Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Headspace launches young adult mindfulness app Headspace XR -Dlight News

Digital mental health company Headspace announced its new virtual reality app Headspace XR, which utilizes mixed reality and virtual reality to help users strengthen their mind-body connection through movement and breathwork. 

The app, available on Meta Quest, includes mood-boosting games, one-on-one guided meditations and other techniques. 

Headspace said in a statement it aims to reach a younger audience with the VR app, especially Gen Z.

Later this year, Headspace plans to conduct a randomized control trial to evaluate how Headspace XR can assist people with social health and connection. The study aims to explore the direct mental health benefits of mindfulness in a virtual environment. 

Research shows that when humans play, our brains are activated in a way that can impact overall life satisfaction and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, our day-to-day lives are often stripped of this opportunity,” Sara Cohen, vice president of content creation at Headspace, said in a statement.

“Together with Meta and Nexus Studios, we’re thrilled to combine the power of play with meditation and mindfulness in an immersive experience that also allows you to build community by engaging in Headspace XR together with your friends.”

THE LARGER TREND

Data from the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey revealed Gen Z teens between the ages of 13 and 17 and Gen Z adults between 18 and 23 experienced elevated stress and reported symptoms of depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have long-term consequences on their health.  

Headspace has announced numerous partnerships to expand access to its behavioral health offerings in the past few years. 

In 2023, the company announced it was partnering with Castell, a value-based care company, to provide select insurance plan members in Utah with on-demand access to Headspace’s behavioral health services, including coaching and therapy.

Headspace also extended its partnership with employer health tech company Virgin Pulse. The alliance would give Virgin’s members and approximately 2,000 employees globally access to Headspace from Virgin’s AI-enabled health and wellbeing platform, Homebase for Health. 

The digital mental health company was not immune to the numerous layoffs seen in the digital health space over the past few years. 

In July, it let go of 181 workers, or about 15% of its workforce, and laid off about 4%, or approximately 50 workers, the previous December.   

Other mindfulness virtual reality apps include:

  • TRIPP, an application that provides guided meditations with psychedelic imagery.
  • Healium, which offers reactive virtual and augmented reality experiences that adjust according to neurofeedback from a user’s body.
  • Maloka, a guided meditation app that places people on their own virtual island. 

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