Why I Am Joining Headspace

In an age of digital distraction, anxiety and stress, a journalist joins forces with Headspace, which has simplified meditation for millions, with plans to grow.

For a long time I’ve been focused on how we can bring people’s attention to the stories that matter most in our digital age.

Recently, however, I’ve wrestled with a new question: what if we are simply too burned out, overwhelmed or exhausted to care anymore?

In the last year, I’ve heard from friends, neighbors and relatives that the crush of news is sometimes too much, too depressing and too hard. People are anxious. People are depressed. Some have responded by shutting off their phones or notifications. Some have responded by taking a break from social media or the news entirely. Some just feel helpless.

Everybody’s battling for a piece of your attention. Most media companies are trying to get you to read more, share more, watch more. I understand that. As an editor and journalist I’ve worked on that problem. I’ve fought so the most important news stories could leap out of your phone, or Facebook feed, and get noticed.

But now I’m excited to work on something different.

This is why I’m joining Headspace as its new Vice President of Media; I believe Headspace is solving society’s problems in a brand new, energizing and hopeful way. And I know that together, we can do so much more.

Headspace has a simple mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. What’s truly amazing is they’re actually doing it. Here is just a sample of the regular feedback Headspace receives from its subscribers every day:

“Dear Headspace, I started using your app as my wife is currently in a hospice with the last stages of ovarian cancer. It has helped me. I thought you should know that.”
“I am a veteran and I have suffered from anxiety and PTSD for a number of years,” another writes, “I love this app and everything about it.”
“Headspace is the best thing that has happened to me, please tell Andy he has saved my life.”

More than 20 million people have downloaded Headspace — and more than half of those downloads happened in the last year alone. There’s clearly a huge demand for the kind of life-changing tools Headspace provides. And there’s so much more we can do together.

Headspace co-founder, Andy Puddicombe, recently led a live meditation on Jimmy Fallon. (Andrew Lipovsky/NBC)

My mission at Headspace is about expanding what we do beyond meditation into new and important areas where we can make a difference in your life. To do that, we’ll bring the vision of our co-founder and former monk Andy Puddicombe, to millions more, in a range of new and engaging ways.

To be clear — this isn’t about “branded content.” We’re not going to put out a glossy quarterly magazine called “Chimes.” We’re not going to clutter up your day with the latest, unproven wellness fad. We’re going to build new tools on a range of universal topics that actually help people. If Headspace is meditation made simple, we’ll expand into any space where we can make the quest for a happier and healthier life, easy, accessible and enjoyable.

That’s what people find so valuable about Headspace today, and that’s what I’m so excited about working to build for tomorrow.

Questions? Hit me up at @amyoleary.