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J Balvin’s new bilingual psychological well being app, OYE, desires to channel emotion into creativity – NBC New York

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

The Colombian singer — born José Álvaro Osorio Balvín — is certainly one of this technology’s best-selling Latin music artists, recognized for breaking obstacles by way of sound, trend and artwork. After opening up publicly about his private struggles with anxiousness and despair, he is launching OYE, a bilingual wellness app. Thegoal? To empower anybody within the Latinx group — 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 search 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 inventive wellness and utilizing my very own inventive imaginative and prescient to drive true options for myself, I used to be capable of 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 carry 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 couple of yr within the making, OYE co-founders Mario Chamorro and Patrick Dowd instructed TODAY through Zoom. They formally began to construct the app alongside Balvin in late 2021. The identify of the app — which interprets to “hear” — was chosen after Chamorro and Dowd mentioned how they may enhance the quantity of significant listening folks do.

From the start, the staff wished to create a platform that might assist folks really feel higher throughout the Americas. To realize that mission, they knew their app wanted to be absolutely bilingual.

“We had our entire design and creation course of in each languages,” Dowd stated. “It is simply a part of our DNA. And I feel we’re additionally very impressed by our co-founder and Chief Dream Officer José, who has sung in Spanish for his entire profession, at the same time as he is had a whole lot of pressures developing as a world star. He all the time appeared true to the place he was from and feels it is essential 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 because 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.


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

Amongst OYE’s options embody an emotional check-in device 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 workouts starting from 5 to half-hour, a private aim setting device, and downloadable generative artwork that tracks private development and might be shared with mates. There are additionally aware 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 embody 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 man is an artist,” Chamorro stated. “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 goal 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 stated, 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 strong useful resource for creating the life that you just need to reside.”

Chamorro added that having a useful resource that may heal content material from psychological wellness specialists and be accomplished in both English or Spanish in a simple strategy to observe, “is one thing actually highly effective.”

OYE is accessible for obtain now through the Apple App Retailer and Google Play. The corporate will probably be offering a month-free trial at the side of 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 delight. 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.

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