Reduce Stress. 

 Improve your health &  the UCM Community. 

We are no longer enrolling for the Stress Free UC Study. Thank you for your interest!

What is Stress Free UCM?

The Stress Free UCM study is the first large-scale research program focused on workplace stress in employees across University of California, Merced campus.


By participating in the study, you will help the UCM community learn whether Headspace™, a meditation application for your computer and smartphone, can improve your health and well-being.

What is the goal of the study?

The goal of this study is to better understand how stress impacts health and well-being of UCM employees and test a digital meditation intervention called Headspace™.

Who is conducting the study?

This is a research study led by Dr. Matthew Zawadzki and Larisa Gavrilova, doctoral student, of the UCM Psychological Sciences. For any questions, researchers can be reached at .

How is my information kept safe?

As researchers, we understand information about your life is personal. It’s our priority to keep the information you share for this study private. All information about you will be deidentified, meaning it’s kept separate from your name, phone number, or email, and no one outside of our study staff will have access to your records, including your employer.

Other questions?

Click here for our FAQ page.

What does it mean to join?

See below to view the study timeline!


The study will consist of three components.


First, you will be asked complete online questionnaires about your health, lifestyle, and feelings. This will take between 20-30 minutes each time and will happen at: 

  • The beginning of the study

  • +4-weeks

  • +8-weeks

  • +4-months

  • +12-months


Second, we will ask you to participate in one of our 60-minute orientation sessions where you will receive training on using the mobile app and a fitness watch that will be collected upon completion of the study.

  • For the app, you will be asked to download and use a free mobile app that prompts surveys asking you about your daily experiences such as your mood, stress, and interactions with others. The surveys will be prompted on your phone 5 times per day for 4 days (Wednesday-Saturday) at the beginning of the study, 2 weeks, 5 weeks, and 8 weeks. The surveys should take between 1-2 minutes each time, or up to 5-10 minutes a day.

  • For the watch, you will just be asked to charge it and sync your data periodically. The watch will measure your heart rate, sleep, and activity levels.


Third, if you enroll, you will be selected into one of two groups: 

If you're in this group, you will use a meditation program called Headspace™, available over the computer or on your smartphone, for 10 minutes each day for 8 weeks. You will be given a one-year subscription to Headspace™.


If you're in this group, you will continue life as you normally do, without the Headspace™ meditation application. After 4 months, you will be given a one-year subscription to the Headspace™ application, too!

Study Timeline

Contact us!

3333 California Street

San Francisco, CA 94118

1 (415) 502-4857

900 University Ave

Riverside, CA 92521

1 (951) 827-7165​

4201 Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway

Irvine, CA 92697


1 (657) 229-3138

500 N. Lake Road

Merced, CA 95343


(209) 228-4787

A461 Franz Hall

502 Portola Plaza 
Los Angeles, CA


1 (626) 991 3075

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