Calm App Review 2021: A Psychologist’s Honest Opinion

If you are thinking about downloading the calm map if your finger is hovering above that button that says download purchase buy, but you’re wondering what does it do? Is it worth it? What is this whole mindfulness app thing really about, then? You are in luck because today I am answering those questions and I am giving you an honest review of the comic.

Do you need it? Is it worth it? What does it do? So if you want to know sticker out, hey you, all welcome back in case you are new here or we don’t know each other. My name is dr. Alison and I am a licensed clinical psychologist and I have seriously made up my life mission and my jam’to really simplify psychology so to break down the science and everything I know as a psychologist to help you live a Healthier and more meaningful life now Before we jump into the calm map, I want to first pause and I want to take you back to 2006, when I was a young little grad student in 2006.

I was starting my ph.d program to become a clinical psychologist and you. All I was real clear about the type of psychologist I was going to be. I had this vision in my mind and that vision did not involve talking softly or meditating or doing any of that no way I’m, not gonna.

Do it that’s, why people think psychologists are weird. I’m, not gonna. Do it, thankfully, that grad student quickly learned that she didn’t know everything, because now in 2020 I am a licensed clinical psychologist.

I finally finished that long haul grad school program – and I am a huge advocate – I’m – a huge believer and I’m – a huge proponent of mindfulness. Why? Because the research is ridiculously supportive of it, and my guess is, if you are here, if you searched or clicked on this video, then you must be interested or at least thinking about mindfulness, and you are probably wondering about the calm map and is the calm app.

A great way to start to get going, is it worth it? Well, you are in the right place, because today I’m, really gonna break down. I’m gonna tease apart and help. You understand the calm app, what it offers, what it has.

What I like what I don’t like, is it worth it? I am going to give you my honest opinion as a psychologist to help you figure out. Should you download, purchase and use the calm app before you ask? No, this is not a sponsored.

Video calm has no clue who little ol me is. I actually have purchased and downloaded, and this app for years with my own money. However calm, if you you know want to sponsor me, want to have me come out, I mean you know where to find me.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s, jump in in case you haven’t heard of the comma or you don’t know. Calm is one of the most popular mindfulness meditation and relaxation apps. It has over fifty million downloads.

It has like a bazillion five-star reviews and it is won a ton of awards in the tech space and it’s. A really popular fan, favorite among meditators, and I want to start by helping you understand the main features of the app than the main things that you are going to get to experience.

If you use the calm app. So the first section that I want to talk about for the calm map is the meditation section and, to be honest, I think this is why most people come to the combat. This is what they know about.

This is what they hear about and it’s. What they want more of so meditations, most of them in the app are about 10 to 15 minutes long and they are guided meditations and they’re really organized by themes.

So anxiety, stress, self-care relationships, focus they break them down. So you could click on that theme and then it you know it offers you a bunch of different meditations. Now some of them are singular meditations, but many of them are something going to be like 21 days to calm or seven days to less stress.

So these are sort of a series of meditations which really build on one another, which i think is a really cool concept. So again, each meditation is about 10 to 15 minutes long and it’s led by a guide or narrator.

So the meditation start by helping you really focus quiet your mind, notice. What’s happening? They do a little bit of teaching or explaining about halfway through the meditation. The pace slows down a little bit and is really prompting you to pay attention to something.

So the narrator usually gets a little bit quieter gives you a little bit of space to be, and then they walk. You sort of out of the meditation helping yury, engage and reorient to where you are right.

Now, if that’s, not for you or you’re, a more experienced meditator, there is a section of the meditation portion on comb calmed less focus. Now this is a newer one, or at least newer to me. I don’t know if I skipped right over it or just hasn’t seen it before, but I’m really enjoying this section, because I am a pretty experienced meditator.

So this offers less instruction and less guidance and usually breaks it down by time or offers you options in terms of. Do you want to set a chime for how long – and I love this feature, because there’s less following a narrator and just more tuning into your experience? There is a pretty frequent criticism of some of the mindfulness apps.

Is that because a narrator and a guide is walking you through the meditation? Some critics have said you’re, paying attention to that person in that voice and not your own experience. So I think the less focused section is an answer to this criticism and a great way to weave in more open-ended meditations into your practice.

If you’re a beginner and that seems a little intimidating, I wouldn’t completely shy away from it, but I would maybe start with the shorter versions of the less focus, and I think you’ll, find it’s, a really good, diverse practice, even if it’s a little intimidating at first one of my favorite things about Calmes meditations specifically, is that they do a beautiful job at blending.

Two things: the teaching training education piece with the actual practice of mindfulness. So, for a lot of my clients who see me for therapy, they have me to sort of pitch mindfulness or to talk about it or to teacher or the Y or the science.

Or how do we do it? But if you don’t have a me or you, don’t, have a therapist or a guide or someone to really kind of get you to buy in or to help. You know how to do it and the things to pay attention to.

I love that calm. Does this for you, so you don’t need it me all, will really help. You understand the who. What, when, where why the mechanics of meditation while you’re, practicing beautifully done, I promise calm, does that better than anyone else? I’ve.

Seen all right. The second feature – and I would say another hugely popular feature of calm – is the sleep stories now. There is a reason that many parents will read to their child before bed. It can be very soothing, it can help relax the mind, and so calm has recreated this.

In their sleep stories feature so sleep stories is exactly what it sounds like. It is literally someone reading narrating and telling a story, often in a very soothing, very quiet, very relaxed tone. It is literally like having someone sitting next to you in bed.

Reading you a story, calms sleep stories have an almost cult-like following and I will be honest. I really started to pay attention to sleep stories, because my little brother is one of those cult. Members who loves the sleep story feature, so he was having some difficulty falling.

Asleep at night and really started tuning into the sleep stories feature of calm and has really grown to love. It is falling asleep, much faster, consistently and not tossing, and turning so if you have difficulty falling asleep, if you find that your mind just starts racing when you get into bed or you’re tossing and turning you’re staring at The ceiling, then the sleep stories feature is gonna be awesome for you.

There are a ton of different narrators or readers of these stories. Some you will recognize their voice right away, Matthew, McConaughey, Lucy, Liu levar burton, and they’re, always adding new stories.

They have fiction, they have nonfiction, they have them in multiple languages. So you really get to pick what fits for you. I will totally be transparent. I do not use the sleep stories feature that much for two reasons: one I am a new mom and I’m ridiculously sleep-deprived, so like fall asleep in about 15 seconds, and the other is that I am such a passionate consumer of information and Knowledge, I love learning that sounds very dweeby, but that’s, how you get through school.

You know when you go up bazillion years. I love learning, and so one of the things I found for me personally is when I would listen to some of the sleep stories, especially the nonfiction ones. I was perking up because I wanted to hear and learn and what are they talking about? So if you are a lover of learning, then you might prefer the fiction stories or even some of the stories or that are read in another language or that are more in the direction of fairy tales.

Colm is also always adding new sleep stories, even though I don’t use that feature very much. I find it really fun to look and see what they’re, adding who’s reading, so they keep it fresh. So it’s, not just the same ones over and over.

The third section of comm that I want to talk about, I think, is the most underrated and underutilized feature of a calm app. I feel like no one is talking about this feature. No one seems to even notice it, and it is one of the best-kept secrets of the combat their master class section.

The master class tab or section of the calm map is literally where experts in the field teach you about what they know. So they really talk about the science behind all sorts of things, so happiness gratitude, bad habits, conscious, parenting, mindful eating, and they’re, broken down and sort of they have got different classes that make up that master class. Each one is usually maybe somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes. These are not meditations. This is almost like a combination between a YouTube, video and a podcast.

To be honest, if you love my content, the simplified psychology that I break down, you will probably enjoy the master class because it would take let’s, say the theme of gratitude and really expand that over the course of five to seven different classes.

I also that you can download these master classes, so they’re great for a road trip or a flight, or if you’re gonna be sitting for a long time. You can just pop in your headphones and listen to these anywhere that you are another lesser known and less popular section of the comm.

App that I want to talk about is calm body, and I will be honest. I used to skip past this section so much because I sort of thought in my head, like no. I have a fitness membership and I do the kind of like body workout stuff.

I do that elsewhere, but in really kind of looking in the app more to talk about it was like what why have? I missed this feature. Calm body offers something really unique and a little bit different than the rest of the sections of the app.

When we talk about mindfulness, so many people just think about meditation right, the sitting you know in the couch or laying on their bed or whatever and following a guided meditation noticing their experience and, of course that is one form of mindfulness.

But you. All you can do almost anything mindfully. I talked about this. A lot on my channel. All you have to do is bring your attention and your awareness to what you’re doing in the present moment, and our body and our physical experience offers tons of ways to practice mindfulness.

But so many people, aren’t, really sure. How do you do that like how? How would you do something physically and with your body and do it mindfully, and this is exactly what calm body talks about, so it is not just someone walking you through some yoga poses.

It is really helping you practice, mindfulness with your body again. This is something that you can do with calm body and you don’t have to continue to follow their exercises or their videos, but it really does a great job at teaching you how to tune into that.

How to do that, and you can then recreate that on your own in your daily life, I particularly love one of the exercises they that they have about sort of the morning stretch. I love the idea. Waking up your body mindfully it’s, an amazing way to start your day and there’s, a guide right there helping you know exactly what to do.

The last section that I want to rave about in the calm app is calmed calm again a year ago. I was skipping right on by this section, but now, as a new mom, I’m a little bit more tuned in and if you are a parent teacher, caregiver coach and uncle, if you work with kids at all, then the calm app is worth It just for this section, calm, kids again, all these are very self-explanatory.

Nicely done. Calm is really geared towards teaching kids, how to practice mindfulness the research on mindfulness is ridiculously clear. I talk about it all the time, but we are starting to see some new research emerge about the impact of mindfulness for kids and schools across the country across the world really are starting to incorporate mindfulness into all sorts of programs and classes and social-emotional learning committees.

It it’s, so cool to see how people are getting on board with using mindfulness with kids. Now mindfulness with kids may not look like it does with you and I it’s, not gonna look the same as an adult who’s, practicing mindfulness and that’s.

Why I love this feature in particular, so let’s say you’re on board with mindfulness awesome, but you’re wondering how the heck do. I do this with my kid like how am I gonna get my eight-year-old to sit for 20 minutes and meditate well.

First of all, I love that you’re thinking about this and, second of all, you’re, not gon. Na get your eight-year-old to sit and meditate for 20 minutes and that’s. Why? I love calm kids because it helps you understand.

How do I make mindfulness developmentally appropriate for my child home kids is broken down by age group, so you can start to get a feel for how do I talk about mindfulness with a three-year-old with a six-year-old with a ten-year-old you’re, going to Hear the way that the experts teach it and practice it, and then you can start to mirror that at home in other waise.

Now i am going to give you a word of advice here, not that you asked me, but i’m gonna give you some advice: calm, kids, it’s, not something to tell your child to do while you go in the Other room, calm, kids, especially in the beginning, is best done with your child, so be in the room with them be curious and do the practice with them if they get distracted if they don’t want to do it that’s.

Okay, but help them refocus. I will also note that calm kids includes sleep stories for kids, which i think is really cool, although to be honest, I think if you’re gonna use that feature, I would encourage you to pick up a book and actually do that with Your child, but I think in you know cases where it’s a late night or you’re on vacation or something happens, and you don’t.

Have a book or you’re, not able to read in person. I think that’s, a cool feature to be able to use. However, I would say, if you can read in person with your child, that is probably gonna, be a better bet.

There are a bunch of smaller features within the Combe app that you might also like and try it’s helpful the breathing bubble. The mood check-in. You can do push notifications, you can get reminders lots of the meditations that the content is available offline.

So all of those, I think, are really helpful. You might really want to dig and kind of find some of those smaller pieces that you, like I don’t think those are like huge selling points again there’s, a music section.

Most people have a million other ways to get their music, so that is probably not a big selling point. So now that I’ve kind of told you, my favorite parts of the comma pan, where I think you’re going to get the most traction, I’m gonna answer the question: is it worth it? Should you download purchase, buy and use the comma? However, I will pause for a second and tell you that probably a bigger question that’s important to talk about is: do you even need a mindfulness app at all, and I actually have an entire video on this.

That is so important. So I will link this video right here, so you can check it out, because do you even need an app at all to practice? Mindfulness and meditation go watch that app. If you have decided that you do.

You want to use a mindfulness app. Is calm worth it, and here is my honest answer to that question if you are just gonna use calm for an occasional meditation here and there maybe a couple times a week, no I don’t really think calm is going to be worth it for you now. If you are gonna use the calm app for daily meditation, so you’ve committed that you’re you want to meditate daily. Is the calm app worth it? Maybe so they do offer a ton of diversity in terms of their meditations, which i think is really great, though I will be honest.

There are so many places where you can get meditation right now for free there’s, other apps shoot. I have meditations available on my website. Dr. Allison answers calm. So if you’re, just gonna use it for meditation.

Yes, they have a wide range, but there are meditations. I mean there are so many out there. So you don’t necessarily need calm for that. However, if you are going to use all of the features – or at least several that I talked about today – you want to use it for the meditation, the master class.

The sleep stories you’re thinking about using calm, kids or calm body. Then yes, yes, yes, yes, I think calm is totally worth it. We often think about calm as a meditation app, and I really if I want to challenge you to think about it as a much wider and broader and richer mindfulness app, and they talk about so many different ways that you can practice and we have mindfulness into Your daily life, so if you were up for really exploring the app and all it has to offer all of its sections and really using those, then I think you are so gonna get your money’s worth and I’ll.

Be transparent, I feel like I have so gotten my money’s worth, and I’m a psychologist, so I know a lot of this stuff. I have a lot of these skills myself and I think it is absolutely worth the money and the investment if you’re wondering about the cost of calm.

As of now, when I’m making this video, they offer an annual membership at $ 69.99 or you have the option of purchasing a life membership for I think 399, which that sounds pretty steep. But I think that annual membership, if you think about that spread across 12 months, I think if you want to think about it as an investment it it’s worth it.

However, little side note, there are a few ways and they’re, always changing that you can get discounts. I’ve, seen discounts on Black Friday or around the holiday season before in the past they’ve offered discounts for healthcare providers, educators, students.

I have noticed that those are always changing, so it’s worth googling. You know column discount for to see if something pops up, because sometimes you do have to dig a little for those discounts, but they do offer them once in a while.

If you need that discount to be able to even afford it or make it doable, then definitely keep an eye out around the holiday season, because I have noticed that they run pretty consistent promotions. Then I am a psychologist right.

I know a lot about mindfulness. I got a lot of practice and I use the com app regularly. I paid my own money for it and I have used it for years because I find that it is helpful and rich and they offer a ton of different avenues and options for practicing mindfulness.

I also feel like it helps me, learn how to better talk about it and teach it to my own clients, which, which is just a little side perk for me. So I hope this helped. You decide whether or not calm is worth it for you.

If you have questions leave them in the comment below, and I will do my best to answer them, if you have the comma and you love it and you found it worth it, please leave a comment because your comment might help.

Somebody else makes the decision. Is it worth it for them or not, as always? Thank you so much for being here with me today on my channel. If you are new here, please take a moment to dig around my channel and see what else there is.

I also have a ton of content that isn’t here in my youtube channel that you can check out on my website dr. Allison answers. Comm. There is lots of simplified psychology to help. You live a healthy and meaningful life.

Thank you. So much good luck and your mindfulness practice, and I will see you back here real soon

 

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