Managing stress has been a common concern during the pandemic, but practices such as yoga and meditation have offered a reprieve for those seeking a few moments of peace. CivicScience has been tracking the popularity of meditation apps in particular to better understand the demand for this type of mindfulness tool. 

As the data show, yoga and meditation (not specifically linked to an app) are used and liked by one-quarter or more of  Americans. Interest is also fairly high at 18% and 17% respectively.

When it comes to meditation apps, 29% of Americans currently use them or intend to do so. 

Usage of meditation apps has, in fact, seen a gradual increase in the past year, with usage and intention peaking around the 2020 holiday season.

Despite the fact that the majority of respondents still believe that mindfulness apps will be niche in the next few years, 15% believe they will be prevalent. This number is up from our last report, which suggests that sentiment could be evolving. 

As for those who use and enjoy these apps the most, those who are working from home are the biggest fans. While this is consistent with our last report, the stability further strengthens the fact that the work from home lifestyle and meditation apps seem to go hand in hand. 

As we move into 2021, younger adults have pulled ahead as the largest group who have used and enjoy using meditation apps. That said, 35- to 54-year-olds continue to show the most intent to give these apps a try. 

Meditation App Preferences 

Calm and Headspace are two of the most well known meditation apps available. And as the data show, Calm has slightly higher favorability, at 13%, than its competitor Headspace.

Consumers have turned to, and are considering exploring, mindfulness apps at a higher rate than ever before, but for those struggling with the harsh realities of stress and worry, phone-free experiences are what seem to be providing authentic satisfaction. 

Simply trying to get a little headspace during our busy days is one thing, but trying to combat major stressors of life amid a pandemic might take more than digital tools.