I’m starting a new series where I will review the most popular apps for better sleep and relaxation. These will be two-part series, with the first part being my first impressions, and the second being a follow-up review and final thoughts.
For all the ways I have tried to help myself get to sleep, I have actually never used an app for help. I’ve only used more natural methods, such as drinking warm milk, not looking at my phone at night, etc. So this will be a new experience for me and I’m very excited about it.
(Read about my experience drinking warm milk here)
Let’s start with the most popular sleep, relaxation, and meditation app: Calm.
(If you’d like to see a video version of this content, see the video below)
Please keep in mind that this post is NOT sponsored.
Calm is a free app download (Android/iOS), however the app is really intended to be a subscription in order to gain access to premium content. You can start with a 7-day free trial, and then move to a yearly subscription at $69.99. On the Calm website, you can also purchase a lifetime plan for the one-time cost of $399.99.
When you open the app for the first time, it will walk you through some initial questions in order to get data on why you are wanting to use the app, and to figure out which content it will want to curate and recommend for you.
After answering those questions, you will be greeted to one of the most gorgeous user interfaces of an app I have ever experienced. At the menu on the bottom, there are different categories, such as sleep, meditation, and music. You can begin exploring which type of content you are interested in trying. Please note that any piece of content with a padlock icon is only available to paid subscribers, though I believe it will unlock if you start the 7-day free trial.
If you head over to the sleep tab, you’ll see all kinds of bedtime stories, many of which are read by some very high-profile actors, including Laura Dern. I think it’s very impressive that Calm is collaborating with notable celebrities, which really adds credibility to the app (including a meditation course by LeBron James).
As you explore the other tabs, you’ll find many more collaborations. Really, there is so much content that you have to explore for a while and decide what kind of content you think will help you.
For me, the music category will definitely be something I explore. They have a wide range of music, including piano, violin, as well as ambient electronic music, so there is something for everyone.
The meditation tab offers some courses (content meant to be explored sequentially over a period of time, like a week) that provide guided meditation and breathing exercises, another area of content that I am very excited to try.
If you hit the more tab, you’ll come to a menu with even more content to choose from, including breathing exercises and body stretches (kind of like yoga-lite).
One thing I have noticed while exploring the app is that when you are not using any content, the app features nature sounds as its background track. I’m not sure if this is something I like or not. My first impression finds it a little jarring, but at the same time the more I use the app, the more the nature sounds disappear into the background, which I’m sure is the app’s intention.
So overall, what are my first impressions?
The app is absolutely beautiful. The user experience is amazing, and I’d probably relax a little just by looking at the app. Everything is easy to find, and I’m sure the quality of the content is very high.
As I use the app, I will be interested in determining if the app is worth paying for a subscription, or will using the app for free suffice. There is a lot of content on this app, but the majority of it is only available with a subscription, so I have to determine how I value this premium content.
Over the coming week I will use the app and gather my thoughts for a follow-up review and analysis. Like I said before, I’m really excited to try using an app for sleep and relaxation help, and starting with Calm is certainly a great way to begin.
Let me know, have you ever used Calm? Did it help you? What apps have you used to help yourself sleep?