Calm Ad Image, CNN Breaking News Screen

From Chaos Comes a Booming Market for Calm

Even chaos is a business opportunity. So it seems that the market for calm is booming – both as a state of mind and a popular health app. This week the company behind the health app named Calm seized an opportunity. They sponsored those jarring election news alerts on CNN that were delivering the precise opposite of calm. TechCrunch called it “brilliant and hilarious,” noting that the advertising seems to be paying off.

During this ad blitz, Calm rose to number one in the U.S. Health and Fitness category on the iPhone. No doubt, that’s a cause for excitement at Calm HQ.

From Mindfulness to Calm

Mindful Fridge MagnetMindfulness seems to be the tonic for our age. We have mindful brewing, mindful living, and mindful eating. It just feels right.

Our stressful world has become more stressful with the synergistic effects of a contentious election and a global pandemic. Because mindfulness can be useful for coping with stress, popular interest is high. A recent review tells us that the research on outcomes for mindfulness therapies is quite active.

So with such popular cachet for mindfulness, it’s little wonder that Calm has become a self-help juggernaut. For just $59.99, you can get a year’s worth of Calm. Matthew McConaughey will gently coax you into a peaceful slumber.

A Two Billion Dollar Industry

Marketplace tells us that mental health and wellness apps are on their way to becoming two billion dollar industry by 2022. In anxious and stressful times, meditation and mindfulness have a definite appeal. But research on meaningful outcomes is a little spotty.

Some studies are encouraging. But the quality of what’s on offer can be quite variable. A recent review of mindfulness apps for children found that few of the apps on Android and iPhone markets achieve good scores across the board on the MARS rating scale for mobile apps. None of this is surprising for a young and booming industry. But without good quality and outcomes, this bubble will pop. In his book, McMindfulness, professor Ron Purser suggests that this will be inevitable.

No doubt, the hype will melt away in the face of reality. But we also have no doubt that interactive and mobile tech can develop into a useful tool for mental and, ultimately, physical health. Over time, effective tools will stand out because they have evidence for delivering real benefits.

Until then, be alert because a whole lot of puffery is headed your way.

Click here and here for more on the booming business of Calm.

Calm Ad Image, CNN Breaking News Screen

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November 8, 2020