Calm App Review – Everything you Need to Start Meditating Right Away

Calm App Review – Everything you Need to Start Meditating Right Away

We’ve all heard stress is killing us, that we need to find new ways of dealing with it, and that meditation is one of the best ways of doing that. But, what do I do? Just sit there? Ok, and do what? Well if you’re struggling with what meditation is and exactly how it can help you keep your cool and relieve stress, first check out my article Best Meditation Techniques – Freelance Destress Edition and then come back here. If you have a basic idea of how meditation works and its benefits then let’s check out my Calm App Review and see what it’s all about.

Calm app review – Homepage

When you first open the app, whether, on your smartphone or tablet, you’ll get a screen that looks like this.

calm app review take a deep breath

I think it’s quite possibly the best way for a meditation app to open. That small reminder for you to take a deep breath puts in the mindset of focusing on the present and gets you ready for the session ahead.

Now, the homepage might be one of my favorite parts of the whole app. You can choose between a few different home screens just by swiping left or right and you can find a ton of different ambience options that include: snow-covered tree, rainforest, fire, or calming lake with bird sounds. Personally, I went with the lake option as it reminds me of a place I used to go with childhood friends and just thinking about it puts a smile on my face.

calm app review Homepage

Calm App review – Homepage Icons

Sleep Stories

calm app review sleep stories

The first icon you see on the bottom left is the sleep icon. If you’re someone who’s mind races at night and you just can’t seem to relax I think these sleep stories would be perfect for you. Some are free, but most are paid, You can choose anything from Bob Ross talking to you to Wisdom of the Jungle. They’re designed to help you focus on one thing, and they’re very calming and quiet, and nothing too exciting that get’s your blood churning. They also automatically turn off your device and the sound when they’re done so you don’t have to.

Music

In my opinion, there are many different ways for people to find calming, meditation-type music (like youtubing it). However, if you were on the go and didn’t want to use up data, this option could come in handy. It would be great for self-guided meditations or just a way to block out background noise if you’re in a busy public place and would like to get in a little time for some mindfulness.

calm app review

Meditation

calm app review meditation homepage

This option, for me, is the most used. I don’t really feel the need to have music or story to sleep as I’m usually snoring in about 4 and a half seconds. I think that partly has to do with the meditation practice and the fact I have a list of everything I need to do the next day written down, so I don’t continually dwell over it laying in bed.

Anyways, when you first click on the meditation option, it takes you to the screen above. What I like about the Calm app and something many meditation apps don’t have, are the categories on the top. You can choose between Stress, Sleep, Beginners, Emotions, etc. It makes it very clear and straightforward for users to decide on exactly what they want to work on at that time. However, sometimes Calm does cheat a bit and use the same recorded sessions in a few categories, but honestly, there’s a lot of cross-over between many of them. It will also help you direct your meditation to an individual goal and the outcome you’re looking for.

calm app review Masterclass

Calm also has different series of recordings such as “7 days of calm” and anxiety, “7 days of managing stress”, or “7 days of sleep”. I’m a big fan of this idea because 7 days is a very manageable period for most people. When you start talking about more than a week or even a few weeks, many people can’t wrap their head around that, so they don’t even start.

Calm App Review – The Science behind Mediation

Another thing that sets the Calm App apart from most meditation apps is that during your session, the moderator tells you exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. They remind you why and how mindfulness meditation can benefit you in your daily life. At the end of most sessions, there is a short minute or two explanation and overview of what you’ve worked on and the reason behind it.

I think many people don’t remember the benefits of meditation, so they don’t make it a habit and continue practicing. Calm reminds you at the end of each session about the benefits and how you can integrate it into your daily life.

Daily Calm Highlights

The Daily Calm Highlights section is a really solid place to start for beginners, and they’re entirely free. You can choose between some of their most popular recordings by category and Calm will automatically start a session for you. If you’d like to work on gratitude or letting go, you just click on the topic and choose a recording.

calm app review Daily Calm

Push Notifications

Most apps use push notification now and I really just don’t like them. However, for habit-creating apps, like Calm, I think this is something that most people need to keep going long enough to see results. Meditating for one day is like going to the gym once, you’ll be lost and distracted most of the time and won’t really get anything out of it. To see any sort of results from meditation, many of us will need a daily reminder to be mindful, and I think the push notifications come in handy for that.

calm app review push notification

Calm App Review – Masterclass

This section is basically a set of lectures by some well-known Doctors or authors talking about different topics and how meditation can improve your life in different contexts. There are talks like Rethinking Depression, Social Media & Screen addiction and Mindful Eating. If you’ve ever heard of TedTalks, the Masterclasses reminded me a bit like that but without the visual aspect. Like a podcast. This obviously is a display of how Calm wants to educate it users and wants them to understand why meditation is important.

calm app review Masterclass homepage

The Breath Bubble

If you’re a beginner and don’t quite have the rhythm of your breathing yet, the Breathe Bubble is perfect for you. You can customize to take 4, 6 or 8 breaths per minute. I would highly recommend the 6 breaths for beginners as that’s a 5 second inhale and 5 second exhale. If you feel like it’s too short than by all means, use the 4 breaths per minute. I actually prefer it.

calm app review breath in/out gif

As you can see above, the bubble expands when you breathe in and shrinks when you breathe out. They’ve also added a noise that is different on the breathe in and breathe out parts. Some people say they don’t like the bubble because it takes the focus away from your body but if you’re having trouble listening to your body and finding a breathing rhythm, I would highly recommend trying it out.

Calm App Review – The cons

The only real con for me with this app is that most of the session are at least 10 minutes. I believe 10 minutes is a great average time for meditating in our busy lives. However, it may be a bit much for some who only have 5 minutes to spare some days and a bit short for those who would like longer sessions. There is a timed session option but they basically just have longer pauses in between instructions the longer you meditate for.

Really other than that I can’t find anything else wrong in this Calm App Review.

calm app review take a deep breath

Calm App Review – Should I upgrade?

There is quite a bit on offer in the free version and to start out with, I’d say stick with the 7-day free trial. You’ll have to put in your info and say you’ll buy the year subscription but it can easily be cancelled in the subscription part of your device.

However, a year subscription will only run you $59.99, about $0.16 per day for all the guided meditations you could ever want. If you enjoy the 7-day trial than definitely think about the upgrade. Making meditation a part of your daily routines will help not only your freelance business but also your overall well-being, relationships and stress level. 0.16 cents per day is a pretty small price to pay for those kinds of results.

The Final Verdict

calm app review Masterclass

I’ve run you through what the Calm App offers and my recommendation for where you should start if you’re a beginner and what I like and dislike about it. That being said, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Calm App Review. I really enjoy this app, and it’s a part of my morning ritual right after my coffee, and I check the news.

It has helped make meditating a habit in my life, and I have no doubt it can do the same for you. You can check it out for yourself at Calm.com.

 

Have you tried the Calm App? How does it compare to the others you have tried? Leave me a comment below.

 

 

4 Replies to “Calm App Review – Everything you Need to Start Meditating Right Away”

  1. Hey thanks for this article! Meditation is definitely something I’ve been meaning to work on for a while now, but unfortunately haven’t gotten around to yet. This app looks great, but it’s a shame to see it requires payment. The services definitely look worth it, but what advantages does it have over the free apps that have very similar possibilities?

    1. Hey, I understand that paying for it might seem like a nuisance but as I broke down in the article we’re talking about $0.16 a day and for the content that you receive, it really is worth it. The advantage is that this app has more guided meditations, they’re broken down into many different categories, they have masterclasses, a breath bubble for beginners, an option for music and stories to help you fall asleep. There is no other app out there with such a wide array of options all in one place. I know many use headspace but I’d easily put Calm in the top spot of meditations apps out there. Thank you for stopping by!

  2. In the masterclass section of your post you mention mindful eating. Is this a actual guided meditation in the calm app. I have plenty of friends that may benefit from this. Eating has become a social activity instead of one to replenish our bodies. Mindful eating could help as a reminder and supplement to dieting.

    1. Hey!

      The masterclass section is more lectures than actual guided meditation, however it gives you the tools and strategies you can use to be a more mindful eater. You’re absolutely right that eating/drinking are more social than anything else. As was smoking not so long ago. Being mindful, meditating, and making decisions with clear thoughts can all help with overeating or “eating your feelings”. Unfortunately the social aspect can be pretty dangerous as we’re not conscious of what we’re eating or drinking when we’re laughing and having a good time. It’s the same reason they say don’t eat and watch t.v. at the same time. Making eating a subconscious action can do a lot of harm over the long run. 

      Thank you for stopping by!

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