New York taps meditation app Headspace to help the public calm down

Many people are feeling various negative emotions related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: fear, loneliness, despair, and more. These feelings can be overwhelming, particularly when so many are forced to remain isolated in their homes with few things to distract them. According to meditation company Headspace, New York Governor Cuomo's office recently reached out in hopes of helping the public calm down.READ: Study: Mindfulness meditation protocol has profound impact on fear

On a new page that addresses New Yorkers in particular, Headspace offers a selection of free mindfulness meditation audio content, including short sessions, long sessions, and some content for children.

The free sessions are available to play directly through the web page, which also provides access to dozens of articles on everything from sleep and anxiety to meditation and various techniques.

The guided meditations cover some basics, including ones that help when you're stressed, need to focus, or when you're taking a break. The longer sessions fall under the 'sleep experiences' category, including a 45-minute 'sleepcast,' a soundscape, and multiple sleep music tracks.

A number of studies have explored the potential mental and physical health benefits associated with mindfulness meditation, including lowered blood pressure, improved sleep quality, and self-reported decreases in depression and anxiety.

Earlier this year, for example, a study from researchers with multiple universities found that daily mindfulness meditation may help individuals shed learned fear responses related to particular triggers. That particular study had involved the Headspace meditation service, though many other mindfulness meditation programs are available.