How to build a mediation app like Headspace and Calm

COVID-19 and Work from Home have plunged the world into stress and anxiety. The following events have deeply affected people’s mental health and made them look for efficient ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. And here comes mediation apps in handy!

Table of contents
  1. What makes mediation apps so popular?
  2. Best meditation apps on the market
  3. Top features of a mediation app like Headspace
  4. How to build a mediation app like Headspace or Calm
  5. Making money with meditation apps
  6. How much does it cost to make an app like Headspace or Calm
  7. Final thoughts

What makes mediation apps so popular?

Some believe that our smartphones affect our productivity and mental health. But what if it only depends on how you use them? In the post-covid full-of-stress world, smartphones and mediation apps have quite the opposite effect! Users are flocking to mindfulness apps in order to stay calm and rested throughout the day.

Meditation apps are the brightest example of how your smartphone can help stay productive and concentrated. Nowadays, apps for mental health top the charts. For example, Calm and Headspace have over 10,000,000 downloads.
According to the latest research by Annika Howells, such apps like Headspace or Calm help decrease depression and increase positive emotion in a few weeks. However, it means that meditation apps are great assets when it comes to anxiety and stress.

And due to the current situation, the popularity of mediation apps will only grow. Coronavirus lockdown and work from home have added more stress to our lives. Millions have to stay at home, and thousands lost their jobs, hundreds lost their nearest and dearest. And everyone is overwhelmed.

Asian people who are stressed- How to build a mediation app like Headspace

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In fact, stress is quite good when it motivates, but it’s bad when it wears you down. And mediation apps can help you reduce anxiety and stress. Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you feel overwhelmed? Any problems concentrating? Do you feel burned out? Then you should use a mediation app since the following are the most common signs of stress. One of the biggest advantages of mobile apps for mental health is that they can be used anywhere and anytime.

Do you know anyone who has no stress? Well, except for your cat. No one? And that’s why mediation apps are extremely popular nowadays. Continue reading to find out all ins and outs of mental health app development with 🔽

Best meditation apps on the market

Scientists from all over the world say that mediations (even the simplest ones) have a positive effect on the human body and mind. And, of course, it’s a great way to solve emotional issues. No wonder that meditation apps are becoming more and more popular. Let’s take a look at the most popular meditation apps 🔽


Headspace for iOS rating: 5 stars
Headspace for Android rating: 3.5 stars
Price: Free, in-app purchases


Headspace features useful guided meditation and mindfulness techniques for your daily winding down. The app features several techniques for better sleep, including music, nature soundscapes, and storytelling sleep casts. Also, there are guided meditations to release stress and improve your mental health.

Headspace features lots of mediation routines for every lifestyle and experience. The app has short 3-minute sessions that can fit even the busiest schedule. Don’t like mediations? Try out concentration-boosting music to power up while getting things done.

Recently, Headspace got two new sections. The Move Mode features easy at-home workouts led by professional trainers. And The Wake-Up section helps wake up on the right side of the bed.


Calm for iOS rating: 5 stars
Calm for Android rating: 4.5 stars
Price: Free, in-app purchases


Calm is an award-winning app for sleep, mediation, and relaxation. The app has over 50 million downloads and 700,000 5-star reviews. Calm has everything you need to calm down after a long day, including calming exercises, breathing techniques, and guided meditations.

The following app has a particular section for kids and the sleep stories section. Calm has a multi-day series developed focusing on a specific goal (focus, calming anxiety, self-esteem, managing stress, etc). The app has both guided and unguided meditations.

Calm supports wearable devices. You can easily access the app right from your Apple Watch.


Buddhify for iOS rating: 5 stars
Buddhify for Android rating: 4 stars
Price: $4.99 for iOS users, $2.99 for Android users


Buddhify can help you cope up with anxiety and stress. The app has 200+ useful meditation to reduce stress, relieve pain, get better sleep. There are sessions for beginners and profound users.

The app allows for practicing mindfulness exercises whenever you want. With Buddhify, you can practice meditation while traveling, waking up, at work, eating, etc. There are both long and short sessions.

Buddhify is extremely easy to use and comes loaded with mediation sessions for kids. The app is second to none when it comes to meditative calmness.

At, we can build any mediation app for any platform. Need skilled developers for your project? Feel free to drop us a line.

Top features of a mediation app like Headspace

Though mediation is supposed to be a reprieve from smartphones and social networks, meditation apps top the charts and bring mindfulness techniques home. They allow for practicing mediation anywhere and anytime.

Like in any fitness app, in a mediation app, users can choose a coach to guide them while meditating. It’s like sitting in a room and listening to a mediation specialist. Other apps add soothing music to voice guidance. So let’s find out what features a mediation app really needs.

Sign up

The following feature is essential for most mobile applications. But try to keep a registration process as simple as possible and don’t make your user spend a lot of time while signing up. You can simplify the registration process by integrating personal data from Facebook or Twitter.

Personal profile

Registration obviously implies building a user page with all personal information needed. Personal profiles are beneficial for both users and developers. While users get the opportunity to track their achievements and mediation progress, developers can track and analyze their behavior to improve the app.

Starter pack

You should bear in mind that lots of users are new to the world of mediation. That’s why it’s better to include an onboarding course for free. Most popular meditation apps offer a free starter pack with some simple mindfulness practices to explain how to use the app and start meditating.

Pinterest - Building a mobile app for mediation

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Various meditation practices

Meditation practices are a key element for any mediation app. So you need to work on them especially hard. Provide logically distributed libraries for different mediation sets, for example, stress, focus, sleep, depression, etc. Try offering both short as well as long mediation. And don’t forget to add a search feature to simplify navigation throughout your app.


If you’re going to win over the users, you need to pay more attention to a player screen. There should be an attractive “Play” button that catches users’ attention and encourages them to start a mediation session.
It’s a good idea to add a restrained background image and quality muzak to your mediation practices. When it comes to background music, it’s better to use the sounds of nature.


The following feature allows for exploring the world of meditations and finding the most interesting mindfulness practices. A discovery screen facilitates the users to open your app once more, and hence, it increases the user activity.

iPhone taking pictures of leaves - Making mediation app for iOS
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Push notifications

Push notifications allow you to keep in touch with your users. Notify them about upcoming events and send reminders when it’s time to start mediations, etc.

Integration with wearables

It’ll be extremely useful to integrate mediation apps with wearables, and especially when they can improve the quality of sleep. This will help the app collect more information on how users sleep and find out a better solution.

The features mentioned above are the basic ones that you need to load your MVP. But they aren’t enough to encourage users to stop using Calm or Headspace and download your app. In order to succeed, you need to load your app with out-of-the-ordinary features and make it stand out from the crowd.

How to build a mediation app like Headspace or Calm

Don’t know how to build a mediation app? These are six main steps to develop a successful mediation app for mobile ⏩

  1. Research your market and define your app idea
  2. Choose a mobile operating platform to reach
  3. Pick up features to load your MVP
  4. Decide on app design
  5. Choose the right monetization strategy
  6. Start building your mobile app

Step 1 - Define your app idea

Getting a clear idea of an app is essential when it comes to app development. Start with market research and find out what features make users downloads and use mediation apps. And you also need to define your target audience and find out what they really need.

For example, you can load your app with guided meditation practices or have lots of melodies or nature sounds. What do you think?

Step 2 - Choose a mobile operating platform to reach

There are a lot of factors to consider while picking up a mobile operating platform. You need to consider your budget, goals, and target users. Your target users may prefer either iOS or Android.

Did you know about cross-platform apps? They are built to work with any mobile operating system. However, they cannot use the potential of the particular operating system to the fullest. Some features are unavailable for cross-platform apps.

Man working on a desktop computer - How to build a mindfullness app for Android

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Step 3 - Pick up features for your app

It’s high time to choose what features to add to the first version of your mindfulness app. We’ve mentioned some essential features for a mediation app above. Please, check them out before building your meditation app.
If you want your app to top all the charts and become the app of the year, consider adding some unique features like personalized mediation sessions, etc.

Step 4 - Decide on app design

Mindfulness equals being relaxed and calm, and that’s how your users should feel while using your app. Try using a toned-down color scheme. Blues and greens are so-called relaxing colors.

Make your app easy to use and navigate. Apps like Calm or Headspace are well-structured and clear.

Step 5 - Choose the right monetization strategy

Monetization isn’t the last thing to consider while building a mindfulness app. Of course, you can develop an app without the aim to generate profits. So if you want your app to make money, you need to find out how to make it profitable. Check out a section below to understand how apps can generate profits.

Sun set on the ocean - How to make a mediation app like Calm?

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Step 6 - Start building your app

And here comes the most important step - the app development. Now you have a clear understanding of what mindfulness app you’re going to build. At, we have everyone and everything for mobile and web app development.

Your team will look like ⏩

  • Project manager to organize the work of the whole development team and streamline communication
  • Developers to build your app
  • Designers to make your app visually appealing
  • QA engineers to find all bugs

The size of your development team depends on several things, such as app features, number of platforms, and development time. For example, if you’re creating an app for a single platform, you’ll need a front-end developer for iOS and Android.

And if you want to build a mediation app for several platforms, you may need a bigger team consisting of 2-3 back-end developers, several front-end developers, 2 UX/ UI designers, and 2-3 QA engineers.

Making money with mediation apps

You need to start thinking about monetization strategies long before your app is built. There are several ways to generate money with your meditation app.

Subscription model

A subscription-based model is the most popular monetization strategy. It suits any app type. Meditation apps work well with the subscription model. If you choose this monetization model, don’t forget to add a free trial and several subscription plans.


Ads are the easiest way to monetize any app. But you need to be careful with them. Too many ads can annoy your users. However, the vast majority of users tolerate the ads to use the app for free.
There are several types of ad monetization, depending on how you measure the success of ads (clicks or conversions). But it’s quite hard to predict your income.

Woman on dock sunset - Mediation app development

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In-app purchases

Calm and Headspace take advantage of in-app purchases. Users can buy separate pieces of content. For example, separate mediation sessions or programs. You can combine in-app purchases with another monetization model.


You can communicate with brands and promote them through your app in exchange for sponsorship and support. The following strategy is great to quick-start your app. It’ll help grow your user base much faster as users are more likely to download and use a free app.


Another way to generate money is to offer a free version of your app with the opportunity to upgrade. You need to offer unique features or additional content for your paying users.

How much does it cost to make an app like Headspace or Calm

It’s hard to determine how much the app will cost since there are lots of factors influencing the cost of the project. Mobile operating platforms, app features, development time, and even the location of your development team influence the app cost.

At, the cost of developing a mediation app like Headspace would take around 800 hours and $25 000. It takes around four months to create and launch a mediation app from scratch and for one mobile operating platform.

Our developers work with the most popular mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android, and Web. We can bring any app idea to life for any platform. With hundreds of released projects, we know how to build a successful app. Contact us and let’s create an amazing app for mediation.

Final thoughts

In 2020 mindfulness apps have become extremely important. A vast majority of people use mediation apps to unwind and concentrate. It’s a lucrative opportunity for your successful project. So why not use it?

If you’re going to develop a mediation app, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to study your competitors, find your target audience, define the necessary features, and find the right monetization strategy. And we’ll do everything else, including back-end and front-end development, UX/ UI design, and QA sessions.

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