Mental health issues are quite common in today’s digital age, as many people struggle with stress, anxiety and even depression. From work-related stress to relationship woes and sleep problems, you probably deal with a lot daily. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lead a healthier, happier life and improve your mental health.
One of these steps is to use meditation apps to practise mindfulness.
Headspace is a commonly recommended app for practising mindfulness and improving mood, affect and emotional reactivity. The app offers mindful workouts, sleep techniques, meditations and so much more. But is Headspace any good?
Keep reading for the full Headspace app review, including its features, pricing, pros and cons.
What is Headspace?
Available for iOS and Android, Headspace is a meditation app that puts mindfulness at your fingertips. The everyday app gives you access to guided lessons on sleep, breathing and mindfulness to help you feel better.
Headspace is designed to be your mind’s best friend, guiding you through the tough times in life or whenever you need it. It uses science-backed mindfulness and meditation techniques and tools to ensure you find joy in your daily life.
With Headspace, you adopt life-changing habits that improve your mental health for a happier and healthier you.
How does Headspace work?
Headspace works by providing you with a variety of tools and techniques to help you sleep better, lower your stress and simply breathe. Once you sign up, you’re first greeted by ‘Wake Up’ — a series of short videos for meditation and mindful activities. These videos cover various concepts such as ‘learning to listen’, breathing techniques and ‘letting go’.
The videos begin with a quick introduction followed by a short meditation. You can choose to skip this part and go straight to the main four categories: Meditate, Move, Sleep and Focus.
The Meditate section has a variety of courses and single programs centring on different topics such as boosting confidence, finding focus or dealing with grief.
You can customise a course or program to suit your needs and preference. For example, you can choose a female or male narrator for your meditation or configure how long you want your meditation to last — anywhere between 3 and 20 minutes.
This new category on Headspace offers low to medium-impact workouts like yoga and cardio. These workouts are 10 to 30 minutes long and teach you how to breathe while focusing on your mind-body connection.
The Sleep section offers numerous relaxing guided sessions and meditations to help users sleep better. From white noise audios and ocean sounds to short breathing exercises and relaxing visualisations, this category focuses on improving your sleep patterns. If you have a problem initiating or maintaining sleep, you’ll find this section helpful.
The Focus category is designed to help users focus on the tasks at hand. Whether you have pending projects or schoolwork to complete, this tab ensures you can focus and get the job done. The category offers curated meditation playlists and music such as lo-fi beats that increase your focus.
Headspace has a wide variety of features that improve your mental health while helping you find joy. These features include:
- Guided meditation and exercises for a wide range of needs and concerns
- Beginner courses for first-time meditators
- Mini meditations you can do on the go
- Single programs to start the day, relax, focus or fall back to sleep
- 10-day courses and 30-day courses
- Workout videos
- Focused playlists
- Kid-friendly meditations and activities
How much does Headspace cost?
Headspace offers users two versions — free and paid. The free version has limited content and only features basic guided meditations, including a first-level basic course, several sleep meditations, two fitness workouts and a nighttime relaxation session.
As for the paid version, there are two options. The first option is a monthly plan for £9.99, which comes with a 7-day free trial. After the free trial, your subscription automatically renews each month. The second offer is an annual free of £49.99 (which works out as £4.17 per month). This has a 14-day free trial.
Headspace also offers plans for students in the UK, United States, Australia, Germany, France, India, Canada, Spain and Portugal. The student plan is 85% off, which in the UK is £7.99 per year (working out at £0.67 per month). However, this is only for students attending a post-secondary program or university.
You can also have a family plan, which covers six accounts for £74.99 a year.
Headspace offers numerous advantages, including:
- Great app for beginner meditators
- Large selection of meditations and mindfulness tools and techniques
- Easy-to-use interface with colourful designs
- Family and kid-friendly
- Customisable courses and programs
Headspace has some downsides, including:
- Free version is limited, so you have to subscribe to gain full access
- Some users find cancelling their plans difficult and contacting customer service challenging
- A smaller variety of meditations on offer
- Some customers may find the colourful, sunny and fun interface too bright or busy and less soothing
- You have to sign up for a paid plan to access a free trial, and the subscription renews without warning
Is Headspace worth it?
If you’re a beginner meditator looking for guided meditations, Headspace is a great option.
It’s relatively affordable and provides easy-to-digest instructions and tools that help you practise mindfulness. The app makes meditation easily accessible and helps improve mental health, which makes it worthwhile.
How does Headspace compare to other mindfulness apps?
Headspace’s main competitor is Calm, another popular meditation app. While both share majority of the same meditation and mindfulness techniques, there are a few differences.
Headspace is best suited for beginner meditators who want guidance and advice on how to meditate and practice mindfulness. Calm offers a more varied collection with less structure, ideal for more seasoned and experienced meditators.
Headspace annual’s subscription is also less pricey than Calm.
Headspace app review takeaways
Headspace is a great meditation app for beginners, and it offers a great array of quality guided meditations, courses and programs. The app is quite well-rounded, with tools and techniques for meditation, sleep, focus and exercise.
Although the unresponsive customer service and renewals without warning can be annoying, the app does make meditation easy and accessible.
If you don’t mind the overly colourful designs and want guided meditations, Headspace is the app for you.