The world is stressful, and like countless others, I’ve spent a lot of time meditating and trying to relax. I’ve tried apps like Insight Timer and Peloton, I’ve taken a whole course from Jon Kabat-Zinn on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through MasterClass (reviewed here), and I went on to enroll in a full eight-week training course on MBSR. I’m sharing my experience to show that I am at least familiar with meditation (though I doubt anybody in my life would call me relaxed, chill, or enlightened, but that’s neither here nor here). Still, as a highly neurotic person with a ton of anxiety, meditating remains an important part of my life. So when the opportunity to try out Superhuman, a new meditation app based around visualization techniques, came across my desk, it was an easy thumbs-up.
Launched in 2021 by Mimi Bouchard, Superhuman has a very specific and modern vibe. The colorful, friendly app doesn’t feel too rooted in the history of “meditation,” the books, apps, and general aesthetic of which can sometimes feel outdated or austere (some might just say ancient or traditional); rather, Superhuman feels more like an Instagram post brought to life, or a Saturday morning pep talk from your pal between yoga and avocado toast. With sessions like “Re-center Before a Big Meeting,” “Create More Money, Wealth + Opportunity,” “Stop Feeling Insecure,” and “Good Vibes While Cleaning,” Superhuman is more like scrolling your #fyp page on TikTok when the algo has figured out you’re depressed and in search of #lifehacks (you’ll have to save your demons for your next SoulCycle ride). For better or worse, it’s the quintessential app example of our post-New Age, hustle-and-grind culture obsessed with manifesting, astrology, vibes, movement, and “the universe.” My trial of the app started out uneventful—we all know the Headspace vibe—and then… things got… interesting. Those looking to #manifest, read on.
For what it’s worth, exploring Superhuman’s meditations was really fun. If you’re seeking a session with a specific purpose beyond just mindfulness, there are sleep meditations; body positivity meditations; ones for running, walking, and stretching; and even cooking meditations. There’s even one about de-stressing during a family event, which I wish I’d had over the holidays.
The “Seated Meditations” section alone has over 200 sessions, with 60 sessions about stress and anxiety and 112 that clock in at under 10 minutes, making them perfect for people just wanting to chill for a few minutes.
This morning, feeling like I wanted to loosen up a bit after a stressful weekend, I found my way into the “Legs Up Wall” meditations (where, naturally, you lay with your back on the ground and rest your legs vertically against a wall). I decided on “Calm Morning To Release Stress,” laid down on my yoga mat, hoisted those legs, and smashed the play button. The meditation was pretty relaxing—the woman in charge urged me to visualize my perfect day and gave me a few moments to do it; then, she encouraged me to relax a little deeper into the stretch, which was a good nudge. Ultimately, I do feel a little more relaxed, and definitely felt my back snap, crackle, and pop a bit along the way (though that could just be what happens when you’re in your 30s and try to get up from laying on the ground). I also enjoyed a seated meditation called “Let Go Of Stress,” which was a nice little morning-starter yesterday in which I was encouraged to embrace the present and contemplate what kind of feelings I wanted to have during the day.
Those two were pretty straightforward meditations. What would happen if I did one that was totally outside of what I’d normally listen to?, I wondered. So I loaded up one called “Feel Wealthy and Abundant.” I’d love to feel wealthy, I thought. I wasn’t really sure what “abundance” meant in this context, but I was ready to find out! When the track started playing, a chill jungle techno beat came on, and a woman energetically delivered affirmations into my ear. “Money flows into my life,” she said. “I am a money magnet. Money and opportunity are drawn to me by my energy.” I had the urge to check my bank account, but I knew it would just bring me down, so I kept going. “Wealth and abundance are my birthright,” she said. “I can get rich doing what I love. It gets me so excited to think about having it all.” Listen, I know plenty of New Age wellness-obsessed people who spend their lives (aka Instagram accounts) trying to “manifest” things and “channel energy” and “feel gratitude,” and something they seem to have in common is being decidedly not wealthy (and some of them probably already do spend time visualizing flourishing bank accounts). But, hey, The Secret was a huge success, so why not Superhuman? Maybe having a year-round Christmas list of financial achievements is actually a killer idea, and I just don’t get it. At least that would explain my credit card statement.
I listened to these declarations intently, but I’m not sure I began to believe them; I do know people, however, who absolutely thrive (or, at least, believe they’re thriving, which is maybe the most important thing) through visualization like this, and I imagined them deeply internalizing these beliefs and emerging from their meditation sesh ready to both get that bread. Me, I’m simply not out here seeking to get rich or die trying (though I did read that using Superhuman could help me “earn 10x more money,” which I intend to bring to my editor’s attention ASAP), and even if I was, I am simply not sure considering wealth my “birthright” would be the most efficient way to achieve that goal. Anyway, I’ll probably be sticking to the app’s meditations about relaxation and managing anxiety, which were genuinely helpful.
Look, there are a lot of great reasons to use Superhuman. If you’re seeking results for the most common reasons people meditate, like relieving stress and anxiety and finding ways to relax and slow down, there are definitely a ton of sessions for you. I’m excited to try the sessions based around exercising, cooking, and managing awkward social situations. However, the wealth and abundance meditations left me feeling a bit strange (and definitely not wealthy). Still, I plan to continue using the app, because variety is key—and hey, if I do start making ten times as much money, that will just be an added bonus.
Go forth and ascend. If you do sign up for Superhuman and end up achieving wealth and abundance, remember who guided you there, and feel free to send me a check at your leisure.
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