When you start meditating, making it into a regular practice is often challenging. Carving out space to be calm and centred in your busy life can feel at odds with your to-do list or social schedule. Plus, when you are still determining what your session will involve that day, you’re more likely to deprioritise mediating, especially when you only have a small window of time. That’s why making meditation a habit can be tricky at first. One way to overcome this is by using a daily meditation playlist for the first couple of weeks so it is simpler to fit into your routine.
So, to help you get started, I’ve created this playlist with an introductory selection of tracks to help you begin your journey. Consider it a taster of audio options that can accompany your sessions to help you discover what you do (and don’t enjoy). From guided meditations and sound baths to classical music and electronic soundscapes, there are many options to experience.
This daily meditation playlist is best experienced on Insight Timer, where you can save your favourite tracks and follow those teachers and artists to build your meditation profile and playlists. By downloading their free app, you can also track the number of days and minutes you have meditated over time, which is a feature that has also helped me make it a habit. As their algorithm understands your preferences, Insight Timer will also suggest other teachers and occasionally invite you to join monthly challenges, such as 30 days of affirmations.
If you’d prefer to use YouTube or Spotify, I have also made the playlist available on these platforms. It’s slightly different because not all teachers and artists have their full range of meditation music available on these sites. However, I have substituted similar options where necessary so that you can understand what suits your meditation style.
There’s a reason why this playlist has 22 days’ worth of meditation sessions. It’s often said that it takes 21 days to turn something into a habit, but there isn’t any science to back that number up. Instead, Phillippa Lally, PhD, a senior researcher at University College London, found it takes on average 66 days to form a habit in her 2009 study. So, this daily meditation playlist is long enough that if you chose to play it three times in a row, you would reach 66 days.
However, I recommend using these 22 days to discover what works for you and continue your journey. Maybe you love having someone talk you through the experience, reminding you to relax and focus on your breath. Or you may enjoy the resonating vibrations of a cello or a crystal bowl during your daily ritual. Either way, you’ll understand how to navigate such options by the time you reach the end.
Remember, no two days of meditation are precisely the same, so it’s ok to regularly listen to the same type of tracks if you know they work for you. However, different sounds can elicit subtle or wide variations in your meditative experience. If you ever need more motivation, switch things up to maintain your habit. And if you ever miss a session, start afresh the next day like nothing changed.
Finally, if you’d like to understand the neuroscience of meditation, then I recommend listening to the Huberman Lab podcast on this topic. This 2.5-hour episode explains the difference between interoception and exteroception, plus the long-term changes in your traits and neuroplasticity that occur with a daily meditation practice. It’s a great way to dig deeper into the benefits you reap from making a daily meditation session into a habit.
Here are some teachers and artists I have featured on this playlist. You’ll notice a couple of them have multiple tracks included, and that’s because they are not only popular, but the content they create is beneficial for people who are new to meditation. Enjoy!
This all-female vocal ensemble makes beautiful songs that are not necessarily intended for meditation. However, Beautiful Chorus‘ longer tracks often focus on one or two uplifting mantras, which can be an inspiring way to spend your session.
This Adelaide-based meditation guide is ideal for anyone who likes a soothing voice to follow during your sessions. Unfortunately, Jason‘s tracks aren’t available on Spotify, so you won’t find his work on that playlist, but he is on both Insight Timer and YouTube.
Like many people, Sarah‘s guided meditations were some of the first I connected with when I started this journey. I’ve even been known to cry during my sessions with her. If you find her work also resonates with you, you can check out her book, Heart Minded.
Describing himself as “The Mindful Rebel,” Shawn is a meditation and yoga teacher based in Atlanta who uses crystal quartz bowls, gongs, and Tibetan singing bowls in his guided meditations. Unfortunately, the tracks I featured aren’t available on the Spotify playlist, but you can experience his 30-minute sound bath there instead.
The Wong Janice
There’s something so transformative about Janice‘s cello that her tracks are some of my favourite sounds to meditate to. I would love to attend a meditation session where she is playing her ambient cello sounds live.
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