The mental health & meditation app welcomes England’s soccer player, Raheem Sterling.
Headspace has partnered with England soccer player Raheem Sterling, making him their Global Ambassador, as who he will help raise awareness about the benefits of meditation.
This August, Headspace merged with Ginger, an online mental health platform. The merger valued the combined company at $3 billion.
Part of Sterling’s work will include destigmatizing mental health, and increasing meditation education. Raheem Sterling’s mission, 1692 Foundation, will promote “Headspace for Educators,” which integrates meditation into the classroom. The program offers free access for teachers and support staff in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, providing tools for mindfulness.
Sterling, a regular meditation practitioner, says his routine has helped ease the pressures of being a father of four children and playing at an international level. Meditation, he says, has helped his training and afforded him mental acuity. It also helped his sleep fitness.
“I wish I could tell my younger self that all it takes is your breath, a little focus, and an appreciation of being in the present. Your mental health is your most important asset, and Headspace can be a great teacher to help you manage it,” he says in Headspace’s online newsletter.
The soccer player says that the practice of meditation can help manage everyday stress, and people need to care for themselves.
“Many young people find it hard to talk about their mental health status for fear of being seen as weak or vulnerable. Being open and discussing mental health is the first step to prioritizing it,” Sterling says.
Headspace turns the act of meditation into a gamified experience, encouraging users to master different levels before advancing. The meditation company advises that meditation should occur in the morning, in a comfortable and uninterrupted environment, but says that consistency is the key to long-term wellness. Headspace also signed a deal with Netflix, bringing three soothing series to the streaming service.
Founded in 2010, Headspace was created by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, and Richard Pierson. After Puddicombe was ordained at a Tibetan Monastery in the Himalayas, he wanted to make meditation accessible. He met Pierson at a meditation clinic, and the two started Headspace as a pop-up company, offering talks in London. As the events increased in popularity, they decided to launch an app. By 2018, Headspace introduced a health division to create FDA-approved tools to help heal those suffering from chronic diseases.
Northeastern University put Headspace to the test and found that three weeks of the app increased compassion by 23% and reduced aggression by 57%. Meditation has been embraced by the medical community to offer a sense of well-being and help manage symptoms of health conditions, especially if the condition is worsened by stress.
Headspace currently has 70 million members and is expanding, as more people opt to give meditation a try. Headspace for Work and Ginger has over 2,500 partners offering their services, including Starbucks, Adobe, Delta Air Lines, ViacomCBS, Cigna, and Kaiser Permanente.
According to one study, the US meditation industry is worth $1 billion and by 2027, the alternative healthcare sector will be worth $296 billion.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.