Headspace (App)
Available on Android and iOS
Rating: 3/5

“Say hello to Headspace. Think of it like a gym membership for the mind,” the calm male voice of the introductory animation greets you.

Headspace is an app that provides guided meditation activities to improve your focus and reduce stress. The app provides a free 10-day course with about 10 minutes a day of basic meditations to give you a taste of the whole routine.

Free download, quick registration and video tour, and you’re good to go. The app suggests you be in a silent space, sit comfortably, be gentle, do the activities around the same time each day, and stay with it no matter how it feels.

My experience proves that last point is easier said than done.

Most of my sessions took place in the middle of the university library – bit of a weird location, but I felt it necessary, as my study materials laid out in front of me often looked more put together than I was at the time (exam feels, ya know). I probably looked crazy, suddenly stopping my work, sitting on a chair at a desk, and just looking around blankly with my meditation guide speaking to me through my earphones.

The voice felt kind of creepy to be honest, and for most of the sessions I got more uncomfortable than calm as time went on, but I think I was supposed to feel this way because of the abnormal body awareness. It all seemed a bit pretentious, the whole ‘ignoring the outside world and feeling your soul’ chitchat, but it was still an interesting experience.

For about $16 NZD a month, I would say it’s worth it if you take the trial and find yourself getting really into it. If you’re a bit weirded out by it, it’s a lot more difficult to fully immerse yourself within the whole process, and there becomes a bit of a disconnect between what feels like ‘this world’ and ‘that world’.

However, even if you don’t choose to stick with a meditation routine or the app itself, I highly recommend you give the trial a go. It shows you ways to calm your body for stressful situations in the future, as well as providing a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, yet easy and simple.