The Balance app is a smart meditation app that personalizes your meditation programs based on your current meditation level, how often you meditate, and which skills you master. There is a moderate range of meditation courses that teach you mindfulness techniques as well as meditation singles. For these reasons, Balance earned 4 out of 5 overall stars from our independent review. The Balance app costs $69.99 annually and comes with an amazing one-year free trial.
Rating of the Balance Meditation App
Over the past year, I have dedicated a considerable amount of time to researching, personally using, and reviewing meditation apps. Not only do I use these apps for at least two weeks before writing a detailed review, I also reach out to the individual companies to ask numerous questions about their products that users are likely to want answers to. All of this is done to ensure that consumers get the information they need to make intelligent purchases. I have been using meditation apps as a staple in my life since 2015 and I was surprised at how thoughtfully the Balance app has created its learning program. The Balance app earned 4 out of 5 stars overall during our independent review due to the user experience, the amazing one-year free trial, and how knowledgeable its meditation teachers are. However, the Balance app has a small meditation library when compared to Headspace and Calm and is also one of the new meditation apps available.
Pros & Cons of Balance Meditation App
The Balance app offers meditations that adjust and change as you build mindfulness skills and complete courses. The meditation library is on the smaller side, which makes it easy to navigate, but it’s not as diverse and dynamic as other meditation apps. This structured meditation program does not give you a choice in how your program evolves and there is very limited content for kids.
How to Sign Up for The Balance Meditation App
You can visit the website to find information on where to download the Balance Meditation App. Or you can go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the app.
What is the Balance Meditation App?
The Balance app is a smart meditation app that adjusts your meditation program based on your skill level, which skills you master, and how often you meditate. The app offers meditation courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students of meditation. Balance costs $69.99 annually and comes with a remarkable one-year free trial.
Balance comes with several features that you would expect out of a four or five-star meditation app – there are many meditation courses geared towards beginners, intermediate meditators, and advanced students. There are also stand-alone meditation sessions on subjects like anxiety, concentration, grief, and a sleep section with select white noises and a few sleep stories. Yet, the meditation library is on the smaller side, especially when compared to apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer, which is why it earned 3.5 stars out of 5 in the “Variety of Meditations & Volume of Content” category on our scoring criteria for meditation apps.
With the Balance app, each meditation session screen shows you some key information before beginning, like which mindfulness skills you will be focusing on (breath control, visualization, etc.), how long you want your meditation to last (five minutes up to 30 minutes), and if you want the male guide or female guide. A downside to these meditation sessions is the mindfulness techniques are taught as a part of your meditation and are not available as stand-alone lessons. This makes it hard for you to go back and relearn certain techniques, which is why Balance earned 3.5 stars in the “Mindfulness Techniques” category on our scoring criteria.
When we reached out to Balance, they shared more about their head meditation coaches.1 Ofosu Jones-Quartey is the app’s male guide and has been meditating for over 20 years. Ofosu is a parent to four kids and out of that has grown a passion for teaching families, children, and adults about meditation. Leah Santa Cruz is the female guide and has a background in neuroscience and psychology. She is a seasoned meditation and yoga teacher with over 5,000 meditation classes taught around the world. Leah likes to combine ancient techniques with modern science and loves helping people find relief from anxiety and burnout. Balance earned 5 out of 5 stars in the “Credibility & Expertise” category on our scoring criteria due to the meditation coaches featured in the app.
Balance does not feature a community space to interact with others, no live group meditations, and the kid’s content is very limited. Even though these features and resources are missing, the app makes up for these limitations by providing significant benefits, like building a meditation program around your habits and evolving as you improve your skills. Arguably the biggest perk to the Balance app is the fact it offers a one-year free trial, which makes it the longest free trial period in any app we’ve reviewed so far. If we could give the Balance app more than 5 stars in the “Cost & Free Trial” category of our scoring criteria, we would!
The Balance App Podcast
The Balance website has a small section that features their podcast, called Well Balanced. This podcast shares tips for improving your stress, sleep, focus, and mood. The hosts are the two head meditation coaches from the app, Ofosu, and Leah.
Who is the Balance Meditation App Right For?
The Balance meditation app would be great for people brand new to meditation and for those who are budget conscious.
The Balance app would be extremely helpful for beginners who want to start a meditation practice but don’t know where to begin. Balance has an entire curriculum called “Foundations” to help beginners learn the basics of mindfulness and meditation in an easy-to-understand manner.
We know how important it is to ensure your app prices fit your budget. This is why Balance is great for those on a tight income, those who are very budget-conscious, or college students. This is the only meditation app we have reviewed that comes with a one-year free trial. It makes the Balance app definitely worth trying!
Who May Want an Alternative to Balance Meditation App?
The Balance app is great for beginners and those who need to be mindful of their budgets, but it’s not a good fit for everyone. People who want a larger, more diverse meditation library, want to experience yoga in addition to mindfulness, and those suffering with severe anxiety or depression symptoms will need to seek an alternative.
Need a Larger, More Diverse Meditation Library
The Balance app has a small meditation library and it only features two meditation teachers. In fact, the Balance app seems to only feature a non-secular style of meditation with no options to choose anything religious based, like meditations based on Buddhist teachings. For those wanting a larger, more diverse meditation library, I recommend an app like Insight Timer. Not only does Insight Timer feature an extensive meditation library, but much of the content is completely free and currently is a 4.5-star rated app based on our scoring criteria.
To learn more about this extensive meditation library, please read our in-depth review of Insight Timer.
Yoga & Mindfulness
Currently, the Balance app does not offer any physical exercises like yoga, which compliments meditation and mindfulness very well. For those looking for a more dynamic and robust experience with exercise and mindfulness, we recommend Alo Moves which is a 4.5-star rated app based on our yoga app scoring criteria. Alo Moves is an app that features a wide variety of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. It is great for beginners or advanced students of both meditation and yoga!
To learn how start a meditation and yoga routine, read our comprehensive review of Alo Moves.
Severe Anxiety & Depression Symptoms
Balance features only a few meditations for anxiety or low mood and should not be relied on if you have severe anxiety or depression symptoms. Those struggling to manage their symptoms should seek help from a licensed therapist or psychiatrist in their state, you can consult an online therapist directory to find an in-person provider. Or if you are looking for more flexibility, you can check out our list of Best Online Therapy Services.
What Users Are Saying About the App
The Balance Meditation App has a 4.9-star rating from 55,100+ reviews in the Apple App Store and a 4.8-star rating from 11,500+ reviews in the Google Play Store. The large majority of user reviews were overwhelmingly positive with very few complaints.
Excellent Guided Meditations
By far, the most positive user reviews came from those that really enjoyed the guided meditations. One user commented that the single meditation sessions were like “little bites of joy,” and I couldn’t agree more. I was especially fond of the walking meditation and completed one with Ofosu and one with Leah.
Easy to Use Interface
Many users found the Balance app to be easy to use and that the interface was soothing and calm. There are no bright colors, oddly placed menus, or distracting caricatures in the Balance app which earned the app 5 out of 5 stars in the “Interface Design & User Experience” category on our scoring criteria. Many people found the app to be polished and very well-designed, which I agree with wholeheartedly!
Structured Program Was Awesome
A lot of users remarked how much they enjoyed how structured the meditation program was with the Balance app. They often stated that the structure, the guided meditations, and the interface all worked together to help them truly create a meditation practice. I also liked how structured the courses are and that I am told exactly what I need to accomplish each time I log into the app.
No Background Music
In the Google Play Store, I noticed that some users remarked that it was a shame that there were no background music options for the meditations. I didn’t notice this until I read these user reviews and realized they were right! Apps like Calm and Insight Timer allow you to select ambient noise, nature sounds, or soft music to play while you are listening to guided meditations. The Balance app does not have this as a feature. The company behind Balance, Elevate Labs, responded to these comments quickly and offered an email address for people to contact.
Another trend I noticed in the Google Play Store in 2021 was users sharing the meditations would not have any volume, or that certain buttons were not functioning properly. Elevate Labs responded with the same comment to all of these saying to email them, tell them they were from Google Reviews, and they would find out more about the issue and help. These cookie-cutter responses didn’t strike me as overly helpful and it left me wondering if these users ever actually got help. However, the app developers were responding quickly to complaints which did earn them 4 out of 5 stars in the “Customer Service” category on our scoring criteria.
How Much Does the Balance Meditation App Cost?
The Balance meditation app offers select free content and costs $69.99 annually. Currently, there is a one-year free trial available.
Does the Balance App Have Free Content?
Yes, the Balance app does have select free content. This includes a couple of meditation courses and select stand-alone meditation sessions. However, since the Balance app comes with a one-year free trial, there doesn’t seem to be a need to just use the free version.
Balance Meditation App Premium
The Balance app premium version costs $69.99 annually and comes with a one-year free trial. Balance also has a lifetime subscription available that costs $399.99. Due to the comparable annual cost to other meditation apps and the amazing one-year free trial, Balance earned a well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars in the “Cost & Free Trial” category on our scoring criteria.
Balance Meditation App Key Features
Getting started with the Balance app is fairly straight-forward and mainly requires you to download the app from one of the app stores. After this, you will be able to take advantage of the truly amazing one-year free trial. There are only five main sections to the app and everything is easy to find and access.
How To Get Started With the Balance App
Getting started with the Balance app is simple and takes less than five minutes. Simply download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. After you answer a few questions about how often to meditate and your goals, you will be able to explore the free version of the app or choose to purchase a premium subscription. If you choose to purchase a premium version of the app, you will receive a one-year free trial which is the longest free trial we have seen when it comes to meditation apps.
The “Today” section in the app will show you everything that you might need to find to get started on your daily meditation practice. One of the first things you see is the meditation course that you are enrolled in currently. It will automatically keep track of what day you are on, which means there is no hunting around or trying to remember what day you left off on.
You will also be offered a 10-minute meditation based on what mood you are in. However, you can only choose from three main moods, which are “good”, “average”, or “not great”. After you select your main mood, you will see even more options based on your initial answer. For example, if you select “not great” you can then choose from other options like “angry” or “stressed”. Then you can choose which meditation teacher you want as your guide and your meditation will begin.
There are also meditations based on the time of day, your favorites list, and some other recommendations from the app. The “Today” section is great for when you just want a short list of options and you want to complete your daily meditations quickly.
“Plans” are all of the meditation courses in the Balance app. While this library of courses is not the largest or most diverse library, it really does offer a little bit of everything.
The courses offered are:
- Advanced 1 – 5
- Ease Loneliness
- Embrace Change
- Facing Fear
- Foundations 1 – 5
- Relaxation 1 – 3
Each course has ten unique sessions and it would be manageable to complete one course in ten days. Each session in these courses is between three and ten minutes long, making them easy to fit into your daily schedule.
Even though I had marked myself as someone already familiar with meditation, the Balance app started me out with the “Foundations” plan. This plan is ideal for beginners and I have to admit I was initially annoyed to be placed in this course. However, after completing a couple of the first sessions, I realized there were some mindfulness techniques that I had completely forgotten. Viewing the “Foundations” course more as a review course helped me change my attitude about it and I found myself enjoying the course. However, we did have to mark Balance down due to it not recommending the correct course levels and awarded them 3.5 out of 5 stars in the “Personalization” category on our scoring criteria.
The “Sleep” section in the Balance app is not very large, but it does offer a good range of stand-alone meditations, wind-downs before sleep, five white noise options, and three sleep stories. Each of the meditation sessions shows you exactly what mindfulness technique you will be using and you will spend the first few minutes practicing that technique, which earns the Balance app 3.5 out of 5 stars in the “Mindfulness” category on our scoring criteria. For the sleep meditations, the techniques you will largely focus on are visualization and awareness as well as breathwork.
One of my personal favorites in this section was the Nap meditation – I was able to select a length, up to one hour, and choose between Ofosu or Leah to be my guide. The guided part of the meditation was only five minutes long and the rest was silent with slight ambient tones. In the end, the sounds of birds woke me up and it was a refreshing, and a much-needed, midday rest session.
“Singles” are stand-alone meditation sessions and can be completed any time you need them. I always think about single meditation sessions as a la carte and it’s fun to pick and choose what suits me at the moment. While there are only 32 single meditation sessions, they do cover a wide range of topics. Some topics I explored in the Balance app were anxiety, concentrate, eating, gratitude, immersive sounds, positivity, unguided, and walking.
The walking meditation was a particular favorite of mine, as I find creating stillness in my body to still be a difficult skill. In the walking meditation, you focus on using your awareness technique and are asked to notice what is happening in your body, your mind, and in your surroundings. You will be able to choose from a 10, 20, or 30-minute guided meditation with either Ofosu or Leah. I chose the 20-minute meditation with Ofosu and during my walk, I not only felt like I was walking with a friend, I felt my anxiety and stress melt away.
Your “Profile” is pretty straightforward and shows you a calendar view of when you meditated, the total amount of time you have meditated, and your meditation session history. You can also view which skills you have practiced the most and see which badges you have earned. Badges are basically trophies that you get for meditating for a certain amount of time or completing certain meditation types.
Balance App vs Headspace
Both the Balance app and Headspace feature a very structured app with all of their meditation courses building on the previous. With its latest update, the Headspace app also features a “Today” section that offers similar things as the Balance app. It even presents which meditation session you should complete next in your current course.
While these two apps seem very similar, there are some key differences between them. Headspace is a much larger app and features many more meditation courses and single sessions for you to complete, which is one reason why it is a 4.5-star rated app based on our scoring criteria! There are also dedicated sections for music/soundscapes, exercise, and a much bigger sleep section. Costwise, both Balance and Headspace are the same for an annual subscription, $69.99. However, Headspace only offers you a two-week free trial with their annual subscription and Balance offers you a one-year free trial.
I have always been one to recommend Headspace as a great app for those brand new to meditation, but I now find myself torn on this position. Headspace is still a really great starting place for those brand new to meditation, but the Balance app is equally so. This smaller-sized app might be an even better choice for beginners, as there are not too many choices to overwhelm. Since Balance offers a one-year free trial, I definitely think it is worth looking at prior to Headspace.
You can learn more in our in-depth review of Headspace.
History of Balance
The Balance app was created by Elevate Labs which was founded in 2014 by CEO Jesse Pickard.2 Elevate is a game-based brain training app that helps people improve their communication, math, and memory skills. We reached out to Elevate for more information about the Balance app and heard back from Alex Shuck, Director of Product Marketing, and he was able to connect us with Leah Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz told us the Balance app was launched in 2019 and was the natural next step in Pickard’s vision of a mental fitness brand of products designed to support people’s mental health.3 She shared with us that “When the Balance team approached me and Ofosu Jones-Quartey, asking us to be the Co-Heads of Meditation, we jumped at the opportunity because the personalized teaching approach really resonated with us. As meditation teachers, it’s the approach we use to teach our students privately. But we’re aware that not everyone can afford or find easy access to a meditation teacher to learn what works for them. So we’re thrilled to be part of this special team, spreading the benefits of personalized meditation to all corners of the world.” 3
With its one-year free trial, the Balance app is a true gem among meditation apps. Meditation works best when it is personalized to the individual and that’s exactly what the Balance app has done. Through its ability to track your goals, preferences, and skill level, it is able to offer a one-of-a-kind experience, something the folks at Elevate and Balance are very proud of. While we had to give Balance 3 out of 5 stars in the “Reliability & Longevity” category on our scoring criteria, it is purely due to the fact that they are a new meditation app and this score will surely become higher as they grow the app over the coming years.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Balance App
How Do I Cancel My Balance Meditation App Subscription?
To cancel your Balance subscription, you must do so through the app store you used to sign up. To do this, simply log-in to your account in the app store and select “subscriptions” or “manage subscriptions”, click on “Balance” and then select cancel.
Does Balance Meditation App Offer Refunds?
No, the Balance Meditation App does not offer refunds.
Final Verdict on the Balance App
Overall, I was really impressed with the Balance app. Not only does it offer one of the longest free trials I have encountered with meditation apps, but it is also really tailored to what your meditation level is and what you want to accomplish. The annual cost is on par with other meditation apps, like Headspace and Calm, but the app actually teaches you meditation skills in an intuitive manner. Balance is an absolute must-try for anyone new to meditation and for those already familiar with meditation.