Fabulous app
Fabulous' gentle encouragement of long-term goals has spread the trendy app to phones across the country. (Image via Medium)
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Fabulous app

Want to be a better person? There’s an app for that.

Eventually, most people realize they can’t be a bystander to their own lives. Time becomes a breeding ground for stagnation, and the once-gleaming light of possibilities dwindle by the day.

So, they create a plan: New Year’s resolutions, vision boards or a never-ending to-do list. Yet, despite the barrage of motivational quotes people may share on social media, the reality is many make little-to-no progress. Most fail to implement their plans of action, or they have an idea of what they want and who they want to be, but don’t know how to get there.

The Fabulous app, launched in 2014, helps users develop habits to lead happier and healthier lives.

The Setup

Everyone, regardless of device or country, should have the opportunity to lead a fabulous life — right? Fortunately, Fabulous is available in five languages (English, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, German and French) and users can download it from Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

When first-time users open the Fabulous app, they immediately have to make a decision on where to start: feel more energized, lose weight, sleep better or focus and concentrate more. But no pressure, since the latter three are not available yet and are just for show — those features will eventually require a $14.99 monthly subscription or a $96.00 yearly subscription.

Once you select “feel more energized,” you’ll be prompted to enter your name, wake-up time and email. Next, you have to choose a notification option, which is when the app lays out its grand promise: You can build effective habits in only 19 days.

Fabulous app
The fabulous app currently centers around using positive habits to eventually lead to the fruition of long-term goals. (Image via Phone Arena)

The first challenge is to drink water three times throughout the week — a seemingly easy task because who doesn’t drink water after carrying a load of groceries or recovering from a successful night of binge drinking? However, the premise entails that if users can build the habitual hydration, harder tasks will become easier to perform as the journey continues.

Appealing to those who may easily fall off track, Fabulous provides motivational letters and encouragement once the app detects that users are veering away from set behaviors or frequently skipping tasks. A rocket ship icon at the bottom of the app also directs users to additional scientifically proven “Make Me Fabulous Sessions,” including:

– Do Anywhere Exercise: An intense 10-minute workout.

– The Mind Bus: Eliminates stressful thoughts.

– 4 Hours Deep Work:  Four hours of meaningful and creative work without distractions.

– Uplifting Fabulous:  Coaches users through grief.

Some sessions are free, and others are not accessible without a subscription.

Lastly, embedded throughout the entire app are some down-to-earth features that users can appreciate, such as a beginner’s guide to yoga and meditation and a calorie count weight loss program, which is inspired by the Human Chorionic Gonadtropin (hCG) and Atkins diets.

The Fabulous Foundation

Sami Ben Hassine, Tunisian engineer and CEO of the Fabulous app, discovered his vision for Fabulous among friends on a rainy April afternoon. As they fervently exchanged methods to achieve peak performance and increase productivity, a competitive athlete within the group asserted that instead of cheap tricks, which only offer band-aid solutions, the key to long term growth is with strong foundations.

For Hassine, this statement was a eureka moment. It reminded him that when he played competitive sports, his coach emphasized the importance of building rituals. He encouraged Hassine to repeat a series of activities every day at the same time. These habits became engrained in Hassine’s personality and helped him organize his life beyond the court. The “strong foundations” gave rise to the confidence he needed to conquer any task, no matter what hand he was dealt.

A year after the momentous conversation, Fabulous was flourishing in Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, a lab ran by Professor Dan Ariely, a behavioral economics scientist and author of the New York Times bestseller, “Predictably Irrational.”

The Fabulous app is designed to “reset your habits, rewire your brain and transform your life,” a winning combination that makes the human experience seem almost robotic.

Personal Testimonies

Although Fabulous is based on behavioral economics, their blog shows that the science-based app still manages to touch users’ hearts and restore their optimism.

For example, Miriam Walsh, who was recently divorced and moving between houses, developed some poor habits during her transition. Like many people, she looked to her phone for a solution, and stumbled upon the Fabulous app. After using the app for only a short time, Walsh realized that it was more valuable then she’d expected. She established a morning routine, which included exercise, and she proceeded to embark upon the Healthy Eating Journey.

Another user named Mette always wanted to lose weight and increase her self-esteem, especially after experiencing depression. Mette praised Fabulous for helping her adopt habits that are basically “second nature” now, and has even considered restarting some of the journeys because they’re both fun and challenging. She also explained the challenges aren’t just about reaching the destination but appreciating every step along the way — a tad bit cliché, but certainly a lesson applicable to any aspect of life.

Let’s Talk Numbers

However, the Fabulous app is more than just hype and clever marketing, the trendy app has statistics backing it up. When Hassine and Amine Laadhari, co-founder and chief technical officer, began the project, it was intended to help users with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) focus better. However, to their surprise, people without ADHD became attracted to the services.

Prior to its iOS availability, Fabulous had 4.6 million downloads on Google Play, 150,000 daily active users and was growing at a rate of 8,000 new users every day. Taylor Ling, the chief design officer, told Digital News Asia that the Fabulous team still believes their app could eventually play a crucial role in healthcare as part of treatment programs for people with ADHD, depression and other illnesses — a potential game-changer for the pharmaceutical industry’s bottom line.

The partnership between Laadhari, Hassine and Ling has garnered Fabulous widespread acclaim. In addition to being featured as App of the Day in more than 27 countries, Fabulous won Google’s Material Design Award for Most Charming Engagement in 2017 and in the same year was nominated for Google Play’s Best App Award.

Fabulous app
The Fabulous app won the Google Material Design Award for Most Charming Engagement for its sleek design and seamless accessibility. (Image via Google Design)

Nonetheless, after reading user feedback, each of the company heads understand that the awards are a perk, but not the underlying purpose. When discussing Fabulous’ impact on people’s lives, Ling stated: “When I saw that I realized there is no turning back from here. We have to go further…If it [an app] doesn’t enhance people’s lives or empower them it’s meaningless, just something beautiful to look at.”

Try It Out

While the weighty subscription fees may discourage some, millennials can’t deny that adulting can sneak up on you quicker than one too many tequila shots. Finding the energy to go to school, work, maintain a social life and survive seems impossible. You realize self-care is important because a fast metabolism and coffee can’t take care of it all, and aspirations are great until you have to actually work toward them.

The Fabulous app could be the how-to guide everyone looks for, but assumes doesn’t exist. It could be one step, one journey closer to a happy, healthier and easier life. If you’re interested, the Fabulous life is one click away on your Apple or Android device!

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