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How Andy Puddicombe, A Monk-Turned-Entrepreneur, Built Headspace

Founders Andy Puddicome and Rich Pierson are raising awareness about meditation through Headspace app.

| Published on September 30, 2023

According to the New York Times, Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food.

So, who is Andy Puddicombe? What did he do to be compared with phenomenal trailblazers in different fields, and how did this monk-turned-entrepreneur’s personal tragedies lead him to create one of the largest meditations and mental well-being apps – Headspace?

What led Andy Puddicombe create Headspace?

Andy Puddicombe Headspace

22-year-old Andy was standing outside a pub when a drunk driving incident killed two of his friends. In a few months’ time, his step-sister passed away in a devastating cycling accident and an ex-girlfriend passed away during surgery.

Amidst all this grief, Andy Puddicombe decided to drop out of college and travel to the Himalayas to train as a monk. He spent the next ten years in Asia, meditating for up to 16 hours a day, making him an expert in mindfulness and meditation.

He returned to the United Kingdom in 2005 and started a private practice helping professionals incorporate meditation to achieve calm in their chaotic daily lives. One such client was Richard Pierson, who Andy teamed up with to create the app ‘Headspace’ in 2010.

How the app works?

The duo funded their startup by doing physical events. Their reach expanded when The Guardian included a Headspace booklet in every newspaper, and Virgin Atlantic integrated Headspace into its inflight entertainment system.

Today, Headspace is regarded as one of the best meditation apps worldwide. It offers themed meditations that can be availed in groups too, in guided, semi-guided and unguided formats.
One can choose their time duration as well, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes. One can also find yoga classes, dance classes, guided audio for cardio sessions, focus exercises and more in the “Move” section of the app. Similarly, their popular “Sleep” section includes sleep casts offering sleep music, soundscapes and sleep radio features.
The Headspace app is user-friendly and visually appealing, with a lot of content available for beginners to embark on their meditation journey.

Headspace Today

The app made an estimated $235 million last year. 3.3 million people have subscribed to Headspace, and the app has been downloaded over 70 million times. A whopping 2,100 businesses have partnered with the company to offer the app for free to employees.
In 2021, Headspace merged with Ginger to become Headspace Health. Ginger offers confidential mental healthcare through coaching via text-based chats, self-guided activities, video-based therapy, etc. Headspace Health, the combined company of Headspace and Ginger, was valued at $3 billion.

Puddicombe’s story of turning tragedy into hope is truly inspiring. His journey from the Himalayas to the hustling life in a first-world country is a testament to the fact that all the calm that one needs is within, and one just needs to bring it out with effectiveness.

Also Read: The Interesting Story Of How Instagram Started

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