Meditation and mindfulness apps are truly having their moment in 2020. Thanks to apps like Headspace and Calm, the mindfulness app market reached a staggering $195 million in 2019, which was more than double the revenue of the year before.
The majority of these meditation apps focus on general meditation. Headspace, for instance, is all about helping you develop a habit of meditating. And other apps offer general guided meditations for relaxation. Now, however, a new app is seeking to cure one of the most common mental health problems in the world: Anxiety.
The Calmer You app promises to help with anxiety. It does this using a combination of different exercises. There are meditations for anxiety, cognitive behavioural therapy exercises, journaling and more.
The app was crated by Headspace’s former head of research, Nick Begley, who worked for Headspace for two years, where he learned all about the benefits of meditation. Speaking to TechCrunch, Begley said, “I realized that [apps don’t have to] be limited to just mindfulness. There’s so much good advice out there, but just passively digesting it — watching videos or reading books — which is what most of us do when we want to improve, simply doesn’t deliver the changes that they promise.”
Begley explains that even though there is a lot of excellent advice available to help people with anxiety, most people struggle to actually take action based on that advice. This is there the Calmer You app will help. It includes a 28-session course that helps users to understand the nature of anxiety and to learn activities to help alleviate the symptoms. A combination of CBT, mindfulness, journaling, analytic techniques and other exercises, and a toolkit with more than 50 quick exercises, are all provided to help the user overcome anxiety.
A premium subscription to Calmer You cost $7.99 per month or $47.00 per year.
Begley states that the app was never intended to fill the gaps of Headspace but that his is the most common feedback they hear, that it compliments Headspace. Begley states that many people struggle to practice meditation and so they wanted to provide alternative exercises to help with anxiety. The app offers a more “comprehensive approach,” says Begley, than the approach of Headspace.
Begley has been careful to work with expert psychologists in order to develop the best anxiety app for 2020. However, because we are currently in the earl days of the app, there is no research to state whether Calmer You works. Begley hopes that research will validate the positive effects that Calmer You has on anxiety. Naturally, there has been research to prove the effects of meditation on anxiety, depression, stress and other problems. Begley hopes the app will help users take advantage of those benefits of meditation.
One of the psychologists at Calmer You, Chloe Botheridge ,who also wrote The Anxiety Solution, says that “as a therapist, I teach people many different techniques so they can find what works best for them, not just mindfulness. [It was essential that the app helps] empower people to find the practices that work best for them and their situation.”
The team is consistently developing new tools to help users with anxiety. So far they have released tools for social anxiety, confidence and more.
The app developers are cautious to note that the app isn’t intended to be used as an alternative to professional healthcare.