SuperBetter is an app that’s part game, part life coach, and designed to help you achieve your health goals — such as recovering from an illness/injury, losing weight or eating better — by increasing your personal resilience in four areas: physical, mental, emotional and social. A tall order, right?
The app’s effectiveness lies in the way it breaks big goals into itty bitty ones. SuperBetter keeps track of all your “Quests” and tasks you with daily and weekly to-do’s that will get you closer to conquering your “bad guys.” And lest you start thinking SuperBetter is just one great big group hug, think again: The app features “The Science Behind …” videos and tips throughout to back up its methods.
Let’s take a look at what’s so super-great about SuperBetter after the jump.
Creating a SuperBetter account is required, but it’s a pretty painless process as far as these things go: you’ll need to provide a username, password and your date of birth. Once that’s taken care of, the app will introduce you to how its Quests work by starting with the foundation for all the rest: resilience, and its four types: physical, mental, emotional and social.
All future Quests will follow this same format, in that you click on a Quest and are assigned a task. Beginner tasks range from standing up and taking three steps to snapping your fingers 50 times to looking out the window to sending a thank-you note — all designed to increase one or more of your areas of resilience.
The idea is that you may not be able to overcome that running injury or become a fitness enthusiast or drop 20 pounds in a week, but you can start doing smaller things like stretching, standing up once an hour and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Upon completing each assignment, you click the “I did this!” button to keep progressing.
Once you complete each SuperBetter Quest, the app congratulates you (hey, you deserve it) and allows you to continue. But before you do, you also have the option of watching a short “The Science Behind …” video, featuring Jane, a SuperBetter coach who provides some surprisingly interesting and relevant information on why whatever you just did was worth it.
Now that you’ve gone through the SuperBetter training of sorts, you’re ready to really start challenging yourself. The app asks you to choose an overall goal so it can start selecting Quests tailored to your needs. Goals fall into two major categories — either recovering from an injury or illness, or improving general health. Within those categories, however, there are lots of options. For example, in the latter you can choose from: quitting smoking, lowering stress, eating healthier, getting fit, going vegan and other things you want to work toward becoming “SuperBetter” at.
Next you’ll be given the option of selecting a Power Pack (there are more than 25 total Power Packs included in the app), which is kind of like a prepackaged obstacle course for meeting your goals. Each one comes with its own set of tailored Quests, Bad Guys and Power-Ups, all designed to get your SuperBetter ball rolling, stat.
You can select a Power Pack to read more about it before choosing to load it. After you’ve made your choice, you’ll be able to dive into SuperBetter headfirst, as it automatically loads a list of to-do’s for you, including that day’s Quests, Power-Ups which you can activate and Bad Guys you’ll have to battle.
Power-Ups and Bad Guys
In order to complete quests and reach your goals, you’ll need to take advantage of Power-Ups and battle Bad Guys. Power-Ups are anything that will have a positive impact on your mind or body. Examples include mood-boosters like dancing to music or playing with your kids or a pet; and physical activities such as walking around the block, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Power-Ups increase your resilience, moving you up through the levels, and focus on the small steps you can take toward meeting your challenges, aka your Bad Guys. Every day you hold yourself accountable by reporting on how successful you were at taking on your Bad Guys.
Maybe it’s junk food, maybe it’s not getting enough sleep … whatever it is, you report to SuperBetter who won — you or the Bad Guy. And as you vanquish them, the app challenges you with new ones you will have to defeat.
Headquarters and More
While the main SuperBetter tab provides you with your list of To-Do’s, there are also Activity and Headquarters tabs to let you keep track of your progress and provide customization.
Under Activity, view a timeline of your battles with Bad Guys, achievements, Power-Up activations and other actions. You can also post your own thoughts for yourself or the SuperBetter community. In Headquarters, quickly view your level and the number assigned to your level of resilience.
In Headquarters you also have all your customization options. Get new Powerpacks, plus add quests, Power-Ups, Bad Guys and Allies (invite friends via email). You can also view a list of your achievements, access all the “The Science Behind …” pages in one place, and more.
So, will this app make you SuperBetter? While it should be obvious that simply downloading and walking through the levels in this app isn’t going to make anyone a better person, I did find that a lot of the scientific reasoning behind why the app suggests certain to-do’s made sense.
And like with most self-improvement products and services, SuperBetter can only improve the lives of people who want that improvement. The old adage applies: You get out what you put in.
What SuperBetter has done is created concrete steps a person can take for becoming more positive, more well-rounded. Rather than being overwhelmed with the idea of making huge changes in their lives, users instead only have to worry about one small thing at a time. All in all, a great strategy for achievable success.