What is Headspace?
Created by Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson, Headspace is an amazing tool for anyone and everyone to use. It’s an app which gives its users a bank of meditation techniques and tools for coping with various issues. The goal of the app is to improve the health and happiness of its users.
There are hundreds of video and audio files to choose from. You can select anything you feel like you want help with. From categories such as health, work and happiness to things as specific as self-esteem and coping with cravings. A personal favourite of mine is the sleep section. It has loads of tools to help you unwind and make the most of those much needed hours of rest.
Why does it work?
The brains behind the service see ‘meditation as both a practice rooted in ancient history and a topic of modern science’. This is why, out of the 2000 meditation apps out there, Headspace is one of the only services which incorporates clinically validated research into their work. The app’s developers are dedicated to using proven methods to reduce stress and increase happiness. Independent studies carried out by Northeastern University found that ‘3 weeks of Headspace increased compassion by 23% and reduced aggression by 57%.’ The methods used in the app are tried and tested and this is why I feel confident in recommending it to everyone as one of the best meditation services out there.
The story behind the science
At the age of 22, the co-founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe, travelled to Asia to become a Buddhist monk. His meditation training took him to Nepal, India, Burma, Thailand, Australia and Russia. Over the course of 10 years, he became a fully ordained Tibetan monk in a Monastery in the Himalayas. Eventually, he returned to the UK in 2004 to complete his mission of making ‘meditation accessible, relevant and beneficial to as many people as possible’. It was at this point that he met his future business partner, Rich Pierson and together they created Headspace.
In an interview with Inspired Magazine, Puddicombe states that he and Andy ‘both thought, how can we present meditation in a way that our friends would genuinely give it a try? Richard had all these creative skills, and I had the experience as a monk. I think that was the light bulb moment with Headspace, the coming together of those two backgrounds.’