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Megan Bell of Headspace

Today’s guest is Megan Bell, Chief Strategy and Science Officer at Headspace where she directs a team focused on global corporate strategy, technology strategy, and new ventures including Headspace’s digital therapeutics subsidiary, Headspace Health.

She also oversees medical and clinical affairs, behavioral science and clinical research, and design research including implementation of a human-centered design process in product and content development.

Prior to Headspace, she was chief science officer and scientific founder at digital mental health startup, Lantern, whose core IP went on to become part of Omada Health, Ginger, and others.

As part of her incredible, pioneering digital health research, she developed and validated over 20 digital health interventions.  Megan is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at Stanford as well.

You can connect with Megan here: Megan on LinkedIn, Headspace Website Calm Co-Founder: Michael Acton Smith a Pioneer in Mental Health and Wellness  imageedit_18_6663437128-300x86 Calm Co-Founder: Michael Acton Smith a Pioneer in Mental Health and Wellness



  • Megan Bell joins us to talk about her background in the behavioral health world as a family member and daughter of someone who experienced severe mental health issues chronically. Additionally, as someone who has recovered from her own mental health disorders.
  • Megan shares how her past experiences led her to be an advocate for others who faced similar struggles and how she was determined to change the culture around mental health. Specifically, she wanted to focus primarily on prevention strategies.
  • When asked about her role in Headspace, Megan shares that she has been there for four years and how the company has evolved from a startup since she has been there. She shares that while she has had the title of many different roles over her time with the company that the passion remains the same: to make preventative mental health care more accessible to people.
  • We asked Megan about evidence-based care and why it’s so important. She shares that it requires commitment from all involved and holds them accountable for the help they are wanting to provide to members. Not only are they focused on solutions to the problem that your customers are having, but you are focused on the effectiveness of your solutions when you have evidence-based care.
  • How does Headspace measure to determine their effectiveness? Megan explains that Headspace is focused on resilience to stress and reduction of stress and that there is great evidence that mindfulness-based interventions can improve these areas.
  • Megan talks about entrepreneurs who are interested in innovating in the mental health space. She gives advice to those interested to pay close attention to who your target audience is, how you can sustain your company, and how many different things you want to introduce to the market at once when you are just starting out.
  • We discuss development teams and how it takes more than just passion to make changes in the mental health space. You need expertise in order to make a product that is beneficial to the consumer.
  • Megan shares about the importance of changing the culture around mental health and addressing mental health when one is healthy, not just when it becomes a disorder.
  • Finally, Megan discusses the ethics behind supporting a company that works in the mental health space and making sure you are choosing to invest in something that has processes in place for risk management, quality assurance, and overall choosing to support something that is making the world a better place.

Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: Patreon, Website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email

Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website, Twitter, LinkedIn, What If Ventures (Mental Health Venture Fund)

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