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Headspace has a great reputation, and it’s no wonder: the app offers a super meditation experience
Subscription: $12/£10 per month
Size: 119 MB
Publisher: Headspace Meditation Limited
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Update! A few years have passed since we last looked at Headspace. Has this popular app kept its head in the game, or has it suffered a case of developer neglect?
So what’s new? A number of big changes have made their way to Headspace in the last few years. First, the app is taking sleep more seriously than ever. Now, Headspace offers a dedicated Sleep tab full to the brim with mindful bedtime stories, sleep meditations, sleep music, sleep radio, and a range of soundscapes. Then there’s the all-new Move tab: here, users can access a range of guided exercises to keep physically fit and healthy, with video demonstrations appearing in the app. Of course, there’s still a great range of guided meditations in HeadSpace – these remain the app’s bread and butter and are as good as ever. But extra features like community stories and interviews enhance the meditations on offer even further.
Revised rating: Still the king of App Store meditation apps. ★★★★★
Our original review, written in May 2018, is presented in its entirety below.
In our busy lives, we all need to make time for a little meditation. At least, that’s the idea behind Headspace: a guided meditation app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
You’ve probably heard about Headspace — it’s the king of meditation apps, co-founded by a former Tibetan Buddhist monk who now shares his mindful learning through a mobile app. Headspace offers a perfect starting point for beginners with little experience of meditation, or a great continuation for folks who’ve meditated more regularly – for a price, of course. But more on that later.
You can download Headspace for free and give the basic features a whirl. Inputting your personal info (including your meditation aims) results in a more tailored offering, and a series of 10 basic meditations will be available to work through in the app.
There are also free “everyday headspace” meditations and mini exercises (such as a one-minute breathe exercise, which isn’t dissimilar to the feature of the same name on watchOS). These are designed to let users jump in and out of a mindful exercise, and are best used for those times when your schedule is too full to allow for an entire meditation.
Individual meditations start at three minutes long. Users are guided through their meditation step-by-step and, as someone who hasn’t meditated (much) before, the experience was very calming.
The free download, however, only brings 10 basic meditations to the table, and for more you’ll need to subscribe. This unlocks the entire Headspace library which includes meditation “packs” designed to help with specific aspects of your life (such as sleep, relationships, stress, insomnia, and anxiety). There’s a section of meditations for kids, too, as well as a library of animations which tackle different subjects (like changing perspective and underlying calm). The folks behind the app have also added a number of accessibility options for users with additional needs, which is great to see.
All this doesn’t come cheap, though – monthly $10/£10 and annual $75/£75 subscriptions are available, though special offers do crop up now and then. There’s even a lifetime subscription for a princely $400/£400. However, we’ve spoken to a number of Headspace subscribers who use the app regularly, and they can’t recommend the premium service enough. The library is full to the brim with content which certainly justifies the cost.
So there you have it: start your journey towards a more mindful way of life by downloading Headspace. Its free trial should be enough to test the waters, after which a subscription may be the way forward if you find yourself using it a lot. It’s not cheap, but trust us: you won’t find much better on the App Store.
- Diverse range of meditation packs
- Perfect for beginners
- Short exercises for those busy times
- The full service is a bit pricy