Need coaching, therapy or counseling? How about all of them in one single app! This week I get to speak with Jasmine Chen, Founder of the new app - LIFE Intelligence. Learn more about her story and the benefits of this new self help, self improvement and self development app that grows with you. This is a transcript of a podcast interview of Jasmine Chen of LIFE Intelligence, by host Ariel Vaughan Bredder. Listen at https://anchor.fm/beyoutiful/episodes/Ep--14-Live-More-Intelligently-with-Jasmine-Chen-emt8su.
Hey, beautiful people. Welcome to the Be YOU Podcast. I'm your host Ariel Vaughan Bredder. For this episode, I got the opportunity to speak with Jasmine Chen. She is the Founder of a new app called LIFE Intelligence. This app is a DIY coaching, therapy, relationship counseling app, and I think it is much needed right now. Jasmine is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard, and she is a former hedge fund investor. And now her mission is to help people invest in themselves. I hope you enjoy our conversation.
So Jasmine, tell us about yourself and who you are.
I'm Jasmine Chen, Founder and CEO of LIFE Intelligence. LIFE Intelligence is a mobile app that holistically covers a science backed guide to your self, career, and relationships. I come from a background of finance. I was at a hedge fund and private equity and investment banking before this. So certainly a total 180 in terms of my career.
So where did this idea for the LIFE Intelligence app come from?
I was at Harvard Business School and looked around and saw a lot of people, high achievers, very smart people who still struggled with stress and anxiety, career uncertainties, relationship problems. And I realized that throughout two degrees, we really hadn't put a ton of work into this side of our life. At the hedge fund, for example, I had so much research to back up my stock picks. I was really scanning the world of information, just to figure out what insights could I draw that other people couldn't, which could give us an edge on our investments. I didn't have any of that work for, I realized, my own decisions, relationships and goals. So I wanted to apply that rigor that I didn't see in other wellness tool.
Yeah. Yeah. I think like so many times people, they put so much effort into their work or just other parts of their lives, but they don't really do it internally. Like that part that's like most important is yourself.
Absolutely. And I also think it's really hard for people to know where to start. So I went to Princeton and we, you know, we did a lot of research. And I felt like once I got into the real world, we didn't do that type of research. There's a ton of academic studies, you know, you could go to APA, Google scholar and find real academic studies and they very rarely make it out to the public. You know, people don't have time to read hundreds of pages of studies, but these could really help guide the way you think. That introspection is super important, but it's also equally important to actually have the science as a guide.
Right. Yeah. And so what can people expect when they use this app?
Well, there are a few features. First of all, you can expect a comprehensive course. That includes the science that I just talked about. So there lessons called Missions, based on a space theme. And what you'll do is progress through nine core missions. And these nine core missions are one is sort of your mental health. So we talk about cognitive behavioral therapy, growth mindset, and learned helplessness. And then we move you into telling your story. So it's about self-awareness the hero's journey and where you are within that journey, whether it's grief for conflict or some other kind of hardship you're facing. And then I mentioned three, we talk about your values and how your values need to be aligned with your goals. And then after that, we give you more practical strategies to actually carry out those goals. So we talk a lot about agile software development tools and how those can be translated to your personal life.
In mission four we talk about regret, which is just a horrible human experience, and time management tools. So first again, the soft side, and then, the practical side of how to deal with it. Fifth, we talk about decision-making, which coming from a stock picker background, a really interesting part for me is just putting that analysis around, why you're making certain decisions. So you can go back and refine a process for making your decision. And then six, we talk more about your social stress and how your stress affects those around you. We talk a lot about self-esteem and a secure self image versus a fragile ego. And once we're done with one through six, we've kind of graduated you into your relationships with others so seven is about attachment style and how, the way you were raised as a child can really affect your adult dating life.
In Eight, we talk about your classic marriage counseling topics. We draw a lot from -- I'm a huge fan of Dr. John Gottman -- he has these great marriage counseling books. We give you that kind of information for conflict resolution, as well as just learning to love. It's actually something that requires learning. Then finally Nine we really tie that all together with leadership and motivation. So that's one section of the app.
The other big one is a mood management system. If you think, that's great, it's awesome to learn these nine missions, but I'm currently very anxious or I'm currently very frustrated and I don't have the mindset to learn yet. We'll go and solve those exact problems. So if you feel exactly anxious right now, click that on the mood wheel and we will give you 5 to 10 minute exercises to go cope, communicate, and problem solve whatever mood you're feeling at the moment.
Yeah. That sounds awesome. It's very thorough. And like all encompassing,
It can be a lot to explain. Cause I think people are really used to apps being, you know, we do X, right? And right now it's like we do X, Y, Z all the way, you know? And so it certainly is comprehensive, but I do feel like that's important because mental health is not a silo or your love life is not a silo. You know, you feel bad about yourself. For some reason it's gonna affect your dating. If you have a relationship issue could affect your work. And so all of these things are so intertwined, you really need the full picture.
Right? Yeah. I totally agree. I agree. And I think it's so great that you made the effort of like, you've got these nine missions to like learn and grow that way, but that you understand like, yes, I'm dealing with the anxiety and other parts of my life. I'm not going to be fully into this other thing right now. And I just think that's so important to kind of have that balance of like, yes, I'm learning this area, but I, I do have some other needs that are more pressing at certain times.
Absolutely. I think that's one of the biggest differences between us and just a normal course is, we realize that people have long-term and short-term needs. And so if you have a short-term need, great, let's do something immediately, but you also want to balance that and get the long-term view and prepare for the things that you might face.
Yeah. And you said that for like the mood management management part, that that's kind of a five to 10 minute process during that moment, what about the missions, how long do they typically take?
Yeah. So everything in the app, we try to make it like five to 10 minutes. And the way it's structured is I know a lot of people like, you know, videos or listening to things, we actually don't do that yet. We might add them later, but right now what it is, it's that reading and a little bit of introspective prompts. Everything is backed in science. So you'll have a little bit of reading to understand, okay, if you're anxious, let's actually tell you some science behind how to deal with that emotion. And then at the end, you'll get a little prompt that asks you to apply that particular research to your own life. And that's it. And it takes about five minutes to get through each -- same with the lessons. So on the lesson side, there's hundreds of lessons in this course curriculum, but we send you one every morning. It'll say, "delivering your daily lesson." And so you can really just swipe through for five minutes and get through it in bite size chunks.
That's awesome. And will these missions continue to grow and expand, or is it like once you've done X amount? Like you've covered everything?
Oh, no. We have so many plans for more. So I call it the nine core because, we really just launched. And so this is what we're starting off with. But there's just so much more in the world to cover. I already have, a long list of thing I'm researching right now. So yes, the idea is that we will continually add to it. And we want feedback from users too. So if users say, wow, I really wish you could write about workplace politics or whatever it is, just email me and I can add it to my list. And so certainly we do hope to have kind of this never ending daily learning available.
Yeah. That's awesome. And I mean, and things are always changing and new things will come up that we need to deal with and stuff. So it's good that the App will continue to grow too. Yes.
Yeah. Well, life stages too. We say that this app that will grow alongside you because, I do think right now we sort of appeal to this, professional demographic, but as you age, as you go through marriage, children, divorce, you know, there's so much more in terms of personalization and growing through your life that we could add.
Yeah. And so who is this app recommended for?
I've been so surprised that it's been used by such a wide demographic. So it can really be, you know anywhere from, a freshman who is struggling to go through calculus has written us and said, wow, I did mission one and it helped me bounce back from not doing well in the class. And I finished the year with honors. So someone like that versus, an engineering manager at a global cryptocurrency firms has said, wow, it got really intense starting in mission four, and everybody needs this for your remote communication skills, for his employees and engineers. Really just it's amazing how much it spans the gamut. So I would just say professionals who actually care about developing themselves.
Like they're aware that there is some need to improve somewhere. There's a lot of people who might just say, I don't need something, I'm great the way things are. I also think that maybe unlike other self-improvement tools we probably appeal a little more to someone like me. I'm a little more Type A, so I don't really want some of that slow kind of ease-into things. Maybe they want videos but for me, I just want to get straight to the point. And so maybe for someone who is a little more just, you know, let's just get this done. But that's not for everyone. Some people really like the slower lead up or maybe talking to a real therapist. We are much more affordable than talking to a real therapist. And I think that's a big thing that makes us more accessible is, you know, it's not $300 bucks an hour.
Definitely. And is there anything in the app that helps people realize like, Hey, you might actually need to talk to a real therapist or, you know, how does that kind of manage?
For sure, that's a great point that, you know, another demographic is probably probably people who don't quite need serious, serious help yet. We definitely, if you select, for example the emotion of rage, you know, we talk about intermittent rage disorder and we say look, if you're really experiencing this, or if you choose depression, we'll give you some advice on depression. Then we'll say, look, if you're really experiencing this, you do need to go find a professional. And so what we are also trying to do is build up a network of professionals, to whom we can start referring our users, if they really do have that emotion quite often, you know, we want to be able to immediately say, hey, we've got a couple of therapists in our network who understand our curriculum and can match up pretty seamlessly to what you've already done in the app so far. Here's, here's how to contact them. So that's something we're working on.
Yeah, I think that's so awesome because I think there is that point of, you know, some people don't really realize exactly what they need and then if they do need a little bit more help, it's so helpful to have some guidance of like, you know, here's some referrals that you can go check out and stuff, because sometimes it's just really hard to like, where do I even start? So I think that's really great.
And it's also, you know, there's so many different types of therapies. So we want to find therapists that understand our course as well. And so we're kind of speaking a similar language. There are a lot of different types. We cover things like narrative therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, but there's a lot of types. And so trying to find ones that are seamless is definitely an exercise.
Yeah. And so what impact do you hope that this app will have on people?
Oh, wow. I wish that I'd had this for myself and that's the reason I built it. I got to a point where, you know, I'm 31 and I realize, what would be different in my life if I've learned this earlier, but I'm also really grateful that it's not too late. You know, I have a long life ahead of me and I can make a lot of changes in how I deal with setbacks, relationships with people. So at the very base level, it's, I want to change the way society educates themselves and then is able to relate with one another. So to deepen your own understanding and learn how to have empathy for others. We all come from different cultures and backgrounds and therefore learn a different way to deal with these communication and self-management type issues.
So if we could have some kind of a broad-based education around this, you know, actually the origin for this before we were LIFE, we were called capsule. And my very first vision for this had actually been to target college orientation as well as, as a company onboarding. Because for me, it was like, you know, we talk to our peers and our colleagues the most on a day-to-day basis or our families. And so if we could learn this in groups and in communities how much more seamlessly could we communicate? That was really the, the original and I think it still is, we could get this to be something that helps entire companies, schools, and communities communicate. I think that would be huge.
Ah, yeah. I love that. And I mean, I am such a big believer and you know, when you focus on yourself and the more you learn and grow that has a ripple effect on the people around you and the teams and how you communicate with others. So I just think that is so great. And especially right now, there's just so much going on in the world and, you know, things are very different right now, so we're all just kind of adjusting. So I think this app is right on time. I mean, it would be great if it was like, couple years ago!
It has been a tough year for everyone. My heart goes out to all the listeners who have had their loved ones affected by the pandemic. And it's something that has always been important, but on the bright side, I'm glad that it's getting kind of the attention that it needs now. People are opening up to the fact that this isn't something that's fluffy or, or on the side, it's actually very core to how you lead your life. And so maybe that's one small silver lining.
Yeah, I totally agree. So right now this app is only available for iPhones, correct?
So yes, we just launched on iOS. So right now it's only for iPhones. We are working on Android. So for all Android users, we'll certainly keep you posted and it shouldn't be very long. You can sign up for early access at https://www.lifeintelligence.io/android.
Got it. I'm team Android. So I can't wait until I can actually use this app.
You'll be the first to know.
Yeah, I can't wait. Is there anything else that you would like to share?
You know, I do hope that people try it out! I know there are a lot of tools out there and they're all doing amazing things. Each is different. Meditation and Calm are super popular. But we're very different. Meditation or CBT, like I mentioned, cognitive behavioral therapy, those are less than 1% of what we cover. So if you feel like you're a Calm user, you're a Headspace user, that's amazing, you know, keep doing it. If you feel like you need a little more, you know, maybe once you're already calmed down, you can start to really problem solve or learn some strategies to communicate. That's probably where we can help a little bit more. So we have one or two meditation exercises, but the bulk of our course is really in that problem-solving, self understanding rather than listening and calming down.
And then, yeah, just share it, you know, it's, I know it's a tough time for everyone this year and we have a ton of freemium features and a very lengthy free trial. So feel free to just share it. And I also do want to ask, send me any feedback. I'm literally making changes every day: I get up, and I work on this, and I go to bed and I do it all over again. So any, and all feedback is very appreciated. Nothing's ever too small. I get emails that are just screenshots from people sometimes saying, "Hey, you know, I really wish this button would go here" and it's helpful. And I love that because you know, at this point, if you emailed any other app, they probably wouldn't be able to do that because they're a lot bigger. But because we are a startup it and makes it really, kind of intimate, so feel comfortable doing that.
Yeah, that's great. I I'm really looking forward to being able to use this app and to sharing it with people because I really do think that this is very important right now and people need to keep learning and growing, you know, for their self and for the people around them. I think this is an awesome app that you've created. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
And I appreciate you too. I've listened to some of your other podcasts. I love how I think in one of them, you said that really kind of a life purpose is to make other people happy. I love how you say that, because I think that's just a wonderful, it's just such a wonderful purpose. So I appreciate you too.
Thank you so much.
I really hope you all check out the life intelligence app. I think it is going to be such a beneficial app and I cannot wait to use it right now. It is only on iOS system, so you can find it in the app store and you can also visit lifeintelligence.io. I'm going to put that link in the show notes. And I will keep you updated when it is available for Android. Because I will definitely let you know what I think about it. And I'm just really excited. I hope you check it out. Thank you for listening to the Be You podcast. If you enjoy this episode, please share with your friends and write a review. I would love to hear from you and you can find me on Instagram at beautiful chick or on my website, www.beyoutifulchick.com. Remember: Be you, be beautiful.