Heard about the Woebot app and interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered.
Woebot is a digital wellness platform that uses a ‘chatbot’ to support users with their mental health challenges.
The Woebot app was created in 2017 by Dr. Alison Darcy, founder of Woebot Health. Dr. Darcy wanted to create a novel approach to mental health support that enabled people to access care when and where they needed it.
The National Institute of Mental Health believes that digital health technology - including apps such as Woebot - offers “unprecedented opportunities to help [people] measure, manage, and improve health and productivity.”
Dr. Darcy agrees. Her vision is of Woebot as a ‘mental health ally’ that offers support and opportunities for personal growth.
The core feature of Woebot is its AI-powered chatbot that uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help users break negative thought patterns and tackle stress and anxiety. Woebot uses machine learning to improve its responses, meaning the more you share the more targeted its responses become.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based therapeutic framework. It helps people challenge negative beliefs they hold about themselves. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful and shape what we think and feel.
CBT enables people to challenge and reframe negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive statements.
For example, perhaps you are worried about moving to a new area and repeatedly tell yourself that you’re never going to make any friends. CBT requires you to shift from this type of all-or-nothing thinking and reframe the statement to something like, “I haven’t made any friends yet.”
This small change in language creates a more positive mindset and frees you from a cycle of negative thoughts and feelings. Like most things, CBT gets easier with practice, which is where a mental health chatbot, such as Woebot, can be useful.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw a significant rise in mental health challenges as people worldwide were confined to their houses.
Without the ability to engage in activities crucial to mental wellness, such as exercising and social connection, more and more of us struggled to maintain good mental health.
There was also decreased access to mental health support. Many private clinics, outpatient care facilities, and community-based support groups temporarily closed.
In response, mental health professionals opened up telehealth appointments, and the numbers of people engaging in app-based mental health support grew exponentially.
In November 2020 alone, there were 215,000 mental wellness app installations.
Woebot is one such app. But can it really replace human interaction with mental health practitioners, or is it just another pandemic gimmick?
Before we take a deep dive into our Woebot review, let’s consider why you’d want to consider using an app to support your mental wellness. What are the benefits compared to accessing more traditional mental health services?
People find visiting a professional to help them manage their mental health daunting. While attitudes are changing, there has long been stigma attached to mental health challenges. Feelings of shame or fear are common.
When this is the case, an app that can be consulted in the privacy of your own home can feel less intimidating. Apps that use ‘chat bots’ to offer wellness support may feel more accessible than high-cost mental health professionals.
Decreasing resources coupled with increasingly difficult circumstances are leading us toward a mental health crisis.
According to Psychiatry Advisor, it takes, on average, 25 days to get an appointment with a mental health professional. And among U.S. adults scheduled to receive mental health support services, 17.7 million reported experiencing delayed or canceled appointments.
Wellness apps allow users to gain immediate support. They can be used any time, any place, including on mobile devices and outside of traditional hours.
With our increasingly busy schedules, sometimes self-care needs to be squeezed into pockets of time between other appointments and chores, so this increased accessibility is of significant benefit.
Over 40% of U.S. adults cited cost as a barrier to receiving mental health support. In fact, it was the number one reason given for not accessing mental health services.
In the U.S., the cost of a single session with a psychologist can fall between $100 and $200. And while many insurance plans offer mental health coverage, not all providers accept insurance, so you could be left with a hefty bill.
Many mental wellness apps provide a no-cost or low-cost alternative to traditional mental health services.
Mental health appointments are usually conducted one-on-one with your chosen therapist. Your discussion remains confidential unless you choose to share information about it.
Wellness apps also provide confidential one-on-one support, but they can be used more widely. For example, some apps can be used by business teams to support mental wellness or improve effectiveness.
More advanced apps have tailored programs that can be accessed by team members as part of an employee wellness program.
The above reasons make a pretty compelling case for using a mental health app, at least as an augmentation to more traditional services. So is Woebot the be-all and end-all or are there other alternatives you should be considering?
Let’s take a look at what Woebot has to offer - and a few areas where it falls short - before comparing it to a top alternative.
It’s pretty simple to get started with the Woebot app. First, you’ll need to download the mobile app - via the Apple App Store or Google Play - and create an account. Once you’ve set up your account, you can get started chatting with Woebot.
You’ll get a daily notification to chat with Woebot, and the conversation will always start with a check on how you’re feeling and what’s going on in your life. This short but consistent interaction enables Woebot to track how you’re feeling over time. It can then make observations about things that could be positively or negatively affecting your mood.
The conversations are meant to feel friendly, informal, and empathetic. Woebot was originally built to support young adults with their mental wellness, and the casual, colloquial language and use of emojis and gifs likely matches the needs of that audience well.
While the daily check-ins are intended to be brief, there is scope for longer conversations with Woebot. More in-depth interactions can be initiated through selecting various ‘more information’ options offered by Woebot or by starting an activity.
So now you know a little about Woebot, let’s take a look at its core features.
The daily check-in is the most-used Woebot feature. This is an informal chatbot conversation that lasts around ten minutes.
During this interaction, Woebot asks questions to understand more about how you’re feeling that day and offers empathetic responses in a variety of formats, including emojis, text, videos, and gifs. It can also create tailored CBT exercises to support your mood.
There is some flexibility around the exercises provided, and you can switch to a different exercise if you feel the one provided isn’t meeting your needs.
The Woebot app provides several supplementary exercises and videos about specific topics. These can be searched for, or Woebot might suggest them based on information shared during the daily check-in.
Users can also access guided mini-courses with titles such as ‘Challenge stress’ or ‘Challenge negativity’ that offer information and action points to try.
Woebot helps users track and make sense of their moods in a couple of different ways. First, through the daily check-in conversations, Woebot builds a picture of a user’s mood over time. This enables it to learn whether certain activities trigger particular feelings and to respond with supportive messages, targeted information, and activities to improve mood.
Woebot may also prompt users to offer more information about their mood, especially if they share that they are particularly happy, sad, or anxious. For example, they may ask them to rate their anxiety level on a scale from 1 to 10 or to select an emoticon to represent how they are currently feeling.
These quantitative ratings are recorded and presented back to the user via a graph so they can see how their mood changes over time.
Woebot’s gratitude journal also offers space to capture a few things you’re grateful for daily. Both journaling and creating a gratitude practice have been shown to improve mental wellbeing.
At the moment, there’s no charge for using the Woebot app. However, Woebot Health does state that may change in the future as they “move towards establishing a sustainable business”.
If you’re convinced by Woebot’s features and think it could boost your mental wellness, you’re not alone. A 2021 trends report from the American Psychological Association shares that many mental health professionals see a role for wellness chatbots, at least as an augmentation to human interaction.
So, why should you look for a Woebot alternative?
Well, Woebot was developed for young adults and adolescents, and if you’re outside Gen Z, you might find the casual language and slang terms a little off-putting.
Older adults, business professionals, and teams might find an app specifically designed for their audience a better fit for their needs.
If you’re looking for Woebot alternatives, it won’t surprise you that we think that Fingerprint for Success is just that platform. Let’s get acquainted.
Fingerprint for Success (F4S) is a personal and professional development platform that offers users a huge range of tools to improve wellbeing and chase high performance. It incorporates both AI and human coaching programs to enable individuals and teams to grow and develop.
F4S’s mission is to make maximizing individual potential available to everyone.
Frustrated by the lack of access within the traditional coaching paradigm, founder and coach Michelle Duval brought together a top team of behavioral and data scientists, engineers, and coaches to develop F4S.
The science-powered platform brings free, world-class support and development to everyone, including people traditionally underserved by coaching programs.
Sound interesting? Let’s take a closer look at the key features of the F4S platform.
The F4S model centers around interactions with Coach Marlee, the platform’s AI-driven coach. Marlee’s responses are sensitive to user input and based on decades of evidence-based research into human development and performance.
You can chat with Marlee any time, any place, and the personalized coaching is designed to suit your individual traits and goals. Coupled with the F4S work style assessment, Marlee can suggest information and tools to help you improve your mental wellness, exploit your strengths, and overcome your blind spots.
This can be especially effective if - like 83% of Americans - workplace pressure, stress, or anxiety is contributing to your mental health challenges.
Unlike Woebot, if you’re working with Marlee and decide there’s something you’d value exploring with a human coach, F4S can provide that option.
F4S has an impressive library of coaching programs to suit whatever you want to work on.
With titles ranging from ‘Trust Your Gut Feel’ to ‘Goal Catcher’ and ‘Personal Power’, there are options for optimizing decision-making, increasing confidence and personal impact at work, and improving productivity and goal achievement.
All F4S coaching programs start with the work style assessment, which was developed from 20 years of research into the motivations required for business success.
The assessment measures 48 distinct traits to provide insight into how you work, communicate, and make decisions. After completing the assessment, you receive a personalized report on your top motivations and personal blindspots.
To support mental wellness, calm anxiety, and build emotional resilience, F4S’s expert coaches developed the ‘Vital Wellbeing’ program.
It’s a free nine-week program that aims to increase energy and wellbeing whilst also fighting self-sabotage and boosting self-esteem. Alongside support from Coach Marlee, the program also provides science-backed resources and other expertise from F4S’s wellbeing partner, Blisspot. Over 90% of people reported feeling significantly better at the end of the program.
Much more than just a daily check-in, the F4S coaching programs offer a structured way to invest in both your mental health and personal and professional development based on insights about what you really need.
The F4S work style assessment also provides the basis for people analytics at a team and company level. This offers business powerful, data-led insights into how to improve team cohesion and communication and drive high-performance.
The people analytics suite enables managers to understand and lead their teams more effectively and helps them make meaningful predictions about team dynamics.
This deep understanding of work styles and preferences gained allows managers to identify areas of potential team conflict and take action to improve collaboration.
Trait analysis can also be used for talent acquisition and development. F4S’s Ranking Tool enables hiring managers to shortlist candidates based on specific ‘x-factors’- traits that predict success in specific roles or workplace cultures. Or, skip the hiring process entirely by pinpointing internal talent that will thrive in innovation or leadership roles.
And, once you’ve hired the right candidate, you can help them develop using Coach Marlee’s tailored programs, improving employee engagement and retention.
Woebot provides an innovative, AI-driven chatbot experience designed to improve mental wellness.
Its daily check-in, mood tracker, and range of exercises provide a useful starting point for young adults and adolescents who need help improving their confidence or managing stress and anxiety.
Fingerprint for Success offers AI and human coaching solutions for individuals and business teams. Like Woebot, it’s highly effective at supporting improved mental wellness through coaching support, tailored programs, and additional resources, but that’s not the end of its capability.
For individuals, F4S supports peak performance and goal attainment through tailored, online coaching plans curated through ‘smart’ insights about unique talents and blind spots.
For businesses, predictive people analytics enable greater team cohesion and improved talent acquisition and development.
The benefits can be significant. Take online design and publishing platform Canva’s experience. Since it was founded in 2013, Canva has experienced the rapid growth common in highly-successful tech startups.
The challenge Canva faced was establishing its unique culture of peak performance coupled with workplace happiness at scale. To support their goal of building highly collaborative, effective teams, Canva uses F4S during new hire onboarding.
The insights derived from individual capability assessments help managers and mentors accelerate the connection between new and existing team members. This leads to higher levels of productivity and cohesion earlier in the team development cycle.
And more cohesive teams are generally happier, which is another shot in the arm for improved mental wellbeing at work.
Mental health chatbots can provide a helpful augmentation to human interaction. They offer a convenient, low-cost way to access support for mental wellness.
If you’re a young adult looking for a daily reminder to invest in your mental health, Woebot offers a great option. If you’re an older adult, business professional, or company looking for an enterprise solution, we’d suggest F4S is the way to go.
Our robust, research-backed, multi-use platform provides a cost-effective solution to both increased mental wellness and personal and team development that inspires high-performance, emotional resilience, and workplace happiness.
Our programs were designed by world-renown coaches, and sessions only take 5-15 minutes. Get started for free with personalized program now by chatting in the box below:
Our expert coaches have designed hyper-effective programs that will help
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Coach Marlee (your amazing AI-powered personal coach) will analyse your unique traits and goals to let you know which program to start with (and if there are any you should skip)!
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Explore, strengthen and stand by what you believe in at work and in life. Trust in your ‘gut feel’ and point of view is especially helpful for meeting your personal needs, health and wellbeing and for living an authentic and meaningful life.
In this high impact nine week program Coach Marlee will help you to improve your mental health and general wellbeing while also helping you to break through self sabotage to develop life long skills for emotional resilience and self-esteem. Enjoy weekly cutting edge science backed wellbeing resources from both Marlee and our wellbeing partner Blisspot.
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