Calm is the #1 app for sleep, meditation and relaxation and features services such as guides, sleep stories, and health and meditation videos. Founders Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew came up with the app in 2012, and after five years, Calm became Apple’s “App of the Year”. Further, the company Calm ranked as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2018. Users have the option to unlock a premium version immediately or after a 7-day trial, or can opt to continue using a free, limited version.
Calm has collaborated with celebrities like Bob Ross, Moby, Stephen Fry and Matthew McConaughey to create original content and narration for stories on the app. The app became so big that a Calm book got published in 2015. Next to the app and the book, the company also created a short film. At this moment, the app has more than 40 million downloads and that is why Yoke thought it was time to take a look at the app and give it a review.
Mental health is slowly losing its taboo status and apps like Calm are an important player in that mind shift. Calm is one of the most popular mental health apps available in the App Stores, and after reviewing the app for a few weeks, the team at Yoke can understand why. Everyone in the office enjoys the user interface and we feel the entire product is well-developed. Simply plug in headphones and start the app to focus on mental health, sleep, or relaxation. Calm is out there making the mental health of others better, and for that alone, we appreciate the app dearly.
The app feels like a finished product, and with no feature missing from the app, the only problem we had was its pricing. We believe the price of Calm is set that high just because it has everything you need. Similar apps are not needed when you have a subscription to Calm, as it provides you with sleep techniques, meditation classes, soothing sounds, … So although we understand the pricing, it is still a tad bit expensive.
Jidé, CEO Yoke
“From the team, I was the only one that had used Calm before we started reviewing it for this month’s app review and I have always believed Calm is an amazing product. I mainly used Calm to focus on more qualitative sleep, and I have to admit that whenever I used the app, the quality of my sleep improved so much afterwards. I loved the stories and their background noises, as they teleported me away from my thoughts — which is exactly something you need sometimes. Further, a voice like Matthew McConaughey telling stories only helped me become more relaxed. In the future, I can see myself getting a subscription, but for now I don’t really find it necessary. I still see Calm as something that takes time away from my podcasts and ebooks, and ideally, it should become an option next to those two. As you can hear, I am a big fan of the app, and that is why I am scoring it 4 out of 5 stars.”
Mustafa, CTO Yoke
“I only used the app intensely for about three days in a period of two weeks. Although I believe Calm is a really good app, I don’t really have a need for it at this point in my life, and was not really drawn to it on a daily basis. I was a big fan of the meditation feature, and I do believe this will help people’s mental health whenever they use it. Our lives are so fast-paced, and taking just ten minutes out of your day to focus on meditation will help others a lot. Where Jidé loved the stories being told by familiar voices, this feature was where I experienced most problems. I don’t like having to focus on something specific when I am trying to fall asleep, and having those voices talk was more a distraction to me than anything else. There were so many celebrities I was interested in listening to, and I never knew which one to pick. Often, I ended up trying them all and that made me even more awake. As long as the stories are told by a nice, soothing voice, I don’t care if it’s by celebrities or not. Like I already said, the app doesn’t really fit me at the moment, so far that I am ranking it 2.5 stars.”
Zak, Data Analyst Manager Yoke
“When you open the app for the first time, Calm gives users the opportunity to start a free 7-day trial, which I used to review Calm for our blog. Although the trial did draw me in and provided me with enough information and access, I won’t be buying a subscription as I believe it is a bit too expensive for the amount of time I would use it. I would almost say the app is good for all wellbeing, except financial. When testing, I wasn’t using the app with a specific goal to sleep better, but whenever I used Calm late at night, I did experience better quality sleep. My favourite part of the app is the user interface. Calm is so accessible, easy to use, and has straightforward categories. I wouldn’t change anything about its UI. It is so clean, and can only give the Calm team kudos for that. That is why I am scoring Calm 4 stars.”
Dharin, Influencer Manager Yoke
“I got the most out of Calm through the soothing sounds in the app as I wasn’t really drawn to meditation or sleep stories, nor was I looking for better focus. Although I do think the app helps a lot of people every day, it isn’t something for me. Especially since I can easily find another app with soothing sounds or just go to YouTube to find the same sounds. Similarly to Zak, I did really enjoy the UI: Calm is easy to use, and you immediately see an overview of what you get when opening it. I wouldn’t pay for the app, but I do understand why someone would want a subscription as there is no need for any other mental health app if you have full access to Calm. The best thing for me were the reminders so even if you are really busy, you take a few minutes out of your morning or evening routine to focus and meditate. Although I acknowledge the popular demand for an app like Calm, to me Calm is an app that I will only need at specific periods in my life. For that, I am scoring Calm 3 stars.”
It was hard figuring out anything negative about Calm that didn’t have anything to do with its pricing. We feel like Calm is an app anyone can benefit from in their lives, as we often live our lives too fast-paced. Calm has a great overall product, and that means there is no need for any other assistant apps. Whatever you find in the app, you can use and gain from. Eventually, we all came to the decision to rate the app an overall 3.5 stars.