We’re all pretty hard on ourselves, especially when it comes to failed attempts at eating clean all month, weekends included. But those failed attempts don’t mean we’re forbidden from patting ourselves on the backs for the accomplishments we do make, like sleeping for a full seven hours or taking the stairs.
Julia Hu understands the struggle to accept this, which is why she created Lark, an app that not only automatically tracks your sleep and activity (you can input your food), but gives you encouraging messages along the way. Think of it as your personal health coach that always has your back.
Launching today, the app (which is completely free—score) uses Apple’s HealthKit to monitor your zzz’s and fitness levels and syncs with your other health apps and wearables. Translation: You’ll be good to go when you upgrade to the iPhone 6 or snag the Apple Watch.
Lu and her team knew that only displaying health data could actually backfire and cause users to overeat and fall into an exercise rut, so they worked with behavior-change experts from Harvard and Stanford to develop the concept of a coach that chats with you based on your goals. “Women tend to be a lot harder on themselves when it comes to weight,” Lu says, “and 96 percent of people don’t stick with their diet regimens or their weight-loss regimes. The app is friendly and you’ll feel much more self-motivated.”
We’re so excited to see how this app will really help people feel better about their journeys to living happier, healthier lives. After all, the journey of getting there is just as important as the results.
“If you really try to enjoy what you’re doing right now, you can be a lot happier,” Lu says. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.