What happened to the Calm app subscription?

Date: October 2018


Hi Deans,

I was wondering what happened to the Calm app subscription that Cornell had. I used it throughout the last year and found it very helpful but noticed that the subscription has ended. I don’t know if this is something specifically for me, because I used it for one year already, or if the agreement between Calm and Cornell has ended. If this is the case, is there any possibility it might come back? It really helps me stay focused and calm throughout hard aspects of grad life.


Grad student in search for Calm


Dear Grad student in search for Calm,

Thank you so much for reaching out through Ask a Dean. First of all, I would like to commend you for being committed to supporting your mental health as a graduate student. I, too, have recently asked and learned about the status of the Calm app subscription through Cornell Health, our campus partner who sponsored the program, and am happy to share with you the following. 

I learned that Cornell was a part of a pilot phase for the new app called Calm College (which is what you will remember as the Calm app). At that time, they offered free premium access for the 2017-18 academic year with the commitment to either continue to offer it for free or at a very low cost as they really wanted to support college student mental health and well-being. Unfortunately, Calm’s personnel and business model changed and while Cornell Health worked very hard to get them to honor their original commitment, Calm College was not willing to do this. 

We are very disappointed in Calm’s choices in this matter. Instead, anyone and everyone should still be able to access the always-free features of the app, and you have the choice to pay for premium access if you would like to continue it. More information is available on the Calm website. A Cornell Health colleague suggested Headspace as a good alternative with access to free features of the app, and choice to pay for a subscription. More information is available on the Headspace website. In speaking with my colleagues at Cornell Health, I learned about these resources as well:

In addition, know that we have a new reestablished Graduate and Professional Mental Health Advisory Council who is looking at both individual factors and environmental structures and supports for graduate student mental health. This is one of the items that was recently discussed in this forum. If you are interested in learning more about what this group is working on or would like to participate, please let me know.

Thanks so much for bringing this up and asking.

All the best,

Janna Lamey
Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life