Calm App

Mental Wellness; Digital Therapeutics
Content Production
Sonifying the world’s first mental health unicorn

Our brief

Calm is the #1 app for sleep and meditation. With over 100 million downloads and over $2 billion valuation, this welltech startup has revolutionised the digital wellbeing space globally. In a world that’s struggling to sleep, it answers a pressing need. 


Calm commissioned us to produce functional soundscapes for their users. More than just music, these tracks are based on scientific principles. They interact with the body and mind in a way that helps reduce anxiety and promote deep, restorative sleep.

The science

To lull the listener to sleep, we applied specific auditory design techniques. Functional sound design is the art and science of creating music that answers a certain need, modulating both mood and energy levels. In this case, the need for sleep. 


We used two research-backed techniques:


1. Rhythmic entrainment

This subtle use of specific tempi, frequencies, and rhythms causes brain waves and the nervous system to synchronise. Heart rate, breathing rate and brain waves begin to slow down, and blood pressure settles. The nervous system slips into parasympathetic dominance, readying the body and mind for rest. 


2. Audio sensory distraction

This technique grounds the listener. It focuses the user’s attention on calming sounds, and the musical landscape. This reduces anxiety and worry, which are key contributors to sleep deprivation.

The project and its impact

Through various subscriptions, users can explore a library of sessions and programs, which address themes such as sleep, focus, and gratitude. We produced dozens of soundscapes for Calm’s content library. According to their analytics, they’ve had great user feedback and more than 15 million hits, making it some of the best performing content.

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