Calm — site and app for guided meditation

I had tried meditation several times over past years. In a usual attempt it knocked me out asleep. :)

There had been a new breed of meditation apps and services, offering a more guided experience.

Calm is such a website/app.

What it does

Site offers selection of background sounds and narrated meditation guides. You can combine the two — ambiance that works for your taste and guide on specific topic.

Calm web site interface.

Calm web site interface.

There is an introductory seven day program. It walks you through concepts and practice of mindfulness meditation.

Strong features

The selection of background sounds is most comprehensive. You are bound to find the one you like. My personal favorite is “rain on leaves”.

I had found guides to be very practical. The tone and pace are right to be instructional, but not overbearing or boring. If you need some background without voice, there is a couple of options without guidance.

Mobile app repeats functionality of the site. That makes for a little clunky interface (more site than app), but everything is there and works.


Site is quite pushy to sell you a subscription and is mostly behind a paywall. Even programs, that used to be free before, are now under a paid subscription.

Outside of introductory course only unguided tracks and some samples are free. At $13 monthly price (less if paying for a longer time) it isn’t quite a no–brainer either.


My profile tells me I had 72 sessions, totaling 15+ hours. So I would say the site is quite nice to use and habit forming. I hadn’t found that much mental benefit, but it fits my day well to wind down after exercise.

If you are looking for more serious practice you would likely have to pony up for subscription. If the price tag is worth will be a quite individual decision.

Site Calm.com

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  • Raveren #

    Dude, if you're really serious about it, and from your track record I can tell you are, just go to a Vipassana retreat. It will progress you five years ahead of self-learning, and costs nothing. You can, optionally, decide to gift someone else the same opportunity - but only after the ten days. Cause the technique is a gift to humanity. I promise you, it's no new age bullshit - it's real world - a high intensity, high effectiveness workout for your brain and emotional maturity. You will come out a different (and much happier) man. If you endure it all of course, it's not easy and not for everyone. The no bullshit retreat that happens all around the year is dhamma.org.
  • Andrey “Rarst” Savchenko #

    Thank you for the recommendation, but I am not interested to such a degree at this time. :)