I’m no stranger to the world of personal development.
As the Founder of Ideapod— an educational platform that is smaller and more boutique than Mindvalley—we have millions of monthly readers. We also provide multiple products of our own that are helping people to think critically and engage with the world responsibly.
But more than that, I’m also a self-confessed personal development junkie. It’s this underlying passion that fuels the work I do.
I’ve used the Mindvalley platform for my own personal growth for many years now. So in this review, I’m going to share everything I think you need to know about Mindvalley.
Because although it is undoubtedly a high-quality platform that will benefit a lot of people, it’s not going to be the right fit for everyone.
Is Mindvalley worth it for you?
Let’s find out.
What is Mindvalley?
Mindvalley is an online learning platform that exclusively teaches personal growth courses.
What sort of courses?
So, as you can tell, it’s pretty diverse.
But at its heart, I’d say Mindvalley is all about helping you develop yourself into the best you possible. And that ranges from programs on mind, body, and spirit.
It’s worth mentioning that the spiritual side is definitely a feature. Although not all do, many of the courses have a new age tone.
For example, Energy Medicine, Sixth Sense Superpower, The Art of Astral Projection, and Unlocking Transcendence.
This certainly isn’t a site for people looking to learn guitar or understand software programming. We’re talking about inner work rather than solid skills.
And that’s one of the things that makes it a unique offering in the self-help space. They’re doing something a bit different.
And it’s clearly working, as they’ve now got over 12 million students enrolled worldwide.
New courses are constantly added, and they currently have over 50+ programs to check out.
How much does Mindvalley cost?
Time to talk pricing.
Let’s say you’ve already got your eye on one particular course offered on Mindvalley.
You can’t buy individual programs anymore. You used to be able to. But now you have to sign up for a Mindvalley Membership to access the content.
Realistically though this is better value anyway.
It costs $499 for the annual pass (which works out at around $41.50 a month), or $99 if you prefer to pay monthly.
Even when they did offer the option to buy courses individually, I can’t imagine many people opted for it. As most of the time, it costs around the same to pay for just one course as it did to sign up for the membership.
The big difference is that with the Mindvalley Membership you get access to pretty much all their 50+ online catalog of programs.
The only exceptions are the so-called partner courses, Wildfit and Lifebook, which do have to be purchased separately. In case you’re wondering, it’s because they weren’t created by Mindvalley. Mindvalley just hosts them on their platform.
But anyway, for the same price you’re getting access to way more through the Membership.
They also offer a 15-day money-back guarantee. So if you sign up and realize it’s not a good fit for you, you can get a refund.
Who is Mindvalley a good fit for?
First and foremost, you’ll like Mindvalley if you like self-help courses. That’s the heart of Mindvalley.
If you’re the type of person who devoured “The Secret” or jumps whenever there’s a hip new program to “uplevel” your life, “supercharge” your brain, or “unlock” your mind’s powers, then you’ll really like Mindvalley.
It caters to people who want to explore the potential of their minds in a relaxed, non-judgemental, and non-regimental way.
I’ve already mentioned that many of Mindvalley’s programs can be very spiritual in nature.
But it’s also fair to say that a lot also blend proven science with spiritual thinking too.
Rather than being religious in nature, they tend to embrace a sort of universal energy force that’s quite popular in modern spirituality and new age circles.
These are non-judgemental, semi-spiritual courses that allow you to cultivate your own brand of spirituality without rules and restrictions.
If you find yourself saying, “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” I think you’ll get a lot out of Mindvalley.
People who simply love to learn new things
I want to make it clear that you can still be skeptical about some of the program topics on Mindvalley and still get a lot out of the platform.
Because I’d say I fall into this category.
For example, anyone already familiar with Ideapod will probably know that I’m certainly not convinced about the law of attraction. I think there are pitfalls to visualization.
Basically, I approach things with a skeptical yet open mind.
Some of Mindvalley’s claims might seem a bit bold for you. Whether it be Chakra balancing or ESP.
But on Ideapod we also try to encourage people to think for themselves and actively question their conditioned programming.
So I think rather than be in agreement with all of what they teach, having a growth mindset matters more.
People who are curious learners and enjoy diving into new and diverse topics are going to find more than enough subjects that fascinate them on Mindvalley.
And even some of the more “out there” topics, from a curiosity standpoint, I think skeptics will still enjoy.
Self-motivated learners who appreciate a flexible learning environment
Mindvalley, which is built around completing daily lessons, rewards the patient and committed learner.
So you will need to be someone who is happy to work under their own steam and will show up to do the work. Otherwise, you obviously won’t get that much out of it and it will end up being a waste of money.
All of their lessons are pre-recorded video lessons, meaning that you can view them from the comfort of your home or while you’re on the go. You can learn wherever is convenient for you.
If you prize flexible learning, Mindvalley could be a great solution for you.
Who won’t like Mindvalley?
People who want hands-on instruction
If you’re looking for detailed, one-on-one, live instruction, then you should look elsewhere.
Mindvalley does have some great Q&A sessions, but the vast majority of its content is pre-recorded.
You watch the video, you complete the lessons. It’s as simple as that.
If you’re yearning for something closer to a traditional classroom setting, I’d suggest skipping Mindvalley.
People who need hard proof
If you’re turned off by phrases like “activate your higher consciousness” or “use your innate paranormal abilities,” then I’d suggest staying away from Mindvalley too.
Granted, certainly not every Mindvalley Quest is esoteric, in fact, plenty isn’t. I think it’s only fair to highlight that a lot of what you learn does have some sound scientific backing.
But there isn’t hard evidence for everything.
For example, The Silva Method System has a quite heavy focus on ESP (or extra sensory perception). And although there is some debate around whether there is any scientific backing for psychic abilities, it’s still a concept widely rejected by most mainstream scientists.
For some people, it’s quite liberating to learn new concepts and they won’t be phased by that. But for others, it is going to set off alarm bells. It’s important to figure out which camp you’re in.
Because if you’re going to struggle to keep an open mind, and are only interested in hard facts and purely scientific-driven teachings, you won’t get that on Mindvalley.
People who want to learn hard or creative skills
If you’re looking to become a better chef, maybe try MasterClass.
Mindvalley is all about so-called “soft skills” – mental improvement, methods to live a better life, tools to improve wellbeing, and alternative spirituality.
It’s not going to help you become a better gardener or a world-class musician. It might make you a great public speaker and better leader though.
It just depends on the type of learning you’re looking for.
Who teaches on Mindvalley?
A learning site is only as good as its teachers. So how does Mindvalley stack up?
Mindvalley’s instructors are all some of the biggest names in their respective self-help fields.
Who am I talking about?
- Jim Kwik – noted brain hacker and motivational speaker
- Ken Honda – bestselling author who preaches “zen relationship” with money
- Vishen Lakhiani – Mindvalley founder
- Marisa Peer – therapist to the stars and Rapid Transformational Therapy trainer
- Jeffrey Allen – famous energy healer
For those of you who are already in the self-help space, some of these names might jump out straight away.
These are big names in their fields who have spent decades refining their craft.
Who founded Mindvalley?
Mindvalley was founded by Vishen Lakhiani in 2003 with his goal of creating a single platform where anyone could learn from the top educators in the self-improvement field.
I’d say on that goal, he’s definitely succeeded. Mindvalley indeed boasts a deep lineup of some of the top educators for self-help and growth.
Vishen was born in Malaysia, then moved to Silicon Valley where he created Mindvalley.
He is a noted motivational speaker and author of The New York Times bestseller The Code for the Extraordinary Mind and The Buddha and the Badass.
How Mindvalley works: Inside a typical Mindvalley program
Let’s take a look at Duality by Jeffrey Allen so that I can walk you through what to expect taking a typical course.
After you enroll in the program, you’ll see all of the lessons that you’ll take, divided into weeks.
For Duality, there are 60 lessons divided over eight weeks (plus three bonus days). This is on the longer side for Mindvalley’s usual length of the program. Most are around 30 days a month.
When you start a course, you gain access to each lesson on a daily basis. That means that on day one, you can access lesson one. On day two, you get lesson two. And so on.
You can always go backward, but you can’t jump forward.
When you click on the appropriate lesson for the day, you’re taken to the lesson page. On each lesson page, you have access to:
- A video lesson for the day
- A PDF of supplemental material
- A paragraph explaining the lesson
- Tasks to complete
I generally find that each lesson is pretty simple and not that time-consuming.
You watch a short video (for Duality, this was around 10-20 minutes long), complete the tasks, mark them as complete, and then you’re done for the day.
I’d say it won’t take longer than 30 minutes. And that’s fairly typical throughout Mindvalley programs — around half an hour of work a day.
It’s not a bingeable form of learning. Rather, it’s bite-sized learning that you do each day.
In that way, you build up a good habit of learning and give yourself the necessary time needed to internalize all of the lessons you’re completing. They’ve done studies and have found this can be the most effective way to learn.
It’s different from most learning platforms like Coursera or MasterClass.
Those are more geared toward cram or binge learning, while this is more of a lifestyle type of learning. It’s not better or worse, but it is different. If you’re a learner who likes to improve bit by bit, you’ll really like what Mindvalley has to offer.
What are some of the tasks?
The first one you’ll always do is “join the tribe” which is Mindvalley’s term for the community group for each quest.
Other tasks might be journaling, meditating, completing a quiz, or doing a short exercise. But FYI, it’s not like you’re not being graded or anything. It’s all self-guided learning.
All the lessons are available on the web browser, as well as the Mindvalley App. I typically use the web browser, because I like being able to easily grab the supplemental materials. But it’s personal preference.
Mini-review of three Mindvalley programs
If you’re curious what it’s like to take some specific courses, here are 3 “mini” reviews of courses I’ve taken on Mindvalley:
Uncompromised Life Review
Uncompromised Life by Marisa Peer is an eight-week course that focuses on her brand of hypnotherapy, called Rapid Transformational Therapy.
The idea is by putting your brain in a hypnotized state you can create deep and lasting change in your mental programming.
So it allows you to tackle fears, and helps you improve your life with less resistance.
Who is Marisa Peer?
Marisa Peer is the number 1 therapist in the UK (as voted by Tatler Magazine) and a famous public speaker. She is best known for her use of hypnotherapy to help you get to the root of your issues, rather than just tackling the symptoms.
She’s served as a hypnotherapist to some big-name celebrities, and she’s hosted a Ted Talk that’s been seen by millions of followers.
My verdict on Uncompromised Life in a nutshell
Marisa Peer’s Uncompromised Life is a comprehensive program that combines hypnotherapy and traditional self-improvement lessons to encourage you to break free of the negative patterns that define your life.
I really rated this course.
As someone who has grown a successful business from the firm foundations of a strong personal mission, its overall theme of removing negative blockages to better achieve your personal success really resonated with me.
It really helped me to identify a set of habits based on limiting beliefs about myself that I realized I needed to change.
I’d say one of my big takeaways was probably the sense that “I am enough” just the way I am. Which came from one of the practices recommended by Marisa Peer.
Superbrain by Jim Kwik
Superbrain remains one of the most popular programs on Mindvalley, with almost 3 million people enrolling on it.
Taught by Jim Kwik it focuses on teaching you hacks to increase your memory, learning, comprehension, and reading speed.
Who is Jim Kwik?
Jim Kwik is a famous brain hacker and leader in brain training.
At the age of five, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that threatened his ability to learn productively. Now, he’s made a career out of brain training, and has worked with the likes of Elon Musk and Richard Branson (who was also one of Ideapod’s first celebrity backers when we launched).
He’s been profiled by Forbes and CNBC, and has the number 1 learning podcast on iTunes.
My verdict on Superbrain in a nutshell
Superbrain is great for people who are looking to boost certain parts of their brain power.
If you find that you’re always forgetting someone’s name or items on your shopping list, then you’ll find a lot to love in Superbrain. Similarly, if you’re a learner who is trying to get better at studying, it’s going to be very useful.
I personally really liked how practical the skills you learn were. You’re given tips that you can quickly and easily apply.
The only negative I’d say is that if you’re looking for a deep-dive into learning, or hoping to better understand the science of learning, then you’ll probably be a bit disappointed by Superbrain. It’s a practical course, not a theoretical one.
Duality by Jeffrey Allen
Of the three mini-review, I’d say Duality is a much more “spiritual” course. It’s also a really popular program on the Mindvalley platform.
It’s all about tapping into your own energy to heal yourself and heal others. In short, energy healing.
The idea is to use and manipulate energy it in order to improve our mental and physical health.
Who is Jeffrey Allen?
Jeffrey Allen is an energy healer, who used to be a software engineer. So perhaps his background is surprising.
But he has taught thousands of students, opened a school of clairvoyance, and served on the board of Psychic Horizons Center.
My verdict on Duality in a nutshell
As you’ve no doubt already grasped, for a lot of people this program is likely to be strikingly different from mainstream learning.
But it’s definitely a great class for anyone interested in alternative medicine and spirituality.
If you’re looking for a class backed by scientific facts and evidence, you won’t want to take this course.
Personally, despite not being sure what to make of energy healing as a concept, I still really enjoyed taking the program.
I felt like I was able to better tune into my body and how it feels. So I guess you could say that in a way I did get an insight into my body’s natural energy and latent healing abilities.
My own personal experience of using Mindvalley
I already had a lot of personal and professional experience in what I’ll loosely call the self-help space when I started using Mindvalley.
My role running Ideapod means I’ve overseen the evolution of it from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform.
And I’ve been heavily involved in creating our own in-depth online workshop, Out of the Box (along with shaman Rudá Iandê).
Although I’d say it takes you on a far deeper journey of self-discovery than Mindvalley’s month-long programs, our 16-week self-guided course, Out of the Box, helps people to embrace their personal power and reframe their reality.
If you’re interested in learning more about Out of the Box, click this link.
Or you can check out Rudá Iandê’s free masterclass here.
So in many ways, Mindvalley’s overall mission does align with Ideapod. We’re obviously a smaller, more boutique operation. We also put critical thinking at the heart of what we do.
We like to focus more on stripping away the chains of social conditioning to put the individual at the center of their own empowerment, rather than any so-called gurus or experts.
So my evolution as a man and as an entrepreneur has undoubtedly come from a wide collection of sources. But Mindvalley has been one of these valuable sources for me.
I’ve done a lot of soul-searching that I wouldn’t have been able to do. I’ve gained practical tools and strategies to strengthen my mind and my body.
I haven’t gelled with all of the programs I’ve encountered, that’s for sure. Some undoubtedly clash with my own beliefs and thoughts.
But I have still gotten value out of them in most cases, regardless of whether they ended up being my thing.
Because I do think that broadening your horizons is an important way for us all to step ‘Out of the Box’ and start figuring out what we really think (rather than what someone has told us to think).
So that’s why for me, it’s very easy to conclude that Mindvalley is a really useful tool in my self-growth belt.
Mindvalley Overall Pros and Cons
1) Mindvalley has plenty of content to choose from
I’ve read some other reviews that criticize Mindvalley’s “limited” content.
I couldn’t disagree more.
It seems to me that they are (unfairly) comparing it to the range of choices available on hard skills learning platforms. But that’s like comparing chalk and cheese.
Mindvalley is offering a totally different type of online learning. And the choice they do offer is pretty much unrivaled in the personal development space.
Mindvalley has 50+ courses that you can access through its membership. These courses typically last around a month (you can also take multiple courses concurrently).
Meaning that you’ll never run out of material to engage with. Plus, they’re adding new courses all the time.
2) The production value is through the roof
Mindvalley videos are all high-gloss, high-quality. They stream seamlessly. The same can be said for their audio clips — nothing is grainy or scratchy.
Plus, all of the courses can be accessed on your computer, phone, or tablet, meaning that you can easily take any course at any time.
3) Bite-sized learning makes it very easy to fit into your day
Lessons are typically bit-sized and brief (never much more than half an hour each day) — meaning it’s a small chunk out of your day.
The catch, of course, is that you have to commit to a small chunk each day for a month. If you can spare 30 minutes a day for a month, then you can do Mindvalley.
4) The instructors are knowledgeable and charismatic
The instructors are by and large not only good teachers who are experts in their field. But they’re also entertaining and engaging presenters.
The one exception I’ve come across is Ken Wilber in The Integral Life.
Let’s just say that despite being an obvious genius, his skillset doesn’t quite extend to public speaking in quite the same way.
But anyway, the teachers are definitely all pretty inspiring and with impressive CVs.
5) The solid money-back guarantee
Whenever you make a large purchase I think it’s important to have a money-back guarantee that you feel confident you can trust. And Mindvalley does offer that.
Whether it’s a platform that suits your needs is one thing, but this is certainly a really reputable company. You can try it out for yourself and cancel within 15 days to get your money back.
1) Mindvalley is expensive compared to other platforms
I hesitate to say what’s expensive and what’s not. Because it’s obviously a personal thing depending on circumstances. But if you went for an annual membership of $499, then that’s clearly a sizable chunk of cash. Mindvalley is a more expensive learning platform than some others out there.
The mitigating factor I’d say is that it offers something very different to those other sites. So it’s not fair to directly compare. Yes, they have different price tags, but they offer different things. There’s no denying though that for most people, Mindvalley is a premium membership.
2) You unlock content on a daily basis
To be fair, this is only a con if you are the impatient type. Because you can’t move ahead.
Each day, you get one lesson. If you want to speed through and learn the entire course in an afternoon, you’re outta luck. But it is designed this way to try to help you learn more effectively.
3) Mindvalley marketing is pretty hyped up
If you head to the sales page you might notice that the marketing can be a bit full-on. And a lot of their classes have the same buzzwords in their descriptions. The language can feel a bit fluffy rather than tangible — aka “Uplevel” and “Transform your reality.”
But here’s the thing that I have come to realize from Ideapod launching its own successful personal development course (Out of the Box) — marketing tends to be a bit cheesy in general, and maybe for a legit reason.
When you tell someone that something is good, they have a hard time believing you.
When it comes down to it, sales pages tend to be pushy because research shows it can be the only way to get us off the fence and commit to something.
So maybe we should blame human nature rather than marketing.
Does Mindvalley have free Masterclasses?
As well as the 15-day money-back guarantee, Mindvalley also has a selection of masterclasses that you can take.
Each week, they have a featured 60-90 minute Masterclass where a Mindvalley teacher gives you a deep dive into a specific lesson.
For example, money guru Ken Honda’s Masterclass on “The Japanese Art of Healing Your Money Wounds.”
There is also a collection of ongoing free Masterclasses that you can take at any time.
It’s probably a good idea to sign up for one before buying the membership, that way you can get a taster to help decide whether Mindvalley is right for you.
Alternatives to Mindvalley
I’ve already hinted that I don’t think there are any direct alternatives to what Mindvalley offers. But there are certainly alternatives that provide something different which could end up being a better fit for you.
A big hitter that you have probably heard of. If for no other reason than their full cast of celebrity faces.
It definitely has the glam factor. You’ll find classes from household names in showbiz, business, and politics. We’re talking Christina Aguilera, Gordon Ramsey, Bill Clinton.
I’ve reviewed Masterclass for Ideapod, and I think that it’s great for creative people who are looking for inspiration. I enjoy using the site. It’s incredibly entertaining.
But the classes are more like an intimate Ted Talk. The pre-recorded video lessons rarely offer concrete learning. Instead, think of it like Netflix learning from a celebrity teacher.
It’s not better or worse than Mindvalley, but it is different. You can check out the review I did of MasterClass, and my full experience with it by clicking here.
Out of the Box
I’m going to include Ideapod’s course Out of the Box for comparison. And not totally because I’m obviously biased and think it’s great.
But also because I genuinely think that if Mindvalley has caught your eye, it could be right up your street.
A big and obvious difference is that this is just one program, rather than Mindvalley’s online library. But it is really in-depth (lasting 4 months) in its self-exploration journey.
Guided by the world-renowned shaman, Rudá Iandê, it helps people embrace their personal power and reframe their reality.
I’ll hold my hands up completely and say, it’s much harder work than any Mindvalley course. That’s because it does deep work.
It starts by stripping away a lot of who you thought you were until you arrive at a point where you truly do know yourself.
It’s then from this place that it helps you to construct a successful life and carve out goals that feel fulfilling and meaningful.
Needless to say, I’m really proud of the impact it is having. If you’re curious to learn more, I suggest checking out our free masterclass with Rudá Iandê.
If you were hoping for online hard skills-based learning, then Udemy could be a good place to start.
They have a really big catalog (we’re talking over one hundred thousand) of content.
It can be a really affordable option too, with some courses starting from as little as $12.99. But you obviously get what you pay for to a certain extent. And the quality is, understandably, lower budget.
The other big difference is that it’s taught by regular teachers rather than big names or world-leading experts.
Conclusion: Is Mindvalley worth it?
Mindvalley is definitely worth it for the right person.
Who is the right person?
Someone who is excited about self-help, who loves online learning, who loves exploring alternative ideas, and has an open mind.
If you enjoy daily learning that helps you create a positive life outlook, then Mindvalley will be great for you.
It’s definitely worth it if you’re looking for personal and spiritual growth, and are willing to put in the work on your end after the lessons end.
Personally, I’ve gotten a lot out of Mindvalley over the years. And I’d say that you will too if you’re a determined, energetic, self-help aficionado.