26th Feb2021

‘Headspace: A Guide to Mediation’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

Having gone through Catholic-based education since I was young, we used to regularly meditate in class as a form of prayer and so all my life I have associated mediation with a form of religious celebration. It was always pitched as an opportunity to focus on the lord etc., so you can imagine my surprise when I was recommended by a doctor to look into mediation apps such as Headspace. This app offers guided mediation which has been proven to have positive effects on people’s mental health and general outlook on life, as well as being incredibly relaxing. The problem with the app, however, is that of the 1000s of different meditation styles they offer, only a few are available on the free app and this is the issue that the new TV show Headspace: A Guide to Mediation tries to solve. I have to admit that I am a supporter of any show that aims to make a focused, positive, impact on people mental health – which is even more important right now with everything going on. We are currently living through one of the most stressful periods of history with many peoples coping mechanisms (such as face-to-face counseling, seeing friends and leisure activities) being closed for safety reasons, it is important now more than ever to look after ourselves and specifically our mental health. The show provides a practical way for everyone to relax and considering why something happens… which can only improve the viewer’s mental state!

Headspace has created a show that is timeless – both in each episode and overall as a series. The episode themselves are only 20 minutes long but when you take part in one of the meditations it feels so much longer but not in a bad way! The 20 minutes you put aside to watch each episode transports you into a subconscious mind-set that, once you leave, you feel as if you have been rested for hours – which is great. If you feel the positive effects that occurs from meditation cresting in only 20 minutes, then it gives you some idea of how powerful this approach can be. The issues covered in this show are things that will always be relevant: such as how to deal with stress; how to deal with anger; and how to let things go which are issues people have been facing for years (and particularly important right now). Which means people can watch these episodes over and over again to help work on these issues… The show tells people to listen to the episodes one than once to help ideas become more clear and this only adds to the timelessness of the show.

Each episode of Headspace: A Guide to Mediation follows a similar structure – they contain an entertaining personal story, the main mediation (each with their method) and then an outro. They are all narrated by the voice-over guy who is simply known as Andy. He describes personal stories that mostly took place in a monastery he joined at a younger age and had since become a professional therapist. Not only are the meditations are relaxing by are clearly supported by professional research and practise. The main body of the episode focused on the actual meditation – trying to help normalise this approach by breaking down the stereotypes people have created. Within the first episode, the show describes how meditation does not always involve being sat crossed legged, with candles, in total silence etc but instead something we can do anytime/anyplace. While Andy is discussing the mediation subject the episode shows a very relaxing animated cartoon that looks drawn the majority of the time. The outro, however, I did think was somewhat unnecessary. My interpretation of the show was that it was meant to fill in the small amount of time we can sit still rather than a show that should be binge-watched. I would actually recommend against watching these episodes in succession but rather using them when you have spare time or are struggling. The episodes do not follow on from one another so it is easy to dip in and out of the show whenever you can.

Overall, Headspace: A Guide to Mediation is a show that promotes a fantastic solution to a problem the majority of us face and has been produced in a time where everyone needs it most. It is somewhat difficult to review a show like this one as it is so relaxing (even with me trying to make notes about the show during the episodes) and I believe that each person will realise something different while taking part. I believe that this show can only benefit the current mental health crisis where people have no other methods to do so… Therefore this is a perfect score from me:

***** 5/5


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