This Brand New Mindfulness App Is Such A Cute Way To Practice Self-Care

by James Hale

There are tons of wellness apps out there on the market for folks who are looking to bring a little more mindfulness and relaxation into their day. But entrepreneur Poppy Jamie wanted to set her newly-launched wellness app, Happy Not Perfect, apart by tailoring it to millennials' specific needs. Jamie set out to create a wellness app for millennials designed hand-in-hand with experts. "The idea that we need to be on call 24-7, manage more social relationships, praise one another’s lives [on Instagram] without liking ourselves ... these are all relatively new phenomenons," Jamie told Vogue. "It’s not surprising our mental well-being has suffered the consequences."

To mitigate these consequences, Happy Not Perfect is meant to "help boost your feel-good hormones and relax your nervous system," according to Happy Not Perfect's description in the App Store. Your seven-step daily refresh, which provides exercises to help you calm down, center yourself, work through your thoughts, and do a quick meditation, can be quicker or longer, depending on your needs, but you can't skip its steps, and Happy Not Perfect tracks how often you refresh, including showing you your longest unbroken streak of daily refreshes.

When you load up Happy Not Perfect's daily refresh, the first thing it does is ask you to pick your mood. Based on your selection, you'll get a refresh that will help you work through centering yourself, let go of thoughts by digitally "burning" them, and do mini meditations anywhere, so long as you have your smartphone in hand. Jamie told Vogue it's vital to keep yourself in the mental routine the daily refresh offers. "If you want to touch your toes, you have to stretch every day," she explained. "It’s the same with our minds."

The refresh is around five minutes, but users can extend some sections — for example, in Breathe, the refresh's second step, you can choose between 30 seconds, one minute, or two minutes of deep breathing guided by imagery and paired with soft music. Breath is a vital part of Happy Not Perfect's routine, because according to HealthyPlace, "[i]ntentional deep breathing improves mental health by relaxing both the body and the mind." Slow, deep breaths increase the oxygen in our bloodstream and brain, and deep breathing also signals our parasympathetic nervous system, "thus [inducing] relaxation throughout the body," HealthyPlace reports. "When we pause to breathe deeply, our heart rate slows and our blood pressure decreases." And those are all good things for stressed-out millennials. With Happy Not Perfect, users see an image of a slowly inflating and deflating paper bag that helps offer a visual for what deep breathing should look like.

According to Vogue, Happy Not Perfect offers more than 250 guided meditation tracks, which consist of exercises meant to put you to sleep to one called "7 days of epic happiness." Some meditations are single-step, while others will take a bit more of your time — but you'll know exactly how much time, since Happy Not Perfect stamps each meditation with a time estimate. And the time you spend in Happy Not Perfect is made extra relaxing by the app's colorful theme and imagery that offers users relaxing vistas — like sweeping ocean views. Though the app is free to download, many of its guided meditations are behind a premium paywall, and going premium costs between $9.99/month (for one month) and $4.99/month (if you subscribe for a full year).

And then there's the Vibes section, where you can send a meme-ified positive thought to a friend or family member. Jamie told Vogue, "As soon as your attention is on someone else, you don’t have as much capacity to think about your own worries," so if you're seriously stressing or having a bad mental health day, Vibes offers a low-lift burst of optimism and connection, which for folks who struggle to keep in touch with loved ones during a downswing is a godsend.

While the very recently launched Happy Not Perfect isn't yet perfect — for example, some of the Vibes you can send to loved ones are rendered fuzzily or incorrectly sized, and it can be a little slow to load from section to section — its daily refresh really is an excellent feature that offers a five-minute, mindful breather we could all use to center ourselves on stressful days.