Headspace makes meditation free to unemployed as anxiety levels rise

Depending on where you look, prescription rates for anti-anxiety medication have skyrocketed in lockstep with the coronavirus pandemic, the lockdowns, and the unemployment that has resulted. This time is incredibly stressful for many people, which has spurred a renewed interest in stress-reduction exercises and meditation as a way to calm down and cope. Here to help with that is Headspace.

Headspace is one of a number of companies that offer guided audio meditation sessions in the form of an app. The service ordinarily costs $12.99/month or $69.99/year after the free trial period ends, but Headspace made some sessions free on its website in partnership with New York. In its latest initiative, the company is also offering free content to people who are currently unemployed.

Under this new initiative, unemployed individuals can get a year of free access to the Headspace Plus service, which includes the full library of guided meditations and courses, mini-meditations, the Sleep by Headspace content, at-home workouts, guided runs, The Wake Up video series, animation guides, and more.

The new promotion is available to people who live in the United States who were either furloughed or are unemployed. The offer is available to existing free members and new members; if you're an existing customer who can't pay for the subscription any longer, Headspace says to reach out to the company for help.

Headspace requests certain information from the customer, including their most recent employer, the role they had and what industry they worked in, as well as the zip code where they worked. It's unclear whether the company actually takes any steps to verify the information given, but it does note that one's eligibility for the promotion is 'conditioned on the accuracy of the information I have provided.'