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Shine review Dec 2020

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Designed for millennials and young professionals, this app motivates users to make self-care a priority.

  • Explore this app if you want to make self-care a habit and communicate with other members.
  • Choose something else if you’re looking for an advanced meditation app.

How does Shine work?

Shine is a self-care app that inspires users to look after their mental health with the help of meditation, gratitude exercises and journaling.

The app sends users new motivational messages and articles daily, as well as a meditation session. The library includes over 800 meditations and educational resources, plus seven-day challenges geared towards an aspect of self-care — like productivity, mindfulness, creativity, forgiveness and stress relief.

Key features of Shine

These are the app’s main features:

  • Daily motivational messages. The app sends a motivational message each weekday morning, with evidence-based strategies to reduce stress and anxiety and boost your productivity and confidence.
  • Daily meditation sessions. New sessions are uploaded daily, and all aim to boost self-compassion and encourage you to be kinder to yourself. The app has a library of over 800 audio meditations, including sessions to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your relationships. It also contains “quick hitter” meditations designed for the morning, midday and evening.
  • Themed self-care challenges. Shine has a series of seven-day challenges with exercises for tackling burnout, sleeping better, finding fulfillment and increasing confidence and focus.
  • Gratitude and mood check-ins. Along with a journaling feature, the app allows users to log their mood and what they’re grateful for each day. You’ll then receive recommended articles, meditations and exercises based on how you’re feeling.
  • Discussion prompts. During the daily discussion session, you can support and communicate with other members in real-time.
  • Bedtime stories. The “nightcaps” section narrates movies to help you fall asleep faster.
  • Soundscapes. The app has a selection of white noise, nature sounds and ambient music.
  • Customizable navigation. You can bookmark your favorite meditations and browse your latest listens via the For You tab.
  • Weekly e-newsletter. Users receive a weekly e-newsletter with mental health articles and tips for dealing with the latest news and developments.

Can I download Shine on any device?

Not exactly. Shine is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and requires iOS 10.0 or later. You can also download the app on Android 4.4 devices and up.

Pros and cons of Shine

Pros

  • Expert guidance. Shine’s content is vetted by mental health experts, including psychologists, therapists and mindfulness teachers.
  • It’s an affordable option. At $53.99 a year, Shine is on the cheaper side compared to other meditation and mindfulness apps on the market.
  • New content drops weekly. The app launches new Shine Talks and seven-day challenges each week. These often include topical meditations that reflect on what’s happening in the world at the time.
  • Comprehensive library of meditations. The premium version has over 800 meditation sessions of varying lengths.
  • Caters to traditionally underserved groups. Shine has specialized content for women, LGBTQI and Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities. The app says 19% of its users are Black women, and women of color make up 70% of the voice talent.

Cons

  • Billing complaints. Customers report having problems canceling their subscription.
  • Issues with daily check-ins. Android users say the daily check-in feature stopped working after a year.

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How much does Shine cost?

Shine is free to download and includes access to free features like weekday meditations and motivational messages.

The app offers a seven-day free trial to Shine Premium, an upgraded subscription that unlocks all features. After the trial, it costs $11.99 a month or $53.99 a year.

Some employers offer a Shine Premium subscription as part of their healthcare benefits and subsidize the cost.

Does Shine offer any discounts?

The company doesn’t advertise discounts. But if you need support purchasing a subscription, email help@shinetext.com to discuss your options.

What is the Care for Coronavirus Anxiety Project?

In response to COVID-19, Shine is offering free premium memberships to healthcare workers, essential workers and those who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

The company also launched an anxiety toolkit in partnership with Mental Health America. Available via VirusAnxiety.com, it includes a series of articles and meditations as well as access to mental health experts and anxiety screenings.

Helplines and mental health resources to rely on during the COVID-19 pandemic

Shine reviews and complaints

Shine doesn’t have a presence on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trustpilot. Across other forums like Appr View and App Groove, customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Users appreciate the daily motivational messages and the community vibe of the app. They also like the diverse library of meditations.

Some customers complained about Shine’s billing practices. They said they didn’t receive a notification when their one-week free trial was set to expire, so they were automatically charged for an annual subscription. Other users said they had issues canceling their subscriptions with Apple.

The app has 4.7 out of 5 stars on the App Store based on nearly 25,000 reviews, and 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Google Play Store from almost 5,000 reviews.

How to sign up for Shine

You can sign up for Shine from your Apple or Android device.

  1. Go to the App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Download Shine.

  3. Browse the free features. To activate the seven-day free trial of Shine Premium, create an account.
  4. Enable notifications to be alerted about new content.
  5. Once the trial is over, you’ll be automatically enrolled in an annual membership. If you don’t want to purchase the premium version, cancel your membership on the sixth day of your trial.

When does my subscription renew?

Your subscription automatically renews 24 hours before the end of your membership. You are charged for a monthly or annual subscription, depending on the plan you have.

To manage your subscription or turn off auto-renewal, click on Account Settings in the app.

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

Shine encourages users to build a self-care toolkit with the help of motivational messages, gratitude exercises and meditation. Tailored to busy, young professionals who might be experiencing anxiety, burnout or other mental health issues, the app drops new content daily — including an audio meditation. It also focuses on education, sending users articles to help with how they’re feeling.

The app also stands out for including specialized content for BIPOC communities and allowing members to communicate with each other in real-time.

But it doesn’t offer lengthy or structured meditation programs, so it may not be suitable for more advanced meditators.

If Shine isn’t the right fit for you, compare other mental health apps.

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