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.

  • 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.