Mindfulness meditation leads to a range of positive outcomes, yet little is known about the motivation behind choosing to practice meditation. This research investigated reasons for commencing and continuing mindfulness meditation. In both qualitative and quantitative analyses, the most frequently cited reason for commencing and continuing meditation practice was to alleviate emotional distress and enhance emotion regulation. A substantial proportion of participants also reported continuing meditation to enhance well-being, though very few commenced or continued meditation practice for spiritual or religious reasons. In brief, the overwhelming majority of participants in the present study reported practicing mindfulness to alleviate emotional distress. Further research is needed to examine reasons for meditation across more diverse samples, and whether reasons for meditation differentially predict outcome.