Finally, a meditation app for people who hate to meditate

Holiday stress bringing you down? A new meditation app to get you through the oh-so-merry season
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By Samantha Parent Walravens

Simple Habit targets busy, on-the-go individuals who find it hard to slow down.

Tis the season to be… stressed out. Between kids, work, holiday shopping and festivities, there is little time to be jolly. I’ve read enough about the benefits of meditation—improved sleep, better focus, a stronger immune system, and reduced stress—to know that I should be doing it. But frankly, I just can’t put another thing on my “to do” list, even if it is supposed to bring me peace.

Enter Simple Habit, a meditation app geared towards busy, Type A individuals like myself who have a hard time relaxing. Launched on the iOS app stores last June, the app has racked up over 150,000 users across 115 countries in its first six months online.

Unlike other meditation apps out there, Simple Habit offers short, 5-minute meditations customized for specific situations, like preparing for a difficult conversation, struggling with a relationship, dealing with holiday stress, and even waiting at the airport.

Yunha Kim, the founder of Simple Habit, created the app after suffering an extreme case of entrepreneurial burnout while working on her first company, Locket, which she sold to e-commerce company Wish in 2015.

“At Locket, I put myself under so much lot of pressure to perform that I worked 24/7 and didn’t take care of myself.” Kim explains. “That led me to a period of burnout, and getting through that was the biggest challenge I’ve faced. Like some of our meditation teachers say, most of our biggest challenges are self-created!”

A “Netflix of mindfulness meditation” (in Kim’s words), Simple Habit curates a library of meditations led by some of the world’s leading teachers. The company was accepted in Y Combinator’s 2017 winter program, a 3-month accelerator that prepares startups to raise money on a larger scale. In January, Simple Habit will be launching a 31-day meditation challenge in January, called “Meditate & Conquer 2017.”

“We’re releasing a new meditation and podcast episode every day to help users kickoff the new year,” Kim explains. “They’re guided by our top meditation teachers Simon Moyes and Cory Muscara, who teaches positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Each day will touch on new topics like envisioning your best self, habit formation, working with regrets, and more.”

With her second startup, Kim has taken a more “mindful” approach to how she started and is growing the business.

“When I started my first company Locket, I was so focused on building the product I had in my head that I didn’t stop to take a deep breath and realize that I was starting a tech company and that I was now an entrepreneur,” she explains. “In starting Simple Habit, I took a more mindful approach. I was interested in multiple ideas, some of which weren’t tech. I eventually decided to create another tech company because technology has the power to reach a lot of people, anywhere in the world.”

Despite the inherent challenges of starting a company, Kim says it’s definitely been easier the second time around.

“I made a lot of newbie mistakes at Locket and I’ve learned so much. I continue to make mistakes today, but I’d like to believe that I make better ones.I’ve gotten better at identifying talent and hiring the right people. I’ve also gotten better at focusing. At Locket, I tried to do everything because there was an endless amount of work, but these days I try to be more disciplined about prioritizing.”

Her secret to success as an entrepreneur?

Resilience.

“Being an entrepreneur is tough,” she admits. “Things are unpredictable and move quickly. You have to build mental resilience against challenges/obstacles. This is why I meditate.”

Samantha is the editor of the New York Times-acclaimed anthology, TORN: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood, and is co-author of the upcoming book, GEEK GIRL RISING: Unleashing the Power of Women in Tech (St. Martin’s Press 2017).

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