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Mindfulness for the UGA School of Law Community: Review - Headspace

This guide is an introduction to Mindfulness, with an emphasis on coping skills for law students.

Headspace App


available in iOS and Android
Subscription required

Reviewed by David Rutland, Collection Services Manager 

The first thing to know is that the Headspace app is not free.  In order to get a two week free trial, you have to either enter a credit card number or sign in through the Apple Store for $69.99.  They won’t charge you until the end of the free period, and you can cancel it any time in those two weeks, but I thought they buried the cancellation button deep in the phone.  Their other subscription option costs less in the short-term, but more expensive long-term. 

 When I opened the app for the first time, some screens popped up that they obviously intended to be helpful but that I found distracted me.  It felt like they were keeping me from getting on with it.  Once I x-ed out the pop-up, I found the home screen to look busy.  There are several options to choose from and even more when you scroll down.  It wasn’t clear where to start a meditation session, so I began with “Basics”, which turned out to be instruction and explanation.  The mindfulness sessions are under “Today’s Headspace”.  Next you choose a male or female voice, either Andy or Eve.  They are English, and I like Andy’s pronunciation, but it might distract some listeners.  On the next screen, you choose how long you want the lesson to last: 3, 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes.  These sessions begin with Andy giving a short lesson or “inspirational message”; I’m unsure what to call it.  After that he began to give direct meditation guidance.  More than once he didn’t make clear that the session was over. 

I’m sure many users will like customizing the voices and duration each time, but I did not.  Each time it takes several steps before you actually meditate.  I also felt like there were so many options of possible things to listen to that I, ironically, found it stressful.  Headspace made me feel like its creators were more interested in keeping me on the app as long as possible than they wanted me to meditate.  It’s my personal temperament to want to cut to the chase, and if you also prefer simpler formats, Headspace might not be good for you.  On the other hand, if you prefer having a large menu to choose from and the ability to customize some of those options, I believe you will enjoy Headspace. 



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