This App Will (Maybe) Make You Love Yourself

If you’re a believer in affirmations, or considering dipping your pinky toe into attempting them, an app has arrived to help you get started. 30 Days Self Love aims to empower users to genuinely love themselves, and encourages them to do so through telling themselves exactly that. It began when actress and model Sarah Karges grew tired of the negative thoughts about herself that popped into her head daily as she moved through the more brutal and judgmental aspects of the entertainment industry. She told herself “I love you” each day for 30 days straight to see if she could make something positive out of those thoughts. After sharing her experience on YouTube and finding deeper emotional results than she’d expected, she channeled her process into a book to encourage others to try the 30-day project as well.

In the app, users commit to a date they’d like to begin their 30 days, and then are asked to film themselves saying that they love themselves once each day. Karges insists that beyond just the basic awkwardness of saying that aloud (I mean, it’s weird), all kinds of emotional baggage will come up as the challenge goes on. In the instructions for the app, Karges say “You will make up every excuse not to do this and that is normal. As the fear starts to come up, it will say you don’t have time, but I assure you just taking those 10 seconds, or however long you choose, will be powerful for YOU and your growth…When you hit a wall and don’t know what to do… keep on going. That is the moment you will break through out of your comfort zone and start growing.” Besides the accountability of committing to a date, the program also allows you to live up to your words by sharing your videos with other members of the app’s community, but only if you choose. There’s nothing I hate more than forced sharing, so this gets major points for being an optional thing. That said, when I looked around the app myself, the kindness of other users was more striking than the challenge itself. Many of them posted videos about experiencing ups and downs in both their lives and the challenge, how tough things were, and how they were determined to keep promises to themselves despite that. It felt like a cozy little chat room, or an internet comments section without the heap of negativity.

I’m usually all about attempting to reframe self-talk and shaking up mental ruts, but I’ve been in a funk these days. This app is the type of thing I’d normally be into (though this one gets very close to my limits on handholding Kumbaya vibes), but my initial thought was that I am not in the right mental space to attempt this type of challenge. But really, maybe I’m in the perfect space for it. I definitely need an attitude tune-up, and isn’t that exactly what this thing aims to do? I’m on a lifelong mission to avoid becoming a closed-off, bitter, cynical person while still allowing myself to have a healthy amount of anger in life. [I can attest to the fact that Claire’s mission is thus far very successful. She’s like sunshine. — Amelia] Cynicism can be tough to stave off sometimes because, as you may have noticed, the world has a tendency to suck. Little things like this app can help, not necessarily because they’ll turn your whole life upside down (I guess they might, you never know), but because they’re proof that there are thousands of people out there who also want to cultivate a happier space amid all the heavy things we face each day. You can never know someone’s true motivation for putting something out into the world (though a safe bet about 90% of the time is dollar signs), this app seems to be very genuinely focused on creating a community that encourages women to support one another. It allows users to be the kind of sounding board for others who are struggling that you can only be when you have the kind of distance from their everyday situation that technology provides — and the perspective that comes with that distance. I definitely feel like having more confidence frees up mountains of headspace that we previously used negging ourselves to think about more interesting plans and projects that will move life forward, and this app seems to be a means to that for at least some of those who try it. Would you try it out? What do you think?

[30 Days Self Love]