“I simply don’t have time.” How often do you reach that conclusion? If you’re like us, then the answer is pretty often. So if it was suggested that you take a few moments to meditate each day, you might laugh it off as an impossibility. Simple Habit is an app that understands the problem, but also knows the benefits of meditation, and therefore makes it easy to squeeze the practice into your daily routine.
Simple Habit features 5-minute mindfulness meditation plans, which can be listened to over headphones anytime and anywhere. The guided sessions are run by experienced meditation teachers, and although 5 minutes may sound like a short time for meditation — we often consider such a practice to involve siting cross-legged on the floor for hours — the benefits from short sessions are many.
What are these benefits? The app promises better sleep, more focus, improved memory, and — crucially — less stress. It’s that final benefit that led Yunha Kim, CEO and founder of Simple Habit, to create the app in the first place. She discovered meditation when her stress level was at its highest while running her previous startup, Locket. She says learning to meditate “changed the way I dealt with stress.”
Now, she wants others with busy lives to reap the same rewards. It’s claimed that just one Simple Habit session can help focus attention, but to really get the best from the app, it requires some dedication. Simple Habit says 5 minutes a day for two to four weeks will really supercharge the initial effect.
Simple Habit vs. The Sharks
Appearing on television would be considered relatively stressful by most people, with making a 5-minute presentation on Shark Tank ranking as one of the most nerve-wracking situations of that type — but that’s exactly what Simple Habit’s founder is doing on Sunday, October 1. However, when you’re pitching a mindfulness app, you may be in a better position than many.
Founder Yunha Kim told Digital Trends: “I felt nervous during the countdown before the door opened and I walked out on to the stage in front of the Sharks. Thankfully, I did use Simple Habit’s Public Speaking meditation and Calm Nerves meditation beforehand. They helped me feel more focused, calm, and clear-headed amidst all that happened next.”
Appearing in the premiere episode of the new season, Kim has the incredibly difficult job of pitching Simple Habit not just to Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, and Daymond John; but also to guest Shark Richard Branson. In a tweet from the official Shark Tank Twitter account, we get a glimpse of what to expect during the Simple Habit segment.
Emotions run high in our special two-hour season premiere, Sunday at 8|7c on ABC! #SharkTank pic.twitter.com/Iv6NGILTfD
— Shark Tank (@ABCSharkTank) September 29, 2017
It’s great to see an app make it to the show, especially when it’s one we already enjoy. The episode will air on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, October 1.
Availability and price
Initially exclusive to Apple’s iOS operating system, Simple Habit is now available for Android, and as a web app. The mobile apps are free to download, but to really enjoy the app, you’ll need to pay a subscription. For both iOS and Android, it’s $12 per month, or $100 per year. If you’re really keen, a $300 one-off payment gets you a lifetime subscription. Sessions can also be purchased individually for less.
The app is packed with content. Meditations address everything from getting better sleep to getting over a breakup, and the available sessions total two years worth of content, with more added each week. Sessions can last for 5, 10, or 20 minutes, and there are many different guides, so you’re not always listening to the same person. Beyond the meditation aspect, the app includes podcasts, a calendar to track progress, monthly challenges, and reminders to get meditating.
Don’t worry if all this sounds like hokum. There are several studies that show mindfulness mediation can not only reduce stress and anxiety levels, but also to train the brain to get better at multitasking, and to free it creatively.
Simple Habit predates Apple’s Breathe feature inside WatchOS 3, which uses similar principles. The Apple Watch app presents breathing exercises, designed to help improve focus and reduce stress. It’s a standard feature on the new Apple Watch Series 3, and Watch OS 4 prompts you via notifications to try out the app. Breathe is basic though, and Simple Habit provides a far greater introduction to mindfulness.
Created with the help of a Harvard psychologist and several mediation teachers, Simple Habit has sessions designed for everyone. Kim told Digital Trends that a surgeon used the app with success during the early beta test, “to focus better before performing surgery.” If that’s not a glowing recommendation, we don’t know what is.
In the first six months after Simple Habit’s release, people in 115 countries have used it to meditate for a total of 20,000 hours.
Update: Simple Habit visits the Shark Tank in the premiere episode of its latest season on October 1.