I Tried the New Headspace XR App and I Can’t Believe How Good it Made Me Feel


Image Source: Headspace

As we curiously venture into the ever-expanding world of virtual reality (VR), Headspace XR (£23) is a new app that promises to combine the much-loved benefits of Headspace with the immersive experience allowed by the Meta Quest headset. The product claims to provide a safe space in the virtual realm for young people to improve their mental health and gain real-life benefits through an immersive experience.

But why do young people need Headspace XR? Well, to tackle loneliness. According to a recent NHS study, more than one in five people in England (22 percent) reported feeling lonely at least some of the time. Similarly, a study conducted by Gallup and Meta, revealed that younger generations (age 19-29) feel loneliness more acutely, with 27 percent reporting they feel very or fairly lonely.

Mental health issues are on the rise too. NHS England found that one in five children and young people in England aged eight to 25 had a probable mental disorder in 2023. So, with this information on hand, Headspace are bringing mental health support to where young people are headed – into the world of VR – and have packed mood-boosting games, one-on-one guided meditations, and techniques into Headspace XR, a mindfulness virtual and mixed reality experience, which launched March 6.

Before trying it out for myself, I was keen to find out whether a virtual reality experience can actually make me happy, or if it was just a form of escapism, and honestly, I’m struggling to put into words how incredible this experience was.

Image Source: Headspace

About Headspace XR

  • Users can move, play, meditate, or just explore with their friends.
  • You can learn mindfulness techniques, such as breathing exercises, and try different movement activities, incorporated with body scans and mood tracking for a personalised experience.
  • Aims to help users strengthen their mind-body connection through movement and breath work.
  • How I Tested Headspace XR

    I headed to Meta Studios to try out Headspace XR for myself, and after putting on my headset, I was loaded into the virtual playground. I learned the basics of movement in VR and was then able to select my mood – happy, angry, anxious, lonely, sad, or bored – at the Moodstream, in order to tailor my experience. After selecting ‘happy’, I was transported to the Energy Dome to play Power Up, a fun yet simple activity where Headspace meditation teacher, Dora, guided my movement of energy particles to increase my focus and creativity through the use of visuals and sounds.

    Then, in multiplayer mode – which is invite-only for you and your friends for safety – we headed to The Hideout and practised breathing exercises in The Boxy Treehouse and then to the pink playground and to try out the paint wall, where you grab blocks and catapult them to a wall to reveal a hidden mindful message with the help of your friends.

    Image Source: PopSugar Photography/Celia Venables

    What I Liked About Headspace XR

    The experience is unlike any other. You’re able to fully immerse yourself into the make-believe world of Headspace, a colourful, dream-like landscape with realistic blue skies and gorgeous sunsets.

    The Boxy Treehouse was my favourite. I was isolated in an orange room, decorated with tropical plants, facing a huge opening, looking out to the virtual sunset as Headspace meditation teacher, Kessonga, guided my breathing using the box technique. I’ve used this breathwork exercise before, but there was something so pleasing about having visuals and sounds to guide me, and I found that this increased how effective it was – I felt instantly calm.

    After coming out of the experience, it was like I had just returned to a dreary London office after being on holiday. If you don’t have a safe, calming space you can go to zone into some me-time, Headspace XR is ideal, just strap on your headset, plug in your headphones and take a moment.

    Image Source: Headspace

    What To Consider About Headspace XR

    You’ll need the Meta Quest 2 (£250) or above for the app’s mixed reality feature alongside the full VR experience. And for the multiplayer experience, your friends will need to have the Meta Quest headset and the Headspace XR app, which is a one-off price of £23.

    Arguably, the Meta Quest is a games console that could be a worthwhile investment and if you compare it to the Nintendo Switch or the Playstation 5, it falls comfortably into the same price range. But if you bought it alongside Headspace XR and solely for that, it begs the question, is there a price on peace of mind?

    Looking back on the experience, while you can’t really count on British weather to cheer you up and the landscape in Headspace XR-land was beautiful, I still think it’s hard to beat going outside, taking yourself on a walk and listening to a calming podcast, or logging onto the Headspace mobile app for guided meditation, which could be an affordable and more accessible option for many.


    Lauren Gordon is the editorial coordinator at POPSUGAR UK, where she creates lifestyle and identity content. Lauren has a degree in journalism from University of the Arts London and previously worked as a showbiz and TV reporter at The Mirror US. Lauren specialises in pop culture, hair and beauty, focusing on trends, sharing in-depth tutorials, and highlighting hidden gems in the beauty industry.

    Related Posts
    Latest Fitness
    The End.

    The next story, coming up!