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10% Happier Is the Meditation App That Helped Me Sleep

Meditation can be defined as a practice in which an individual focuses their mind on a particular thought or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. I like to define it as what the f*ck am I doing sitting here like a weirdo all alone in complete silence with my eyes shut while my brain is off running a marathon thinking about all the things not getting checked off my to-do list.

So while I’d given meditation the old college try (so. many. times), it never worked for me. Even so, I decided to give 10% Happier a chance. After all, it’s designed for skeptic newbs like me. Plus, hello, finding inner peace does not seem like a bad thing.

I gave the app a go one night before bed. My thinking was that I’d already be in the optimal horizontal position with my eyes closed, so worst case scenario, I would just drift off to sleep—which was my ultimate goal anyway. Kill two birds, ya know?

When you open the app, you can choose to jump right into a practice or take a course that offers a little more information. I opted for the second since I was more or less still new to meditation. A short video about what I could expect played first. From there, Joseph Goldstein’s melodic voice guided me into the meditation itself.

The next thing I knew, it was morning, and I popped out of bed bright as a daisy feeling like Wonder Woman ready to conquer the world. Who was I?? I refused to believe it was because I meditated… but I was secretly excited to try again.

On night two, I opened up the app again. Like the evening before, a short video played. This time it explained (in regular people terms, thank God) all the science-backed evidence proving that meditation actually works.

The video also outlined the benefits of consistent practice, which, wow—it can relieve stress, jump-start creativity, improve memory, and boost compassion, just to name a few. The video didn’t get into any of the woo-woo, touch-your-deep-conscious, travel-to-another-galaxy stuff I had heard before—it just shared cold, hard facts that started to shift my perception.

Fast-forward several weeks and I’m still at it. 10% Happier has become the real MVP of bedtime, giving me gentle nudges to meditate every night, words of encouragement to keep going if I miss a session, and endless practices to choose from depending on my mood. Am I perfect at settling my mind every night? Not yet. Do I still feel like a complete weirdo? Absolutely. But I also feel like I’m reaping the benefits of restful sleep, so I don’t even care. Dare I say I’m feeling 10 percent happier?

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