It’s not like I need to tell you this in 2020, but sometimes life can be so frustrating you just want to scream.
An app called BadGood lets you do just that, and it’s the winner of our 2020 Innovation by Design Award in the category of Asian-Pacific Region. The app allows users to scream, shake, or type their everyday frustrations right into their smartphone and receive positive illustrated messages when they do. It’s not based on formal research, so don’t think of it as a serious mental health app. But it’s a more playful take on stress relief apps, with a low barrier to entry that lets you get out your stress physically—without having to run around the block.
BadGood was created by Raymond McKay and Laura Cibilich, the married cofounders of New Zealand-based creative agency Run, and computer scientist Suranga Nanayakkara. McKay says he first thought of the concept when he tried to decompress with a run and thought there must be a way to get the same feeling through our devices. The cofounders found additional inspiration for the app from the MIT scream project. The BadGood app launched last year and is now available for 99 cents in the Apple app store.
The app has three different functions to get rid of unwanted tension: screaming, shaking, and typing. So in addition to letting it out with a primal scream, you can shake your phone—er, “digital punching bag,” as they describe it—or type out your frustrations. The app then processes the action and gives it a score. Say you’re on the verge of sending an email you know you shouldn’t. Let it all out in BadGood, and you’ll be rewarded with cute illustrations of dolphins, astronauts, and bears in friendly pastel colors, rather than regrets.
“It’s been a fun side project, and the whole pandemic hit, and it seemed like BadGood was perfect for this,” says Cibilich. Plenty of people need to get out pent-up energy and stress—and sure, you can take a deep breath and count to 10, but wouldn’t it be more fun to be rewarded at the end? Here’s one quick way to take the anxiety of daily life and transform it into something positive, one scream at a time.
See more honorees from the 2020 Innovation by Design Awards here.
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