Mindwell, a meditation app that layers tones and frequencies with spoken guidance, launched an in-app AI predictive engine on Friday. Mindwell competes in the same meditation app space carved out by Headspace (launched in 2010 and valued at $320 million in 2017) and Calm (launched in 2012 and valued at $1 billion in February). According to the CDC, meditation practice among US adults tripled from 2012 to 2017. Mindwell first launched in June. The app's flagship feature is MoodShift, a function meant to provide users with immediate help in beginning to alter their mood.
If you feel like you're seeing more people practicing yoga and meditation lately, you're not wrong. According to the CDC, from 2012 to 2017 yoga participation increased from 9.5 percent to 14.3 percent, and meditation increased from 4.1 percent to 14.2 percent. Meditation practices have become more innovative as their popularity has grown. We've seen the boom of meditation apps, which prompt users to take a break from their daily lives to just breathe and focus. So much in our lives is fast-paced.
Unplug Meditation is a space that was designed with health and wellness in mind. Rather than weight machines or ellipticals, the tools of the trade include quiet rooms and sound bowls. When you walk out the door, you will, in theory, feel peaced-out, rather than wiped out. On a recent Saturday, about 30 people waited in the clean, white lobby for the doors to the meditation studio to open, and most of them looked as you might expect: young, slender, fit. The studio is large, with a series of well-padded mats placed on the floor.
The first rule of mindfulness might be to switch your smartphone off. From checking emails at bedtime to constant, needy push notifications from mobile games, our phones can often feel like they amplify our daily stress. Turning to your smartphone for respite from the digital clutter may feel as ridiculous as holding an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in a pub, with your inbox, social networks and Candy Crush Saga just a couple of taps away. Still, mobile meditation apps are trying to help. There are hundreds available, although the pool of genuinely useful ones is much smaller.
While there are plenty of mindfulness apps out there -- even Apple is getting in on the meditation bandwagon with Breathe in WatchOS 3 -- Kim says Simple Habit differs by adopting a Netflix-like model. The app is free to install, and there's also a quick introductory session that shows you what the experience is like. But to get access to all of the meditation lessons, you've got to pay 4 a week, 15 a month or 120 a year. It might seem counterintuitive to pay up front for mindfulness training, but it looks like you get a lot for your money. With this many contributors, Simple Help should be able to keep its selections of lessons fresh, something that other relaxation apps often have trouble with.