This summer, I decided to take my health back. For this to occur, I needed to make some changes in various areas of my life. Some were dietary, others were not, but all were necessary.
One of my goals was to take more time for myself. Certainly, I wanted more time to reflect or receive the benefits of bodywork. However, those times are few and far between. I felt that what I really needed was to learn to carve some “me time” in the middle of my busy days, knowing that even five or ten minutes would make a difference.
To be perfectly candid, I have absolutely no recollection of how I came across the Calm meditation app. I can’t recall if I was searching for such an app or if I just came across it some random way. All I know is that when I found it I decided to download it onto my phone.
The initial download is free.
The Calm Meditation App
The Calm meditation app gives you three choices of backgrounds with accompanying nature sounds: rain, ocean, and a peaceful lake. There is a fourth option with just silence.
Right away, you are directed to use their introductory program called “7 days of calm.” I was given the choice to choose a male or female voice. Both voices were very calming.
I loved the “7 days of Calm” and planned to continue. However, this is when I discovered the caveat.
While the Calm meditation app is free to download and gives you access to the screens and program I mentioned above, the rest of the programs are locked unless you buy a subscription.
The subscriptions range is as follows: $12.99 per month, $59.99 for the year (or $4.99 per month), or $299.99 for a lifetime membership.
Honestly, even though I really loved using this app, I wasn’t sure I wanted to pay for it if there were free options out there. Another reason was that I wasn’t sure I would stick with it long term.
I decided to give myself a waiting period. I did try a couple of other apps during that time. One was free and one was $2.99 one time fee.
At the end of my waiting period, my favorite app was still Calm.
I decided that the $60 for a year membership was worth it. For me, this is $4.99 per month well spent.
Calm Meditation App: What You Get
A paid subscription opens up new doors; so to speak.
First, you get more backgrounds and sounds. In all honesty, this part wasn’t a huge deal for me. I’m content with the three nature backgrounds I received with the free download, and truth be told.. I have not downloaded any new backgrounds.
Second, (that’s the part I love), you get a variety of programs: from the follow-up to the “7 days of calm” (called “21 days of calm”), to other programs specific to stress, anxiety, relaxation, and much more.
The app also offers a daily program called “Daily Calm” which I do every morning (before I even get out of my bedroom) to start my day. I love it.
Calm Meditation App: In Conclusion
The Cons: the free download is a bit deceitful and only offers one free program, lasting only seven days (provided you do it daily).
The Pros: This is a well thought out app which (once you pay for the privilege) offers you many different programs to help with your meditation practice. I know that some believe true meditation should not resort to “gimmicks”, but the way I see it.. everyone will have an opinion, and is entitled to it. It’s more important to find your own way into meditation.
I personally find the Calm Meditation App very useful for two major reasons: 1) I am a novice and need more direction than what I could obtain in a book, and 2) it has helped me build a good habit through consistency.
Does this mean that as I progress I will no longer need/want this app? The future has not arrived, so it’s hard to say for sure what I will want or feel like doing in a year (or more) from now. As of today, I do plan to renew my subscription next year. I see it as a gym membership for my brain except that I get to stay home and/or that the “gym” travels with me. I think I may still need the consistency and the repetition in a year, but who knows?
The Calm meditation app may not be for everyone and I understand (and respect) this opinion. As I mentioned above, this app is more certainly perfect for my own personal needs.