What is Headspace?
Andy Puddicombe is the founder of Headspace. He traveled the world as a buddhist monk for over 10 years until he was ordained at a Tibetan monastery in the Indian Himalayas. Andy and his colleague Rich Pierson launched Headspace in 2010 with the goal of providing the world with guided meditations and advice for living a happier, healthier life. Today, Headspace offers meditations, articles, podcasts, and fun animated videos through a variety of mediums. The company's headquarters is based in Santa monica, California and has two offices in San Francisco and London.
Do meditations actually work?
Headspace defines meditation as "both a skill and an experience — a formal exercise to cultivate awareness and compassion". It's essentially training ourselves to practice mindfulness, which layman's terms means being present. Having the ability to stop being trapped in the realms of our minds can beneficial for a number of reasons. According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health), "Some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia." Many experts suggest that mediation can also aid in better sleep and memory retention. However the NIH express that although some studies found that meditation may affect the way brain processes pain ""its effectiveness for pain and as a smoking-cessation treatment is uncertain."
Why I practice with Headspace
I stumbled across Headspace as I was skimming for something to watch on Netflix. They partnered with Netflix to make a short series of guided meditations to help you start your mindfulness journey. I watched one episode every night for about a week. I won't say the experience has been life changing. However, I've been using Headspace guided-meditations regularly ever since. Andy's voice is particularly soothing. The app's audio clips are a great way to help me wind down at the end of the day and achieve a good night's rest. Occasionally, I is listen to Andy's podcasts or Youtube videos on my way to work. The meditations start my day off with a peaceful bliss that makes day go by just a little bit faster.
Should you get a subscription?
Headspace's app has a full library of guided meditations, workout, sleep casts and more. The question is, should you pay for the subscription? That depends on you. I have been using their meditations for a while but I have not directly paid for any of the content. The app has a few free meditations that I recycle and their Youtube channel is lush with great videos. Still, I am interested in actually paying for a subscription in the future when my bank account can afford it. The app allows the meditations to play when my phone screen is locked, which benefits my night time wind down.