I'll take transformational change any way it comes. One way to look at meditation is as a kind of intrapsychic technology that's been developed over thousands of years by traditions that know a lot about the mind/body connection. To call what happens 'the placebo effect' is just to give a name to something we don't understand.
When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all.
In Asian languages, the word for 'mind' and the word for 'heart' are same. So if you're not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you're not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.
You don't need the iPhone: you have the most exquisite apparatus in the known universe sitting right in your head - the most complex organization of matter in the entire universe. And here are we, feeling a little depressed, feeling like we're not getting where we need to be, when really you might be exactly where you need to be.