Fika is a new app for students at school and university which aimed at helping to build up emotional fitness. By following the app’s daily 5-minute emotional workouts, students can develop confidence, resilience, adaptability and acceptance, while also improving focus, social connection and empathy. For schools and universities, this can then lead to increased attainment and reduced attrition.
According to the website, ‘Fika is inspired by Scandinavian culture and is built on an evidence-base of self-reflection, journaling and co-coaching. Aligned with the 2019 NICE evidence standards for digital health technologies, Fika also draws on scientific evidence from CBT, ACT, Solution-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness and Positive Psychology to build Emotional Fitness’.
The results of an impact study with students from 33 UK universities found that 5 days of 5 minute Fika exercises lead to a reported increased in positivity (83%), a reduction in anxiety and stress (81%), improved ability to handle challenges (82%), increased motivation (81%) and increased confidence (79%). Further studies are underway, with a number of universities including Bath Spa University, the University of Exeter, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Lincoln, London Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Middlesex University London and the University of South Walesa, partnering with Fika in a three-year evidence-based study into the efficacy of regular emotional exercise.
The app is available for students to download and offers both a free and premium version. The app has not been approved for funding through the Disabled Students Allowances, but students at partnering universities can access the premium content for free.