It is not a secret that most of us struggle to find a moment of calm in our overwhelming and stressful day-to-day life. Add into it a dash of technological advances, social media, and the continuous toxic cycle of news, and you will find yourself desperately searching for a moment of peace for yourself.
Meditation is often touted as one of the most tried and tested solutions for finding a sense of balance in the middle of this chaos. But for most beginners, meditation comes with its own set of challenges. So many of us find the idea of meditation lucrative but feel like we will never be able to find time for it. We are unsure about where to start or even understand what to do. We have all had those moments where we sat to meditate but were consumed by thoughts like, “Am I doing it right? or “Why can’t I stop thinking about my to-do list?”
But what if we told you there was an app to help you find much-needed peace and calm, irrespective of what you are going through?
Introducing the Headspace meditation app – a one-stop solution for even the most frazzled and distracted of us to find inner peace and calm. It does not just help you concentrate and build a meditation schedule for yourself, but it also makes the whole process so much more engaging and exciting. Headspace is like having a personal meditation coach guiding you through the process of meditation, minus the awkwardness of having to meditate in front of another human.
We reviewed the Headspace mediation app to find out how it uses gamification and interactive approaches to make meditation more accessible for all of us. Here’s what we found.
First things first – What is the Headspace app?
Founded in 2010 by Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombeand digital marketer Richard Pierson, the Headspace app is a collection of science-backed meditation tools that help its users build the habit of meditation and imbibe the practice in their daily lives. As per the data, by 2021, the Headspace app has 70 million users across all formats and above 600K reviews. The app has reached over 190 countries worldwide and has been rated as the most beneficial mediation app in 25+ research.
Getting started with the Headspace app
1. Basics Course
The best and most critical thing that Headspace gets right is its starting point. Headspace has a clear value proposition at the beginning of the whole experience. The creators know that a lot of people feel frustrated with the whole process of meditation, and they address this issue at the very start.
With a single-screen sign-up process with a form that needs the bare minimum of information, the getting started process gets a tick mark from us. Followed by the sign-up process, you have a set of cleverly designed questions presented with large icons to personalize your experience in the app.
You can begin with the free trial that gives you access to all the features.
The basic courses in the app have four different instructors – Andy Puddicombe (co-founder), Kessonga Giscombe (meditation teacher), Eve Lewis Prieto (mindfulness teacher), and Dora Kamau (meditation instructor). The basic courses introduce the app smoothly and highlight all its features. Even though the sessions are only a few minutes long, you will feel like you have learned a lot more about meditation.
2. Building the meditation habit with Today’s meditation
One of the most important and interesting features of the Headspace app is its ‘Today’s meditation’ section. A brand-new meditation plan is set for you to practice each day. The topics of the sessions are diverse and focus on various issues like tackling the daily chores, controlling your emotions, self-improvement, strengthening your relationship with others, and much more.
3. Starting your days right with the Wake Up section
On most days, we struggle to get out of bed and find the motivation to begin our days. In fact, the very first instinct for many of us is to scroll through social media feeds or emails right at the start of the day. While this might stimulate your brain, it ends up making you far less focused throughout the course of the remaining day.
Headspace app’s Wake Up section is a powerful solution for all your morning blues. Along with the daily mediation plan, a 5-minute video is shared daily to inspire and motivate you. It could be a short nature documentary, an animated video explaining the brain’s functioning, or a practical guide on topics like emotional well-being.
These videos are the perfect stimulants for your brain in the morning hours. They help set a productive and enriching tone for the rest of the day.
4. Gaining concentration with the Focus tab.
The Focus section in the Headspace app is designed with meditation playlists that help you concentrate on the tasks. The playlists have something for everyone – from Lo-fi beats to upbeat music and tunes from renowned artists like St Vincent and Madlib.
5. The Videos Section: Curated for parents, kids, nature lovers, and much more.
The videos section in the Headspace app is useful for both gaining information on important topics and taking a break from your busy schedules. The videos are divided into different sections for students, parents and kids, women, creativity, and much more.
Each section is specifically curated, keeping in demand the target audience’s issues. For instance, the student section has videos on topics like dealing with examination stress, coping with FOMO, countering distractions, etc.
6. Get moving with the Move tab.
Getting proper and regular exercise is one of the core elements of well-being. The ‘move’ section of the meditation app caters specifically to this aspect. It contains various 10-30 minute mind-body workouts. Olympian Kim Glass is one of the instructors in the course and helps you focus on breathing exercises. The key feature of all these classes and the thing that actually makes them unique is that rather than focusing on intensity, they focus on using the power of popular exercise routines like cardio to boost the overall meditation process.
7. Get the perfect night’s sleep with the Sleep section.
The final section of the Headspace app is the sleep section which focuses on helping you drift off to the sleep of your dreams. Headspace provides various aids to enhance sleep, like playlists, audio sleep stories, and guided relaxation sessions. It also offers relaxing visuals and calming breathing exercises to help you sleep better. The sleep radio feature has about 8 hours of relaxing music, like the sound of waves, to help you doze off.
The Headspace app is available to download for free on App Store and Play Store. Some features, like basic guided meditation, are free to use. The app gives you a free trial that offers full access to all its features, including 500 different types of meditations. To access the free trial, you need to sign-up and enter your payment details. The company will automatically charge you for the services after the trial ends. However, you can always cancel it.
The subscription plans are as follows:
- Monthly plan: $12.99 with a 7-day trial
- Annual plan: $69.99 with a 14-day trial
- Student plan: $9.99 per year
- Family plan: $99.99 per year with six accounts
Headspace is a pretty cool and accessible choice for anyone looking to start meditation for the first time or enhance the quality of their meditation practice. It is simple to use, effective, and affordable. According to research by Sophie Bostock, using the Headspace app daily can increase a person’s general well-being and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Headspace ensures that the seriousness of meditation, coupled with an exceptionally designed user interface, helps more and more people take an interest in the practice. Whether you are a newbie or a Zen master, Headspace will have something for you.
If this Headspace review has got you energized and motivated to practice meditation, improve your focus, and enhance your sleep quality, get started right away. Click here to begin your free trial today.
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