A Website That Lets You Get Away From It All Calm.com provides online zen for the stressed.
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In our hyperactive world it was only a matter of time before someone created a website to help us slow down. Calm.com, a free site and iPhone app created by designer Alex Tew and a friend, guides users through two-, 10- or 20-minute relaxation experiences in which they can view idyllic beaches or forests while listening to the sounds of birds or gentle rain.
In 2011 Tew, a longtime proponent of meditation, introduced a "fun side project": Donothingfor2minutes.com. When users open the site, it immediately begins a two-minute countdown while encouraging them to listen to the sounds of waves and, well, do nothing. If the mouse or keyboard is touched, a red "fail" message flashes and the timer resets. Within a week, the site had 2 million visitors.
"We knew we hit a nerve, that there must be a need out there to help people relax," says Tew, who is based in San Francisco. He immediately began working on the concept for Calm.com, which offers richer, moving scenery and three options for timed relaxation exercises.