SuperMeFites October 16, 2012 5:10 PM   Subscribe

Any Mefites getting Superbetter?

I've recently discovered Superbetter via AskMe, and I really couldn't be more enthusiastic about. Since it engages social support, I wondered if there were a bunch of other Mefites getting Superbetter who would be interested in forming a MeFi group on the forum and/or inviting each other as "allies."

For the unfamiliar, Superbetter is a game that utilizes research-backed methods to build mental, emotional, social, and physical resilience. You can customize your own epic wins and quests and such, or you can use any of their "power packs." It has its limits and bugs, but overall it's a pretty great tool, and just as useful for getting your house clean as for building resilience.

The creator of Superbetter gives a TED talk about it here. (I'd link to the official site, but the video there is spotty for some reason.)
posted by moira to MetaFilter-Related at 5:10 PM (44 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

I have a friend on there, so I should be on there more as an ally. It's just hard to keep logging in to yet another thing. :P
posted by zennie at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2012


What AskMe was it?
posted by bq at 5:59 PM on October 16, 2012


Mine, actually.
posted by moira at 6:05 PM on October 16, 2012


Is it similar to HealthMonth?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:06 PM on October 16, 2012


Yes!! I almost posted this exact MeTa. I need allies, how do we do this thing?
posted by sweetkid at 6:19 PM on October 16, 2012


Is it similar to HealthMonth?

Only in that they're both sort of gamifications for goals. My biggest gripe with Superbetter is that you can only choose one "Epic Win" at a time, but you can put as many different "Quests" in as you like. In that way, I'm officially using it to meet my physical goal, but I'm also using it for sleep and mental health goals.

I wasn't feeling very motivated with Health Month the last while, and have mainly been using it as a way to try to keep myself accountable and have a little extra social support. It's still fulfilling those needs for me at the moment.

With Superbetter, it's so damn positive and fun and approachable. You get points every time you power up, battle a bad guy or complete a quest, and you are awarded "achievements" and can level up.

The focus on building mental, emotional and social resilience is actually feeding into me feeling FAR more able and motivated to meet my physical goal, so it ends up being exactly what I needed, when I didn't even know I needed it.
posted by moira at 6:19 PM on October 16, 2012


One thing I really like about Superbetter is that it sends you messages at random times, and urges you to do a little quest. I was waiting for a meeting to start and got a notification to do a quest, and was like, aw, ok!
posted by sweetkid at 6:21 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


To invite an ally, you send an invitation (link at the top of your SB page) to your ally's email address.

I've been hesitant to jump on the ally thing for myself. I'm not sure I'm up to being a great ally yet, and I wouldn't be eager to receive extra quests from somebody. On the other hand, I could really use a cheerleader, and I know I'd be capable of enthusiastic cheerleading in turn. Anybody interested being or having an Ally Lite?

One thing I really like about Superbetter is that it sends you messages at random times, and urges you to do a little quest. I was waiting for a meeting to start and got a notification to do a quest, and was like, aw, ok!

I totally haven't gotten any of these messages! I've been pretty active through each day, though. Maybe that's why.
posted by moira at 6:25 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


My buddy, who's a MeFite (I ain't outin' him) did it here.
posted by klangklangston at 7:18 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


So I just looked over my SB dashboard and realized I remembered wrong about how to invite allies. You click "Allies" on the menu at the left side of your screen and send an invitation to the person's email address that way, via the add button.

Sorry if I caused confusion.
posted by moira at 7:56 PM on October 16, 2012


Can someone explain what you actually do? I can't really penetrate their website's "leveraging social cloud-based memes outside the box 2.0" boilerplate.
posted by threeants at 8:13 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


threeants: “Can someone explain what you actually do? I can't really penetrate their website's "leveraging social cloud-based memes outside the box 2.0" boilerplate.”

I haven't done Superbetter, but it appears to be a kind of gamification platform for helping people motivate themselves to achieve goals. Like, if you want to get better at keeping your house clean, that's a goal, and presumably they'll give you a system where you earn points for every week you're successful. It looks like this one is generally health-focused, however.
posted by koeselitz at 8:42 PM on October 16, 2012


Threeants, you end up with your main page, your "dashboard." Along the left of the page you can select among your other pages: Activity (which is a wall that shows your recent wins and which you can post on, and a little box that shows today's quests and progress); Quests; Allies; Power-ups; Bad Guys; Future Boosts; and Achievements (which is a list of all the Achievement awards you've earned).

Quests are smaller goals or actions that lead toward achieving your "Epic Win." Whenever you complete one, you click that you did so and get various types of points, depending on the quest. These points count toward one or more of your 4 types of resilience scores (mental, emotional, social, physical). You can use quests given to you as part of a power pack, add your own, or do quests given to you by an ally.

Power-ups are small, quick things you can do to boost your well-being, such as drinking a glass of water or calling a friend. Again, you get points each time you do a power-up. Also, you feel a little better. Again, you can totally customize these.

Bad Guys are the things that trip you up (e.g., "The Sticky Chair," which tempts you to sit indefinitely). If you click that you avoided or battled the Bad Guy successfully, you get points. I'm pretty sure you lose points if you lose against the bad guy. I don't bother recording losses because I find it discouraging. Customizable.

Future Boosts is your own list of things you look forward to in the near future; happy points for doing them. Allies are people who cheer you on, post on your wall, send you achievement awards, send you quests.

You have the option of choosing different Power Packs and tracking your well-being. Your resilience scores go up, and as they do you level up. When you reach a new level, you get a well-being tip. You get lots of positive messages, both from the game and from yourself while you're playing it.

You can create a superhero identity for yourself, tell yourself a story, make it fun. For some reason, it's a lot easier battling a Bad Guy when I have this superhero alter-ego and a visual of the Bad Guy whose butt I'm kicking.

(Sorry for any errors in the above; my brain is shutting down for the night I think.)
posted by moira at 8:46 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Extremely impressed by this. Signed up. Trying to pick what challenge to focus on (so much I need to fix!), but have already seen immediate positivity in going through the intro exercises.

I'm interested in having Allies, but I don't know how much time I can commit to being a good one for others, so I need to check out what that entails, first.
posted by batmonkey at 11:10 PM on October 16, 2012


There's a very small Wiki with a great example of a non-health-focused custom set of quests, power-ups, and bad guys that a user created to help with an apartment move.
posted by moira at 11:45 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it's maybe silly, but I like the idea, but the more I get into just the intro bit--I've come a long way dealing with my mental health issues before this. The fact that I wasn't able to complete part of the intro questions and my only option to get past them was to lie about completing them? It seems like it had the exact opposite effect for me that it had for people who were able to do all that.

Yeah, they seem simple, but if you've got health problems, sometimes simple stuff isn't. If your website is going to make a big deal about how you're there to support people with health problems...
posted by gracedissolved at 4:43 AM on October 17, 2012


Just joined, and the whole narrative system may well work better for me than past motivational sites, based on initial investigations. I'll probably flounder a bit when it comes to myself, but I'm more than willing to be an ally to folk if they want someone else to give them a hand.
posted by Inner Universe at 5:05 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gracedissolved, I can be your ally if you need help getting through questions. PM me.
posted by sweetkid at 8:12 AM on October 17, 2012


I'm interested in having Allies, but I don't know how much time I can commit to being a good one for others, so I need to check out what that entails, first.

I felt much the same. A couple of us are being allies lite, which may be more approachable for you for now.

I was also considering a MeFi group on the SB forums to function as a way to connect/cheerlead. Is anybody interested in that? I wouldn't personally be interested in being in charge of it in any way, so we could just leave it open for anybody to join, or somebody else could volunteer to take the reins and make it invite-only.
posted by moira at 8:27 AM on October 17, 2012


I would really like to participate in this. I'm on Superbetter and it's been tremendously helpful to me, but sometimes I get stressed and don't log into it for ages, plus my one (mutual) ally has stopped using it a bit. I think injecting some more social stuff might be helpful at this point.
posted by Acheman at 9:10 AM on October 17, 2012


This looks very interesting! I'd love to join if people are setting up a group. My user ID on there is peacheater as well.
posted by peacheater at 9:51 AM on October 17, 2012


Ooooh, I'd love to give this a shot. I did Health Month for about two months but for whatever reason it just wasn't clicking for me. I'm phirephoenix.
posted by Phire at 9:59 AM on October 17, 2012


Hmm, some of the quests seem a trifle pointless to me e.g.

Imagine that any aspect of your habits or thinking could be rewired with enough practice. What would you change or rewire? Why?

Journal about your response.


Seems a little time-wastey to me, especially since I have a tendency to procrastinate and get carried away by oooh-new-shiny things. Also their interface needs some work. It's not clear to me how I can add new power-ups though they keep wanting me to do so.
posted by peacheater at 10:03 AM on October 17, 2012


Also, their only options to add an ally seem to be invite on Facebook, or enter email. Why can't I just enter the username of another user (like phirephoenix above)?
posted by peacheater at 10:07 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes that. I assume because they want to make the allies members. They're still in member gathering stage.
posted by sweetkid at 10:09 AM on October 17, 2012


Yeah, I find it frustrating that the only way to connect is via the email invite or forum.

Peacheater, you can delete any of the quests you don't find personally useful, change to a completely different set of quests/power-ups/bad guys (the set is called a "Power Pack"), add your own custom items on top, or start from scratch and do everything custom.

To add a power-up, there should be a little "Add +" link to the right of the power-up title banner.

I'll go ahead and make an open MeFi group on the Superbetter Forums. You'll have to sign up separately there to participate.
posted by moira at 10:27 AM on October 17, 2012


Mods, would it be okay to find and use a MetaFilter icon for the group there?
posted by moira at 10:33 AM on October 17, 2012


Okay, I made a public MetaFilter group here.
posted by moira at 10:38 AM on October 17, 2012


I assume from the social media side of this that any allies can see exactly what your quests and goals and such are? So for example users should be cautious about setting an epic win of "topple the government in a bloody coup" and bad guy battles like "avoid temptation to flip off boxes full of kittens"?
posted by Drastic at 10:38 AM on October 17, 2012


Right. It's private except for your allies. As far as I can tell (I'm brand new to the ally dashboard), the only the your ally can't see are future boosts.

It's the other reason a forum group appealed to me.
posted by moira at 10:41 AM on October 17, 2012


I've also just discovered that as an ally, anything I post to my hero's Activity Wall also gets posted to mine. Commenting on my hero's post stays on my hero's wall.
posted by moira at 10:53 AM on October 17, 2012


Ok, this is actually a lot of fun! Despite myself, I do enjoy the little tasks and random to-dos. But I just don't feel that there's anything terribly practical about this. Some of the tasks just grate on me -- leaving little post-it notes everywhere with inspirational messages? Ugh. No thank you. If only they had a power pack of something useful, like beating procrastination or something a little less woo-woo and hand-wavy.
posted by peacheater at 11:42 AM on October 17, 2012


There are tons of non wavy powerpacks. The beat stress one is pretty good.
posted by sweetkid at 12:01 PM on October 17, 2012


Physical and emotional resilience packs, plus my own adds, are working pretty well for me. I thinned a few things out. "Chug a glass of water" didn't seem like much of a power-up to me, but lo and behold, I get pointed to a study that says even the mildest dehydration has a significant impact on mood and energy. I'm perpetually dehydrated, so that particular power-up gets to stick around.

Superbetter is pretty malleable.
posted by moira at 12:10 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just started, I'm ApathyGirl there. (Eponysterical!)
I'll work on sending ally requests later today.
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:33 PM on October 17, 2012


I'm giving it a shot.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:45 PM on October 17, 2012


I'm sad that we can't find ourselves by usernames there (batmonkey), but, okay, I'm willing to give Allies Lite a go if anyone could use the encouragement - email's on profile.
posted by batmonkey at 4:10 PM on October 17, 2012


If anyone would like me to add them as an ally please PM me your email.
posted by peacheater at 5:11 PM on October 17, 2012


I'm interested too; I'll sign up later in the week though.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:12 PM on October 17, 2012


Joining the chorus a bit, if anybody wants me as an ally, just pm me so I know what I'm doing/who I'm adding.
posted by Inner Universe at 12:57 AM on October 18, 2012


epic win: shedding almost 40 lbs in the last 8 weeks and walking an entire mile non-stop last night*. it took 25 minutes, but it wouldn't have happened at all 2 months ago.

*no web sites were involved in the making of this achievement
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:26 AM on October 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think I might need this. So, if somebody wants to add me to Team MeFi, I'll give it a shot. (I have a gmail account)
posted by theora55 at 12:38 PM on October 18, 2012


I think I might need this. So, if somebody wants to add me to Team MeFi, I'll give it a shot. (I have a gmail account)

There are a couple of ways to connect with Mefites at Superbetter. One way is to invite one or more people via the "Allies" link on your dashboard. You'll need their email addresses. They'll be able to see your goals and activities. To see theirs, they need to invite you the same way.

You can also connect in a more general way on the Superbetter forums in the MetaFilter group.
posted by moira at 1:06 PM on October 18, 2012


I'm in! If anyone would like me to add them as an ally, just memail me your email.
posted by ambrosia at 4:41 PM on October 18, 2012


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