A Netflix series not intended for bingeing…

Mental health and wellness tech has taken off in recent years, using apps, in particular, to provide guidance and techniques for people to use on a daily basis. The mental wellness business Headspace has recently gone one step further than an app, leapfrogging forward into the content space and putting itself in front of a much wider audience by launching a series with Netflix. In line with Mental Health Week just gone, we wanted to review their series and think about what this new approach could mean for the masses in terms of building positive attitudes and routines around mental health.

Their first series, “Guide to Meditation”, launched in early 2021 with eight 20-minute episodes that give you an animated look into the benefits of meditation. During these episodes, co-founder Andy Puddicombe leads the way in offering techniques including how to start meditating, letting go of the past, cultivating gratitude, and how to deal with stress, pain, and anger. The episodes finish with a guided meditation of 10 minutes.

I asked myself, “Do I have 20 minutes to watch this episode?” I decided to sit through it, and my first thought was that the show takes you through a guided meditation both visually and verbally, and you barely notice. At the end of the show, I felt calm, relaxed and it didn’t feel like 20 minutes at all. This was a pleasant surprise for me because I always find it difficult to find the time to meditate when I use the Headspace app.

At the end of April 2021, “Guide to Sleep” launched on Netflix – the second series in collaboration with Headspace. It’s a series of 7 episodes exploring how to relax your mind and sleep better. The episodes start by unpacking misconceptions, offering friendly tips, and, like the previous series, it finishes with a guided meditation to help you wind down.

I was a little bit worried that autoplay would pressure me into bingeing the series and ultimately losing precious sleeping time, but I can confirm that this is a perfect show to watch before you go to bed, and you don’t feel any pressure to binge the series.

The partnership between Headspace and Netflix is not only a significant coup from Headspace in terms of brand growth, it is also a significant step in the direction of uniting a broad audience around the topic of mental health, teaching simple and safe practices, and removing any taboos that still remain. Whether or not people even watch the content, the partnership speaks volumes in itself and is a positive move from a tech giant such as Netflix to help educate on mental health. And for those that do watch it, or are considering it, it’s a well-thought-out piece of content that is easy to absorb and provides a welcome break from bingeing whatever series you have become hooked on this week!

By: Joyce Esser

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