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Headspace is a meditation app that states its mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world. The app provides yoga exercises and music for sleep and focus and has a library of over 500 guided meditation sessions.

According to the National Health Interview Survey, 14.2% of American adults meditated in 2017, more than three times the number who did so just 5 years earlier. The same survey found that 5.4% of American children meditated in 2017, compared to 0.6% in 2012.

This article discusses what Headspace offers, its features, and how meditation can impact health.

Headspace was founded in 2010. It began as an events company and transformed into an online application offering meditations, animations, articles, and videos.

The company provides meditation for adults and children to help people with anxiety, stress, and finding a work-life balance. It is available on desktop and iOS, and Android devices.

Learn more about meditation for children.

Headspace is for people who want to learn how to meditate, reduce their stress levels, and improve their sleep patterns.

The app has untimed sessions for those who would like to improve their meditation skills.

Headspace for Teens is also available for adolescent users who want to learn about their mental health and build mindfulness routines.

At the time of publishing, Headspace does not hold accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB gives the company an F grade. Reviewers on Trustpilot give Headspace an average rating of 2.3 stars out of 5.

Negative reviews on Trustpilot and the BBB mention the automatic subscription renewal feature. People say that they were unaware the company would automatically take money from their accounts. Others say that Headspace continued to take money from their accounts after they had canceled their subscription.

Positive reviews on Trustpilot say that Headspace’s customer service was helpful and quick to respond when the app stopped working. Other reviewers state that the app helped them sleep better, feel less anxious, and encourages focus while working.

Headspace has positive reviews on its website. These reviews praise the quality of meditation sessions, adding that they help people disconnect from negative thoughts.

According to the brand, the company’s mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world. Headspace offers meditation that gives support and guidance for:

Headspace has a library of more than 500 meditation sessions. In addition, people can choose from:

  • Sleep meditation: The company offers sleep-promoting music, soundscapes, and exercises for adults and children. Learn more about the best apps for sleep meditation.
  • Workouts: People can choose from daily mood-boosting and tension-releasing workouts.
  • Yoga exercises: The company offers several yoga exercises that may help reduce stress.
  • Music playlists:People can choose from music playlists that promote focus during work and creative pursuits.
  • Wellness articles: The app offers various articles that provide tips for promoting sleep, managing stress, and mindful eating.

The company offers free samples of its meditation sessions on the Headspace website. However, to access Headspace’s full library of meditations, a person has to purchase a subscription.

Read on for a breakdown of what to expect from the Headspace app.


People can access meditation courses and individual programs:

  • Meditation courses: These include guided meditations that focus on improving self-esteem and dealing with grief, among other topics.
  • Individual programs: These are one-off sessions for promoting calm and relaxation. A person may use these programs to reduce stress in specific situations, such as before giving a presentation.

Headspace provides personalized meditation, meaning that users can choose the preferred duration of their sessions.


The Headspace app has sleep programs that include relaxing stories and sounds for people who have trouble falling asleep.

Individuals can choose between sleep casts, soothing soundscapes, or sleep music.

The app adds new sounds every month.


The Focus tab may suit people who want to improve their focus and minimize distractions.

People can access ambient music and soundscapes under this tab.

Users can also select playlists by popular musicians, including Hans Zimmer, John Legend, and Sebastien Tellier.


Headspace’s Move mode has meditation sessions and exercises to help users look after their mental and physical health.

Using the app’s coach-led Move sessions, people can engage in low-to-medium impact exercises and rest day meditations.

Headspace recommends buying workout clothes and a yoga mat for these exercises.

Wake Up

Wake Up content helps users start their day on a positive note by focusing on meditating and eating better.

Each day, Headspace launches short episodes designed to be part of a person’s morning ritual.

Headspace is free to download. However, a person must pay for a subscription to access all content.

Headspace offers the following free content:

  • 10 sessions of the Basics course, which introduces users to meditation and mindfulness
  • 3 sessions of Today’s Meditation and Today’s Headspace
  • Stress Release and Reframing Anxiety workouts
  • a popular sleep cast
  • various Sleep Mode meditations
  • a sample of music that may promote focus

Additional content requires a subscription to access. People can pay for a monthly, annual, or family subscription.

  • Monthly: A monthly subscription comes with a 7-day free trial, after which it costs $17.99. It offers more than 500 meditations and mindfulness tools for persons who wish to manage their stress levels. Users can listen to music and sounds to help them fall asleep.
  • Annual: An annual subscription comes with a 14-day free trial, after which it costs $89.99. Users can access more than 500 meditations and mindfulness tools. The plan offers bedtime sounds, music, and wind-down exercises.
  • Family: The family plan is available for $134.99 per year. People can add up to six accounts and use the Parent and Kids collection guides. The plan is also suitable for couples who can use the Relationships and Intimacy courses.

Headspace also offers specialty plans:

  • Teens: This is a free plan for teens who live in the United States. They can access the Back to School Essentials collection, which provides study music and guides to help them manage stress. There are more than 500 meditations and sounds a person can listen to before sleep.
  • Student: The student plan is available for $12.99 per year for people taking university and post-secondary courses. It includes Back to School Essentials resources and sleep music.
  • Educators: This is a free plan for K-12 primary educators who work in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia. Headspace provides mindfulness exercises that educators can share with their students. The plan also has relaxing music that people can listen to before bedtime.


This is a comparison between the plans Headspace offers:

PlanFree trialCostWho it is forSleep music and soundsFull library of meditations
Monthly 7 days$12.99 per monthpeople who wish to manage stressful situationsavailable available
Annual 14 days$69.99 per yearpeople who wish to manage stress and improve their sleepavailable available
Family NA $99.99 per yearfamilies with children and couplesdoes not saydoes not say
Teens NAFree teens who live in the U.S.available available
Student NA$9.99 per yearpost-secondary and university studentsavailable available
Educators NAFree educators who teach K-12 primary students in the U.S., UK Canda, and Australia available available

Before downloading or using Headspace, a person may consider the following pros and cons:


  • The app is easy to navigate.
  • People can download meditations and listen to them offline.
  • The content is beginner-friendly.
  • Some sessions allow users to set the length of time for the meditation.


  • The subscription prices may be higher than competitors.
  • Unlike some meditation apps, Headspace does not offer a lifetime, one-time purchase.
  • Headspace’s child-centered content may be less abundant than some competitors.
  • Reviewers state that Headspace’s subscription plans are unclear.
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The table below shows how Headspace compares to its competitors Calm, Breethe, and Wysa.

BrandiOS ratingAndroid ratingTypes of meditation or therapy offeredSubscription?
Headspace4.8 stars 4.4 starssleep sounds, calming, and insight meditationyes
Calm4.8 stars 4.4 starsmindfulness meditationyes
Breethe4.7 stars 4.6 stars hypnotherapy, nature sounds, and musicyes
Wysa4.9 stars4.7 starscognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), yoga, and journaling activitiesyes

The following meditation apps and websites are alternatives to Headspace:

  • Insight Timer. People can access meditations, playlists, and classes for free. Subscribing to the MembersPlus paid service provides access to hundreds of additional meditations, courses, and premium features, including offline listening.
  • Aura. This app offers a library of resources taught by leading coaches, storytellers, and teachers. It provides users with personalized recommendations to help people deal with stress, anxiety, insomnia, and other challenges to emotional health. People can use the various free features or pay a monthly, yearly, or one-time lifetime subscription to access premium features.
  • Buddhify. This app features guided meditations of varying lengths. It has additional features, such as meditations for children and the ability to record a meditation for a friend who might need it. People must purchase a monthly subscription to use most of Buddhify’s services.

Learn more about where to find meditation online.

People have been using meditation and mindfulness for centuries to help manage stress and promote wellness.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), meditation may help with:

  • High blood pressure. There is evidence that transcendental meditation can lower blood pressure in young adults who are at risk of developing high blood pressure. However, there is not enough evidence to suggest that this form of meditation is more effective than other types.
  • Insomnia. There is some evidence that mindfulness techniques and meditation, especially mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), aids sleep, with MBTI being more effective than other forms of meditation.
  • Anxiety. The NCCIH states that there is evidence meditation can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some people who meditate report feeling less anxious than those who do not.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is some evidence that meditation can help ease the pain people may feel with IBS. However, the improvement a person notices may be small.

A 2021 study found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) may benefit those with migraine headaches. The researchers split the 89 participants into two groups. One group underwent MBSR, and the other underwent headache education.

The researchers found that MBSR improved the participants’ quality of life and reduced the amount of pain they felt. However, the study notes that more research needs to be conducted in this area.

A 2020 meta-analysis found that older adults with depression reported fewer symptoms after mindful meditation interventions.

Learn more about the different types of meditation.

The following are common questions and answers about Headspace:

Is Headspace any good?

Headspace offers meditation sessions for people who want to focus more on their work and control stress. It has different plans for individuals, students, families, and educators.

Positive reviews state that the sessions are effective. However, what works for one person may not work for another.

Which is better, Headspace or Calm?

This depends on a person’s preference. Headspace may suit persons new to meditating, while Calm may be best for those with meditation experience.

Does Headspace help with anxiety?

Headspace app provides users courses and meditations to help them manage their anxiety. It also offers a Managing Anxiety course.

People can also join a workout class focusing on breathing exercises to help calm the mind.

Who is Headspace’s target audience?

Headspace is for teens, students, families, and educators looking to learn about meditation to help them focus in class, at work, and think more positively.

The sessions are designed for those who are new to meditating.

Headspace is a meditation app that may aid sleep and focus and reduce the symptoms of certain conditions, such as anxiety. The company provides both free and paid features.

There is some evidence that meditation can help with various conditions, including IBS, migraine, and high blood pressure.