There’s no denying that the last 18 months have been difficult and Americans continue to struggle with the stress of changing mask mandates, news stories about rising variants, and changes to work environments. So what’s an overstimulated, stressed-out person to do? An overwhelming majority of Americans (80%) report having tried meditation and almost half of the respondents we polled have started practicing in the past year, likely to process pandemic-related stress. Of these meditators, 81% practice at least once a week. 

Even before the pandemic, people have been using their mobile phones to do more than just call friends and family. A majority of Americans we polled use phones to guide them through workouts, track their food and weight goals, and now a third also meditate using specialized apps. 

According to the respondents who meditate using mobile apps, Calm was by far the most popular and preferred app followed by Breethe and then Headspace. These apps offer all sorts of guided meditations that focus on breathwork, happiness, and relaxation/sleep. But the most popular type of guided practice amongst meditators that we polled? Stress relief.

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

Using the Insights Platform to dig deeper into new meditation practices, we learned that behaviors and types of mediation vary when filtered by age or sex. Choices abound with some people preferring to use apps and YouTube videos while others want only silence or music to self-guide. Women, for example, are more likely to meditate on their own in silence than males. And more Gen Z than millennial meditators prefer using music and podcasts to meditate.

Source: PureSpectrum Insights Platform

If you are wondering why you didn’t know more people had a regular meditation practice, almost all respondents stated they preferred to meditate privately in their own homes. This could be viewed as another type of pandemic behavior or the fact that meditation of any kind is typically considered a private practice. In fact, 60% of respondents reported that they were the only person in their household who practiced meditation.

It’s good to see that Americans are trying to find new ways to manage stress. Because of this, meditation has become its own industry with more apps, podcasts, YouTube videos, and music being produced than ever before. Yet there is still room for more offerings, 33% of the non-meditators we polled said their lack of know-how prevents them from trying. As meditation apps continue to grow in popularity, we look forward to seeing how this industry can help shape the collective consciousness post-pandemic. 


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PureSpectrum interviewed 227 online respondents on July 23rd, 2021 using the PureSpectrum Insights Platform. The platform is integrated with the PureSpectrum Marketplace which combines proprietary measurement tools and third-party data validation to quickly collect high-quality insights. The study fielded in 20 minutes and targeted consumers within the United States and consisted of a general population audience of 18+ years old. This study uses 95% confidence level to examine the data.

About PureSpectrum 

PureSpectrum offers a complete end-to-end market research and insights platform, helping insights professionals make decisions more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Awarded MR Supplier of the Year at the 2021 Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, PureSpectrum is recognized for industry-leading data quality. PureSpectrum developed the respondent-level scoring system,  PureScore™, and believes their continued success stems from their talent density and dedication to simplicity and quality.

In the few years since its inception, PureSpectrum has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s Fast 500 since 2020, and ranked for three years in a row on the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative List and the Inc. 5000 lists.