Calm App Review: Your In-Depth Guide for 2022

This is a drawing of a girl using the calm app

Calm App Review

Meditation and sleep aid

Calm is one of the leaders in the thriving industry of online meditation and sleep help. The calm app also makes an effort in helping you move daily with exercises guides, however, this part of the platform needs work to give the value we expect from Calm. The Calm app is helpful for addressing anxiety, stress, sleep issues and more.

Here is Calm App Review: Your In-Depth Guide for 2022.

Welcome to our in-depth Calm App review. This article will give you a solid idea of what the Calm meditation app has to offer so you can better decide if it’s worth your time and money.

What is Calm?

After just a few days of using the Calm app, I began to notice some improvements in my life and state of mind. With a continuous feed of fresh content to choose from and wonderfully curated courses, Calm made meditation more accessible and intriguing to me. I found the series offerings like 7 Days of Managing Stress and 7 Days of Calm to be very helpful and well planned. Although, I would love to hear more voices throughout the app and meditations, especially as the same woman is featured in most.

This app has some great features that I actually used, such as meditation reminders and mood tracking over time. But also some I didn’t use as much, including Calm Body with its limited courses and Sleep Stories, which I found to be quite long. What I did find across the board, however, was quality content. A few tweaks and improvements would be nice, but it’s hard to complain when you’re using an app that holds true to its name, helping you become a more grateful and calmer person.

Whether you are looking to improve your sleep, stress, anxiety, or focus, Calm is an app that can help. Through countless calming exercises, meditations, and breathing techniques, the Calm app is designed to make you mentally stronger, happier, and healthier. So even if you don’t have any specific goals, you can still benefit from this app’s peaceful and educational features.

Being coined as “the world’s happiest app” by the Center for Humane Technology, we were, of course, curious to find out what Calm is doing so right. While the app affirms that 84% of users who use the Calm app five times a week noticed an improvement in their mental health, I would venture to say that most of those people would feel the same if they meditated in general.

In saying this, my intention is not to understate the app but rather to testify the power of meditation and mindfulness. At any rate, this is one app that you may want to make room for on your home screen (although it’s also available for desktop), and we’re going to talk about why.

Continue reading this Calm app review for more about what Calm has to offer and if it’s right for you.

Calm Pros:

  • The app is always adding new, quality content
  • Meditations are offered in calming narrator voices
  • You can adjust the app to make it fit you (i.e., the nature scenes and sounds)
  • Categorized meditations and other sections like focus, sleep, and masterclasses
  • Great music selection for various purposes

Calm Cons:

  • Limited offerings on Calm Body
  • The sleep stories are very long
  • Lack of variety in meditation teachers (voices)

Is the calm app worth it?

The Calm app is mindfulness-based, and research shows that mindfulness-based therapy is moderately effective when treating psychological problems. That said, this is an app that can successfully improve your symptoms if you are dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression. It’s also a great app for anyone seeking self-growth or general improvement in the wellbeing department.

It’s hard to put a price on greater happiness – not to mention less stress and better sleep – the list goes on. But when you consider that dropping in on one gym or yoga class for your mental health costs at least twice as much, it’s hard to say that the price of $5.83 per month isn’t worth it – especially when you can use it as much as you want, every single day.

How much is the calm app?

Calm Premium is $69.99 USD per year – about $5.83 per month if you break it down.
A monthly subscription is $14.99 USD per month. The app download itself is free; then, if you enroll in the 7-day trial, you will automatically be enrolled in and billed for Calm Premium.

The 7-day free trial unlocks over 100 guided meditations, their sleep stories library, exclusive music for sleep and relaxation, and masterclass series led by experts.

Calm offers a lifetime membership for $399.99 USD.

Calm app free for teachers

The Calm app is a great way for teachers to introduce and practice mindfulness with their students. Calm offers a download of their 30 Days of Mindfulness in the Classroom as a free resource for teachers. The guide includes meditations and breathing and relaxation exercises, and each day has a new lesson plan. 

A subscription to the Calm app is not free for teachers, but they can get it for 40% off, making the monthly rate for teachers $41.99 USD.

Speaking of cultivating healthy young minds, the Calm app has a feature that’s just for kids. Calm Kids is perfect for teachers or parents. It offers a wonderful variety of meditations, lullabies, sleep stories, and soundscapes that help kids learn about and implement mindfulness in their daily lives.

It was the Dalai Lama who once said, “If every 8-year-old in the world is taught mediation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” 

Imagine what life could be like in the future as the use of these apps continues to grow and spread.

How to play Calm app on Alexa

Some of Calm’s content is available on Apple HomePod, Sonos, and Google Home. However, the Calm app is currently not compatible with Alexa or Amazon Echo, though they are working to make this happen down the road. If you have an Amazon Echo device, you can play Calm by using Airplay on an iOS device.

Is Calm Radio the same as Calm app?

The Calm app is not associated with Calm Radio. Calm Radio is a music streaming platform that specifically offers calming music. 

But since we’re on the topic of Alexa, note that you can play Calm Radio channels by asking Alexa on any Alexa device – like your Dot, Tap, or Echo. Calm Radio may be something worth exploring if your work, lifestyle, or mental health calls for a continuous feed of calm or lyricless music. 

That said, the Calm app offers a ton of music for similar purposes, categorized for needs like work, sleep, lullabies, and nature melodies. But we will dive more into the music section towards the end of our Calm app review.

Calm app sections

Calm is always expanding to give its platform the most helpful content for those signing up. While most of the options they available to you are done well, a few of the newer areas lack the depth and quality we would expect from a top brand. Here a few of the main areas that the Calm app can help you at this time.

Calm meditate

The most well-known feature of this app is its meditations, which are divided into topics such as emotions, focus, relationships, stress, anxiety, self-care, and personal growth.

Calm’s meditations are usually 10-15 minutes long. The meditations begin by giving you some time and space to relax and quiet your mind before leading you to focus on an intention or lesson more specific.

At the close of each meditation, the narrator usually also provides sufficient time for you to get a feel for what’s going on inside your mind and body so you can smoothly transition out of each meditation.

So what about Calm’s meditations makes them so helpful for users? One of the things this app does well is combining learning and education with application and practice. That is to say, Calm meditations typically offer practical tips and exercises to accompany your guided mediation, and that help you relieve tension, anxiety, and stress.

This is a screenshot of the meditation section on calm app

The practical and educational components are helpful, especially for new users that need more guidance. It’s helpful for all users, really. Though it’s worth noting that there is a category within the mediation section called “Less Guidance.”

This section is where you can go if you seek less guidance and instruction and more intentional silence. These can be more intimidating for beginners, so it may be best to start with guided ones and learn more about what mindfulness is first.

This matters because it eliminates pressure from your mind when you understand that meditation is not about forcing your mind to be quiet. Instead, meditation is a practice of training your attention and awareness to achieve a calmer and clearer state of mind and being.

Calm sleep stories

Ah, bedtime stories. Calm offers a variety of them to help you let go and drift off to sleep. There are a variety of sleep story genres on the Calm app, running from children’s bedtime stories featuring Peppa Pig and minion characters to other narrations by LeBron James, Matthew McConaughey, and Nick Offerman.

This is a screen shot of popular sleep stories on the calm app
This is a screenshot of Lebron James in Sleep Stories in Calm app
This is a photo of the King of sleeping city in the Calm app

In this section, you can choose from fairytales to fiction and everything in between. Each story is different, and Calm is always adding new ones. It’s a great way to turn your focus toward something other than your racing thoughts at night.

This is a photo of Fairytale sleep stories on calm app
this is a photo of the fairytales sleep section in calm app

The other nice thing about Calm’s sleep section is the varying lengths of these sleepytime tales. Stories range from about 30 to 45 minutes, most on the lower end, which is nice if you already have other important steps in your bedtime routine or don’t tend to start winding down for an entire hour in advance – and I know we’re all guilty of that sometimes.

Calm music

Just when you thought the Calm app couldn’t get any better, they have done a fantastic job building out their music section. As mentioned earlier, there is a category for all your calm, mindful, and focus-related needs.

If you’re like me and need 100% lyricless music to work to for several hours each day, it’s pretty easy to blow through the musical content on this app pretty quickly. However, there are plenty of soundspaces that you can set your duration for. So if you want to listen to the sounds of rain in a car or a city park, you can set any sound on a timer for up to 24 hours, which is a great feature for sleeping.

This is a photo of Post Malone Circles sleep remix in calm app
this is a photo of While we're young by Jhene Aiko on Calms sleep remixes

Finally, one other cool feature about the music section before we wrap up this part of the Calm app review is the sleep remix series. They’ve only released a handful so far, but here you can listen to popular tracks from artists like Katy Perry, Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, and Post Malone.

The sleep remixes songs are deconstructed and set to a slower tempo, so they’re nice to listen to before bed or when you need to chill out to something other than the sounds of chirping birds or waterfalls. And even if the songs or music genres aren’t your cup of tea, you might be surprised by how much you enjoy the “sleep versions” of them.

Calm Body

The Calm Body part of this app is not one you are likely to use often. Not because it is not good quality content, but simply because there aren’t that many. That said, it’s kind of nice not to be overwhelmed by options.

When you look at this section, you will see there is one short “workout” for every need – a cool down, warm-up, morning and evening stretch, and so on. Because so many of us head into meditation with high hopes of altering our minds, we often forget that our bodies are equal players.

This is a photo of calm body on calm app
this is a photo of katie shill in Afternoon reset on calm app
This is a photo of Katie Shill stetching video in calm app

The mind app encourages users to move their bodies while focusing closely on the mechanics of each move, which is so important for many reasons. I honestly would have to write a whole separate blog on why we should all move and exercise more mindfully. Yet, all you need to know is that with Calm Body, you can begin to experience them for yourself.

At any rate, the biggest downside to this section is that not all of the videos are actual videos; for some of them, you have to listen to the teacher’s instructions. This honestly isn’t that hard to do, and the Calm app may do this on purpose because it is a great way to challenge your focus. Plus, the underlying purpose of the Calm Body section is movement with mindfulness, so in a way, it makes sense.

This is a photo of the mindful cool down on the calm app
This is a photo of the mindful cool down with Christi-an Slomka in the calm app

If you are someone who feels like they just can’t do it without a mirroring instructor, maybe you challenge yourself and try it out. Or, maybe you don’t! Calm Body doesn’t make or break this app, but Calm’s creators probably figured that if they’re going to create a comprehensive wellness app, they can’t leave this part out.

Calm Masterclass

The Masterclass section of the Calm app offers a series of classes for everything from understanding how to break and build habits to getting better sleep. You won’t come across this underrated feature in every Calm app review, but each series has so much value.

this is a photo of the calm masterclass section

For one, experts on a topic or theme teach the series—for instance, doctors educate users on topics like social media addictions and mindful parenting.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert teaches a course on overcoming fears and tapping into creative potential. It’s inspiring to hear insight and first-hand accounts from people who have actually studied or accomplished what they speak about.

this is a photo of the calm masterclass stoic wisdom for life with Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday, also a bestselling author, has many inspiring things to say about life in general in his series Daily Stoic for Modern Life.

And did you know that there was such a thing as a happiness expert?! If you’re even remotely interested in knowing more about how to find happiness (and you know you are), Calm also offers a series for that. The Calm app is literally like carrying happiness in your pocket. What more could you need?

Meditation Apps: Never Alone Review Guide

To help you decide between the top meditation apps out there in the market, we spent multiple weeks using each of them and breaking down our findings. Now that you have heard all Calm has to offer, read how it compares to the other meditation apps on the market.

Calm vs. Headspace

The debate of Calm vs. Headspace will always be a tough one to answer. Calm and Headspace offer a ton of amazing content and useful features. At times it seems that Calm has a clear edge over Headspace in terms of what it offers. That said, as beautiful of an app that Calm is, it’s very busy. At times, it seems simple to navigate, but it pulls up way too much content even when you select only one section. For this main reason, Headspace has my vote.

Read our full review of the two high powered apps: Calm vs Headspace: Whats The Best Meditation App.

Calm vs. Insight Timer

If you read our Insight Timer app review, then you may have recognized that I’m a huge fan of Insight Timer and all that it has to offer. I love the live classes and meditations and its vast range of search functions. Calm is right up there with the quality and thoughtfulness behind its content and certainly has more visual appeal. However, Insight Timer seems to offer a lot more, and the fact that it can appeal potentially to more people or suit your needs on a given day is the kind of appeal that I think matters more in the long run. Because of all this the Insight Timer has my vote.

Calm vs. Ten Percent Happier

Some days you just want an app that you can pull up and make your world feel more serene and reassuring. For me, that’s Calm, whereas Ten Percent Happier sometimes feels like it’s in full-blown instructional, podcast mode most of the time. I love how helpful Ten Percent Happier is, but I think you can learn just as much about topics like managing difficult emotions or deep relaxation with Calm – plus Calm costs less than Ten Percent Happier. Because of all this Calm has my vote.

Calm vs. Sam Harris Waking Up

Sam Harris is one of those unique apps that makes it hard to compare with its successful counterparts. That said, users have grown to absolutely love and swear by the Sam Harris Waking Up in a relatively shorter period since its release, compared to Calm. I can see why those who started using Calm several years ago continue to stick by it, but if you want to advance your practice, I have to point you to Sam Harris’s Waking Up app. At the very least, I recommend supplementing your practice with it. I choose Sam Harris Waking Up App as the winner.

Calm vs. Buddhify

In the matter of Calm vs. Buddhify, there’s no denying that Calm has a lot in terms of the amount of its content – and it’s certainly all high quality too! By searching through Buddhify’s wheel, I have found that Buddhify also covers similar topics in helpful ways. My vote for Calm over Buddhify is not necessarily meditation content-related, but because I turn to it more for features like music and sleep! This is why I choose Calm as the better choice.

Calm vs. Unplug

Calm and Unplug are similar in that they are both beautiful, visually appealing apps. With their nature scenes and videos, they’re both apps that make you feel good and calm from the start. I enjoy Unplug because it has nicely edited videos of their instructors as they teach, interspersed with nature videos, whereas Calm’s meditations are still images. This isn’t a big deal – as much of the time your eyes will be closed – but for me, I like that Unplug feels overall more personable and pleasant to use, which is why it has my vote.

Calm vs. Simple Habit

Calm and Simple Habit are similar in terms of their interface and how everything is organized. Both are nice apps that incorporate lovely photos and clear titles. Although, they can each be tough to navigate at times. I feel as though Calm tries to oversimplify things by putting too much on one page, so I vote for Simple Habit because it’s a little easier to find what you need.

The Calm App Review Takeaway

The Calm app is literally like carrying happiness in your pocket. What more could you need in a meditation app?

It’s a mindfulness-based app that can help adults and kids alike (and anyone in between) boost everything from their mental health to personal growth thanks to its sleep stories, meditations, exercise routines, mindful eating tips, calming music – even nature sounds. All of these are available free with the trial version of this amazing app. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Calm App Review: Your In-Depth Guide for 2022
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This is the in-depth Calm App Review. In this review we go over everything from signing up to how to use it best for your mental health goals.

Price: 69.99

Price Currency: USD

Operating System: iOS, Android

Application Category: Meditation App

Editor's Rating:
4.6

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