How does Ten Percent Happier work?
Ten Percent Happier is a meditation app founded by former news anchor Dan Harris and complements his bestselling book. It’s designed for those who are skeptical about meditation, which reflects Harris’ experience. A little backstory: Harris turned to meditation after having a panic attack on-air in 2004 and wrote his book about the science of meditation in 2014. The app was launched in 2015.
The app guides users to meditate to make small but noticeable improvements in their happiness, kindness and relaxation levels — hence the name. It features over 500 meditations taught by various teachers. It also includes personal coaching sessions for subscribers.
Key features of Ten Percent Happier
Users can explore these features:
- Basic meditation courses. The app guides beginners through the building blocks of meditation, with short meditations and interview-style videos.
- Guided meditations. There are over 500 meditations tailored to specific moods and situations, such as stress, anxiety, productivity, parenting, mindful eating, relationships and sleep. They’re taught by a range of meditation teachers from around the world, including Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg and George Mumford. You can choose to follow a course or listen to a single session.
- Daily featured meditation. Known as the “Daily Dose,” this meditation is often tied to timely topics.
- Educational videos. Meditations aside, the app has a range of videos explaining how to put mindfulness into practice. There are also lectures on dealing with trauma, working through anger, managing rejection, navigating racism and finding courage and joy.
- Personal coaching. Subscribers can communicate with a meditation coach 1:1 as part of their membership.
What devices support Ten Percent Happier?
Ten Percent Happier is compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and requires iOS 12.0 or later. You can also download the app on Android 6.0 devices and up.
Pros and cons of Ten Percent Happier
- Live meditation coaching. Users can message a meditation coach as part of their subscription.
- Variety of teaching styles. Ten Percent Happier has over 15 meditation experts leading its meditation sessions and courses.
- Manageable approach to meditation. The app offers short sessions and encourages people to meditate whenever they can — even if they’re on public transport.
- New content drops weekly. The team uploads new meditations and mindfulness resources each week.
- Comprehensive library. Subscribers can listen to 500+ meditations ranging from three to 45 minutes.
- Downloadable content. If you have an active subscription to the app, you can download courses and meditations and access them offline.
- Family-friendly. The app is suitable for those four years old and up.
- It’s expensive. At $99.99 a year, the app is around $20 more expensive than its competitors. There’s no monthly subscription option, either.
- Limited basics course. The free course is made up of seven sessions — you have to purchase a subscription to access the rest.
- No shortcut to advanced content. All users need to complete the basic exercises, which may be a turnoff for advanced meditators.
- Lack of personalization. While you can “favorite” meditations, you can’t customize the homepage to the same extent as competitor apps.
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How much does Ten Percent Happier cost?
Ten Percent Happier is free to download, and users get access to the Basics I course and other free features.
To unlock all the features, you need to subscribe to the paid version. The app offers a seven-day free trial. You pay $99.99 a year after that.
Some employers offer a Ten Percent Happier subscription as part of their healthcare benefits and subsidize the cost.
Does Ten Percent Happier offer any discounts?
Not publicly, but the company says it aims to make meditation accessible for everyone. If the subscription is too pricey for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.
Has Ten Percent Happier made any changes during COVID-19?
At the onset of the pandemic in March, Ten Percent Happier began offering free memberships to essential workers, including:
- USPS employees
- Warehouse workers
- Teachers and educators
- Healthcare workers
- Grocery and food delivery workers
The company also launched “Coronavirus Sanity Guide,” a compilation of mental health resources such as podcasts and articles. It’s available for free on the site.
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Ten Percent Happier reviews and complaints
Ten Percent Happier doesn’t have a presence on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Trustpilot. Across other forums like App Groove, customer reviews are mostly positive. Users appreciate the range of teachers on the app and the library of meditations for stress, anxiety, productivity and more. They say that while the app is expensive, the live meditation coaching offers value they can’t find elsewhere.
Some customers complained about Ten Percent Happier’s auto-renewals and the lack of a monthly subscription option — which is uncommon for meditation apps.
The app has 4.8 out of 5 stars on the App Store based on over 70,000 reviews, and 5 out of 5 stars on the Google Play Store from almost 12,000 reviews.
How to sign up for Ten Percent Happier
You can sign up for Ten Percent Happier from your Apple or Android device.
- Go to the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Download Ten Percent Happier.
- Answer a few questions about your meditation experience, goals and recent feelings. You’ll also be asked about the best time to meditate and how you typically cope with stressful situations.
- Check out the free features, or create an account and enter your credit card information to activate the free trial.
- Once the trial is over, you are automatically charged for an annual membership. If you don’t want to purchase the paid version, cancel your membership on the sixth day of your trial.
When does my subscription renew?
Your annual subscription will automatically renew 24 hours before your membership is set to expire.
If you want to cancel your subscription, go to Settings > Membership > Subscription to avoid being charged $99.99.