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Sponsored App Review: JKZ Series 1

May 28, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: JKZ Series 1 is an Android app based on the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program as developed by Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. JKZ Series 1 is a set of practices to help you relax and destress using meditation and is now available as an app, bringing the first wave of practices from Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn all together in one handy Android app. More of a book with audio practices in it than an app, JKZ Series 1 is something for those looking for a tried and tested method to meditate and relax at home using the equipment they already have. There is a handful of practices, as well as a handbook, which are all recorded in high-quality to help you switch off and clear your head.

How it Works: Firstly, you’ll need to download JKZ Series 1 from the Play Store. Then, you’re ready to get to grips with the app. Upon first launch, there are a few parts of the app to head to.

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For complete beginners and newcomers to meditation, they should take a look at the included handbook, which opens as a PDF.

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This handbook will take you through the included meditations that feature in the app and it’s a nice piece of literature for people to read through. When looking to relax with one of the included meditations, you simply have to pick one, some of them have times associated with them as well.

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When you choose your desired practice, you’ll have to download it to your device, but this doesn’t take long.

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When the practice is playing, you will hear a high-quality recording that will take you through everything, step-by-step.

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The quality of the recordings is very high and the overall experience is soothing and inviting.

Opinion: Working from home like I do can itself be quite stressful, you have to juggle a life and work all the same sort of sphere, which makes things difficult. So, having something like this to unwind with was nice to use. I might not use it all the time, but every now and then this is going to come in handy, especially after those days when I have had enough of smartphones and my inbox is creeping into my brain. I’m impressed with the quality of the recordings, but it seems to me that the app could do with a little work, it doesn’t look great on tablets for instance and there’s a lot of potential to make this a much better app.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – JKZ Series 1 is a speedy app and I had no issues with it when listening to the practices.
  • Features (4/5) – While the app itself is a little bare, the content is still top-notch and those looking to spend time relaxing should give this a go.
  • Theme (3/5) – The recordings are high-quality and are great to listen to, but the app itself is uninspiring and basic, unfortunately.
  • Overall (4/5) – Despite the shortcomings of the app itself, the content on offer is great and there’s very little that should disappoint those looking for a way to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful week.

Pros

  • Lots on offer for those in need of an unwind at the end of a long and stressful week.
  • Tried and tested methods for meditation from Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn.
  • High-quality recordings are subtle and soothing.
  • Simple and easy to use, just plug in headphones and you can lift that weight off you shoulders.

Cons

  • The app is a little bland, and could do with features like a dimmed screen or some more graphics in the background.
  • Requirement to have a PDF reader installed to view the guide is a little inconvenient.

Conclusion: JKZ Series 1 is a great app for meditation and getting into the art of meditation. The high-quality recordings are done by a professional from the stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA so we know that this is a tried and tested method for meditation and certainly one that people should try out. If you liked Series 1, there are also Series 2 and Series 3 to consider as well.

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