I never expected to become the kind of person who meditates. Now, I meditate for 10 or 15 minutes, almost every day. I know I’m not alone; meditation has exploded in popularity in the United States in recent years, and there’s a pile of evidence that suggests it has a real impact on stress and anxiety. Still, it can be intimidating to get started. When I first heard about the benefits of meditation years ago, the idea of sitting quietly and keeping my mind still for seconds (let alone minutes) on end sounded impossible. It turns out, I had a pretty limited view of what qualified as meditation . . . until I discovered guided meditations online.
In a guided meditation, a teacher or practitioner walks you through the meditation process, which makes getting started far less overwhelming. These online sessions allowed me to ease into meditation privately, without the (probably misguided) fear of being judged for “doing it wrong,” and on my own schedule and at my own pace. Along my own meditation journey, I discovered that the internet is home to a wealth of completely free sessions led by qualified meditation teachers. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite free guided meditations below, all of which have something to offer whether you’re a total newcomer or already have a solid meditation practice in place.