Open the Calm app and you’ll immediately be greeted with the gentle sound of the outdoors. It varies from person to person, but we loved this touch and found it helped us on the path to relaxation (you can change it to rolling waves, pouring rain, crackling firewood or crickets).
We loved Calm when we tested it previously, particularly its guided Daily Calm sessions, which helped us unwind and refocus our attention. But the app has bolstered its already-great offering this year, with the addition of a new daily meditation series called the Daily Trip. Narrated by Canadian author and meditation teacher Jeff Warren, the Daily Trip offers a more adventurous – and enjoyable – practice. We found we learned more in these daily sessions than any of the others we tested.
If you fancy something a little different, you can also pick from exclusive music tracks engineered to help you focus, relax or sleep, including remixes from stars Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding. There are also several new celebrity-narrated “sleep stories”, with calming tales from the likes of former One Direction star Harry Styles, and actors Idris Elba, Cillian Murphy and Chiké Okonkwo. We got a childish pleasure out of these and found they helped us unwind in the evenings, bringing back the nostalgia of being read a bedtime story.
The latest version of the app includes a new gratitude check-in feature, which we used to remind ourselves of the things we’re grateful for each day. With plenty of content and at just £28.99 for a subscription that lasts the whole year (there’s no monthly offer but that equates to just under £2.50 a month), we also think this app is great value.