Frequently, particularly when I am seeing someone with stress or anxiety, I recommend developing a meditation practice. There are a plethora of free applications and videos on YouTube. But when clients ask me if there is one I prefer, I recommend Headspace. I have downloaded and tried several of them myself. However, I had never purchased one until about two months ago when I decided to try the paid version of Headspace and review it for my website and blog.
First, I will tell you why I have thus far preferred Headspace over some of the other apps out there (i.e., ‘Relax’): As far as I can tell, it’s the most professionally-produced meditation application. Many of them, including the ones on YouTube, seem somewhat amateurish. For example, you can hear a buzzing in the sound quality and/or the speaker makes a statement that I know to be false or unhelpful. Occasionally, speakers will introduce a concept that I know is not supported by research.
Below, find some comments I have specifically about the Headspace application.
1) Problems with the application freezing on the phone. I have very frequently experienced the application shutting down in the middle of a meditation. Needless to say this is highly distracting. Once or twice, I found that a ten minute meditation had become thirty, without my awareness. Though this isn’t necessarily the fault of the creators of this Headspace, I wish they had more help available for this. Even when I reset my screensaver on my phone, I found that this still sometimes occured and I am not sure why. I have taken to using it now, on my IPad and computer to avoid having this happen.
2) A lot of duplicate material. Though there are a plethora of packs and singles to choose from, with different themes, most of them are remarkably the same. In some ways, this serves to highlight how simply meditation is, but in other instances, it just seems lazy, on the part of the creators.
3) Some overreach about what meditation is good for. Don’t get me wrong: I swear by medication and it’s good for a lot of things. But at times, it’s proponents cane seem like they are ‘peddling snakeoil’ when they tout that it is good for all your ills. There is good, sound data that a meditation practice can help anxiety, but Headspace has modules that claim to help you with ‘generosity’ and ‘prioritization’. This goes far beyond the data, in my opinion.
Things I really like:
1) Good, solid, basics of meditation. the basic packs do a respectable job at teaching one a rudimentary meditation practice in a slow, simple and methodical manner. Though the differences between each episide are miniscule, you do feel that it builds over time.
2) Andy’s voice . Andy’s voice is partiuclary suited for this purpose. He manages to sound both authoritative and soothing at the same time.
3) Professional Quality. Compared to other applications, I just don’t think there is another better than Headspace for it’s sleek design and usability.
In sum, I really do recommend the Headspace application. I use it myself, and will continue recommending it to the clients I treat.