Fika is on a mission to mainstream the healthy habit of emotional fitness, helping young people stay focused on their goals, build their confidence, boost their resilience and coping skills and build more meaningful relationship.
The app launched in February, rolling out across UK universities including Coventry, Exeter, Lincoln, Manchester Metropolitan – and is in talks with more universities about how it can help reverse the student wellbeing crisis.
Co-founder and CEO Nick Bennett took the decision to co-found Fika alongside his business partner Gareth Fryer following the suicide of his best friend in the summer of 2014.
The app, which draws on learnings from sports psychology to help improve the confidence, adaptability, acceptance and emotional wellbeing of young people, has been developed with Dr Frances Longstaff, who specialises in sports psychology.
Nick Bennett, Co-Founder and CEO of Fika, said: “We all know the benefits of physical workouts.
But exercising your emotions is also really important. There is increasing evidence that people with higher levels of positive emotions live longer, manage stress better and are more able to fight off the common cold.
“This Workout and Wellbeing week, try taking some time out for an emotional workout as well as a physical workout. Honest talking and active listening are great ways to exercise your emotional muscles. Try setting a time and place with a friend or family member and simply take it in turns to talk while the other asks questions. Investing time in developing the skills of honest talking and active listening which will keep you adaptable, focused, confident and connected to others. You might be surprised how transformative it ends up being for your quality of life.”
Gareth Fryer, co-founder of Fika, said: “We have a lot to learn from athletes when it comes to our approach to mental health. There’s more and more evidence to show that success is 75% dependent on your mindset – your sense of optimism, how you perceive and handle stress, how connected you are to others, how you respond to things. Athletes understand this: to optimise your performance, you have to have your brain right.
“What better week than National Workouts and Wellbeing Week to try adding an emotional workout to your routine as well as a physical one. The benefits could be greater than you expect.”
The next phase in Fika’s development will see it undertake a programme of academic research and longitudinal studies with partner universities and more than 1500 students, with the aim of building a body of primary empirical evidence to support the benefits of proactive emotional exercise.
For further information visit www.fika.community