Get Some Headspace


I planned for this post to be a list of completely awesome ideas, objects, and websites that I’ve received over the past few years from you all. A readers’ recommendations best of the best, if you will, because, wowza, you all have offered up some amazing tips. Never fear, that list will still be published soon, but while compiling and writing the list, I found myself going on and on and on about a website that was very recently shared with me by a commenter (thanks, Janette!), Headspace.

Now, you know I try to keep things super light at Whoorl (sale at Madewell! Best pinkish nude lipgloss ever!), but the truth of the matter is that I’ve had a tough year in regards to my physical, and subsequently mental (funny how those two walk hand-in-hand) health. I’ve alluded to it a few times here, and while I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just keep it simple. 2013 has been a challenging year for me. Lots of searching for answers via doctors, physical therapists, behavioral therapists, acupuncturists, and naturopaths.

Because we all want answers, right? To be able to compartmentalize every feeling and thought and sensation and know that it’s fine. It’ll be fine! Everything is going to be alright because A, B, and C. I’m a girl who likes answers. I’ll research night and day just to feel like I have my arms confidently wrapped around a situation. However, the universe doesn’t see it that way, and as much as I’ve been fighting it and stressing out and not sleeping and hurting, I’ve recently experienced a shift in my core.

It’s time for me to quit searching outwardly for the answers and look inward.

Whoah there, Whoorl…can’t you just recommend your favorite curling iron today? Did you see those adorable Darby flats at J. Crew?

I know, I know. Quite a departure from my usual spiel, but something that I feel I need to share with you.

Being mindful, you guys. I’m working on it.

Listen, the first few times friends and acquaintances suggested I consider meditation, I physically couldn’t keep my eyes from rolling into the back of my head. Me? Meditate? This Type A, hamster-wheel-of-a-brain, work-at-home mom with a million things to do? Yeah. no thanks.

I gave it shot, though. I listened to several guided meditations and podcasts, and tried really hard to make it work, but I just didn’t feel connected at all. Either the voice was all wrong or the subject matter was too hippie dippie or the freaking wind chimes made me want to puke. It was just too much. I needed baby steps.

Enter Headspace.

You all, I can’t even express to you how grateful I am for this website. It’s meditation, but completely manageable. I want to write paragraph after paragraph about the Headspace concept in regards to meditation, but this video says it all. If you have 10 minutes, I highly recommend watching Headspace founder Andy Puddicombe’s TED talk about taking 10 minutes a day to be more mindful. (The guy knows of what he speaks…he is a former Buddhist monk. And, apparently, juggles.)

If 10 minutes is too much for you, check out this 1-minute video which I love as well.

I am just finishing the Take 10 program, and I swear I have so much more mental clarity and focus than I did a week and a half ago. It wasn’t easy – trust me, I am so NOT good at sitting alone with my thoughts. (It’s much easier to distract with a laptop screen or iPhone, right?) My first few meditations were wracked with shallow breaths and chest tightness, but as the days passed, the anxiety dissipated and calmness prevailed. I even find myself continuing to meditate after the 10-minute program has ended. I can’t wait to start Take 15 next on the Headspace app.

Also, Andy’s voice is just about the most perfect voice ever to guide you through meditation. No new age synthesizers, no wind chimes, none of it. Just his calming voice. (Also, I’m just going to say it. I think I have a crush. WHAT? I CAN’T HELP IT.)

Anyway, if you have considered mediating, but don’t know where to start, I highly recommend checking Headspace out. It’s 100 times better than that adorable silk blouse I plan on telling you about soon.

  • Lisa

    July 23, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Ok 1st off I’m so glad you are getting some comfort. Being a loyal reader and having taken your word on products, tools etc. I just went for it and installed headspace onto my phone! Thankful for your recommendations always. Happy healthy wishes continued to you. :-)

  • EmilysHollow

    July 23, 2013 at 6:30 am

    Thank you for posting this! I have been talking about needing to do some sort of meditation for WEEKS now lest these feelings of being overwhelmed consume me. This is such great timing.

  • Jen

    July 23, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Both of his books are also fantastic. I’ve never been able to get into self-help or meditation, but he crystalized everything for me in a way that basically changed my entire outlook. Pretty incredible.

  • gorillabuns

    July 23, 2013 at 7:36 am

    In college I did a lot of mental imagery and meditation. When I am super stressed, I try to remember and do the same techniques taught by a wonderful Art Therapy teacher. I hope you are finding some much needed relief.

  • Tierney

    July 23, 2013 at 7:50 am

    This is really wonderful. Thank you for sharing. I downloaded the Take 10 and I’m really excited!

  • tianna @ the spark

    July 23, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I love this app. and a short meditation every morning and night for me makes all the difference in the world! Happy to hear it’s given you some clarity.

  • brianne

    July 23, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Sarah, I hope you’re feeling well soon. I love to hear about blouses and lip gloss, but this is your site. It’s because of YOU that we are here, no matter the subject! I appreciate your honesty and openness about your health. Hoping that balance returns to you! Hugs and love your way!

  • Amy

    July 23, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Sarah, I think of you often and send you good thoughts. Struggling with health and anxiety can be so difficult. It’s really inspiring to see you taking such good care of yourself as you figure things out. This meditation stuff is amazing, right? Loved the video, and will definitely check this out.

    Sending you love, my friend! xoxo

  • Carolyn

    July 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Love Headspace. Discovered it last fall and I’ve been a fan ever since. Also recommend the book he wrote!

  • laura g

    July 23, 2013 at 10:23 am

    My first introduction to mindfulness meditation was that it was a component of an eating disorder program I did (my second try, and the one that stuck and totally changed my life). I mean words. cannot. express. Long story short, I didn’t think I’d ever be “normal” (not obsessed with eating/not eating, or without ridiculously stupid anxiety), but I basically am pretty normal these days :) So I’m a huge fan and try to keep aspects of mindfulness in my life because if it can help cure a freaking eating disorder, it is basically magical as far as I’m concerned. But I hadn’t found Headspace yet, so yay! thanks for sharing.

  • Cat

    July 23, 2013 at 10:48 am

    THANK YOU! I’ve been trying to figure out where to start with mindful meditation (just like you it’s taken me years to get around to actually doing this). I’m so excited to check it out! Being a total Type A it’s terrible because we’re probably the people who need meditation the most but we’re too crazy fast to just sit down and do this.

  • jen

    July 23, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    long time reader, first time commenter. I don’t have pearls of wisdom to share, just that 1) I totally feel what you are going through and 2) I’ve heard great things about Headspace and am really excited to check it out… this may be the kick in the butt I needed to finally try it.

    so basically, hugs for tough times + excitement/hope that Headspace may help us navigate the tough times with grace, sanity and mental balance in check. unrelated fluff = I recently tried NARS’ new under eye concealer and I absolutely love it. so there’s that!

  • Triplezmom

    July 24, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Hugs on all the challenges. . .and thanks for talking about this. I was really good about meditating for a while last year, then life got in the way of my normal meditation time and I let it go. . .big mistake. This is just what a needed to get me back to it.

  • Ashley // Our Little Apartment

    July 24, 2013 at 6:30 am

    You know, there are a million blogs about what to wear and buy – only YOU can share your unique blend of Sarah.

    I’ve been having a difficult year myself, since my body seems prefer miscarriages to healthy pregnancies. The resulting anxiety is…well, let’s just say we will all benefit if I check this site out. I really appreciate the frank review – I, too, struggle with meditation when I’ve tried in the past. When I get back from our vacation, I will sign up for that Take 10.

    Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being vulnerable. xo

  • Tanya

    July 24, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I so needed this post today. Lately. I have had trouble managing me. This season of life (three littles under six and SAHM) has moments of bliss but also leaves me desiring more to fill my cup. I feel bogged down by the daily grind of it all. Meditation certainly would offer some help.

    I appreciate you being so candid.

  • Tiera

    July 24, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you for this. I have been doing a lot of reading on this lately as I have some major life changes lately. Might I also suggest Eckhart Tolle’s books A New Earth and The power of Now. Oprah also has an accompanying podcast with him for A New Earth as a study guide to go along with it.

  • Janette

    July 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Sarah!
    I totally felt the way you did re: meditation and that is why I thought ‘Get Some Headspace’ would be perfect! Don’t you just LOVE his voice (not trying to sound creepy or anything)?!! It has been over a year and I have stuck with it (not every day but almost). It definitely makes me a calmer mama x Janette

  • Sara

    July 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Mindfulness is such a vast and flexible practice! My Buddhist teacher, Jan Chozen Bays, has an amazing book called “How to Train A Wild Elephant” filled with short mindfulness exercises. I highly recommend checking it out. Whatever path you take toward wellness, may you find peace and happiness! Regarding physical pain, I have found great relief working with a massage therapist who specializes in myofascial work and Reiki.

  • Christina

    July 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Hi. As a fellow parent and wife I used to think my major job was to be a bubbly cheerleader for the household and be the force that kept things light. Then life got real. I got diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had surgery. My husband had surgery on a herniated disk in his back a month later when I was healed enough to care for him. My cancer spread and my husband was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and ms in its early stages. I hate listing all the medical details and seriously thought of glossing over it with a statement that no couple in their thirties wants to say…we are sick and it looks like some of the sickness may get worse and not better. I know a few may feel comforted by my mention of the specific ailments we have if their family has suffered through any of these. I am SURE MANY feel like they are in the same boat with not knowing how to deal with something in your life that is hard to fix that caused anxiety and unease. Bravo to you for giving your story on what comforted you. I will be looking into your recommendations with my family so we can try and get away from the anxiety and unease. I think this is where healing begins-trying to find a way to be ok with what is going on in our lives that we can’t change. When my family prays together I feel the most at peace-but the meditative feeling I get when I pray is key to relieving the stress. Whatever your spiritual background I think the meditative space is what makes us feel better. Thank you for sharing your story. Please continue to give us updates. We love the girly, comical and deep person you are in your posts…and all that will keep us reading:)

  • Amy Lewis Wright

    July 25, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I love this, Sarah!!!! A few years ago I went through a tough time and while searching for answers I discovered a local meditation and yoga retreat offered twice a year by this charming married couple. It is a SILENT retreat…no talking, no books, no technology for 4 days, just your thoughts and your journal!!! Yikes! It ended up being such a profound experience, I can’t wait to go back. I admit, it’s hard for me to force myself to find the time to meditate, breathe, and be mindful but when I do I can feel a difference, and it’s a discipline I haven’t mastered yet, but I’m working on it!!. Good luck on your journey and thanks for sharing!!!

  • christy b

    July 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Ok , random suggestion but my mom has had insomnia and recently discovered that if she turns off the wi-fi in the house at night she sleeps GREAT!!! You might need to check if you are picking up neighbors wi-fi too though or find a room with less signal strength. Good luck!

  • Nicole Lindstrom

    July 29, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Loved this article. I myself am in a constant mind struggle over thinking worrying and asking for answers. I am not sure what your situation is but some of the above mentioned “doctors” are ones that we use for our son, who is on the Autism Spectrum. We have been working through this since he was 18 months and he is now 6. Long story short is upon a visit with his behavorial therapist he mentioned in life when you are looking for answers for concrete facts and answers he told me my head is exhausted from “Sprinting through this marathon and that i need to mentally slow down and walk it”. The answers in life will come. I hope that the remainder of the year gets better. Best wishes….your site gives me some down time from heavy thoughts love it!

  • Leta

    July 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I am really liking headspace! And I needed something like this very badly. Thanks for the info.

  • Catlin

    August 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I really appreciate your honesty!

  • Sasha

    August 14, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I am starting my Take15 today. His voice is perfect and I needed a guide. I have been meditating on and off for a couple of years by myself.

  • Heidi // Frantic But Fabulous

    September 10, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes about Headspace. For years I’ve been wanting to add a meditation practice and could never quite make it stick. Then I started Andy’s Take 10 program last year and finally found the system that worked for me. I can’t claim I do it every single day, but probably 5 out of 7 (weekend mornings are tricky for me). More important, I started almost a year ago and have stuck with it ever since (I’m not on the Heart Series).

    Enjoy your mindfulness journey. Namaste.