You’ve heard it before. Your feed is probably making you anxious, lonely and sad, yet you continue to give it your valuable time while using it to share, chat and connect. Working with teens battling anorexia and eating disorders at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, I witnessed firsthand the debilitating effects that traditional social media can have on our mental health and wellbeing. The young patients often struggled with unattainable body images and anxiety as they navigated daily stresses and difficult emotions through the lens of algorithm-driven platforms that indulge comparison, highlight reels and judgement. According to a recent study by the Royal Society for Public Health, depression, bullying, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and negative body-image are some of the most common health issues exacerbated by traditional social media use at any age. Not surprisingly, Instagram was found to have the most negative overall effect on young people’s health. The photo sharing app negatively impacts body image, and sleep quality. It also increases bullying and “FOMO” (fear of missing out), and leads to greater feelings of anxiety, and loneliness. While there are also some positive effects of Instagram, such as self-expression and community building, the negative impact outweighed the positive. Even before COVID-19, many western countries, including the U.S. and U.K., reported that more than half of their adult population suffer from loneliness. Today, more people are seeking meaningful connections and support online. There has never been a more urgent need for a new paradigm of social networks that prioritize our wellbeing, helping us lift each other up instead of comparing and collecting likes. That’s why I am building Blawesome, the AI and science-backed social wellness community, and wellness marketplace on a mission to tap into the collective wisdom of people who are passionate about health, wellbeing and positive transformation. Powered by science and technology, Blawesome is a part of the emerging generation of social wellness platforms that offer inspiration, accountability and encouragement, helping you reach your goals while learning something new, and making a new like-minded friend along the way. We know that true healing happens in a community. But while traditional social media networks hook people through their most unevolved, primal brain urges: comparison, fear, scarcity, panic, Blawesome promotes gratitude, compassion, empathy and playfulness, emotions usually associated with increased activity in the prefrontal cortex. Why? I am not in the business of keeping your eyeballs glued to your phone. I believe that technology is a powerful tool that can enable a meaningful connection, and add value to people’s lives. Blawesome doesn’t sell your data for profit. The algorithms are designed to match community members on similar paths who can support each other and walk each other home. The Wellness Marketplace: Blawesome solves another problem As a wellbeing coach with more than 15 years of experience, I truly believe that there is nothing more powerful than the coach-student relationship. Blawesome has a user experience similar to photo and video sharing apps, without all the chaos, coupled with an Airbnb style marketplace for wellness professionals. Our AI helps integrate new habits and transformations, making the interactions between the Coach and Student more potent and fulfilling, creating true lasting change and relationships. In addition, it’s what the students do between weekly sessions that also makes a big difference. Blawesome’s tech is designed to help people stay accountable. One small, simple example is that if a teacher wants their client to meditate for five minutes daily between sessions, gamified reminders keep the client on track in a fun way. Exploring the endless possibilities of how AI can support positive transformation is central to Blawesome’s mission. My mission is to make holistic wellness more accessible than ever before, and I am focused on creating the safest platform that will handle every part of your wellness journey. As my team and I work to achieve this goal, we are focused on building the most-trusted and widely-used personal growth network in the world. Jennifer Kruidbos, MA is the Founder, and CEO of www.blawesome.life, the AI and science-backed social wellness community and marketplace. Over the past 15 years Jen has spent her career dedicated to teaching wellness practices, lectures and training in schools, hospitals, and offices. She is now on a mission to make people feel better daily using technology.