It’s been a while since I’ve added to my list of apps to review. Truthfully, I thought it would be best to focus on the science of sleep as a new content creator.
But, I can’t forget that trying and discussing products that can help us sleep better is one of my key missions. Any help we can get with our sleep is greatly appreciated. And since we’re constantly using our phones, an app is a great product to consider.
So today I will give my first impressions of the Ten Percent Happier app.
(This is NOT a sponsored post. I have free access to the app as part of a promotional offer. All opinions are my own.)
Ten Percent Happier: Background
Knowing the background behind the creation of this app is a tremendous story. Ten Percent Happier was co-founded by Dan Harris, a journalist and TV news anchor.
Harris suffered an on-air panic attack in 2004. This experience caused him to research, and report on, religion, happiness, self-help, and anything else that could possibly “silence the voices in his head.”
But he didn’t find an answer that could help him. Until he came across the topic of meditation.
Harris admits he was extremely skeptical of meditation, and didn’t believe it could help. Only when he read the scientifically proven benefits of meditation did he start to believe. At that point, Harris began practicing meditation. This took him on a journey of personal growth, and he’s now dedicated to practicing meditation.
Through meditation, Harris has been able to become ten percent happier. He wrote a book based on his journey, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story.
In 2015, the Ten Percent Happier app was released.
Ten Percent Happier: Overview
Ten Percent Happier is mostly a meditation app, with a section of the app dedicated to sleep meditations. The app is available for both Android and iOS, and there are free and paid versions.
The free version will give you limited access, mostly allowing you to take their basics courses. A paid membership costs $99 per year for unlimited access. They do offer a 7-day free trial.
Bonus: at the time of this posting, if you are a USPS worker, teacher, healthcare worker, or grocery and/or food delivery worker and do not currently have a subscription to Ten Percent Happier, you can receive free access to their app. For this offer, visit https://www.tenpercent.com/care.
The app has four categories of content: Courses, Singles, Sleep, and Talks. Almost all of the content is centered around meditation, with a goal of teaching you, and guiding you through, meditation.
Finally, the user experience is amazing. The app is incredibly simple to navigate, and has a very clean design. Unlike most other relaxation apps I’ve seen, this app has a brighter color scheme, with white being the predominant color. Only the Sleep category has a darker color scheme.
Ten Percent Happier: Courses
The Courses category of the app seems to be their main focus. There are currently 28 courses to choose from, and they seem to be arranged in sequential order. Or, at least, they are arranged in the recommended order.
The first course is The Basics, which is a 7-day course. Since the app is designed to teach people meditation, this course explores the fundamentals of meditation. Even better, since the co-founder struggled with the voices in his head, a lot of the training teaches us how to quiet our minds while meditating.
While all of their courses focus on mediation, other topics they address include stress, healthy habits, and compassion. And all of their courses are taught by meditation professionals and experts.
Their most exciting course, in my opinion, is Meditation for Skeptics. This course is designed for those who, like Harris, don’t believe meditation really works. Or you don’t have to be that much of a skeptic. You might try this course if have previously tried meditation, but failed and found it extremely frustrating.
Ten Percent Happier: Singles
If you need a quick 5-30 minute meditation session, Singles is the category for you. In this category you choose a topic, such as stress or on the go, and then select one of their many individual offerings.
These individual offerings are short meditation sessions that are great for midday mental realignment. If you find yourself getting extra stressed, or your mind is racing more than usual, this is a great option.
This category is also meant to serve as quick training sessions for our mind. The idea is that we can learn to quiet our mind even during work or travel.
Ten Percent Happier: Sleep
This is the category of most importance to me (and hopefully you). Sleep is a collection of individual 5-45 minute meditations that are supposed to guide us into sleep.
These meditations fall somewhere in between true meditation practice and sleep stories. In other words, these meditations are meant to guide our breathing and lull us into relaxation, but this isn’t a bedtime story.
Similar to the other categories, you pick a topic for your sleep meditation. Each topic is essentially the same, which is getting you to fall asleep. Most of these meditations have a time range, meaning you can choose how long the meditation track is. For example, if the meditation is listed as being 5-15 minutes long, you can choose the 5 minute, 10 minute, or 15 minute version of the meditation.
One of the meditations is titled “When You Can’t Sleep.” Since I personally always wake up in the middle of the night, and usually have trouble falling back asleep, this would be a great option for me.
Ten Percent Happier: Talks
The final category of the app is Talks. These are not meditations, rather a narrator having a calm conversation with you. A new Talk seems to be posted every few days.
Like I said, these aren’t meditations. Think of them more like friendly reminders. These are meant to be listened to when you don’t have time to actually meditate.
Perhaps the best description is to think of them as a cross between an audio book and a coaching session.
Even though this is mostly a meditation app, I’m excited to see how it works for me. Since the Sleep category seems to be somewhere in between meditation and sleep stories, this might really benefit me.
And since meditation is scientifically proven to help people relax, practicing meditation is a great way to benefit our sleep, too.
Over the coming weeks I will regularly use this app, and report back with a full in-depth review.
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