Headspace evolves into the app you need to find zen in 2017

Is it just us, or has 2017 been a particularly stressful year so far? Here’s something that might help.

Meditation app Headspace pushed out a new version on Thursday designed to help you cope with the mania of this crazy-ass year. The app has evolved from providing push-button meditation into what its founders hope will be a comprehensive guide to finding health and happiness. It aims to help you no matter where you are or what you’re doing, whether that’s during your daily commute or when you’re out for a walk.

It’s no small irony that it’s taken technology to bring the ancient art of meditation the masses. But this once mysterious form of mindfulness has become accessible to far many more people thanks to apps like Headspace that guide you through the process.

Headspace launched in 2012 and was at the beginning of this movement, as a result is perhaps the best-known provider of guided meditation. Other apps with their own take on mindfulness have followed — there’s Buddhify, Sway from Ustwo and the Breathe feature built into the Apple Watch.

Users familiar with Headspace will be glad to know that the attractive graphics and gently guided meditations narrated by the signature tones of Buddhist monk and founder Andy Puddicombe are still all there. The Take10 and Foundation packs, designed to ease newbies into meditating are still there too, but have been renamed “Basics”.

What’s new is that you can dip in and out of different packs, rather than having to follow meditations sequentially in one pack at a time as you did before. We’ve had a quick preview of the new Headspace and it seems like there are far more options for personalizing your journey than there have been previously.

There are also new meditations called “Minis” to take advantage of. These are shorter sessions that help you take between one to three minutes out of your day to unwind.

The ability to go back and forth between these sessions, the single sessions that provide meditations for specific activities or situations, and the longer meditation packs will likely be an attractive plus to existing plus to regular users who want to find more ways to apply meditation techniques to other areas of their life.

Newcomers are advised to still work through the “basics”, which are designed to help them learn the basic techniques they’ll need to enjoy the wide range of meditations Headspace has to offer.