Rise of Self-Care Apps

If you’re living in 2018 – you have probably heard how important self-care is. As the stigma towards mental health issues slowly decreases and there is more of a focus on taking care of yourself – it has created a market for self-care apps. I personally love and use many as a part of my daily routine. Ranging from the default “Health” app on my iPhone to Calm, Headspace, and Mend. All of these apps play a role in making my life a bit easier and my cell phone an actual productive and a healthy tool for my life.

This got me thinking in regards of the exciting trend of increased self-care apps in the market. According to Tech Crunch, top 10 self-care apps in the U.S. earned $15 million in combined iOS and Android revenue. The projected growth in self-care apps in 2018 were listed as 804 for iOS and 2,640 for Android.[1] This focus on mental health, self-care, and mindfulness appears to be a trend that is being noticed by Apple and other companies as well. Personally, as someone who is oversaturated with content from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms, having Apps that allow you to disconnect from that space and take care of yourself is really revolutionary and innovative. I believe the trend of increase in this space will continue as more people realize the importance of self-care as well as disconnection from constant stimulation from social media platforms. In addition, various researchers have also cited passive use of Facebook (i.e. mindless scrolling we’re all guilty of) can cause a mental health risk. [2]

With this surge of the demand (people willing to pay for or actively seek for self-care) and the need (more threats to mental health such as social media as well as constant stimulation) – are Venture Capital firms willing to back these type of apps?

It turns out that the VC world has been aware of this market and investment in mental health space has jumped from 7 companies in 2009 to 30 deals as of June 2018. One of the biggest player in this space is the Calm app which raised $27 million in Series A funding from Insight Venture Partners as well as Ashton Kutcher’s Second Ventures. According to Pitchbook, 2018 was on pace to seeing more than $500 million funding invested in the mental health tech space. [3]

This is a really exciting time for both users of the various apps as well as companies that are providing these products. A shift towards self-care can only benefit society and increase overall social good. I am looking forward to seeing where the VC funding will be like at the end of 2018 for this space as well as how revenue models work for these companies. I am sure it will take balancing between creating more access but, also creating a profitable products to ensure continuance in VC support.

 

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/02/self-care-apps-are-booming/

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/dec/15/facebook-mental-health-psychology-social-media

[3] https://pitchbook.com/news/articles/a-look-at-the-boom-in-vc-funding-for-mental-health-startups

An App for Heartbreak?

After going through a fairly terrible heartbreak this Summer, I was on a quest to find a solution. I am a fairly logical person and I think break-ups are a part of life. Still, an end of a 6 year relationship was too devastating to use logic (even for me). I spent a lot of my time googling “how to get over a heartbreak” and listening to countless hours of YouTube videos. Some of them advocated for posting your best selfies in Instagram to show how well you’re doing without your ex and some just concluded only time could heal wounds.

I didn’t like either of those ways.

Yes, time is the only thing that heals breakups but, there are ways to cope with it that are much more healthier. Break-up is an obstacle we face that may cause us to feel extreme emotional pain. This pain needs to be taken seriously and be dealt with in the most healthiest way possible.

That is when I found Mend. Mend is a self-care app that helps people with heartbreak. Each day you go into the app and listen to a snippet that explains how we may be feeling. The person who reads the snippet to you has the most soothing voice ever (which helps). Mend was created by Elle Huerta who herself went through a difficult break-up and wanted a more healthier and better way to deal with heartbreak. And, she’s a Latina. Like, how perfect? 🙂

I have been using Mend for over a week and it truly helps me start my day off correctly. Whenever I listen to the daily lesson, it reminds me that my pain is not unprecedented. We all have gone through similar pains and heartbreaks. We have all dealt with difficulties. Although there might not be a pill to take and completely bypass our feelings – there are healthier ways to deal with heartbreaks. You do not have to succumb to resentment or anger and you can actually learn to be grateful for your ex (plays thank u, next by Ariana Grande).

Mend helps me take a better approach to heartbreak. I do not want to be a victim. I do not want to be bitter. I want to let go of my relationship gracefully with love and kindness. That is exactly what Mend is helping me do.

Despite all this, it would be careless for me to not mention how difficult the process actually is. There are days where I fall victim to the occasional social media stalking. There are days I cry myself to sleep at night. There are many days where I have to catch myself from crying at my desk at work. The pain is real and that is okay. We can accept the pain and treat the pain with kindness and love. We can embrace the pain and use healthy tools like Mend to help us heal in the way.

Happy healing.

Mend: https://www.letsmend.com/

Elle Huerta: https://www.instagram.com/ellenhuerta/?hl=en

Not anyway sponsored by Mend…..I wish though =)