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Feeling stressed? Can’t sleep? Try this app

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but let’s be honest: Prioritizing your mind and well-being should be done all year round. Self-care isn’t just some buzzy social media trend of the moment; it’s something everyone can do on a regular basis.

I love going for long walks to quiet my mind. They’re especially helpful when I’m feeling particularly stressed. Sometimes, though, walking just isn’t an option. You know when the “Sunday scaries” creep in at 10 p.m.? Or you’ve been stuck in your apartment during a particularly long stretch of wet weather, and the walls are closing in? That’s when I turn to mindfulness and meditation.

Rolling your eyes? I get it; I used to do the exact same thing. As a person whose thoughts constantly race, slowing down my brain has always felt like an impossible task. No matter how much I try to focus, inevitably, my thoughts start to wander. Before I know it, I am thinking about my to-do list, what to cook for dinner, a meeting at work tomorrow, and relaxation is nowhere in sight.

If this sounds familiar, then consider using Headspace. It’s an easy and affordable tool that can help basically anyone to prioritize their mind and well-being.

New subscribers can try Headspace for free, and if you like it, packages start at just $69.99 for a one-year subscription or $12.99 when you pay month-by-month. When you sign up, you’ll be able to access hundreds of Headspace guided meditations that can help with a range of issues. In fact, its new Mental Health Matters collection features meditations for dealing with stress at work, helping you sleep better, managing emotions and practicing mindfulness.

I totally get that not every teacher is right for every listener too, which is why it’s really great that Headspace has lots of different options. You can experiment with different voices and approaches until you find one that works for you.

I’ll be the first person to tell you that getting the most out of a service like Headspace does require patience and practice. If your mind naturally wanders (like mine), a guided meditation isn’t going to make it stop wandering altogether, but that’s not always the intention. It’s a common misconception that meditation means stopping your mind from wandering, but really, it means catching when it does and bringing it back to your breath or the current moment, even if it happens a few times.

That said, sometimes, even just 15 or 30 seconds of having someone coach you through breathing can make a big difference when you’re feeling really stressed and anxious. Try it before bed or before an important meeting at work.

Once you sign up with Headspace, you can access all the content on the website or the app. Once you’ve explored some of the content, you can easily save your favorite meditations and exercises using the heart icon in the app, so you can come back to them as much as you like.

Don’t let this month end without doing something to prioritize your mind and well-being, like signing up for Headspace. Not only do you deserve it, but you need it.

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