06 Apr Josh Reviews the Balance App
Over the past three months, I have dedicated a considerable number of my evenings and weekends, to researching and trialling mobile apps that could help improve my focus, reduce stress and improve my sleep quality to combat my ever-frustrating ADHD symptoms.
My most recent test subject for the last six weeks has been an app called “Balance”; an app focused on guided meditation that offers a twelve-month free trial and allows you to tailor the settings towards your goals. Meditation is an activity that I have tried before and never really enjoyed, finding it quite boring and useless. I have, however, seen a difference with Balance and thoroughly enjoyed using the app.
Having never extensively explored other meditation apps passed the initial few days, I can only share my experience with Balance. From reading reviews from other users, Balance has been described as helpful for beginners who want to start practising meditation, due to the simplified approach and smaller meditation libraries compared to other apps. This, however, sits perfectly with me and could be a significant reason why this app has remained on my phone when its competition departed, as the more options that are available the more chance that I will become distracted and lose interest.
The first few weeks:
My first experience with the Balance app was very positive. It has a simple UI and app layout that felt really interactive, simple and clear to understand. It kept me engaged, meeting the main challenge I faced; this is something that I haven’t always experienced with competing apps and definitely a huge plus point.
During the induction, which takes around five minutes to complete, you are able to select your goal(s) from reducing stress, improving sleep, improving mood and improving focus. I selected three of the four to align with my current objectives. The app then tailors the programme to fit the user’s objectives and directs them straight to the homepage.
Day 1 involves a recommended three-minute meditation. It felt effortless and short enough that I wasn’t bored.
Daily push notifications ensure that I am reminded to continue my progress and with each session, I can select my preferred duration. I quickly increased my three-minute sessions to five minutes, and then to ten minutes, which I have continued with daily for the last four weeks.
I have always been sceptical about meditation. I often thought it was an Instagram fashion, and never really took meditation seriously until now. For newbies to meditation, or for those wanting to explore, I believe the Balance app would be extremely helpful to start a proper guided meditation practice. Balance has an entire curriculum called “Foundations” to help beginners learn the basics of mindfulness and meditation in an easy-to-understand manner.
As a stereotypical Yorkshireman, I don’t like wasting money. Some people might refer to me as “tight”, arguably accurate. This means whenever I download an app that wants my bank information, I typically delete it immediately. This is another reason why Balance kept my attention – with a one-year free trial I’ve not found anything else that can compete. I already plan on continuing with the paid subscription.
The main Pros & Cons of Balance Meditation App
The Balance app offers meditations that change and tailor to your needs as you build mindfulness skills and complete courses. The meditation library is on the smaller side, which for me is fantastic because I don’t become distracted and the size makes it easy to navigate. On the negative side, it does mean that the meditation library is not as diverse and dynamic as other meditation apps. The app is very structured which does not give you a choice in how your program evolves and there is very limited content for the younger generation too.
- The meditation courses tailor to your needs and change as you develop meditation skills and achieve milestones.
- The sleep meditations, wind-downs, and sleep sounds like white noise really help to settle you before bed.
- The meditation library is not overwhelming for beginners to navigate.
- The one-year free trial with the annual subscription.**
- Unfortunately, for some, the meditation library is not as extensive as found in other meditation apps, like Insight Timer or Calm.
- Some people may not enjoy such a structured app, for example, you must complete course sessions before moving on to the next one.
- The mindfulness techniques are not taught as stand-alone lessons.
- In my opinion, the app is more suitable for adults rather than children.
Final Verdict on the Balance App
I’m really grateful to the founders of the Balance App. I think it’s a perfect product for those getting started with meditation and I can already feel a difference in my goals. Although some users may enjoy a wider selection of activities, I think for people with ADHD who enjoy the structure for focus, it’s perfect. The free trial also makes it attractive for new meditators too.