The Best Calm App Alternatives

Are you looking for the best Calm app alternatives? Perhaps you’ve tried the Calm app but you’re not completely satisfied with it. The truth is, even though the Calm app is great, it’s not always accessible because of its monthly price.

The irony is, the Calm app is designed to calm you down. However, you might find yourself stressed to find out that you have to enter your payment details into the app before you can access the free trial! Sure, you get a 7-day trial but you’ll be charged right after that time is up.

The Calm app has become one of the go-to meditation apps on both Android and IOS devices because it has a bundle of features that are excellent and almost unmatched. However, these features all come at a premium which isn’t great if you just want to dip your feet into the world of meditation apps.

Calm app key features

As mentioned, the Calm app is loaded with paid features. Here’s what’s included for the sake of comparison with the alternatives on this list.

  • Multiple original daily offerings
  • Hours of guided meditations covering sleep, anxiety, stress, gratitude, and much more
  • The entire library of more than 200 Sleep Stories, with new stories, added every week
  • Exclusive music tracks for Focus, Relaxation, and Sleep
  • Masterclasses featuring world-renowned mindfulness experts

My quick summary

All of the apps on this list are great but if I had to choose my best Calm app alternatives they would be Smiling Mind app, Medito and 29K. All of these apps come with ‘premium features’ without the price tag.

So, if you’re not looking to pay out $14.99 a month to practise mindfulness and meditation, discover some of the best Calm app alternatives below that won’t break the bank but are close enough to the Calm app and in my opinion, might even be better!

1. Smiling Mind App

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Daily reminders
  • Guided and unguided meditations
  • Sleep meditations
  • Focus meditations
  • Extended meditations
  • Multiple languages
  • For kids, adults, teachers and professionals
  • Connect with others

I’ve written a more in-depth review of the Smiling Mind app here. It could very well be the best Calm app alternative for what it offers. The Smiling Mind app comes loaded with simple meditations that are guided and non-guided so you won’t have to sit there and listen to someone explain your meditations to you if you’re not into that. They range in length from a couple of minutes to 20 minutes or so and focus on different things from relaxation to productivity.

Once you’ve downloaded the app it will ask you how you’ve been feeling, what you’re most interested in learning and what describes you best so the app can tailor to your needs. Want daily reminders? No problem. You can set up push notifications for daily reminders at a time that best suits you. Complete your meditations daily to go on a streak and watch your progress build.

One of the coolest parts about this Calm app alternative is the fact it can be used by adults, kids and classrooms, not to mention in professional settings too. Within the app, you can connect with others who share the same interests as you and the app itself is constantly being updated. The creators of the app built it with the view of simply wanting to make the world a better place by making the app as powerful as it could be whilst remaining free forever. You won’t see any annoying ads trying to make you ‘go premium’.

For a free app, it is so feature-rich that you have no excuse not to download it and give it a go! There’s no free trial or anything like that, simply download it and enter your details to explore the many offerings it has to offer.

Available Android / IOS

2. Let’s Meditate

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Sleep meditations
  • Relaxation meditations
  • Various topics
  • Simple interface

Let’s Meditate is a very interesting app and it’s one of the best Calm app alternatives in my view because it almost looks like the Calm app, however, it’s a very basic version of the premium app. Unlike most meditation apps including the Smiling Mind app, you don’t have to enter your email address or create a password.

All you need to do is download the app and you’re good to go. Once you open the app up you’ll see five tabs across the top including All, New, Learn, Relax and Sleep. Other than that there’s a settings page where you can enter a time of day to be reminded to meditate.

When you’re ready to meditate, simply scroll up and down each tab that will show you what the meditation is and how long it’ll take to complete. These meditations range from 2 to 30 minutes in length whilst informing you if the meditation is read in a male or female voice.

As mentioned, this is a very basic app but it does come loaded with (currently) 43 meditations ranging from gratitude, sleep, studying, self-love and various calming sounds like rainfall. However, even though it isn’t feature-rich like the Clam app, if you enjoy simplicity and not being tied down to many sessions one after the other, give this app a go.

Available Android / IOS

3. Insight Timer

Best Calm app alternatives

Key features:

  • FREE
  • 100,000+ meditations
  • Sleep mediations
  • Yoga mediations
  • Relaxation meditations
  • Courses
  • Groups
  • Updated regularly

Insight Time is an interesting meditation app and is a strong Calm app alternative. Some might even say it’s better than the Calm app because it has many more meditations amongst other features. Insight timer is free however to unlock everything you’ll need to pay $9.99 a month which is cheaper than the Calm app’s $14.99. Premium features include scrubbing audio sessions and downloading meditations for offline use. However, the free version might blow you away by itself.

When you’ve downloaded the Insight Timer app you have the option of using it as a guest or creating an account. By creating a profile you can track your progress and tailor your experience better to your needs. Every day there’s a new mindfulness meditation to do when you land on your homepage.

Use the Explore tab to discover meditations or browse the many courses that take place. The Insight Timer app is unique because a lot of the courses and meditations are teacher-generated meaning teachers can sign up and upload their videos and audio recordings. If you want to use the premium version, half the monthly fee will go to the teachers who provide a lot of the content.

If you find a course you like (including yoga, self-care, anxiety, recovery, etc) you can save the date and get notified when it starts because many of the courses go live. Alongside this, you can also hire mentors for a fee if you’d like direct 1 on 1 sessions with professionals but of course, this is optional.

Inside the app, you can also browse groups which function much like Facebook groups where you can find like-minded people who share your interests. Like a social network, you can update your personal profile with your current mood.

The actual meditations are varied including guided meditations, soothing audio recordings, work mediations, bedtime stories and more. There’s a good variety of both male and female voices for each meditation you stumble across.

Insight Timer is much more than a mediation app. It’s a place to discover new ways of thinking and improving your overall health whilst finding insightful teachings. Where the Calm app is geared more towards beginners, the Insight app might be too overwhelming for those new to the world of mediation apps. However, it’s still easy to navigate.

Available Android / IOS

4. Declutter The Mind

Free mediation app

Key features:

  • FREE
  • 30-day mindfulness course for beginners
  • Meditations for stress and anxiety
  • Daily reminders
  • Written theory included with each meditation
  • Emergency category for your times of need

Declutter the mind is a great Calm app alternative because just like the Calm app, it has a very clean interface and is easy to navigate. You’ll find that the meditations are free and they focus on different things like forgiveness, anger, anxiety and stress so there’s something for everyone. The meditations are guided and they vary in length but you’ll also be suggested courses by practitioners.

However, the courses are paid which means you’ll need to sign up for a premium account which comes out at $7.99 a month. If you do choose to go premium, you’ll see that the courses are spread out over a number of days. This is a great way to form a meditation habit if you can afford it.

However, if you just want the free version, you’ll still find a lot to do in the Declutter Your Mind app. The topics are far-reaching from mending a broken heart, finding hope, OCD, trauma, etc. Whilst you can follow along with the guided meditations that are updated frequently, you’ll also find articles on the app explaining the theory of each meditation and why they can work for you.

All in all, this app has a fantastic free version that will give you more than enough to get stuck into without needing to upgrade. However, be warned that you’ll see a padlock symbol on many meditations that will ask you to upgrade when you click on them. If you find that sort of thing annoying, the next Calm app alternative might be better suited to you.

Available Android / IOS

5. Medito

Free calm app alternative

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Guided meditations
  • Customizable sounds during meditations
  • Various topics
  • Long, soothing nature sounds to meditate to
  • Easy to navigate
  • No sign up required
  • Daily meditations

Medito is probably one of my favourite Calm app alternatives not only because it’s comprehensive but because I love the look and feel of it. It’s such a clean app that won’t confuse you and yet it still has everything you need to get going with meditation. It covers a variety of topics like gratitude, kindness, anger, anxiety, societal anxiety, empowerment and much more.

There are only 2 tabs on this app and once you click on Packs, you’ll see a whole bunch of different mindfulness courses broken down into segments for you to get stuck into. This is where you’ll find all the content that includes different topics broken down into courses alongside nature sounds.

What I love the most about Medito is the fact that you can select a different sound to play in the background whilst the narrated meditation plays. There are windchimes, waves, rain and more. You can also change the sounds in the background at any time you like. Not only that but you can select the duration of the meditation you want to do from a few minutes all the way up to 20 minutes.

On the Home tab, you’ll be able to see how many minutes of meditation you’ve done each day. You’ll also find a daily meditation to complete so you don’t have to go searching for random meditations if you don’t feel like it. There’s also a basic countdown timer so you can create your own tailored meditation if you only have a few minutes to meditate. You can then select a soothing background track if you wish.

This app also allows you to download any track or guided meditation so you can use them offline which is nice. Best of all, this app is completely free. You don’t need to upgrade to unlock any premium courses or hidden features. Simply download and you’re good to go. Medito is a top challenger for the best Calm app alternative in my view so give it a go today.

Available Android /IOS

6. Breathe app

Alternatives for the Calm app

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Guided breathing exercises
  • Customisable exercise lengths
  • Daily streaks counter

The Breathe app is an interesting meditation app because as you’d expect, its sole focus is on breath work. Whilst the Calm app (and all the other alternatives on this list) focus on different topics when it comes to meditation, the Breathe app focuses on one thing and one thing only.

When you open the app up you’ll be pleased to see that you don’t have to enter an email address or password. Four breathing exercises await you. Simply tap on each one to get going and listen to the narrator guide you through the different breathing techniques. If you don’t want to do the exercises at their default duration you can change them to suit you.

As well as these core four exercises for breathing, you can also create your own custom breathing exercise which is pretty neat. Like all good meditation apps, the Breathe app has a tab that shows you your daily progress including how many exercises you completed each day and for how long each.

Because this app doesn’t cover different meditations and doesn’t have any sounds or guides, some might not view this as a good alternative to the Calm app but I still believe there’s a lot of value in it. It also has some fantastic reviews on the App Store. If you want to focus on your breathing work (which after all is the core component of meditation) give this app a go.

Available Android / IOS

7. 7Mind: Meditation Reinvented

screenshot 20221006 093211 com5995782640361602384

Key features:

  • FREE (limited access)
  • Unguided gong sessions
  • Free 7 guided sessions

The 7Mind app is another meditation app that offers you a few free meditation sessions before you need to sign up to access their full library of 150 meditations, videos, sounds, progress tracker, trophies for doing well and more.

The free version is very limited and annoyingly you’ll need to create an account but on the flip side, you won’t have to enter your payment details at this point. If you like what you see, you can then opt to sign up and pay a yearly subscription which will unlock full access to their library of meditations and videos that are guided and unguided. However, the free version still offers some guided and unguided meditations to follow.

If you’re not fussed about having a big range of freely accessible meditations, you’ll still find some value in using the free versions. Plus, the unguided gong sessions may be of use to you if you want a way of timing your meditations.

The free version of this app is basic and in my view doesn’t hold a candle to most of the others on this list of alternate apps to the Calm app.

Available Android / IOS

8. BetterMe

screenshot 20221005 215325 com7770348414992775828Headspace alternative

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Courses
  • Customisable to your needs
  • Soothing relaxation tracks
  • Various soundtracks
  • Soothing bedtime stories
  • Breath work exercises

BetterMe. Is another great looking app that is designed for teenagers and adults. The app is free to download and you don’t have to create an account if you don’t want to. When you first open the app you’ll get the opportunity to enter how much experience you have with meditation, what you want to improve and how often you’d like to practise meditation.

Your homepage will feature different meditation exercises for the morning, afternoon and evening and each is tailored to the needs you entered when you first opened the app. If you want to try something new you can use the Discover tab to explore different meditations and courses. You can also access bitesize sessions specifically for when you’re walking, eating, cooking or working and more.

The courses range from 5 days to 30 days and cover a wide range of topics including quitting caffeine and building relationships amongst others. However, it’s worth pointing out that the majority of the courses and bitesize sessions are locked behind a paywall as are most of the bedtime sleep tracks. Even so, the Sleep tab features many free bedtime stories to help you drift off into a deep sleep.

The app also comes with a Breath tab which has a bunch of free 3 or so minute quick sessions for dealing with stress, envy, worry, fear, anger, sadness, anxiety and irritation. Whilst most of the apps features are locked behind a paywall, this neat little tab could be the best reason to download this app if you need a quick session to recalibrate on a difficult day.

BetterMe. is a fantastic app and whilst most of the features are premium, the free version is so good that it might even tempt you into subscribing, in my opinion.

Available Android / IOS

9. Simple Habit

Calm app alternative

Key features:

  • FREE
  • No sign up required to start
  • Many topics covered
  • Specific meditations for various occasions and times throughout your day

Simple Habit is a simple app designed to make mindfulness meditation a simple thing for you in your day to day. It’s another app that locks a lot of sessions behind a subscription wall but I was happy to see that there are many, many meditations sessions freely available. The topics the app covers are extensive too. That’s because teachers are always adding new sessions for you to follow. If you find a session with a lock symbol you can simply keep scrolling until you find a session that’s free.

This app covers relationships, anxiety, sleep, happiness, PTSD, mindful eating and many more topics. The On The Go tab is a quick way of finding a mediation for a specific time of day. Just press on the wheel. For example, if you tap Tough Day, you can then tap the relevant button like ‘feeling depressed’ or ‘stressed’ and you’ll get a very specific meditation for your current situation.

The free version gives you these cool features but if you want to personalise your experience and track your progress, you’ll need to subscribe for a yearly plan. However, if you’re not too fussed about this you can use the app’s free features whenever you want with no pressure to upgrade.

Available Android / IOS

10. UCLA Mindful

screenshot 20221006 093457 org7823169760811772894

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Basics of mindfulness meditations
  • English and Spanish narrations
  • Wellness meditations
  • Weekly podcasts
  • Countdown timer

The Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC), is an educational and research centre dedicated to fostering mindful awareness practices to promote health, well-being, and a compassionate society. It is located at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The app itself is geared towards beginners which will be refreshing if you don’t like all the potentially distracting images found in some of the other apps on this list. It’s a very clean app that gets straight to the point which is nice. The meditations vary in length and are all narrated in either English or Spanish. From these exercises, you’ll get a good understanding of the basics of mindfulness meditation.

Alongside this, there’s also a weekly podcast that includes a new meditation for you to get stuck into. If you want a countdown timer you’re in luck. There are preset durations or you can build your own countdown timer duration that also includes relaxing sounds.

This Calm app alternative won’t blow you away but it’s a good place to start if you’re new to meditation.

Available Android / IOS.

11. 29K

screenshot 20221006 1123265193571576418415143

Key features:

  • FREE
  • Challenges
  • Courses
  • Meditations
  • Exercises
  • Sharing with others

29K was a really interesting find for me. It’s quite unique from the other apps on this list and is a sublime Calm app alternative. It has everything you’d expect like meditations and courses but it also has challenges has and exercises. The challenges like Self Care are broken up into bite-size chunks and spread over a small number of days. What I love about them is the fact they get you to engaged by answering questions about your current mood and get you to question your beliefs.

Every challenge is set up as a ‘test’, meaning they are question-based as if you were talking to a therapist. You can then find your test scores on the Profile tab once you complete each challenge. This makes this app really engaging so you’re not just sitting there listening the whole time.

The Exercise tab is really where this app shines through. The exercises are also question-based so a pen and paper are needed as you move through them. Exercises like ‘Accepting your emotions’ are really in-depth, asking you to think of situations that make you feel discomfort before getting you to move through a set of questions that offer you coping mechanisms before asking you how you feel once you’ve completed them. The premise is simple and easy to follow but could do wonders for you if you’re struggling.

If you’re not sure what to do first, the app shows you (anonymously) what others have answered to the questions asked in the challenges and exercises so you can see how other people have been coping with similar issues. I think this is great because it reminds you that you’re not on your own with whatever you’re struggling with. This feature has built a community feeling within the app.

29K also features a Share tab that allows you to join groups that align with what you’re struggling with. The environment in these groups seems really positive with people being very open and engaging. The app allows you to stay anonymous which is good so you don’t have to worry about giving away too much if you don’t want to.

This meditation app is much more than a basic meditation app and it’s 100% free. It relies on donations but you’re not obliged to pay anything at all. With all of these unique features, there’s really no excuse not to download it as a Calm app alternative.

Download Android / IOS

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By: Sean Clarke
Title: The Best Calm App Alternatives
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Published Date: Thu, 06 Oct 2022 10:41:57 +0000



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