Meditation Retreats

Changemakers: Meditation app offers tools and programs to people affected by the pandemic

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For so many, meditation apps are invaluable as people are looking for ways to find calm in the storm of 2020. The Headspace app offers free services to some of the hardest hit by the pandemic, including something special for New Yorkers.

The meditation app was founded in 2010 by former advertising professionals Rich Pierson and Andy Puddicombe, who studied as Buddhist monks for more than 10 years.

Headspace originally started out as an events company hosting meditation retreats before going mobile.

“Because it’s in your pocket and readily available, the act of meditation only makes it easier to learn, practice, and become part of your lifestyle,” said Sarah Romotsky, director of healthcare partnerships at Headspace.

Meditation has grown in popularity in recent years. The National Institute of Health said some research suggests that practicing meditation can lower blood pressure as well as symptoms of anxiety, depression, or insomnia.

Headspace is working to help a wide variety of people who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

“We’re making headspace free to all health professionals through the end of the year,” said Romotsky. “We also announced that we are giving free one-year subscriptions to all unemployed people in the US.” Headspace recently expanded the annual free subscription for the unemployed in the UK
Headspace, in partnership with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, also has a special section of free content for New Yorkers called “A NY State of Mind”.

“Dealing with stress and confusion, anxiety and depression, there are just so many different emotions and it is a difficult time for everyone, especially New Yorkers, so we were thrilled to partner with Governor Cuomo on this initiative,” said Romotsky.

Headspace has also partnered with Sesame Street to create a series of videos dealing with tackling stress and anxiety in children during the pandemic.

“We have a series of six videos that teach children mindfulness techniques and help them deal with any general emotions they may be having,” said Romotsky. “The best thing about Headspace is that it has all kinds of content. Whatever and whenever you need it, you can find support through Headspace.”

The deadline for unemployed Americans to sign up for a free year of Headspace is June 30th. Click here to login.

NY State of Mind content is free on the website and can be found by clicking here

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