The coronavirus pandemic has spread rapidly across the globe, leaving many of us feeling increasingly stressed, anxious and fearful than ever before. With the negative news cycle, it’s little wonder that this is the case.
But now more than ever, we can look to technology to help soothe our minds, maintain positive habits, and develop resilience. These European startups have developed tools to encourage all three – so even if you can’t leave your house, you can still take care of your mind.
Flow – Founded in 2016, Flow Neuroscience combines brain stimulation and behaviour therapy to treat depression at home – a first ever medically approved at-home treatment of its kind in the EU. The medtech startup offers a brain stimulation headset, coupled with an AI-powered app therapy programme. The Swedish startup claims that its brain stimulation headset is a modern, drug-free treatment for depression, having launched in both the UK and Sweden in 2019. Last year the startup raised a nice sum of €1.3 million, and partnered with the NHS.
Asana Rebel – Promising a “gentle way to stay in shape”, Berlin-based Asana Rebel helps users clear minds and move their bodies through yoga. Founded in 2015, the app allows you to create your own daily yoga plans, with availability in six languages. Through practicing daily yoga with the help of the app, you can nourish both your mental and physical wellbeing.
Pzizz – Getting enough sleep is an integral part of our wellbeing, but with the cycle of negative news, doing so is trickier than ever. London-based app Pzizz, founded in 2015, was developed to calm your mind, fall asleep fast and soundly, and wake up refreshed. It uses “dreamscapes” – a mix of music, voiceovers, and sound effects – to help you sleep better at night, or to take effective power naps during the day. The app has also received high-profile testimonials by the likes of author J.K. Rowling, Parkinson’s UK, and even the NHS.
Unmind – Unmind is a London-based B2B startup tackling workplace mental health, providing “clinically backed” tools, training and assessments for company employees, since 2016. Delivered through a mobile app, the digital platform included bite-sized exercises for everyday wellbeing, including a mood diary, exercises for stretch, focus and sleep, in addition to learning stories, a chatbot and more. In March 2019, the British startup raised a €3 million Series A round, topped up by a further €9.1 million in February 2020. This is ideal for those still working during the pandemic.
Lifesum – When your mental health suffers, your physical health often gets left behind. With Lifesum, you can get it back on track. Founded in 2013, the Swedish healthtech startup tracks calorie intake, exercise, and nutritional information to create a personalised plan for your health, ultimately helping you make better choices to boost your physical wellbeing. In 2019, the company reached an impressive 35 million users, and raised a €5 million Series C round. The app is celebrated for its flexibility, ease of use, and low cost.
Spill – London-based startup Spill offers message-based therapy to help people increase their emotional intelligence and improve their ability to tackle life’s challenges. Designed to get people talking about their feelings more, users are paired with one of Spill’s fully-qualified counselors who provide support, guidance, and exercises, who they can contact whenever they need to talk. Founded in 2018, the startup boasts an impressive roster of high-profile clients including Hargreaves Lansdowne, Rightmove and Monzo, and has raised €760K in seed funding.
Meru Health – Meru Health, founded in 2015, is an accessible online medical clinic, founded in Finland. Supported by licensed therapists, the digital tool offers a comprehensive twelve-week programme, with each week offering a different theme building on the previous one. The programme includes therapeutic exercises and the opportunity to share personal experiences, challenges, and progress with an anonymous peer-support group. The programme also targets those dealing with burnout, depression and anxiety.
Moodpath – Founded in 2016, Berlin-based startup Moodpath is ideal for those who want to track their symptoms. It aims to support users in tracking, monitoring and communicating their moods to a care provider over a two week-period. Within that time frame, the app tracks a number of variables, including the user’s psychological, emotional and physical health. Based on the answers, it created a personalized mental health assessment, forming a starting point for talking with mental healthcare professionals. In 2019, the Moodpath team announced that more than one million users globally are using the app to strengthen their mental health.
Meditopia – Meditopia, founded in 2017, is a meditation app that helps you to reduce stress, sleep well, love and find peace in today’s hectic environment. With an extensive library of 1000+ meditation meditations, sleep stories, songs, talks, and podcasts, all created by top mindfulness experts, the startup has just announced via its LinkedIn that it will offer free access during the pandemic to all small businesses, health professionals, students and teachers. The Berlin-based team closed its last funding round in 2019, raising around €2.2 million from Atlantic Labs and Vela Partners.
Flow Lab – Flow Lab, founded in 2018, is a training app for mental and emotional fitness, helping people reach their peak performance. If you’re looking to get into a regular mental fitness training routine, this is your app. Bringing together gamification and personalisation, the app starts with some short questions to gather your strengths and areas for improvement. After building your profile, you can get going with your digital mental coach.
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