Launched in September, Oye operates as a monthly subscription service that offers a library with a range of wellness classes. When logging into the app, users select the mood they want to work on, and then choose from a selection of activities to unlock their emotions. The classes are led by Latinx teachers, but aren’t limited to Latinx practices. Users can learn qigong, do guided journaling prompts, and master how to modulate their emotions, among other activities.
Notably, the platform enlisted Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin to be its ‘Chief Dream Officer’. While the role is largely marketing-related (Balvin is unlikely to be involved in day-to-day decisions), it’s a smart move to appeal to the Latinx community, whose members have historically been less likely to access mental health services than their white counterparts. Balvin has also been vocal about his own mental health struggles, even partnering with American wellness guru Deepak Chopra on a wellbeing program.
With mental health a growing global issue, there’s clear demand for more services that address communities in a way that resonates with their identity and culture. While apps like Oye are a great – and necessary – step, there’s still more to be done in making mental health seem relevant to all communities, and ensuring that people feel comfortable downloading and accessing these apps in the first place.