates and bugs, or even have a smartphone to listen. This makes you more likely to establish a regular meditation routine—free of taking up valuable space on your phone and free of charge.
- Did we mention free?
In short, following a meditation podcast is like having 24/7 access to your very own meditation teacher. You just have to find the one that works best for you. And this list is the perfect place to start.
RELATED: Panda Planner makes it easy to build your meditation practice—and other happiness habits—into your every day.
A Meditation Podcast for Every Level
Not only is Meryl Arnett a great meditation teacher, she’s also a vivid storyteller and inspiring speaker. She puts these skills to good use in her podcast, The Mindful Minute. Each episode is a broadcast of one of Meryl’s meditation classes, where she discusses topics like self-acceptance, creativity, and how to cope with life’s inevitable stresses. Like traffic jams and bad wifi.
Try this episode: Why We Struggle
“In actuality, misery is a moment of suffering allowed to become everything. So, when feeling miserable, we must look wider than what hurts.” In this episode, Meryl draws on this quote from author Mark Nepo in her talk about being aware of our connectedness rather than being consumed by what separates us. It culminates with a ten-minute meditation practice.
Short on time? Daunted by the prospect of sitting still for longer than 10 minutes? Then here’s a meditation podcast you’ll love. Hypnotherapist Chel Hamilton has spot-on delivery—a calming yet expressive voice and practical topics to keep you engaged. Things like overcoming anxiety, positive thinking, and getting better sleep. Better yet? You can find this meditation podcast on Spotify.
Try this episode: Let Worries and Stress Drift Away
From being overworked to having arguments with people we love, life brings stresses on a daily basis. This episode gives you 10 minutes to unwind. And trust us: When Chel talks about waves washing your stresses away, you can’t help but feel blissfully calm and relaxed.
Meditation coach Mary Meckley shares a new meditation podcast. Every. Single. Day. Even after hundreds of episodes, she never seems to run out of inspiration and always has new insights, techniques, and meditation tips to share.
Try this episode: Inner Freedom
In this meditation Mary dips into the writings of Marcus Aurelius, bringing ancient wisdom to modern life. “I hear you say, ‘How unlucky that this should happen to me!’ Not at all! Say instead, ‘How lucky that I am not broken by what has happened and am not afraid of what is about to happen.’” Definitely wisdom worth pondering. Give this episode a shot and let Mary take you through it.
If you’re one of those lucky people who actually sleep well, congratulations. You can skip this one. For those who struggle to shut their minds off at the end of the day, a meditation podcast for sleep might just be the answer. If it works for you, consider adding it to your night routine so you get the most out of your bedtime hours. Bonus? You can find this one on Spotify too.
Try this episode: Journey Into Space Sleep Meditation Fantasy
Ready to get relaxed and explore the universe? Well, you’re in luck because this is the episode that lets you do both. Take a trip through space as you unwind and let the views relax you into a deep sleep. We’ll be honest here—we did this one purely for the space dreams that follow. If that doesn’t persuade you to try it, we don’t know what will.
Once you get past the name, this podcast has a lot to share. In this context, the term “fitness peeps” refers to people who prioritize their physical health–sometimes at the expense of their mental health. Meditation for Fitness Peeps is for those people. Each episode has a set structure, comprising of a moment of gratitude, an inspirational quote (by anyone from Confucius to Sylvester Stallone), a visualization, and a five-minute meditation. So you can get your head straight fast and get back to the gym.
Try this episode: Meditation #58: Inspiration from Tim Ferriss
A quote from productivity guru Tim Ferriss gives you plenty to think about in your five minutes of meditation. He asks us how we can change the way we look at a problem to instead see it as a gift. And you know we’re big on reframing around here, so we’re all in.
Every week, the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York holds a public meditation and dharma talk. Now, if you don’t know what dharma is, don’t stress. (You wouldn’t be the first one to think it was a type of chickpea curry). Just know this: It has to do with following the right path and finding balance. And you don’t need to be a Buddhist to learn from the profound and relatable talks in this podcast.
Try this episode: Kevin Bogle: What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do
Sometimes we simply don’t know what to do. But what happens when we learn to love the questions themselves, rather than only giving value to the answers? Kevin Bogle talks about where to look when the questions arise (hint: it’s not outside of us) and how meditation can help us love the questions as well as the answers.
Most of us come to meditation to relax, let go of stress, or learn to be present. This mindfulness meditation podcast is a gold mine of guided meditations that teach you how. There are podcasts with and without music and even some of just music so you can freely create meditations of your own.
Try this episode: Whole Body Relaxation
No music, no bells, no crashing waves—just Mary Maddux’s voice instructing you to relax your body, one muscle after another, until you’re so at ease you’ll forget you even have a body at all.
If you’re looking for a podcast that goes beyond meditation and into the broader science of mindfulness, check out The Mindful Podcast. You might stumble across an interesting interview with a psychologist, a discussion about what happiness really means, or practical guided meditations that anyone—even beginners and meditation skeptics—can appreciate.
Try this episode: A 5-Minute Gratitude Practice: Savor Through The Senses
We already know that gratitude has a lot of science-backed benefits. With this five-minute meditation, you focus on each of your five senses and use these as triggers for gratitude. It may be something as simple as hearing sounds around you or enjoying the hug of a loved one. Sometimes we just need a little nudge to remind us we really do have plenty to be thankful for.
Sharon Salzberg is exactly the kind of person you want hosting your new favorite meditation podcast. Why? She’s a New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and Buddhist meditation teacher with over four decades of experience. Metta Hour is less about guided practice and more about teachings, talks, and interviews with key figures in the fields of mindfulness, meditation, and positive psychology. Find it on Spotify or directly at Sharon’s website.
Try this episode: Real Love Series: Emma Seppälä
Sharon chats to Dr. Emma Seppälä, researcher and author of The Happiness Track, about how love factors into our feelings of happiness and how we can balance taking care of ourselves with giving love to others.
Tara Brach has a PhD in Clinical Psychology and years of experience in Buddhist teachings, so she’s become well known for her seamless blending of Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices. In her podcast, which includes both talks and guided meditations, Tara delves deeply into the various aspects of meditation. This is one of the best meditation podcasts on Spotify, in our opinion.
Try this episode: Basic Elements of a Mindfulness Meditation Sitting
Sometimes starting meditation can be a bit daunting, especially with all those instructions on awareness and breathing and whatnot. If that’s how you feel, start with this episode. Tara preludes a guided meditation with a short talk about what those instructions mean, so you’re not lost.
To sum it all up…
We hope you found a podcast that fits your meditation needs, whether that’s relaxation, sleep, stress-relief, or a stripped-down introduction. To maximize your mindful moments, build meditation into a daily habit. You’ll get the benefits of a calmer mind with the ease and automation of a habit. That’s a win-win in our book.
Your turn: Do you have a favorite meditation podcast? Tell us more in the comments.
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Author: Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper is an Australian-born writer and photographer. She believes in curiosity, kindness, and adventure as a state of mind.