When J Balvin discovered himself struggling to create music amidst his struggles with psychological well being, he made the tough choice to hunt assist. Now, he is utilizing what he discovered to assist others.
The Colombian singer — born José Álvaro Osorio Balvín — is one in all this era’s best-selling Latin music artists, recognized for breaking obstacles via sound, vogue and artwork. After opening up publicly about his private struggles with nervousness and melancholy, he is launching OYE, a bilingual wellness app. Thegoal? To empower anybody within the Latinx group — and different cultures — who’s combating psychological well being by offering an area to assist channel their feelings into creativity.
“In my very own journey, I discovered it arduous to search out my creativity whereas coping with private psychological well being struggles,” J Balvin, often called the app’s Chief Dream Officer, shared in a press release to TODAY. “Nonetheless, after understanding and tapping into the powers of inventive wellness and utilizing my very own inventive 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 potential.”
His assertion continued: “That’s the reason I created OYE — to convey a deeper understanding of the therapeutic powers of those inventive wellness practices to the worldwide group — for each Spanish and English talking audiences worldwide.”
The app has been a few 12 months 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 folks do.
From the start, the staff needed to create a platform that would assist folks really feel higher throughout the Americas. To realize that mission, they knew their app wanted to be totally bilingual.
“We had our complete design and creation course of in each languages,” Dowd mentioned. “It is 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 complete profession, at the same time as he is had plenty of pressures arising as a world star. He at all times appeared true to the place he was from and feels it is crucial to champion Spanish language as a world language.”
In accordance with SAMHSA’s Nationwide Survey on Drug Use and Well being, psychological well being points are on the rise for folks 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 consequence 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 careworn that OYE is for everybody, not simply Spanish audio system, because the app can simply be switched between language preferences.
Amongst OYE’s options embrace an emotional check-in instrument with about 100 emotions to select from — like “disinterested” to “lonely,” “anxious,” or “peaceable” — which can then present the person with content material tailor-made to at least one’s present emotional state .
There are additionally inventive wellness movies and workout routines starting from 5 to half-hour, a private purpose setting instrument, and downloadable generative artwork that tracks private development and may be shared with pals. There are additionally aware notifications that may 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 consultants and yogis, amongst others, from completely different components of Latin America. Balvin’s personal therapist, Latin American psychologist Carlos López, can be on the wellness council.
As a part of the app, members are additionally invited to grow to be “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 man is an artist,” Chamorro mentioned. “We’re simply bringing collectively this group of people that categorical how they handle their feelings to unleash their inventive selves and form their futures.”
Above all, OYE’s objective is to assist the world really feel higher by offering easy accessibility to a holistic vary of practices from Latin America. On a world degree, Dowd mentioned, they “need to rework emotional wellness from one thing that is 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 heal content material from psychological wellness consultants and be accomplished in both English or Spanish in a simple technique to comply with, “is one thing actually highly effective.”
OYE is out there for obtain now through the Apple App Retailer and Google Play. The corporate will probably 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 group’s historical past, ache, pleasure and satisfaction. We’re highlighting Hispanic trailblazers and rising voices. TODAY will probably be publishing private essays, tales, movies and specials all through the month of September and October. For extra, head right here.