The Health Diaries

Why the Founder of Headspace Wakes Up at 5 a.m.

Andy Puddicombe is ‘pretty much vegan’ and thinks everyone should meditate

Alexandra Sifferlin
Elemental
Published in
4 min readSep 25, 2018

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There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.

AsAs a former Buddhist monk and co-founder of Headspace, a meditation app that’s raised more than $75 million from investors, Andy Puddicombe, 45, is a pretty chill dude. Meditation has been a part of his daily life since childhood, and now he’s succeeding at bringing it to the masses. Since 2012, when Puddicombe and his business partner launched the app, Headspace has amassed 32 million users in more than 190 countries.

Puddicombe lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Lucinda Puddicombe, who is a sports scientist, and their two sons, 18 months and four years old. Most weeks, he splits his time between the recording studio (Puddicombe narrates the app’s meditation sessions) and the Headspace headquarters, while also making time to speak at conferences and to media as the face of the company.

Puddicombe talked to Medium about how he balances his own health and wellness with the daily duties of being an active father and entrepreneur.

Every morning, I wake up at 5 a.m. In my early twenties, I traveled to the Himalayas to study meditation. I spent 10 years traveling around the world and was eventually ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. In the monastery, we got up at 3 a.m., and when my son Harley was a baby, I got up at 4 a.m., so 5 a.m. doesn’t feel all that early. I love that time of day, and I always feel excited for the day ahead. It also allows me to exercise before anyone else in the house has woken up, so I have more time with the family. I don’t use an alarm clock unless I have a flight.

The first thing I do after I wake up is take a few minutes to appreciate that I’ve woken up. Then I exercise for an hour.

I get exercise by running, cycling, rowing, surfing, stretching, and playtime with our kids.

My daily eating typically looks like: a vegan Core bar crumbled with nuts, dried fruit, and a local farm’s sheep yogurt for…

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Alexandra Sifferlin
Elemental

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that