By Aditi Pardeshi
School is undoubtedly stressful. I hear conversations in the hallway all the time about how overly stressed students are because of an assignment or a test. South students have to juggle about eight classes a day along with homework assignments and extracurricular activities. Managing stress and workload takes practice, but don’t worry—there’s an app for that.
Calm is an app that many of my friends have heard of but never feel like they have the time to use. It was rated the number-one app on the App Store in 2017 and has been featured in numerous publications such as Vogue and The New York Times. Voted “The Happiest App in the World,” Calm helps users balance their lives through podcast-like sessions that help listeners center their minds and meditate.
Calm has a sleek look and soft colors. When the app is first opened, a phrase pops up: “Take a deep breath.” An interactive background fills the screen accompanied by a soothing sound such as the crackling of a fireplace, a thunderstorm, or wind blowing through pine trees, to name a few choices. On the bottom bar, there are five categories: Home, Music, Meditate, Masterclass, and Sleep. When you first click the Home screen, a “Daily Calm” appears, which lists a new guided meditation session every day, if you get the yearly subscription for $59.99. The Music tab consists of various calming tunes for different situations, such as when you want to relax, sleep, focus, or listen to nature melodies. The main feature of the app—the Meditate section—is where you can pick an aspect of life you want to improve on. Although the topics are seven days long, only the first session is free.
As mentioned previously, I chose to improve on stress management, setting my mind to being focused and calm. Each session is about ten to twelve minutes, and I could easily complete one session as soon as I got home. When I began the session, a soothing female voice spoke from my phone, explaining why people experience stress and how just a few minutes of meditation can help relieve the body of stress-inducing hormones. Then, she started the meditation part of the session by breathing in and out gradually, encouraging me to focus on my breath with my eyes closed. Instantly, I felt relieved by taking deep breaths; I felt as if I were expelling each of my stresses with every exhale. I would recommend this app to everyone because I know firsthand the amount of stress students are put through. Calm alleviates some of that stress by its soothing sounds and light meditation that helps you focus. However, most of the features are made available after the purchase of the yearly subscription. Other than that, I recommend that everyone try this app out so you can experience this calming sensation yourself.