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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, music for sleep and focus, and has a library of over 500 meditations.

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 5.4% of American children meditated in 2017, compared to 0.6 percent in 2012.

This article discusses what Headspace is, the features it offers, 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.

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, saying that they were not aware the company would take money automatically from their accounts. Others say that Headspace continued to take money from their accounts after the reviewers had canceled their subscription.

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

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

  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • work-life balance
  • change
  • goals for self-improvement
  • burnout

Headspace has a library of more than 500 meditations. 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 several music playlists that may promote focus during work and creative pursuits.
  • Wellness articles. Headspace offers various articles that provide tips for promoting sleep, managing stress, and mindful eating among others.

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

Headspace offers some free content, including:

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

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

At the time of publishing, people can pay for a monthly or annual subscription.

A monthly subscription comes with a 7-day free trial, after which it costs $12.99.

An annual subscription comes with a 14-day free trial, after which it costs $69.99.

Before downloading or using Headspace, a person may wish to consider the pros and cons of this service.

A person may also consider the following meditation apps and websites:

  • 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 either 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 which the company designs to match a user’s needs. It has additional features, such as meditations for children and the ability to record a meditation to a friend who might need it. People will need to 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 practices 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 that meditation can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some people who meditate reporting feeling less anxious than those who did not.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). There is some evidence that meditation can help ease the pain people may feel with IBS, and this practice may reduce the severity of this condition. However, the improvement a person notices may be small.

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

The researchers found that MBSR improved the participants’ quality of life and reduced the amount of pain that 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. Additionally, guided meditations had a larger positive impact on symptoms of depression than those without.

Learn more about the different types of meditation.

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 headache, and high blood pressure.