Shine: The App Making Self-Care Easy

Shine: The App Making Self-Care Easy

Between jam-packed schedules and long commutes, finding time for self-care in our hectic lives can often fall by the wayside. Enter Shine, the wellness app delivering motivational messages and a modern take on meditation straight to a text-style inbox. Two million worldwide members can’t be wrong…

So what’s it all about?

Shine is a free app designed to help busy millennials practice mindfulness in a revolutionary new way. Essentially, it’s all about taking a moment to pause and focus your wellbeing – even for just five minutes – no matter where you are. As the creators put it, “The Shine app is here to help you crush life. And when you just don’t feel like you’re crushing it, we’ll remind you that you’re not alone in whatever you’re struggling with.”

Each morning, at a time of your choosing, you’ll receive a series of ‘Shine Texts’ to set you up for the day. You’re encouraged to reply to the chat bot, detailing how you’re feeling. Plus, you’ll also take part in a research-backed texting experience around Shine’s wellness topic of the day – which ranges from avoiding toxic friends to slaying your workday.

The app also offers a library of interactive audio content designed to help you through specific emotional situations – covering work, play, friends, love and self-improvement – and a series of ‘Mindful Moments’: mini guided meditation clips you can listen to anywhere.

Who’s behind it?

Shine was first launched in 2016 by Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi (although the app only dropped last December). The NYC-based duo met while working at online volunteering platform, and quickly became close friends – offering each other pep talks and validating important concerns. The idea for Shine came after they realised other friends didn’t have access to this day-to-day support.

What started as a text service to 50 people has now grown exponentially. Some two million people now receive Shine’s daily texts, the business has raised $3m in funding and Lidey was named one of Forbes’ ‘30 under 30’ for her contribution to consumer technology.

It approaches you like a friend would
Shine Co-Founder Marah Lidey

Did SL rate it?

After hearing 93% of Shine users felt the service improved their emotional wellbeing, we had high hopes for this app. For starters, it’s certainly accessible – setting up an account is easy (you can even sign in through Facebook) and the interface is clean, simple and a breeze to navigate.

The daily content is as engaging as promised, and we loved the concept of centring advice around real-life issues as opposed to generic advice that can be harder to apply. The emoji-laden messages and Beyoncé GIFs were fun touches too.

By far our favourite part – and we were surprised at this – has been texting the chatbot. “What are you grateful for today?” it asks each morning. “What are you doing to feel good today?” – taking a second to pause and actually think about what to say back is as mood-boosting as writing in a gratitude journal. Plus, the fact it’s delivered to your phone with a notification means it’s far less easy to forget about.

Anything else to know?

Hirabayashi and Lidey are careful to note in the app description that although Shine is a helpful resource, it’s not a replacement for therapy or mental health services. But the advice itself is created with the help of a professional – Shine’s advisor Dr Anna Rowley, who holds a PhD. in Psychology with a focus on millennials and wellbeing.
For more information visit or download Shine from the iTunes App Store FREE here.

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