Mobile mindfulness

Online meditation has hit mainstream popular culture hard. A few apps in particular have become a part of many people’s daily routine.

Ella Beiser and Julian Ingersoll

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Headspace:

Headspace is a free app with in-app purchases offering hundreds of meditation sessions covering topics ranging from stress to focus. Headspace also has a wide range of lengths and users can adjust the length of their sessions. Headspace uses “clinically validated research” to improve and adjust their app’s features.

Additionally, over 65 studies scientifically approve of Headspace’s approach to meditation. Headspace is used most commonly by people in the morning to start their day with a positive mindset. Headspace was founded in 2010 by Andy Puddecombe and Richard Pierson in England with the intent of demystifying meditation and teaching mindfulness and meditation to as many people as possible.

 

Calm:

Calm offers a variety of services ranging from meditation to mindful movement and gentle stretching exercises to music to help users relax, focus and sleep. Founded in 2012 by Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith, Calm hopes to make the world a happier and healthier place. Calm has over 50 million downloads and 700,000 five star reviews.

Not only does Calm focus on meditation, but it also focuses on users getting proper sleep by recognizing problems with sleeping habits that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Calm is most frequently used at the end of the day through the app’s sleep feature. Lessons are written, narrated and produced by Tamara Levitt, the Head of Mindfulness at Calm who has studied numerous forms of meditation and mindfulness throughout her life. Although Ms. Levitt admits meditation cannot solve all of her problems, she hopes to change others’ views of meditation and mindfulness as well.

 

10% Happier:

Named Apple’s “Best of 2018” app award, 10% Happier has guided meditations, videos, talks and sleep content to help maintain an deepen meditation. It aims to help users sleep better, increase mindfulness, and improve relationships. New content is released weekly. Users can adjust the length of meditations and listen to small stories and wisdom instead of meditating.

The app features Dan Harris, a former ABC news anchor, and according to their website 10% Happier is “a meditation app that teaches fidgety skeptics to learn to meditate.” There is also a podcast titled 10% Happier featuring Dan Harris available on Spotify and the Podcast app. The podcast “explores whether you be an ambitious person and still strive for enlightenment and inner peace,” according to 10% Happier website.