Calm App REVIEW – Bring Peace Into Your Busy Life

A couple of weeks ago I’ve posted my first review in the category ‘Meditation apps’.

Today I will go into another interesting app for meditation that’s called ‘Calm’. This app is described as the #1 app for meditation and sleep and has more than 50 million downloads. It is recommended by mental health care professionals.

The app was developed in 2012 and has won Apple awards such as **Best of 2018 Award Winner** and **2017 App of the Year**.

As you will discover further on, Calm has a lot more to offer than meditations only.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Acquainted

I’ve known this app for about 6 years and I’ve used it off and on. I only had the free version.

To get started, you can download the app for free from the Google Play– or Apple store.

You’ll have a 7-day free trial which turns into an auto-renewing monthly subscription at $14.99/month or an auto-renewing yearly subscription at $69.99/year to provide you with unlimited access to the Calm Collection.

For convinced enthusiasts there is the possibility of a Lifetime subscription for $399.99 with unlimited access to the Calm Collection forever.

When you open the app for the first time, you will be able to indicate your goals: Develop Gratitude, Better Sleep, Improve Focus, Reduce Stress, Build Self-Esteem, Increase Happiness, Reduce Anxiety and Learn to Meditate. Next, you can create an account or link your Facebook account.

With a main screen that makes you zen by communicating ‘Take a deep breath’, the app greets you every time you open it. Calm keeps it simple.

Home: You come into a screen with a mountain lake and whistling birds. It’s very nicely designed and with a bit of good will you get a kind of relaxed nature feeling. It’s nice that you can personalize your background sound and screen here (e.g. Silent Earth, Summer Meadow, Foggy Stream, Plains of Wheat, …).

From this menu you are able to get access to your profile: Besides your account info you will also find a function to set moments to meditate through a timer. The app keeps track of how many times you’ve meditated so you can monitor your progress.

Music: Here you’ll find a very large collection of soothing, instrumental music. The audio files take about one hour.

Meditate: This menu gives you access to hundreds of soothing podcasts that guide you through different types of meditations, all arranged according to the different goals you want to achieve. The sessions vary in length. The meditation player looks a lot like Spotify in terms of use. There is the possibility to download your favorite files or bookmark them.

Masterclasses: The master classes are more informal than the meditation exercises. They are meant to teach you more about the many obstacles and challenges you encounter in a more mindful life. This is more of an online lesson or podcast. They all have a video trailer at your disposal.

Sleep: These bedtime stories for adults help you fall asleep in peace and quiet and help you turn off your brooding thoughts. They’re read by narrators with slow, soft voices.

 

What I Like The Most About This App

Here are the things I really like about this app:

– Seven Days of Calm: You’ll find this through clicking the ‘Meditate’ menu and then choose the Beginners section. Normally, the app will automatically tip you to start with this one.

It’s a brief training in which you get an exercise to meditate and feel calmer during 7 consecutive days. During the first exercise you will get some explanation about meditation and mindfulness. These exercises make you mindful and bring you back ‘in the moment’. They’re really nice to clear your head of energy-guzzling thoughts for a while.

Breathe Bubble: This function is in the Beginners section of ‘Meditate’. You will learn to breathe in a quiet way, by breathing along with a sound (a higher tone for inhaling, a lower tone for exhaling). It’s good for using when you’re having a small panic attack or when you just need to settle down for a couple of minutes. This is the only function that doesn’t need a working internet connection, handy on public transport for example!

Bedtime Stories: Different narrators tell you short tales about nature scenes, faraway lands and great adventures. Very pleasant way for drifting into dreamland 😉

 

 

Pro’s

– Access to many free options before you need to purchase a subscription.

– Beautiful, minimalist design without too much distraction.

– Clear instructions and soothing female voice.

– Suitable for both beginners and intermediate / advanced meditators.

– After each meditation of breathing session you will receive a motivating text or quote to keep your practice going.

– Available for both Android and Apple smartphones.

 

Con’s

– For extra features (more sleep stories, music, guided meditations and masterclasses) you’ll have to buy a subscription after a free 7-day trial.

– In my opinion auto-renewal is not very user-friendly: if you don’t want to get stuck on anything, make sure you turn it off by going to your ‘account settings’ after the purchase.

– Most features require a working internet connection.

 

Final rating

In general, I think this is a fairly good app. I’m not using it on a daily basis, so I didn’t take a subscription myself.

If you are considering using it more than once a week, you’ll have access to the full library of audio and meditation files and many masterclasses by well-known experts. And how about listening to the voice of Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey before getting to sleep? I thought so 😉

Overall, I reward this app with 3.5 stars.

Can you leave a comment below and tell me about your opinion?

With love ❤,

Catherine

One comment

  1. Hey Catherine,

    This indeed sounds like a great app. When the world was travelling faster than light, we were crazy busy and when the world has come to a stand still, some of us are struggling to stay home.
    I think the answer to have a balanced life in both of these worlds is a calmer mind. Therefore an app like this will be of immense help as it provide the guidance.

    Thank you for this.
    Rajith

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