We tested the latest mental health app and it’s so much better than puppy rooms
Seriously, no joke
Life at uni isn’t just all fun and drinking games. It’s seriously stressful. Whether it’s finding out you’ve only got £10 to last you until the end of term, realising that all your deadlines are due on the same day, or working out that you’ve only got a month left until exams (it’s okay, deep breaths) – university is a kaleidoscope of stressful situations.
Thankfully, there’s a way to teach yourself to deal with stress better – just like you work out your physical muscles, you can also train your emotional muscles too. This, is where Fika comes in.
As a response to research finding that 88 per cent of UK uni students struggle with anxiety and 43 per cent are often or always worried, Fika created an app specifically designed to help students improve their emotional fitness through easy to do in-app tasks.
Fika has already helped thousands of students across the UK with their emotional fitness. After only five days of doing an in-app Daily Workout, 81 per cent of students said they felt less anxious and stressed, 79 per cent had more confidence and 83 per cent felt they had a more positive attitude towards life.
But, the real question is, what do you think? We asked five of The Tab’s readers to try out Fika for a week, and complete a Daily Workout every day, to see if it really makes a difference. Here’s what they said:
I’m usually not a very stressed person. But, as a final year student with a lot of deadlines and a full-time job, it’s getting quite difficult to manage everything. I’ve never used an app to manage my stress before, but it looks like Fika won’t take too much time out of my day which is a huge positive for me.
I was free all day on the first day, so it was pretty easy to find time to do the workout. The Daily Workout was really interesting, it was centred around Focus and made me think about how I can improve my concentration when it comes to doing coursework. I have a lot of deadlines coming up this week so I was feeling quite stressed before doing the Workout. But, after, I felt like I had more realistic goals to work towards and to help me remain focused while I’m under pressure.
I found it harder to complete the Workouts during the rest of the week, as my days at uni were so much busier. I had a deadline halfway through the week, so was feeling really tired and I had to go to work. But, the effects from the previous days made me push myself to do the Workout. I can often get into a slump around the middle of the week and feel less motivated, so it was great to have Fika lift my mood.
I started a Premium exercise about making choices for the future, as I found that once I sat down and completed the Daily Workout I wanted to carry on. It was really relevant to my current situation, as it was about taking new opportunities to build your CV and work towards your goals. I really like the format of the premium pack as it allowed me to listen, reflect and act, so I could relate what I to my own life.
Fika’s Daily Workouts have really helped me manage my stress levels. The fact they’re so short helped make it an integral part of my daily routine, especially during the week when I was feeling stressed with uni. I like how Fika lets you set realistic goals for the week and allows you to think about the positive things you have already done, to lift your mood and confidence.
At uni, there’s not only the pressures of work, going to lectures and making sure you are caught up on all your reading, but also the social pressures. There’s a constant need to keep up with the drinking and social culture of uni and that can stress most, if not all, people out.
But, on a day-to-day basis, I think I cope with stress like any other student. There are of course specific struggles with exams and handing in essays, but I think that’s enough to stress anyone out.
I found it really easy to do the Daily Workout throughout the week. I look at my phone every morning to check my messages, emails and social media, so it just became part of my morning routine. I feel a bit out of it in the morning and the exercises really helped me feel more mindful and thoughtful about the day ahead.
I’d say that the Daily Workouts were the easiest, simply because as soon as you open the app, they’re there ready to start. This helped persuade me to make more time to try the Premium exercises too. I’d do them right after my Daily Workout, as the app flows really well from one thing to another.
At first, I thought completing these exercises on an app was all a bit cheesy and gimmicky, but doing it every morning definitely boosted my activity and mood. They were really motivating. Some days there are things that play on my mind and the Premium exercises helped me reflect on that a lot. I’ve really enjoyed having this as part of my routine.
It helped me deal with my recent breakup as well, encouraging me to take the time to process everything that happened in the relationship and reflect on things that I’d have otherwise avoided thinking about or discussing.
The pressure to study, gain good grades and end up with an awesome job is stressful. Currently, I deal with stress and anxiety at uni by joining stress-buster classes like dog therapy and exercising. I’m hoping using Fika will help me improve my focus and help me deal with stress better too.
Since each workout takes less than five minutes, I found it really easy to make time for it – in fact, I ended up doing more than one Workout a day because they’re so quick. Before I completed the Workout today I was feeling quite emotional and really demotivated. But, after taking some time to myself and using Fika, I feel like I have a lot more energy and a more positive outlook on the week ahead.
I completed the Daily Workouts every day and every time I finished, I felt so much more focused and happier. So, since the Daily Workouts were going so well I decided to try one of the Premium exercises. This one was all about relationships and how to feel more confident about them. It was a little harder than the Workout as it required me to think more deeply about specific things. But, it ultimately helped me understand how to tackle some of the relationship problems I was facing and have a more positive outlook on everything.
After a week using Fika, I’ve definitely felt a change in my stress and anxiety levels. The exercises helped tackle everything from stress, confidence, happiness and relationship problems, and they’ve really helped me have a more positive outlook and take more control of my life.
Uni is stressful because of the expectations set for students. The course expects students to spend hours a week in lectures and then even more time reading and doing self-study. We’re expected to join sports teams and play regularly to keep fit and healthy, get enough sleep, go out and socialise – there aren’t enough hours in the day.
I go through stages at uni where I get stressed by my workload and about how I’m going to fit everything into my already busy life. I’m really excited to give Fika a go and see if it helps me. However, I’m also slightly hesitant as my relationship with stress is mostly healthy as I find it motivates me to get everything done.
I was really excited to try out Fika’s Daily Workout so I made sure I had time to sit down and do it properly. I actually accidentally did multiple Workouts rather than just the one. The first ones were easy as it asked me to reflect on the good things in life. Although, I found the one asking about a time when I “lost myself in an activity” hard as I usually never completely forget about what’s going on and forget my stresses.
Most of the week I found it quite easy to make time to do the Workouts, either doing them on the bus to uni or before I went to bed. The weekend was much harder though, as I had lacrosse training pretty much all day. I found it really difficult to make the time to complete the Workouts and ended up completing it when I went to bed. To be honest, I’m glad I did it then as it helped me destress so I could go to sleep easier – it felt good to reflect on the positives.
It felt good to address my anxiety with Fika, as it helped me think about how I could change the things I struggle with. It was also good at providing a short term distraction and making me feel like I achieved something by completing the Daily Workout. Plus, the questions you have to think about and the support provided by the app definitely helped improve my general happiness level.
Having deadlines every week and being in a study environment, alongside the stress of grades, makes uni a really stressful environment. My deadlines and projects are making me feel quite stressed at the moment so usually I’d take a bath or listen to some music to help me deal with it. I’m curious to see whether Fika helps at all and becomes another method I use to destress.
It was quite easy to find time to do the Daily Workout every day as it was only five minutes. I found the daily reflections particularly appealing as it helped me keep track of how my days had been, like a diary. All the Workouts were easy to do and I liked the fact that doing them made me focus on something else, rather than on the stressful day at uni.
I found it a bit harder to make the time to do the Premium exercises than I had with the Daily Workout, but they weren’t really any harder. Ultimately they were really good, as it made me realise how days can have their ups, as well as their downs, and it made me evaluate everything from a more positive perspective.
I don’t feel like there’s been a huge change, but I’ve started to deal with my problems in a broader way. I’ve found that using Fika this week has really helped me manage my time better, and increased my happiness overall.