BoosterBuddy App Review

We’re always looking for ways we can use tech to improve mental health, and the best way to do that is to try new things! This week, our volunteer Jenn Lee makes friends with a fox named Fred in BooserBuddy.


BoosterBuddy is an app developed by Island Health to help with mental health and wellness. It’s free and easy to use.  I found the app to be a good reminder to take some time for self-care each day.


It’s got a cute set-up. You get to choose one of three animal buddies, and in order to wake it up, you have to check in and complete three activities each day. (I chose the fox and I have named him Fred, short for Frederico. You don’t actually name them in the app, but he looked like a Fred!) You level up and earn coins as you complete activities. At new levels, you unlock new accessories that you can buy for your buddy. (Fred is currently wearing a stylish plaid scarf.)


The daily activities are catered to your mental health needs. When you first start using the app, it asks a few screening questions to identify mental health issues you might be struggling with, such as depression, mania, anxiety, psychosis, and substance abuse. Additionally, the app asks you how you are feeling when you check in each day and is supposed to adapt. I have Bipolar II Disorder and I’ve been having pretty good days since I started using the app, so my experience would be different than other users.


For me, the daily activities often involved learning, socializing, and getting out in the world. Some of them were very easy, like learning how to say “hello” in a new language (olà!), planning to eat something healthy for that day (finally made a salad with that spinach), or writing down something to tell myself when I’m feeling down (“You are strong and you are loved.”). Other activities required more involvement, such as visiting the local library, reaching out to someone who might be going through a difficult time, or finding and making plans to go to a local event. You also have the option to skip activities and are given new options. It wasn’t too difficult to complete three activities each day, and it motivated me to do things I wouldn’t usually do.


Although there is a medication management feature, I didn’t always find it reliable. I would recommend using something else for remembering to take meds.


The app also offers many well-being guides that you can use anytime. General wellness guides include things like mindfulness, self-love, and creating a routine. There are also some for more specific problems; for depression, it gives ideas for coping such as breaking down tasks into manageable steps, examining your thoughts, or writing down small accomplishments. Personally, this app has been a good place to look at times when I’ve felt down and needed direction.


It’s important to do little things to take care of ourselves each day, and I found BoosterBuddy was really helpful. Some of the activities reminded me of other things I could do to stay healthy - for instance, the activity of going for a walk prompted me to do some additional exercise and break out the yoga mat, and the activity of writing down three things I’m thankful for reminded me that I should keep writing in my gratitude journal.


Overall, the app lives up to its name: it provides you with a little boost. It’s sweet and simple. I wouldn’t rely on the app alone to take care of my mental health needs, but it seems good as an add-on to other strategies. It helps make sure you’re doing a little something each day.