Hello, my name is Alan; I’m the creator of EverYellow, and today I’m going to tell you my story and why I decided to create EverYellow.
My story starts as a young child. I had quite a traumatic and somewhat abusive childhood that led me to develop a very low sense of self-worth. At school, I was an awkward loner, I was bullied, and each day felt like a struggle. This situation ultimately led to me failing all my high-school exams.
I then struggled with my mental health throughout my adult life, with regular episodes of depression. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I came close to being killed in the Canterbury earthquakes. That event led to a significant mental breakdown that left me with slurred speech, unable to walk far, and only able to function awake for about 2 hours at a time.
My prognosis was not good. I was told that I needed to expect it to take at least one year before I could even consider part-time work. My care workers gave me a pack of information, and in there was a list of mental wellness apps to try, including meditation apps, mood trackers, journalling apps, and so on. I tried a whole bunch of these apps, and none of them did anything for me. I found them tedious, confusing, and irritating. I couldn’t understand how apps designed to help people could be so useless.
Then, one day, I watched a TV program that did far more than giving me hope; it woke me up to a new possible reality for me.
The TV program covered off topics from neuroscience that explained the functions of the brain and how it can regenerate itself to work much better. Watching this program led me on a new path of discovery that would change my life forever.
Due to my mental condition at the time, I could not read properly; I would simply forget the sentence I’d just read. So I turned to Youtube and watched as much content as I could, learning about anything I could about neuroscience and psychology. The more content I consumed, the better I felt, and I began to think differently, see the world differently, and even consider my own situation differently.
There were three really key learnings I discovered that really made a difference:
- I learned that the way we think, feel and behave is not simply because of our DNA, and it’s not our fault. Instead, the operating system in our head, our mind, is the result of all the experiences we’ve been exposed to throughout our lifetime.
- I learned that our brain is far from stuck; it is malleable, and we can drastically change how it operates. This process is known as neuroplasticity.
- I learned that with a specific practice, we could take agency over our life and easily create a better and healthier mindset where life is so much better.
So, just like anyone might spend time each day doing physical exercise, I decided to spend time each day working on changing my mindset. And it’s been an incredible journey.
Within three months of my mental breakdown, I had the motivation and energy to return to work full-time. I’d not only gotten back to mental wellness, but a significant shift had happened. It was like the curtains had been drawn back, and I could see things more clearly. For example, if I encountered a situation that would once anger me, I now had the awareness to view the situation differently and not get angry. I also found I improved in many other areas, such as solving problems better, generating more and better ideas, having more energy, and so on.
This then led to a huge realization for me. I realized that there is so much more to life than being just mentally well. Working on your mental fitness gives you a kind of superpower that’s hard to describe until you have it.
It was here that I started thinking about how I could translate this new knowledge and wisdom into an app. But before I did that, I wanted to know why other mental wellness apps do not work and what a new app needed to work.
I scoured the web reading various research articles that looked into the efficacy of mental wellness apps. I also conducted my own research with surveys and interviews. As a result, I found the following common problems people have with existing apps.
The most common finding concerned meditation apps. I was surprised to learn that around 75% of people would not use meditation apps for several reasons, including people finding meditation too weird, too old-fashioned, somewhat religious, challenging to do, and difficult to find time and space for.
For the other types of mental wellness apps, the problems included people finding them tedious, mundane, not enjoyable, and simply not something they felt motivated to use.
So when designing EverYellow, I drafted the following goals for the app:
- It must be enjoyable to use.
- it must be highly accessible and useable in practically any situation.
- It must be measurably effective.
I can wholeheartedly say that we have accomplished these goals. In EverYellow, the team has done a great job in making the daily practice of mental fitness training easy and enjoyable for anyone.
The purpose of EverYellow isn’t just to help you de-stress or get motivated. It’s to help you live a more fulfilling and productive life and close the gap between the person you are today and the person you want to be.
We continuously hear from our community how the app has changed their lives profoundly. And I hope it will have the same impact on you and many more people.
So, there it is; this is where the story of EverYellow began. The team at EverYellow has done a great job in creating a tool that meets all of the above criteria. And we’re now super excited to finally bring it out into the open and get people like you to use it as part of their daily routine.
We are still young and learning. So we’d love you to give EverYellow a go, and let us know what you think.
Alan Cox, Creator of EverYellow