SuperBetter is “about claiming your power — the power you have to impact how you feel everyday, and to decide for yourself how your life will unfold.”
SuperBetter is a positive living tool developed by game designers in conjunction with doctors, psychologists, and medical researchers. The premise of this free online “game” is to help users build personal resilience to improve their capacity to achieve a goal or overcome a challenge, particularly in relation to health. Research shows that building resilience (“the ability to stay optimistic, curious, motivated, and connected to others even in the face of an extreme challenge”) boosts both physical and emotional well-being and improves health outcomes.
This customizable tool guides users through action items to build the core strengths of resiliency:
How to Play
To get started with SuperBetter, you’ll need to set up an account and identify a goal you want to work towards. Your goal can be anything that’s meaningful to you- running a 5k, overcoming a serious illness or injury, or learning to manage anxiety during a stressful period.
The game is structured around Quests, simple action items backed by science and designed to build your core physical, mental, emotional, and social strengths that will help you achieve your goal. SuperBetter will suggest Quests based on interest areas you choose, and you can also create your own custom Quests specific to your goal.
The game will look different for everyone, depending on your goal. You may be given Quests to walk around the block, dance to your favorite song, make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for, eat every color of the rainbow in one day, or put up sticky notes around your house that say “I’m awesome!” Throughout the game you’ll also fight Bad Guys to reach your goal- you may encounter The Self-Critic, The Sticky Chair (sitting for hours at a time), or The Coping Cactus (ignoring your self-care).
Points are awarded as you complete Quests and resist Bad Guys, demonstrating how much physical, mental, emotional, and social resilience you’ve built. You “win” the game by achieving your real-life goal. (And then you can start over with a new goal!)
Who Uses SuperBetter?
Although the program was originally conceived of for people overcoming serious illness or injury, it’s really for anyone and everyone. “SuperBetter is for people who want more out of life—who want to feel happier, healthier, and more able to reach their goals.” Use the game daily to build your overall resilience and strength (maybe to overcome a current challenge or in anticipation of a big change), or log in as needed for a quick boost to regain focus toward a long-term goal.
And, before you begin, watch this TED talk by creator Jane McGonigal, who describes the story behind the game’s creation, and the science behind its impact (SO worth it!):