Headspace (company)

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Headspace
Private
IndustryHealthcare
GenreMeditation and mindfulness
FoundedMay 2010; 9 years ago (2010-05) in London, England
Founder
Headquarters2415 Michigan Avenue, ,
United States
Number of locations
3 (2018)
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Andy Puddicombe
  • Rich Pierson (CEO)
  • Ross Hoffman (CBO)
ServicesGuided meditation and mindfulness
Number of employees
100+
SubsidiariesHeadspace Health
Websitewww.headspace.com

Headspace is an English-American online healthcare company, specializing in meditation. It was incorporated in May 2010 in London, England by Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson. It is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with offices in San Francisco and London.

The company mainly operates through its online platform, which provides sessions of guided meditation to its registered users with the goal of mindfulness. Overall content is offered through a freemium subscription service model, in which users will thereafter access the company's entire library of content.

History[edit]

Headspace was founded in May 2010, by Andy Puddicombe and Richard Pierson.[1] Puddicombe is a former Buddhist monk, and Pierson has a background in marketing and new brand development.[2][3]

Puddicombe cut short his university studies in Sports Science at the age of 22, and travelled to Asia to become a Buddhist monk.[4][5] He was fully ordained at a Tibetan Monastery in the Himalayas.[6] In 2004, he returned to the UK on a mission "to make meditation accessible, relevant and beneficial to as many people as possible".[7] It was whilst running a meditation clinic in London that he met his future business partner, Rich Pierson.[8]

Headspace began as an events company, holding mindfulness talks in and around London.[9] Demand from attendees for a way to share these techniques led to Puddicombe and Pierson looking into developing a mobile app, with the first version of the Headspace app launching in 2012.[10] Headspace employs over 100 staff, working between the Los Angeles, San Francisco and London offices.[11]

In June 2017, Headspace hired Ross Hoffman as Chief Business Officer.[12]

Product[edit]

Headspace provides guided meditation resources online, accessible to users through the company's website and via a mobile app on the iPhone and Android platforms. Users can access ten days of free content, after which they have the option to take out a monthly or annual subscription or continue with the free trial material.[13]

In June 2014, Headspace launched version 2 of its platform.[14] Content in version 2 of the app focused on four areas once users have completed the Foundation stage: health, performance, relationships and Headspace Pro.[15] The app uses gamification to encourage users to complete and master a level of meditation before moving on to a more advanced section. Each session is about ten minutes long, usually in audio format.

Headspace's business model is built mainly on subscriptions. Headspace has been criticised for lack of transparency and consistency in its pricing: subscriptions can cost different amounts depending on the platform it is purchased through (iOS, Android, or the website). For example, in the UK, a lifetime subscription costs £399.99 as an in-app purchase on iOS, but only £299.99 via the website.[16]

Research[edit]

Headspace has been used in a number of clinical trials investigating the effects of mindfulness training. In one such study, researchers from UCL,[17] funded by the British Heart Foundation, examined the impact of mindfulness on workplace stress in two major multi-national corporations, using the Headspace app as the intervention. The study found a significant increase in wellbeing, reductions in anxiety and depressive symptoms, significant reductions in diastolic blood pressures, significant increases in perceived job control, as well as a significant reduction in sleeping problems.[18]

Publications[edit]

Three books by Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe are published by Hodder & Stoughton.[19]

  • Get Some Headspace (2011) comprises an introduction to the Headspace techniques, interwoven with Puddicombe's personal experience.[20] It lays out the science behind mindfulness and its physical and mental health benefits, from productivity and focus to stress and anxiety relief.
  • The Headspace Diet (2013) teaches readers how to use mindfulness rather than fad diets to reach their ideal personal weight. The book focuses on teaching readers about creating a healthy relationship with food.[21]
  • The Headspace Guide to... a Mindful Pregnancy (2015) instructs couples how to calmly navigate the anxieties and demands of pregnancy.[22]

Media attention[edit]

Headspace has been featured on both UK and US television, appearing on The Today Show,[23] BBC Breakfast News,[24] ABC News, and The Dr. Oz Show.[25] It was also featured on the BBC Two science documentary Horizon, which tested the efficacy of mindfulness using the Headspace app over an 8-week period. In laboratory experiments, the presenter, Dr. Michael Mosley, was found to have significantly reduced negative outlook. He also reported overcoming a decade-long battle with insomnia.[26] The product has also been mentioned on NPR[27] and in publications such as Martha Stewart[28] in the US.

In November 2012, Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe gave a TED Talk, entitled "All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes",[29] outlining the benefits of taking time out each day to practise mindfulness.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paris Le Web". Paris Le Web. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Rich Pierson interview in the Huffington Post". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  3. ^ "Rich Pierson profile from Paris Le Web". Paris Le Web. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  4. ^ "10 Best Meditation Apps". The Independent. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  5. ^ "Andy Puddicombe interview". Hip & Healthy. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  6. ^ "Smart Planet". Smart Planet. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  7. ^ "Do Lectures". Do Lectures. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  8. ^ "Interview with Andy Puddicombe in InspiredM". InspiredM. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  9. ^ "Time Out". Time Out. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  10. ^ "Headspace launch blog". Headspace. Archived from the original on January 10, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  11. ^ "Headspace feature in The Times". The Times. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  12. ^ Lynley, Matthew. "Meditation app Headspace hires a new chief business officer". TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Huffington Post Le". Huffington Post. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  14. ^ Barol, Bill (2015-01-28). "The Monk And The Mad Man Making Mindfulness For The Masses". Fast Company. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  15. ^ Collins, Katie (2014-05-31). "Headspace version 2 and the mindfulness revolution". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  16. ^ "App Review: Headspace: Meditation & Mindfulness for iOS, Android and Web". mindful.technology. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  17. ^ "Clinical Trials application". Clinical Trials website. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  18. ^ Bostock, Sophie; Crosswell, Alexandra D.; Prather, Aric A.; Steptoe, Andrew (2019). "Mindfulness on-the-go: Effects of a mindfulness meditation app on work stress and well-being". Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 24 (1): 127–138. doi:10.1037/ocp0000118. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Hodder & Stoughton". Hodder & Stoughton. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "Get Some Headspace". Hodder & Stoughton. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  21. ^ "The Headspace Diet". Hodder & Stoughton. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  22. ^ "The Headspace Guide to...a Mindful Pregnancy". Hodder & Stoughton. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  23. ^ Today Show profile http://www.today.com/klgandhoda/monk-turned-circus-performer-reveals-how-relax-1D80380965
  24. ^ "Can we change the way the brain deals with stress? - BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  25. ^ "Web Exclusive: Guided Meditation With Andy Puddicombe". www.doctoroz.com. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  26. ^ "TV review: Horizon: The Truth about Personality, BBC2". The Independent. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2019-03-08.
  27. ^ Kurwa, Nishat. "In Silicon Valley, Paying For Access To Peace Of Mind". NPR.org. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  28. ^ "4 Meditation Techniques for Beginners to Try". marthastewart.com. Retrieved 2017-04-06.
  29. ^ "Andy Puddicombe speaking at TED". TED. Retrieved March 19, 2014.

External links[edit]