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Life is hard sometimes.
Sleeping after a difficult day can be even harder.
But don’t worry — there’s an app for that. The Headspace app, to be specific.
If you’ve ever struggled to de-stress and de-clutter your mind before bed, you’re certainly not alone. Worrying about the events of today and your fears for tomorrow do not make for a good night’s sleep, and might go some way to explaining why so many Americans end up turning to sleeping pills to knock themselves out after a hard day.
However, some people are looking to change the way they tackle problems and evolve their behavioral patterns past simply reaching for the medicine cabinet.
Over 5 million individuals so far have signed up for the Headspace app — the guided meditation program that works as a personal trainer for your mind. Equipped with a slew of different guided meditations and series for a range of experience and ability levels, it’s designed to encourage you to commit a few minutes of your day, every day, to meditation, in a bid to improve your health, happiness and purpose.
Here’s our Headspace review if you’re intrigued to find out more.
What is the Headspace App?
The team behind Headspace are on a mission to ensure everyone around the globe makes more of an effort to look after the health of their mind.
Headspace uses proven meditation and mindfulness techniques to guide your mind into becoming more resilient, calm and resourceful. The idea is that with dedicated practice of at least 10 minutes a day, you’ll be able to put your practice to the test in the real world.
We love the app — hence this Headspace review — and particularly appreciate how it trains you to declutter your mind, helping you get a better and more rejuvenating night sleep, every night.
You can access Headspace via its desktop website, or you can download the Headspace app for your smartphone or tablet for easy access, even while you’re travelling.
Best of all, it comes with a free trial so you can get a good feel for it before you take out a subscription.
The trial is called Take 10, and is a 10 day program of 10 introductory guided meditations of 10 minutes each. The trial expires when you’ve listened to the final Take 10 session, so if you just do one session every other day, for instance, the trial will take 20 days for you to complete.
It’s recommended, however, that you commit to one session every day in order to get the best results.
While Take 10 is a basic introduction to mindfulness meditation, it’s more than enough to give you a feel for the app, see if you like Andy, the Headspace facilitator, and convince you whether or not you want to pay for a full subscription.
If you like the Headspace experience, you can subscribe after the 10-day free trial. Alternatively, you can forget about the app without paying a penny if it isn’t for you.
When you subscribe, you get hundreds of hours of content at your fingertips. This includes guided and unguided exercises, the series collection, one-off meditations, help with the melt down moments, the ability to track your progress and stats, as well as rewards for your progress.
Past just general mindfulness meditations, the Headspace app also has specific series collections designed to target certain features and mind states. For instance, there’s a 30-day creativity series, as well as those for depression, motivation, anxiety, sleep, pregnancy, kindness, patience, appreciation, focus and many more.
How Much does Headspace Cost?
It’s free to download the Headspace app, but after you’ve completed the Take 10 free 10-day trial, you will be asked if you want to continue with the program.
If you do, you’ll have a choice of four different subscription packages:
- Monthly: $12.95 per month, recurring billing, cancel any time
- Yearly: $7.99 per month, billed as one payment of $95.88, recurring billing
- Two Years: $6.24 per month, billed as one payment of $149.76, recurring billing
- Forever: $419.95
One of the nice things about subscribing is that the Headspace team will donate a subscription to someone else in need as part of their ‘Get Some – Give Some’ program.
How Can the Headspace App Improve My Sleep?
You’re probably thinking that it sounds all very well, but what tangible benefits can I expect to receive from the Headspace app, especially when it comes to improving my sleep?
One of the great things about learning the art of mindfulness meditation is that it can improve your mental health, and in turn, your sleep quality. This is something that has been tested and proven to work especially well for adults.
Here are just some of the benefits of meditation that can enhance your sleep and your emotional well-being:
- Reduced stress and worry
- Improved breathing and heart rate
- Experience greater peace of mind
- Increased relaxation
- Improved resilience against aches and pain
- A vast reduction in sleepless nights
- Improved mood and emotional intelligence
The Benefits of Headspace Beyond Improved Sleep
Great news. There are plenty of other benefits of using the Headspace app to learn meditation techniques that go beyond just improving your sleep quality. Such as…
- Improved focus on every day and work tasks
- Increased self-awareness
- Greater relationship satisfaction with your family and friends
- Improved listening skills
- Helps you to develop positive social connections
- Increased memory retention and recall
- Better creative thinking
We already know that there are almost countless benefits to meditation and what the Headspace app is offering us.
So our review is going to focus on the user experience instead. What did we like about the app? What needs improvement?
You get a lot of bang for your buck
Some users balk at the subscription price tag of Headspace, spouting various platitudes like how a true meditation practitioner shouldn’t be chasing riches through the design of an app.
That’s really neither here nor there and the more reasoned among us are doubtless happy to pay for quality, rather than worrying about the inner struggle of the creator.
And it truly is a high quality app — the interface is slick, accessible and easy to navigate. There’s a veritable butt load of sessions, both individual and series, guided and unguided, at durations you can pick to suit your experience level.
With over 350 hours of material, you’d be hard pressed to run out of sessions for a while yet!
Andy is the creator of the Headspace app and the voice you hear guiding the meditations. Relatively softly spoken with a British accent, he never intrudes on a session and does away with any pretension or ‘woo woo’ mystique that some other meditation facilitators cultivate.
We found that he manages to walk the fine line between letting us find our flow state and guiding us back to the breath when we got distracted remarkably well. Sometimes it felt like he was right there in the room next to us instead of at the end of a recorded meditation!
He’s found an excellent compromising position of being the guiding hand in the background.
Things That Could be Improved
It’s very difficult to fault the Headspace app, which we found really does over deliver on its promises.
Take 10 Trial
A couple of areas it could improve would be for the Take 10 free trial to allow us more of an insight into all the features on offer before subscribing. We were pleasantly surprised after subscribing to find such a wealth of diverse content that is only merely hinted to in the free trial period. We imagine more people would sign on the dotted line if they knew the full scope of what was on offer.
Secondly, while we do feel that the price tag is justified by the quality and quantity of the content available in the subscription packages, there’s no doubt that it is prohibitively priced for some people.
While the Get Some Give Some program — where the Headspace app team donate a subscription to someone in need for every subscription bought — is certainly admirable, it would be good if they could introduce discounted prices for students and perhaps even family packages.
Overall, we genuinely really love Headspace and continue to find it an essential tool to balance our state of mind and improve our sleep.
We’d wholeheartedly recommend downloading the Headspace app and taking some time for the no obligation Take 10 trial.