In today’s competitive work environment, it can be a struggle to maintain healthy lifestyles. In the efforts to go after career ambitions, make more money, or just hit company goals, workers often find themselves wearing out their bodies and minds. People often forget that taking care of their mental, emotional, and physical well-being will benefit work productivity too. Healthy people are more engaged, have fewer absences, and are less prone to experiencing burnout.
The number of tech-based solutions that address well-being is on the rise, as is venture investment in mental health startups. In 2017, VCs invested $191.3 million across 33 deals in the mental health sector. In 2014, the number was only $61 million across 12 deals. While many of these well-being and mental health services are not intended to be cures, they can help individuals better manage and maintain healthy lifestyles.
Here are just a few products using tech to help improve the way we think, feel, and act. If you’ve used these services before, let us know if they did – or didn’t – work out for you!
FitBit: You’ve most likely heard the name. The company has been producing activity trackers – also called FitBit – since 2007. The wearable device can measure the number of steps you’ve walked, your heart rate, and even your quality of sleep. The company also provides an app that lets you log food intake, track your weight, and set health goals. For those that need more motivation, the app even provides a community where users can engage in challenges to increase their activity levels.
Habit: Basically a 23andMe for nutrition, Habit tests your DNA and blood samples to find out how your body responds to carbs, fats, and proteins. Your samples are also tested for glucose levels, obesity-related genes, and other factors that can affect metabolism. Habit sends you the biology report with a set of personalized nutrition recommendations, all of which can be accessed online and through the Habit app. The price for a test kit starts at $299 ($199 if you already have results from 23andMe or AncestryDNA).
Calm: Meditation no longer seems to be niche as mindfulness apps gain popularity. Among them is Calm, winner of Apple’s 2017 app of the year. Calm provides guided meditation sessions, sleep stories, breathing programs, and relaxing music – all aimed to help users reduce stress and live better lives. You can choose from a wide range of meditation topics, including commuting to work, overcoming insomnia, and even calming down the kids. Sessions can be customized to last anywhere between 3 and 25 minutes.
Talkspace: Whether you’re experiencing anxiety, work/life issues, domestic violence, or relationship problems, you can use Talkspace to reach a licensed therapist from anywhere at your convenience. Even the method of communication is up to you: private text, audio, or video. This app matches users with a licensed therapist and provides counseling at costs 80% lower than the average co-pay for traditional, in-office therapy appointments. If you want to contact your therapist at a moment’s notice or if you prefer typing over talking face-to-face, then Talkspace might be worth a try.