Headspace Meditation App Review: Is It Right for You?

UPDATED: June 26, 2023
PUBLISHED: November 4, 2021
Headspace Meditation App Review:

Mindful meditation provides medically proven health and wellness benefits. Yet, only 14% of US adults have even tried meditation. Fewer practice it regularly. So why don’t more people meditate frequently?

The reasons vary. Some feel like they don’t have enough time for mindfulness, exercise or other healthy decisions. Others simply don’t know how to meditate properly and become frustrated in their attempts. This is where mindfulness and meditation apps such as Headspace play an important role in 2021. But are the best meditation apps worth the cost?

Headspace does more than teach you the how and the why of healthy meditation. It also helps you build a regimen for your mind and body. Plus,it is simple to incorporate into your busy day. In fact, not only will you discover that you are putting your time to good use. You will likely find that your overall productivity increases.

Is a Headspace subscription worth it?

Headspace membership costs $69.99 annually. And it remains the most highly rated among the most popular sleep and meditation apps. Millions of people have found Headspace to be well worth the subscription cost and, more importantly, their time and energy. That’s because Headspace stands out from the crowd for two big reasons.

First, there’s Headspace’s quality and variety of content. Unlike some mindfulness apps, Headspace does not neglect the importance of fitness as well as calm and relaxation. Its workout videos fit with the mindfulness features naturally and holistically. And although any track can be used with audio only, Headspace’s strong video element provides additional value.

And second, Headspace does not assume you will stay on track without guidance. The Today feature helps guide the user in creating healthy, positive daily habits: breathing better, learning, meditating, exercising, and sleeping more soundly. The structured daily mindfulness routine does more than guide you through the app’s many benefits. It also builds positive, lasting routines that don’t take too much time from your day.

So how does Headspace work? And what specifically does the app include? Let’s take a closer look.

How effective is Headspace?

In a word, Headspace helps users develop happiness. With a focus on overall happiness and well-being, it’s no wonder Headspace is so popular. In fact, Headspace currently reigns as the highest-rated popular sleep and meditation app. It has a 4.9 star rating at the App Store, and a 4.8 rating at Google Play. Headspace’s approach to creating happiness for its users is multi-faceted. It emphasizes anxiety reduction not only through better sleep and meditation, but through physical health and a greater understanding of ourselves and others.

Co-founded by meditation and mindfulness trainer Andy Puddicombe, Headspace combines these elements to reduce stress by both calming the mind and energizing the body. It is a carefully crafted balance that works with you throughout your day to achieve a happier, more mindful existence.

Get your mindfulness routine started with Headspace.

Some of those new to meditation simply don’t know where to begin. Don’t worry. Headspace makes getting started easy. The first time you open the app, it asks you, “What’s on your mind? You simply choose one of the following options to get started.

  • Managing everyday anxiety and stress: meditations for anytime 
  • Sleeping soundly: put your mind to bed with sleepcasts, music, and more
  • Being more active: train your body and your mind at the same time
  • Trying something new: Start your day with The Wake Up
  • Staying focused: Declutter your thoughts and improve concentration

You also have an option to turn on push notifications. The Stay Motivated push offers support, information, and reminders to keep your daily mindfulness exercises going. The Mindful Moments notifications offer inspirational words of wisdom to assist you through the day. If you already have too many pushes coming through your device, it’s easy to deselect these.

And that’s it. In under a minute, you are set up and ready to enter the world of Headspace.

What are Headspace’s main features?

Something you will notice about Headspace is it’s clean, cheerful appearance. Simply opening the app makes you feel good. That’s in large part due to the cheery orange, pink and yellow palette and cheerful designs seen throughout the app and in Headspace’s animations.

The menu is simple and takes you directly to all of Heaspace’s main features. Meditate provides hundreds of guided and unguided meditations. You can even join group meditations from your device. You may also take courses from skilled meditation instructors and advance through the selections as you learn. Although Headspace provides a range of meditation and mindfulness teachers, many feature Kessonga Giscombe as your expert meditation guide.

Move offers exercise sessions with cardio workouts, yoga, and even dance. These include both routines created purely for audio and instructor workout videos as well. Sleep provides a variety of tracks to sleep better ranging from music to audio stories. Focus, on the other hand, helps you gain focus in a world of increasing distractions. The tracks here range from meditations and exercises to informative lessons and soundscapes to help you build focus at work. The overall quality is very good throughout. The mindfulness teachers and coaches all exhibit great knowledge and skill, though you will certainly discover personal favorites along the way.

Yes, Headspace offers a lot of content. But can it feel overwhelming? And with so many choices, do you risk becoming lost as though searching the Internet? No, because that’s where the final category comes into play. It’s the Today button that truly makes Headspace stand out among mindfulness apps.

Today makes happiness a mindful routine.

Headspace does more than provide meditation, sleep, and mindfulness content. It creates a daily routine that builds a habit of mindfulness. The today tab breaks your day into 3 main parts, each with its own unique daily content. Let’s look at each.

Start Your Day

Your day begins with a Mindful Activity. This is usually a breathing exercise you can access at any time to recenter yourself and find calm. Then, enjoy The Wake Up, a sort of mindfulness mini-documentary with video or animation lasting a few minutes. Although it’s the easiest part of your Headspace day to skip, I found it an excellent way to relax for a few minutes in the morning over coffee or during a workout. Then, Today’s Meditation rounds out your morning with a guided meditation, usually lasting around 10 minutes. These begin with a brief introduction of purpose on topics such as “Understand and Forgive,” “Love is Innate,” or “Awareness.”

Your Afternoon Lift

Ready for a workout? Your Afternoon Lift frequently offers a 20-minute workout ranging from yoga to cardio. Other days may offer relaxing music or a mindfulness lesson. If you don’t like leaving your afternoon lift to fate, you can always opt for a workout or a meditation instead by going to the appropriate tab. 

At Night

Lastly, you are ready for bed. And Sleepcasts provides just the soundtrack to guide you into a deep sleep. The Headspace offerings provide something like a radio play with subtle, relaxing sound effects. But rather than keep you awake by engaging you in a story, they guide you through a relaxing visualization exercise before gently guiding you into a sleep meditation. Although skeptical at first, this ended up becoming one of my favorite features as it eased my mind from restlessness to a deep sleep in remarkable fashion.

Each day offers something new. And yet, the overall consistency helps keep you on the path to great mindfulness and—yes—happiness.

Where can I find the Headspace healthful living app?

Headspace works great on your mobile device or even from a desktop or laptop. Find Headspace at:

  • The Apple App Store
  • Google Play
  • Headspace Website for Desktop

Photo by Mariia Korneeva/Shutterstock

Bryan Lindenberger

Bryan enjoys the digital space where arts and technology meet. As a writer, he has worked in education, health and wellbeing, and manufacturing. He also assists smaller businesses in web development including accessibility and content development. In his free time, he hikes trails in central Florida.