The Recovery Formula, created by calmclinic.com, is a deceptive product. In the past, it was known as the Third Technique for Anxiety, but it rebranded to a more “low-key” name after people learned they were using deceptive methods to take advantage of the mental health community (see our legacy post on them). They have been around for over 10 years and have managed to fool both Google and many reputable mental health sites.
What is Calm Clinic?
From a quick glance at Calmclinic.com is really hard to tell something fishy is going on, the site is very well designed, the articles are high quality, and there is a plethora of information about all things anxiety and the articles seem to be reviewed by professional therapists. They manage to fool many mental health institutions into putting them on their “resources” lists and have managed to show up in google for many very competitive anxiety rankings. They don’t use Adsense or amazon for affiliation they just have ads for a product called “the recovery formula”.
They also have a form at the end of every article to catch emails, If you enter your email you will start getting a lot of promotions for the recovery formula. Back in the day, the difference between both sites was much less blurry but after repeated public complaints they seem to have decided to make it look as if, the recovery formula is run by a different entity.
Calm Clinic anxiety test: find if your anxiety is within normal ranges (anxiety quiz)
Once you click on any of the ads, you get to an age where you can make an anxiety test that supposedly will tell you what is your anxiety level.
The questionnaire is pretty straightforward, they ask questions they know the answer is gonna be “strongly” or “very strongly”:
Once you are done you get the response you were expecting of course: You have anxiety! who could have guessed? right?
once you start scrolling you can see how screwed you are, they even add this little animation to make you feel as insecure as possible with the needle going up to the max.
When you are done feeling terrible about yourself and as disturbed as possible, you finally get to the sales pages where you can see a video that will tell you all you need to know about how to break free from anxiety.
And then she starts: Be honest (LOL) when you look at your results how do you feel? She proceeds to tell you her “story” which is basically: I had anxiety but now I live a full life, I travel I do public speaking, etc. As she talks you can see on the screen terrible anxiety symptoms jumping at you one after the other.
This dear friends is how you manipulate people into buying a product. I personally have no problem with sales pitches or marketing techniques in general but when you are intentionally targeting people with mental health issues and exacerbating their symptoms just for the sake of manipulation you enter a very shady zone.
“Medication is bad”: you don’t need medication
At Anxietysocialnet we are great believers in natural approaches for improving anxiety, we also see medication as a weapon of last resort, but is important to recognize that medication can be very useful and, for some people, can be lifesaving.
Back in the day and also now the recovery formula sales pitch very strongly suggests people should go off medication and buy a $100 shady course instead. This is not only misguided but also wrong as it could result in harm to people who are the most vulnerable.
The lady in the video (she never ever shared her name, I wonder why) goes on to share that the doctor prescribed Xanax but she is now off it and has never ever had an anxiety attack again, “a lot of people tell me I am a new person” notice how its all specifically engineered around the idea that a 360-degree change is not only possible but quite easy.
by the way, if you chose male at the beginning you will get a similar yet different video of a man talking about how he overcome anxiety. Back in the day, the lady was called Rachel Ramos and the man was Ryan Rivera. Those names were later removed once our old review of calm clinic exposed they were not real people and using stock photos.
The Simple Step-by-Step Anxiety Neutralizing Blueprint
Finally, she starts talking about what it is she did to get rid of the mental health issues, she refers to it as: “The Simple Step-by-Step Anxiety Neutralizing Blueprint”. If only there was a simple step-by-step solution to solve mental health disorders, sadly, psychiatrists psychologists, and pharmaceutical companies have failed time and time again. Mental health disorders have reached epidemic proportions but our dear friends at calm clinic ask you to trust your hard-earned money to some randos on the internet to give you “The Simple Step-by-Step Anxiety Neutralizing Blueprint”. Did I mention she “accidentally discovered” this method? Gold.
I think you guys get the gist, she continues to go on and on providing very vague information, at this point, the strategy is using neverending cliffhangers to get you to click next out of boredom. When you do, surprise surprise. The solution to all your problems costs 97 Dollars.
Then you have the classic appeal to authority even though it was implied before that mental health approaches are all wrong and you don’t need medication or therapy but you must trust us because our approach is based on science.
86 Studies! that sounds like a lot also and an oddly random number. Too bad they don’t cite these studies so we can have a look I guess you will have to pay $97 for that.
Lifetime Money Back Guarantee
So it is claimed that you can get your money back at any time, so nothing to lose, right? Well let’s start by saying this is a subscription service so if you forget something you will be auto-charged every year, I suspect many don’t even realize that.
Our dear friends at Scamward had 1 one complaint stating exactly how real is the “lifetime money-back guarantee.
A few interesting mentions of the Recoverformula clients in the comment section below that post.
Same as the last time we wrote about this, there are a few positive comments as well but to be honest, they look very suspect in our opinion. Here is one for reference.
So this fellow got out of his way to come comment to defend the recovery formula. He got his money back, mind you, the program was great but he decided to go with Jesus instead. sound legit I guess.
Something fishy at the calm clinic site
Something that looks very legit on the Calmclinic website is the fact that all articles are “fact-checked” by academics, it is very reassuring.
Most people will take that at face value but you will have to pardon our cynicism here, so we dug up a little bit to see who are these academics.
Well on the about us page you can see a very impressive list of academics, they even included LinkedIn profiles, there is no way this is fake right? right? let’s check them one by one:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenna-jarrold/ 404 (who deletes his LinkedIn?)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenna-jarrold/ (indeed who?)
Of the profiles that actually work we have contacted the ones that we could, and as of now only one of them has answered, the person (who asked me not to be mentioned by name) when asked about his involvement with calm clinic, answered the following:
So basically from the look of it some of the profiles are fake (now deleted) and some are of professionals who wrote for them once.
For those wanting a little more information on this here is a great video by Emmanxiety:
There is no magic solution for anxiety and other mental health disorders. There is however tons of free information from good quality sources, medication, and therapists that can help you out. There is always hope to get better, I hope this post helps many people to stay away from the predatory ways of Calmcliinic and the recovery formula.