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In the shadow of Roe v Wade, Headspace focuses marketing on women’s health education


By Ellen Ormesher | Senior Reporter

August 18, 2022 | 5 min read

Mindfulness and meditation platform Headspace has launched its first dedicated content collection centered around women. Louise Troen, Headspace’s vice-president of content and studios marketing, explains why it needed to move beyond its favored marketing channel – audio – to better educate audiences on women’s health and wellbeing.

Headspace x Peanut

Headspace partnered with Peanut on a short film to normalize conversations around women’s sexual health / Headspace

Headspace is changing its marketing motives to better educate people on evocative, under-served topics such as women’s health. Its recent research shows that 89% of women think the medical industry doesn’t take women’s sexual desires seriously.

Furthermore, 78% of women have experienced low sex drive, with over half (53%) believing that low sex drive remains a taboo topic within society. Despite seven in 10 women wanting better access to information to improve their sex lives, only 6% have tried mindfulness or meditation, and only 13% have tried communicating with friends to improve their sex life. There’s an audience yearning for a brand willing to inform them.

Enter the ‘Women’s Collection,’ a marketing campaign coming at a pivotal moment for the women’s health movement, following the reversal of Roe v Wade in the US and the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and cost-of-living crisis on women’s lives.

Louise Troen, vice-president of global marketing at Headspace, says: “Brands have a duty to show up for audiences and communities that need support in the mental health space.”

She says that Headspace’s aim within the current political climate is to provide on-demand resources for individuals who identify as women and offer them comprehensive support across topics ranging from body image to sexual wellness.

“One particular area we had never focused on directly was women’s health – and not just on the mental side of things, but also the physical and unpacking what it really means to support women and people who identify as women in this cultural climate.”

Troen explains that this thinking helped to form the three pillars of content within the collection, including ‘body and health,’ which encompasses emotional support when trying to conceive and after miscarriage; ‘sex and relationships,’ which cultivates intimacy in relationships as well as mind-body connection and communication; and ‘strength in solidarity,’ which shares mindfulness techniques for coping with anger and injustice.

She adds that this latter category is particularly prescient “knowing that we, as women, are a marginalized group and there are things we go through with regards to our health and bodies that can be challenging and traumatic,” and in light of the recent reversal of Roe v Wade in the states.

For this collection, Headspace partnered with the online community for women Peanut to release a short film that aims to normalize the conversation around sexual wellness. ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ was produced by an all-woman crew, and it explores diverse sexual and relationship experiences and discusses topics that are typically taboo – from a woman who is expecting a baby with a trans woman, to a widow navigating dating while grieving and a woman struggling with post-partum sex.

But Troen says Headspace is “well placed” to tackle the issues at hand, due to its science-backed team “who are working consistently with different research methods to ensure that the meditations we produce are really validated.”

The film, featuring psychosexual and relationship therapist Kate Moyle, also highlights the community available on Peanut, arming women with in-app educational and supportive conversations across sex, relationships and intimacy via expert and user-led Groups and Pods (live audio chats).

Troen explains that ‘Women’s Collection’ therefore marks a shift away from audio for the wellness platform, and sets a precedent for future collaborations and multimedia campaigns. “Headspace is traditionally audio, but our vision and ambition for our content is to move into video and you’ll start to see that more on the app going forward.

“Audio was really integral when we were focusing on meditation and sleep as it gave people the opportunity to switch off, but now we equally want to stimulate people’s minds.

“In this new medium we want to focus on education and how to add to the conversation around anything from sexual wellness to climate change, and branching out into video will help enhance that storytelling.”

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