Thrive

Review: Feelstressfree by Thrive

Thrive are presently offering a FREE APP TRIAL for students with exam stress! Simply using the code: EXAMSTRESSFREE on the link above. This peaked my interest.  I have close family going through exams right now.

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 What is “Feel Stress-Free” from Thrive?

Thrive is an online, web-based application, to help you focus and hone your relaxation ability (not as obvious as it may sound!).  It features guided exercises, progress tracking, interactive questions, and recommendations to help you.   It’s been developed by experts in psychology and is very pragmatic and gentle in approach.

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First Impressions

This is always important psychologically, especially if you’re stressed, something visually pleasing and easy to view is always a bonus It wins here, hands down.  It’s a beautiful layout, very shiny polished interface, and the little alien fella that pops around the screen is cute as a button! Great start. The background music is pleasantly relaxing, and can sustain long periods of listening without getting annoying.  It just looks and feels like something I want to use and try.

*Note: On initial loading the little alien’s belly fills up, takes a few seconds for me & I didn’t notice this at first, but then, I’ve gone around my house before looking for a coat I was wearing! …No really, I have, like, multiple times. So a little patience if it takes a few seconds on first loading.

Setting up your trial account is a breeze.  Quick, simple.  Amazing how many times this can be overly “faffy”.

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Interface

Easy to use, with a list of exercises that come complete with options such as timing etc. It’s just simple and easy to use, it really doesn’t require huge explanation. Look:

Screenshot 3

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Exercises

Each exercise contains really neat graphical video explanations as to why it helps, and how we can end up stressed etc – they’re visually wonderful and so easy to comprehend.  I am no beginner, but this will work for beginners and serve as useful reminders to more seasoned practitioners.  I found the Deep Muscle relaxation particularly useful, I’d not used that specific method before and shows we can ALWAYS learn something new!

It’s worth noting, the little alien guides you through the exercises as well as a very thorough, but relaxed, audio instructions.  The app does try to ensure that you know exactly what you’re doing, and exactly why you’re doing it, without over complicating or placing pressure to “perform” or “achieve”.  It doesn’t feel at all competitive, (I can naturally get like that when pushing myself), and I feel entirely at ease with taking gradual steady steps with the app.  To be commended.

The “Thrive” button contains some useful contacts, and the left/right arrows take you to different “Islands”.

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Monitoring/Progress

In the notes at the bottom of the image, it refers to my “first Recommended activity”.  This happens after logging back in.  When you revisit your account, it will ask you how you’re feeling at that moment:

Intro 2

You simply click your mouse over how you feel, and then you go through a process to understanding why.  This is pretty clever, it asks for reasons this may be happening (such as family, work etc), you choose options, and it takes you on a little journey to try and assist you in further understanding what may be going on – and basically, help direct your perspective to feeling a little better about it.  Of course, it’s not perfect, how can it be? But on the whole it works surprisingly well, and will result in giving you animations and tips on why we may feel a certain way – and then moves on to a recommended exercise as mentioned above, based on your responses.

Screenshot 2

The second island contains a “Zen Garden” to be unlocked after self-hypnosis, and the third contains progress and a wonderful little messenger which allows you to make a funny random username, and send messages of encouragement to other users! What a delightful touch!

Screenshot4

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SUMMARY

There are some great exercises in this application, there’s not much here you can’t learn from YouTube, but YouTube won’t track and recommend.  It’s very pragmatic and functional, yet gentle and encouraging, and will suit those who wish to get to grips with, and harness, the practical aspects of relaxation training.  My old graphics card had a wobbly about it a few times, so I didn’t get to review it as thoroughly as I’d have liked – but I reported this to the very responsive team, who’ve never had this problem reported, but to be entirely balanced I would just say use the trial and make sure it’s compatible (which I am almost certain it will be for everyone else!).  Unfortunately, as is the case with all technical “stuff”, there will always be one bugger who something isn’t compatible for and this time I think it was me!  Which is annoying.  Because I was genuinely really enjoying using it (and I don’t have multiple systems to test on), and I think that says it all!  I am disappointed I couldn’t use it more, and given the myriad of books, videos and goodness knows what else I’ve tried down the years, I can’t pay it much more of a compliment than that! 🙂

DEFINITELY recommend trying it out!

You can contact Thrive or visit their websites below:

Thrive Apps

Twitter: @ThriveAppsUK

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