Over the years, we have practiced meditation and mindfulness. But because of the rise of computers and smartphones, a new way of meditation has been born: the mindfulness app. There are different applications available for both iOS and Android now. This includes the very first meditation and mindfulness app on the smartphone, the Headspace app.
Each meditation varies in length ranging from one minute up to 20 minutes. They are focused on different topics such as stress, sleep, mindful eating, and even about transforming anger. The app offers its first 10 sessions for free and requires a subscription after, which has an interesting design accompanied by animations to introduce you to different mediation techniques. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to keep your zen with Headspace.
What is the Headspace App?
Launched in 2012, Headspace was created by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, and his partner, Richard Pierson. Before heading to the digital space, the pair would give guided meditations at a clinic. Now, users can access these sessions anywhere and anytime. The app is currently recognized as one of the most popular meditation apps with over 18 million downloads worldwide.
Google and LinkedIn are known to have their employees subscribed to Headspace, while United, Delta, and British Airways provide the service to their nervous passengers so they can “get some Headspace,” too. Reaching $37 million in funding, Headspace is able to keep up its mission of spreading mental health and happiness all over the world.
What does it offer?
What makes Headspace a cut above the rest? The app offers a free program called Take10, a series of 10 meditations, each running for 10 minutes. Each session in Take10 involves getting into a comfortable position, being aware of your surroundings, scanning your body, and mindfully counting your breaths. These sessions feature guidance much more than silence, which some users may find extremely helpful with their meditation journey.
Once you have finished the 10-day session, it is time to decide whether you will subscribe to it or not. If you want to subscribe to the app, it will cost you as much as $12.99 per month, but once you pay, you will unlock hundreds of meditation sessions.
Beginners usually begin the journey with Basics 2 and Basics 3. Both last for 10 days with sessions that last for 15 minutes and 20 minutes, consecutively. There are other series you can try such as stress, depression, or productivity. You can also check out some productivity apps to help you feel more productive. For most of the meditation sessions, you can customize the length depending on how much time you have, either from 10 to 20 minutes for a series, or three to 10 minutes for one-offs.
The Headspace app is trying to provide value to its subscribers for a long period of time. The app also offers a lifetime membership for $399.99 and promises to add new series monthly. As you progress in meditation and become more comfortable without guidance, you can switch to “Headspace Pro” sessions that include more silence as well as more complex techniques. Each program ends with a series on identity, looking at our rigid sense of self and separateness from others.
Features and Benefits of the Headspace App
If you are looking at downloading and subscribing from the Headspace app, here are the features and benefits you will be getting:
Good User Interface
The Headspace app contains regular features of any meditation apps. These include a session timer, email reminders, program training, program tracking, and the in-app community. It also has high-quality short video infographics that complement the guided meditation recordings. Its interface is simple, flexible, and easy to use on a computer or smartphone.
You can simply tap the play button on the timeline to get to the next guided meditation on your chosen series. The meditation interface includes a simple timer that lets you see how much time remains on the session. There would also be recommendations beforehand on how your position and posture should be, maximizing the whole meditation experience.
Excellent Meditation Content
The content of the Headspace meditation app is pretty straightforward. There is no spiritual or religious discourse, making it perfect for those who are just looking to clear their head. It provides personalized coaching in training your mind to support a regular meditation practice. The app teaches you different meditation techniques that you can easily do at home.
The meditation is also accompanied by brief, contemporary animations to explain the concept of each session. No unnecessary music, nature scenery, or new-age designs. Some of the non-animated videos feature its creator, Andy, who offers tips and teachings on the benefits, principles, and techniques of mindfulness meditation. Scientific support for mindfulness training is emphasized in the whole application.
Users are encouraged to complete a meditation session every day to fully maximize the benefits of the program. Once you’ve finished the Take 10 free series and subscribed to the app, you will be asked to complete the Foundation Course Series Level 2 and Level 3 prior to the other Series themed pack. This is not required and you may opt to skip this part. If you have been meditating for a while, you want to increase your session to as long as 15 or 20 minutes. Single topic meditation, which can be completed at any time, is also offered.
One of the key features of this app is its progress report. Feedback is provided to every user based on their timeline on the home page, which reports packages, completed sessions, and future sessions on a chart. The progress tab shows you your personalized status including average duration, the total number of completed sessions, and total time spent meditating. This is purely a meditative app so you wouldn’t see any mood assessment ratings. Like any meditation practice, to fully maximize the potential of the app, disciplined consistency is crucial if you want to see results.
The app encourages its users to play to the next session by sending reminders when a day is missed. These emails are simple, direct, and positive, which aim to provide motivation to continue one’s meditation journey without trying to annoy its users. To keep users motivated, it also sends updated summarized progress in a personalized manner.
How to Use the Headspace App
If you’re convinced about how the Headspace app benefits you, the next thing you should learn is how to use the app. As mentioned, the user interface is pretty straightforward. It wouldn’t take you long enough to learn the ropes. To get you started, just follow these steps:
Creating an Account & Logging In
- Open the Headspace app. If you are having trouble finding it on your app screen, this app has an icon with an orange circle in the middle. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, there’s a step-by-step guide below to help you download and install it.
- Tap “Begin your Journey.” You will find this button at the bottom part of your screen. If you have already created a Headspace account, tap “Login” above the gray bar at the bottom of your screen. Then type in your email and password associated with your Headspace app. If you don’t have an account yet, go to the next step.
- Hit “Sign up with email.” The button is located at the top of your screen. This will walk you through the process of creating a Headspace account. You can also tap the “Sign up with your Facebook account,” or the green button to sign you up with your Spotify account.
- If you just created your account, you need to fill out a form first. The form you use to sign up for the app will require you to input your first and last name, your email address, and create a password to secure your account. The password you create needs to be at least eight characters long. After filling out the form, tap the gray button below it that says “Get Started.”
- You will be redirected to another page. Simply tap “Begin.” This is inside the orange banner that says “Basics” at the top of the home page. By tapping this button, it will start a slideshow explaining the purpose of mediation.
- Once you’re done reading, simply tap anywhere on the screen. As mentioned, each slide explains the purpose of meditation. Read the slides if you want to understand mediation more. Once done with the slides, the screen will display a video that explains the basics of meditation. You can play the video to learn more about it or read “How to Meditate” to learn more meditation techniques for beginners.
Here are some basic steps you might want to familiarize yourself with:
- Schedule a time in your routine for regular meditation sessions. It is recommended that you meditate as soon as you wake up in the morning.
- Be sure to find a place where you won’t be disturbed. If you are easily distracted by noise, you will need a quiet place. If not, you can block out sounds easily with Bluetooth earphones.
- You need to sit comfortably on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your lap. Keep your back straight but not too tense or too relaxed.
- Close your eyes, relax, and try to clear your mind as much as you can.
Exploring your Options
- Go to the home page by tapping the Home tab. It is the first option at the bottom of the screen that has a house icon.
- Choose a meditation session you want to do. When you just signed up for Headspace, there are few meditations on your homepage that you can try for free. For example, there is a “Universal Contentment” meditation under the “Everyday Headspace” category. Also, there are a few quick meditations under “Minis.” The “Basics” is under the “My Packs” category, which contains 10 meditation sessions for beginners called Take10. The recommended session to start your journey is the “Basics” pack.
Starting the Session
- To start your session, simply tap the play button and listen. For an immersive experience, listen to your sessions with a Bluetooth speaker. Make sure that you are sitting comfortably in your chosen meditation spot before you press the play button on the screen. Simply listen to the audio and follow the instructions. Just focus on the audio and nothing else.
- You can also add new meditations. To do this, tap “Add a new pack” under “My Packs,” or simply tap the “Discover” tab at the bottom of your screen. This will display different meditations you can add to your home screen. These meditation packs are listed under different categories such as “Health,” “Happiness,” “Brave,” “Work & Performance,” etc. You also have the option to add new singles, minis, animations, and even kids’ meditations by tapping the tabs at the bottom of your screen. Here are some other tips to add packs:
- To add your chosen pack to your homepage, simply tap the pack, then “+ Add to my packs.”
- To start a meditation session with this pack, tap “Begin Pack,” or “Start Now” at the button of your screen.
- There are some meditation sessions that require a subscription for you to unlock. To subscribe, tap “Subscribe to unlock” and select a plan to unlock your chosen meditation sessions. You have different payment options to unlock this feature so no need to worry.
Pros and Cons of Headspace App
Like any application, the Headspace app also has its advantages and disadvantages. Below are some of its pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of Headspace
- The introductory 10-day program with reminders is free.
- The interface is user-friendly and modern.
- You can customize your content.
- The animations are engaging and will help you understand concepts.
- You can download sessions and experience them offline.
- The meditation practice is scientifically-supported.
- The app is family and child-friendly with “Headspace for Kids” content.
- You will need to subscribe to access the additional modules.
- It needs discipline and time commitment for regular practice.
- If you are an experienced meditator, you will need to complete the basic contents before advancing.
- The facilitator has a British accent that some may find distracting.
Tips to Get More Out of the Headspace App
If you want to maximize your Headspace meditation app experience, follow these tips we have for you.
Set daily reminders
Once you have set up your account, you may want to also set a specific time of the day to do your meditation. The app allows you to create daily reminders to make sure you wouldn’t miss a day of meditation. In the app, go to Settings > Notifications > Reminders. You can set little alarms here to go off at a set time each day. These reminders are hard to ignore and will keep you going with your meditation journey.
Make meditation personal
There is no wrong or right way to meditate. Find a way that works best for you. Once you get a grasp of mediation, you can go on and subscribe to the app. You can try to subscribe to a 30-day pack so you have some guidance on what you would do every day. Once you’ve finished it, you can progress to a pro pack to allow yourself to evolve in meditations.
Start with the basics
If it’s your first time doing meditation, start with the basics. The basic sessions have three different levels and each level is 10 sessions long. You have the option to start with three, five, or 10 minutes mediations. To get a grasp of how meditation works, you can first try 10 days of three minutes session, recommended for total beginners, and then move onto 10 days of five minutes and then 10 days of 10 minutes.
Try to do it often
To completely maximize the app, make sure that you incorporate meditation as part of your routine. While daily meditation will give you the most result, you can start meditation even for just four days a week. It will still give you the result you want and once you’re comfortable with it, you can do it as part of your daily routine.
Don’t meditate to sleep
You want to meditate to be energized throughout the day. As much as possible, fight the urge to give in to the soothing voice. You will get the most out of these sessions while awake. There are, however, sleep sessions in the app. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can use these to help you fall asleep.
Sync with another health app
If you want to see how exactly meditation benefits you, you can sync Headspace with another health app. Once you sync it, you will be able to see your meditation data alongside other health data giving you the motivation to keep going. You can monitor your vital signs to see how meditation helps you improve. Have you noticed that you seem more relaxed throughout the day? Are you less irritable when you’ve started the day with meditation?
How to Download the Headspace App on Android
If you want to start using the Headspace app on your Android phone, just follow these steps below:
- Go to your Google Play store. To download, make sure you have a stable internet connection. You can use a WiFi analyzer to check.
- Once you’ve opened the Google Play store, type “Headspace” from the search box and press the magnifying glass on the box. It is located at the top part of your screen.
- Select the app from the search result and tap the “Install” icon on the screen. This will start the installation process.
- Once installed, you will see the Headspace app on your home screen and you can start using it.
How to Download the Headspace App on iOS
Start using Headspace app on your Apple device. Simply follow these steps below:
- Go to the App Store.
- Search for “Headspace” by typing it in the search bar.
- Select “Headspace” from the search result and tap “Install.” This will start the installation process. Once installed, you will see the app on your home screen and you can start using it.