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Calm or Headspace – Which is Better? Your Mindfulness Guide.

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  • Post last modified:11 September 2023

Calm and Headspace are two popular mindfulness and meditation apps that have gained significant attention in recent years. Both apps aim to help users reduce stress, improve sleep, and enhance overall mental well-being. However, choosing the right app can make all the difference in your mindfulness journey. In this article, we’ll compare Calm and Headspace to help you determine which app might be the better fit for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Calm has a simplistic and visually appealing interface, offering a wide range of guided meditations, Sleep Stories, and specialized programs.
  • Headspace takes a playful and animated approach to mindfulness, featuring quirky characters and themed packs, as well as SOS exercises and mini-meditations.
  • Both Calm and Headspace offer free versions with limited access to their content, but require a subscription to fully unlock the benefits.
  • The decision between Calm and Headspace ultimately depends on individual preferences and needs, so it’s advisable to test their free versions or trials before committing.

Exploring Calm: Features, Benefits, and More.

Calm, founded in 2012, has gained a considerable following due to its soothing nature and comprehensive features. One of the standout features of Calm is its diverse range of meditation programs, each designed to cater to different needs and levels of experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced meditator, Calm has something to offer.

The app’s user-friendly interface and visually appealing design also contribute to its popularity. Simple navigation allows for easy access to features such as Daily Calm, a 10-minute meditation session that changes each day, and the Sleep Stories section, which offers bedtime stories designed to help users drift off to sleep.

One of the benefits of using Calm is its ability to create a peaceful and relaxing environment, no matter where you are. The app’s various soundscapes and nature sounds, such as ocean waves or rainforest ambience, can transport you to a serene locale and help you unwind. Additionally, Calm’s meditation programs and breathing exercises can target specific concerns, such as anxiety or stress.

Another benefit of Calm is its range of options for guided meditations. Users can choose from various lengths, ranging from two minutes to an hour, as well as different themes, such as self-care, gratitude, and focus. This diversity allows users to tailor their meditation practice to their specific needs and interests.

In summary, Calm’s ease of use, extensive content selection, and ability to create a peaceful environment make it a powerful tool for achieving a state of calm. Whether you’re seeking to reduce stress, improve sleep, or simply cultivate a greater sense of inner peace, Calm has the features, benefits, and more to help you on your mindfulness journey.

Calm’s Guided Meditations: A Diverse Range of Options

One of Calm’s standout features is its vast library of guided meditations. Calm offers a wide array of meditation themes to cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking to aid sleep, reduce anxiety, increase focus, or promote self-care, Calm has a guided meditation to suit your needs.

Calm’s Guided Meditations come in various durations, catering to individuals with different time constraints or preferences. Choose from short meditations of just a few minutes to longer ones that span up to an hour. This allows flexibility in fitting meditation practice into busy schedules or indulging in more extended mindfulness sessions when desired.

Calm’s diverse range of voices available is another notable feature of its Guided Meditations. Users can select from male or female voices, ensuring that everyone can find a voice that resonates with them. The soothing and calming tones of these voices help facilitate a meditative experience that promotes relaxation and tranquility.

Calm’s Guided Meditations provide a convenient and accessible way for individuals to practice mindfulness and find inner peace. With their diverse range of theme options, various durations, and a choice of voices, Calm offers a meditation experience that can be tailored to each individual’s unique needs and preferences. Whether aiming to reduce stress, improve sleep, or enhance focus, Calm’s Guided Meditations provide a diverse range of options to support overall well-being.

Relaxing Nights with Calm’s Sleep Stories

Another notable feature of Calm is its Sleep Stories. These stories have been designed to promote relaxation and sleep, and are available on the Calm app. They feature narrations by well-known voices, aimed at creating a calming and peaceful atmosphere before bedtime.

The Sleep Stories range from 10 to 45 minutes in length and cover a wide range of topics, from nature sounds to fairy tales and even journeys through space. The narrators are carefully chosen for their soothing voices that help lull listeners into a state of tranquility.

Many people have found that listening to a Sleep Story before going to bed helps them to quiet their minds and create a peaceful atmosphere in their bedrooms. The gentle narration and calming background music provide a welcome break from the stress of everyday life and invite a sense of relaxation. The stories themselves are crafted to engage the listener’s imagination without being too stimulating.

Calm’s Sleep Stories have been praised for their ability to help people fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful nights. The app has also been appreciated for the diverse range of stories available, catering to different interests and preferences. Users can choose from celebrity narrators like Matthew McConaughey or opt for stories read by experts in relaxation techniques.

Whether it’s a tale that transports you to a peaceful forest or a guided meditation designed to relax your body and mind, Calm’s Sleep Stories offer a soothing escape that can make all the difference in achieving a good night’s sleep. As more and more people prioritize sleep and relaxation in their daily lives, tools like Calm’s Sleep Stories are becoming invaluable for those seeking a calmer and more peaceful bedtime routine.

Exploring Headspace: Teaching Meditation as a Skill

Headspace, on the other hand, was launched in 2010 and quickly became a favorite among mindfulness enthusiasts. Teaching meditation as a skill, specifically through the use of the popular Headspace app, is gaining recognition as a valuable tool for individuals seeking to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

Meditation has been practiced for centuries and is known to provide various benefits, including reduced stress, increased focus, and improved emotional balance. Headspace is a mobile application that offers guided meditations, mindfulness exercises, sleep sounds, and other resources to help individuals cultivate a meditation practice. It was created by Andy Puddicombe, a mindfulness and meditation expert, and has gained a large following since its launch.

Teaching meditation through Headspace involves introducing individuals to different mindfulness techniques and helping them develop a regular meditation routine. The app provides step-by-step guidance, making it user-friendly for individuals new to meditation. The sessions are designed to address different aspects of well-being, such as stress reduction, better sleep, and improved relationships.

By teaching meditation as a skill, instructors can empower individuals to take control of their mental health and learn techniques to navigate daily challenges with greater ease. Headspace offers a range of programs suitable for different levels, making it accessible to beginners and advanced practitioners alike.

Incorporating meditation into educational settings is also becoming increasingly popular. Many schools and universities are recognizing the benefits of mindfulness for students’ well-being and academic performance. By teaching meditation as a skill, educators aim to equip students with tools to manage stress, enhance focus, and improve emotional resilience.

Teaching meditation as a skill involves providing individuals with the knowledge and understanding of various meditation techniques. It is not limited to sitting in silence but encompasses practices such as body scans, breathing exercises, and visualization techniques. By teaching these skills, individuals can apply them to different aspects of their life, promoting overall well-being.

As the popularity of meditation continues to grow, teaching it as a skill through platforms like Headspace offers a convenient and accessible way for individuals to learn and practice mindfulness. Whether it is for personal well-being, student development, or professional growth, incorporating meditation into daily life can have profound effects on an individual’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

Headspace’s Foundation Course: Building Strong Meditation Foundations

One of Headspace’s standout features is its “foundation course.” The program is designed to help individuals establish a strong and sustainable meditation practice by providing step-by-step guidance and practical techniques.

The Foundation Course is tailored to beginners who are new to meditation or are looking to deepen their understanding of the practice. It covers a range of topics, including the basics of meditation, understanding the mind and body, and cultivating a sense of awareness.

Participants of the course learn how to set up a dedicated meditation space, establish a consistent practice schedule, and overcome common challenges like restlessness and distractions. It also focuses on building self-compassion and resilience through meditation.

The Foundation Course is delivered through a series of online modules that can be accessed at the participants’ own pace. Each module consists of instructional videos, guided meditations, and written materials to reinforce key concepts.

The program has received positive reviews from participants who have found it helpful in developing a regular meditation practice. Many have reported feeling more calm, focused, and better equipped to manage stress and anxiety after completing the course.

In conclusion, Headspace’s Foundation Course: Building Strong Meditation Foundations is a comprehensive program that provides individuals with the tools and guidance needed to establish a strong meditation practice. By incorporating mindfulness into their daily lives, participants can experience improved well-being and a greater sense of peace and clarity.

Headspace’s SOS Sessions: Immediate Relief for High-Stress Moments

One of Headspace’s standout features is its “SOS” sessions. Designed to provide immediate relief for high-stress moments, these sessions offer support and guidance when we feel overwhelmed or anxious.

Recognizing the importance of caring for our mental well-being, Headspace offers these targeted sessions to help users manage their stress levels effectively. With techniques inspired by mindfulness and meditation, the SOS Sessions provide a toolkit of strategies to alleviate stress and restore a sense of calm.

Techniques included in the SOS Sessions:
Breathing exercises
Visualization techniques
Mindfulness practices

Whether it’s a work deadline, a personal crisis, or simply the daily stressors of life, the Headspace SOS Sessions aim to equip individuals with the tools they need to navigate stressful situations and regain a sense of balance. With regular use, these techniques can become an integral part of a user’s stress management routine.

Headspace understands that stress and anxiety can be debilitating, and their SOS Sessions are a testament to their commitment to helping users care for their mental health. By providing immediate relief and equipping individuals with the skills they need to manage stress effectively, Headspace is empowering users to lead happier, healthier lives.

Comparing Calm and Headspace: Factors to Consider

When comparing Calm and Headspace, several factors come into play. Firstly, the content and variety of meditation options offered by each play a crucial role. Calm provides a diverse range of guided meditations, while Headspace focuses on building foundational techniques at a gradual pace. Both platforms offer programs tailored to specific goals, allowing users to choose the one that best suits their needs.

The user experience and interface are also important considerations. Calm’s interface is known for its simplicity and ease of use, featuring calming nature visuals and sounds. Headspace follows a similar design philosophy, with a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate. The choice between the two may ultimately come down to personal preference regarding aesthetics and ease of use.

Subscription costs and pricing plans are other key factors to consider. Calm offers both annual and monthly payment plans, providing access to the full range of content. Headspace also offers subscription plans, but it also has a free version with limited access to content. Individuals should evaluate their budget and the value they place on offered features.

The availability of additional features can also influence the choice between Calm and Headspace. Calm provides Sleep Stories, which are narrative-based audio experiences designed to help users fall asleep. This unique feature makes Calm a popular app among individuals who struggle with insomnia or have difficulty winding down at night. Headspace, on the other hand, offers an “SOS” feature that provides quick meditation sessions for moments of stress or anxiety.

In conclusion, when comparing Calm and Headspace, there are several factors to consider, including the variety of meditation options, user experience and interface, subscription costs, and additional features. It is important for individuals to assess their personal preferences and needs to determine which app aligns best with their goals and lifestyle.

Ease of Use: Navigating Calm and Headspace

One important consideration when choosing between Calm and Headspace is ease of use. Both apps prioritize user experience by offering intuitive interfaces and accessible features to promote mindfulness and relaxation.

Calm provides a visually appealing and user-friendly design, featuring clearly labeled sections and providing easy access to various meditation programs, sleep stories, and music. Users can effortlessly browse through the vast library of meditations and select the ones that suit their preferences. Calm’s personalized recommendations further enhance the ease of use, suggesting tailored content that resonates with users’ specific goals and needs.

Similarly, Headspace features an intuitive user interface that enables users to navigate through the app’s features with ease. The app provides a clear overview of available meditation courses, sleep, and movement options, allowing users to easily track their progress and explore different mindfulness and relaxation techniques.

Both Calm and Headspace offer guided meditations, providing step-by-step instructions that help users focus on their breath and be present in the moment. Additionally, both apps include search functionalities that enable users to find specific topics, meditation teachers, and techniques. Calm offers additional features like breathing exercises, nature sounds, and guided stretching, while Headspace features animated videos and short mindfulness exercises to enhance the overall user experience.

Overall, Calm and Headspace prioritize user experience in their design and navigation, making it easy and accessible for individuals to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their daily lives. With personalized recommendations, intuitive interfaces, and diverse features, these apps aim to promote a sense of calm and improve well-being for users of all levels.

Content Selection: Variety vs. Learning Experience

Another crucial aspect to consider is the range of content offered by each app. Calm boasts a diverse range of content options that cater to both beginners and experienced meditators. From guided meditations to Sleep Stories, Calm offers something for everyone.

On the other hand, Headspace places a greater emphasis on teaching meditation as a skill. Their foundation course is designed to lay a strong foundation for users to develop their understanding of mindfulness. Additionally, their SOS sessions provide quick relief during high-stress or anxious situations.

While Calm offers a broader range of content, Headspace focuses on a more structured learning experience. Calm’s diverse options can be beneficial for those looking to explore different perspectives, while Headspace’s educational materials provide a more scaffolded learning experience.

Ultimately, the choice between variety and a structured learning experience depends on personal preferences and individual needs. It is important to strike a balance between the two to create a comprehensive and engaging mindfulness journey.

Cost Considerations: Free vs. Premium Subscriptions

Cost is also an essential factor to consider when choosing between Calm and Headspace. Both apps offer a free version with limited access to content and features, as well as a premium subscription that unlocks exclusive content and additional features.

Calm’s premium subscription, known as Calm Premium, costs $69.99 per year or $14.99 per month. With a Calm Premium subscription, users can access exclusive content, including over 100 guided meditations and Sleep Stories, as well as the ability to download sessions for offline listening and customize their meditation experience.

Headspace’s premium subscription, called Headspace Plus, is priced at $69.99 per year or $12.99 per month. Subscribers gain access to over 500 guided meditations, as well as specialized courses and daily meditations. Additionally, Headspace Plus users can download sessions for offline listening and track their progress over time.

While both apps offer comparable pricing for their premium subscriptions, it’s important to evaluate your personal needs and usage habits when deciding which option to choose. Consider how frequently you plan to use the app and how important certain features, such as offline listening or personalized meditations, are to you.

It’s worth noting that both Calm and Headspace offer a free trial period for their premium subscriptions, which allows users to try out the service and decide if it’s worth the investment. Additionally, Calm offers a basic version of the app for free, while Headspace provides a limited selection of meditations and other content for free as well.

Ultimately, the decision between a free and premium subscription for Calm or Headspace depends on what you value most and how much you’re willing to invest in your mindfulness journey.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right App for Your Mindfulness Journey

Ultimately, the choice between Calm and Headspace comes down to personal preference and specific needs. When making a decision, it’s important to consider factors such as your goals, the app’s features and user interface, user reviews and ratings, and cost.

Understanding your specific needs and goals for mindfulness practice is crucial for selecting the right app. Whether you’re looking for guided meditations, breathing exercises, or progress tracking tools, identifying your objectives can help narrow down the options.

The app’s features and user interface can greatly impact your experience and motivation to engage in daily mindfulness practice. Customizable timers, reminders, and progress tracking are all helpful features to look for when evaluating an app’s design.

User reviews and ratings can provide valuable insights into the app’s effectiveness and user satisfaction. Pay attention to reviews that mention app reliability, content quality, and overall user experience.

Cost is another important factor to consider when selecting a mindfulness app. Balancing the value provided by the app against its price is crucial to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Lastly, experimenting with different apps before committing to one can help you find an app that aligns with your preferences and needs. Many apps offer free trial periods, allowing you to test out the app’s layout, content, and overall user experience before making a decision.

By taking the time to research and explore different options, you can find an app that supports your mindfulness practice and enhances your overall well-being. Selecting the right app can make all the difference in achieving a mindful lifestyle.


Q: Which app is better, Calm or Headspace?

A: The choice between Calm and Headspace depends on personal preference and specific needs. Both apps have their own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to consider factors such as ease of use, content selection, and cost before making a decision.

Q: What features does Calm offer?

A: Calm offers a variety of mindfulness techniques, including guided meditations, sleep stories, breathing exercises, and relaxing music. Its standout feature is its vast library of guided meditations, catering to individuals at different stages of their mindfulness practice.

Q: What are Calm’s Sleep Stories?

A: Calm’s Sleep Stories are narrated bedtime stories designed to help you fall into a peaceful sleep. With a soothing voice and calming narratives, Sleep Stories provide a relaxing and enjoyable way to end the day.

Q: How does Headspace differentiate itself?

A: Headspace differentiates itself by focusing on teaching meditation as a skill. Its foundation course is designed to teach users the fundamentals of meditation and mindfulness through guided sessions, animations, and videos that explain the science behind meditation.

Q: What are Headspace’s “SOS” sessions?

A: Headspace’s “SOS” sessions are quick meditation exercises designed to provide immediate relief and support during moments of high stress or anxiety. These sessions can be accessed at any time and are meant to help users find calm in challenging situations.

Q: How do Calm and Headspace compare in terms of ease of use?

A: Both Calm and Headspace have user-friendly interfaces, but some users find Calm to be more intuitive with simpler navigation and a visually appealing design.

Q: Which app offers a greater range of content?

A: Calm offers a wider range of content options, including guided meditations, sleep aids, and relaxing music. Headspace, on the other hand, focuses on building a strong foundation in meditation practice and offers educational content to help users understand the benefits of mindfulness.

Q: How much do Calm and Headspace cost?

A: Both Calm and Headspace offer free versions with limited access to content. For a more immersive experience, both apps offer premium subscriptions at comparable prices. Calm occasionally runs limited-time promotions, allowing users to access premium features at a discounted rate.

Q: How should I choose between Calm and Headspace?

A: The choice ultimately depends on your personal preference and specific needs. If you prioritize variety and accessibility, Calm may be the better option. Alternatively, if you value a comprehensive learning experience and want to develop your meditation skills, Headspace might be the superior choice.