In comparing Insight Timer vs Headspace Meditation Apps to Manage Stress, I used both for a while. Now I use just one. Discover which and why. Read more below.
I have used both Headspace and Insight Timer for several months and therefore I am in a position to say that for me, Headspace is good, however Insight Timer is way better.
Between October 2016 and October 2018, I used Headspace on and off. I no longer use it as I feel that they limit you in what you can do with your meditation practice.
Comparison Between Insight Timer and Headspace
Headspace use the same meditator all of the time in all of their meditation sessions for all of their meditation packs. This guy does a good job and has a good calm strong voice. Headspace use the concept of packs, which are split up into single packs or 10 day packs or 30 day packs. These packs cover different topics, for example, stress is one, and anxiety is another. They have many other packs and are always adding additional recordings.
Each meditation session recording is different for each of those days within a pack, sometimes the differences are very minor, sometimes minor and sometimes not so minor. I feel that when the differences are very minor per day that the instruction should be to repeat a certain recording for a few days in a row, rather than having a larger number of recordings with very minor differences between them.
If you miss doing at least one daily meditation session in Headspace, your meditation streak (in meditation “speak”, a meditation streak is the number of consecutive days in a row that you have done meditation) goes back to one when you complete another Headspace meditation session. However you lose the number of days that you have done meditation up to this point information. This may or may not be important to you.
Technically you could have done a meditation session that day, just not using Headspace.
In my opinion, your meditation streak is the number of consecutive days in a row you have done meditation, not the number of number of days that you have used Headspace to do your meditation.
With the Insight Timer App, you can see the current consecutive days and your best consecutive days as noted in the nearby screen shot, that I captured earlier when I was using the Insight Timer App.
It is important to me to know these statistics. I use these statistics to empower me to do meditation every day. I find them helpful.
I no longer use Headspace as I feel that the Insight Timer App is way better for a number of reasons:
1. It is possible to use the Insight Timer App for nothing. With Headspace, after the initial trial period is up, you have to subscribe to continue.
2. With Headspace, all of your meditation sessions are effectively guided. You do not have the option using Headspace to follow an unguided meditation session. With the Insight Timer App, you can do both guided meditation sessions and unguided meditation sessions. Also with the Insight Timer App, you can add additional information about other times you have done meditation not using the App.
3. When I was using Headspace, I was using my laptop. In order to do a meditation session I had to be online as all of their meditation sessions are guided meditation sessions. With the Insight Timer App, I can do meditation sessions offline. I use the Countdown Timer function within the Insight Timer App to do this. These are noted when I am offline, then when I am online, I can synch this data so that my meditation history is updated.
4. With the Insight Timer App, there is a function that allows you to add any meditation sessions manually. You might have listened to a meditation session on your laptop and need to add this information to your meditation history to add to your meditation streak. Headspace does not recognise non Headspace meditations as adding to your meditation streak within Headspace.
You might do meditation sessions from other sources and need to note your meditation sessions in one place. I really like this idea of being able to add this information manually: Date, time and length of these meditation sessions that were done outside of the App.
5. With the Insight Timer App, you have access to thousands of different online free guided meditation sessions/recordings. These also include music tracks, talks and courses that are provided by thousands of different meditation guides, that is meditation teachers and musicians. So you have variety between different people and a wide range of topics. With Headspace, all of their guided meditation sessions are done by one man.
Comparison Between Insight Timer and Headspace Conclusion
My comparison between Headspace and the Insight Timer App shows a number of differences. I think that it is possible if someone uses Headspace first, subscribes, starts paying the regular recurring fee and only uses Headspace as their source for meditation that that would work for them.
If you are using Headspace and not yet using the Insight Timer App, I would suggest that you give the Insight Timer App a go and see if you can include it in your meditation practice.
The Headspace solution is good in my opinion. However once you become aware of the Insight Timer App and the functionally within that, that is in my opinion, a much better solution. The more time I spend using the Insight Timer App the more grateful I am.
For me, in comparing Insight Timer vs Headspace, after using both for a while, I find that for me, Insight Timer is way better.
This article is part of my Stress Management Techniques series of articles. My Stress Management Techniques article outlines over 20 different techniques. If you want to learn about these, you can read them here.