Having a Tough Day? J Balvin’s New Bilingual Mental Health App Offers Real-Time Solutions

When J Balvin discovered himself struggling to create music amidst his struggles with psychological well being, he made the troublesome resolution to hunt assist. Now, he is utilizing what he realized to assist others.

The Colombian singer — born José Álvaro Osorio Balvín — is one among this era’s best-selling Latin music artists, recognized for breaking obstacles by way of sound, style and artwork. After opening up publicly about his private struggles with anxiousness and despair, he’s launching OYE, a bilingual wellness app. The purpose? To empower anybody within the Latinx neighborhood — and different cultures — who’s scuffling with psychological well being by offering an area to assist channel their feelings into creativity.

“In my very own journey, I discovered it laborious to seek out my creativity whereas coping with private psychological well being struggles,” J Balvin, referred to as the app’s Chief Dream Officer, shared in a press release to TODAY. “Nonetheless, after understanding and tapping into the powers of artistic wellness and utilizing my very own artistic imaginative and prescient to drive true options for myself, I used to be in a position to each really feel higher and categorical myself in new methods I by no means knew doable.”

His assertion continued: “That’s the reason I created OYE — to convey a deeper understanding of the therapeutic powers of those artistic wellness practices to the worldwide neighborhood — for each Spanish and English talking audiences worldwide.”

The app has been a few yr within the making, OYE co-founders Mario Chamorro and Patrick Dowd advised TODAY through Zoom. They formally began to construct the app alongside Balvin in late 2021. The identify of the app — which interprets to “pay attention” — was chosen after Chamorro and Dowd mentioned how they might enhance the quantity of significant listening individuals do.

From the start, the crew wished to create a platform that might assist individuals really feel higher throughout the Americas. To attain that mission, they knew their app wanted to be totally bilingual.

“We had our entire design and creation course of in each languages,” Dowd mentioned. “It’s simply a part of our DNA. And I believe we’re additionally very impressed by our co-founder and Chief Dream Officer José, who has sung in Spanish for his entire profession, whilst he’s had numerous pressures developing as a world star. He all the time appeared true to the place he was from and feels it’s crucial to champion Spanish language as a world language.”

Based on SAMHSA’s Nationwide Survey on Drug Use and Well being, psychological well being points are on the rise for individuals of Latino, Hispanic, or Spanish descent between the ages of 12-49. Psychological Well being America notes that the challenges inside these communities are solely exacerbated as a result of a scarcity of bilingual or Spanish-speaking psychological well being professionals, usually paired with poor communication from well being care suppliers.

Nonetheless, Chamorro and Dowd burdened that OYE is for everybody, not simply Spanish audio system, because the app can simply be switched between language preferences.


COO and co-founder Patrick Dowd and CEO and co-founder Mario Chamorro.

Amongst OYE’s options embrace an emotional check-in software with about 100 emotions to select from — like “disinterested” to “lonely,” “anxious,” or “peaceable” — which can then present the consumer with content material tailor-made to 1’s present emotional state. 

There are additionally artistic wellness movies and workouts starting from 5 to half-hour, a private purpose setting software, and downloadable generative artwork that tracks private progress and will be shared with associates. There additionally conscious notifications that can encourage persistence, self-love and accountability.

Hailing from Mexico, Head of Wellness Mari Serra helped construct an “eclectic, inclusive group of wellness guides,” Dowd shared, which embrace shamans, healers, dancers, meditation specialists and yogis, amongst others, from totally different components of Latin America. Balvin’s personal therapist, Latin American psychologist Carlos López, can also be on the wellness council.


A take a look at the options the OYE app gives.

As a part of the app, members are additionally invited to change into “OYE Creators” themselves and are inspired to share how they cope and handle their very own psychological well being.

“We consider each artist is a healer, and each healer is an artist, and we consider each human is an artist,” Chamorro mentioned. “We’re simply bringing collectively this neighborhood of people that categorical how they handle their feelings to unleash their artistic selves and form their futures.”

Above all, OYE’s objective is to assist the world really feel higher by offering quick access to a holistic vary of practices from Latin America. On a world stage, Dowd mentioned, they “need to remodel emotional wellness from one thing that’s seen as a non-public burden to one thing that’s seen as a robust useful resource for creating the life that you simply need to reside.”

Chamorro added that having a useful resource that may curate content material from psychological wellness specialists and be accomplished in both English or Spanish in a straightforward solution to comply with, “is one thing actually highly effective.”

OYE is offered for obtain now through the Apple App Retailer and Google Play. The corporate can be offering a month-free trial along with Hispanic Heritage Month and World Psychological Well being Day on Oct. 10, adopted by subscription choices beginning at $4.99/month.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, TODAY is sharing the neighborhood’s historical past, ache, pleasure and satisfaction. We’re highlighting Hispanic trailblazers and rising voices. TODAY can be publishing private essays, tales, movies and specials all through the month of September and October. For extra, head right here.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. Extra from TODAY:


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