Meditation, Coloring Books and Other Ways the Powerful Digitally Detox

6:30 AM 6/24/2016

by Lesley McKenzie

From float-therapy studios to iPhone-banned resorts, a look at how Hollywood gets ahead by going off the grid.

Digital Detox 2016 - H 2016
Courtesy of Sunject; Illustration By Todd Dewiler

Why unplug? Because it will tune up your brain, says Andy Puddicombe, founder of meditation app Headspace (and Gwyneth Paltrow’s chill-out guru): “If we drive the mind too hard or get lost in digital chatter, it will begin to struggle and even break down unless we allow it to recharge.” The most effective way to detox, he says, is to meditate. “Research shows it can reduce stress and depression while improving focus and productivity.” The following comprises a new class of getaways for your mind, not just your body.

  • Pause (Venice, Calif.)

    Step away from the smartphone by submerging yourself in a private heated pod at float-therapy studio Pause, opening in July ($86/ session). Saline water creates a sense of weightlessness, which resets over-stimulated senses and lowers stress hormones. Opt for guided meditations and customized ambient lighting and sound or choose darkness with silence to maximize the regenerative experience.

  • Aja, Malibu

    Part ashram, part boutique getaway seven years in the making, Malibu’s soon-to-debut sevenroom New Age wellness retreat, Aja, emphasizes disconnecting through its weeklong, device-free “chakra tune-up” program (starting at $10,000). At its core lies the restorative “Magick process,” including meditation, workshops, themed gardens and a spa lined with healing-energy crystals, all situated on a parcel of land once owned by FDR in the Santa Monica mountains.

  • The Class by Taryn Toomey (West L.A.)

    Fight the power that our devices have over us with a workout that is about “reconnecting with yourself,” says NYC-based former Dior exec Taryn Toomey. Beloved by Naomi Watts, Kate Hudson and Kristin Hahn, Jennifer Aniston’s producing partner, the routine involves screaming and shaking to clear the mind ($25/class). Pop-ups of the class occur weekly in Brentwood and Venice.

  • Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

    At this resort in Peninsula Papagayo, a “Disconnect to Reconnect” program locks iPhones in a safe for 24 hours while guests participate in tech-free activities, from stand-up paddling to Latin dance. Notable guests of the property — where the five-bedroom oceanfront Casa del Cielo goes for $27,000 a night in season — include Beyonce, Jay Z and Maria Sharapova.

  • De-Stressing Trend: Coloring Books for Adults

    When Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk saw a friend coloring, he says he “teased her about doing such a child’s pasttime. She had to explain that the whole world is doing this.” Now he’s curating his own adult coloring book, Bait: Off-Color Stories for You to Color (Dark Horse Books, Oct. 26). Palahniuk says he’s surprised by the number of colleagues who indulge: “I don’t want to name names, but it’s across the board.” According to Nielsen BookScan, more than 12 million adult coloring books were sold in 2015, up from 1 million in 2014. Larry Shaw, a psychotherapist whose patients include entertainment types, says coloring allows a person to shut everything else out: “It pulls you out of the linear part of the brain and into the creative sphere.” In the spirit of wellness, THR commissioned an original coloring-book page to try at home.

    Click below for a printable version.