From television presenting to launching accessories brand Pop & Suki, Poppy Jamie has conquered many markets. Now, she takes on a mission of mindfulness with her app, Happy Not Perfect.
What do pizza, puzzles and burning your troubles have in common? Happy Not Perfect. A wellness app founded by Poppy Jamie, it encourages you to do a “happiness workout” every day, which may include drawing your favorite slice of pizza, completing a calming puzzle, or virtually burning the things that drag you down.
Jamie was inspired to create this app in her mid-twenties, after experiencing severe emotional burnout. “I was putting so much pressure on myself and working all hours of the day and traveling,” she says. “I had totally forgotten to look after my mind.”
Things improved tremendously after she incorporated tools like breathing classes and gratitude diaries. Determined to spread the life-changing impacts of maintaining one’s mind, Poppy Jamie launched the app in 2017, and continues to share her story. Here are her thoughts on being Happy Not Perfect.
1. What inspired your interest in mindfulness?
My mindfulness habits kind of began from my mother, who’s a psychotherapist. From the age of 5, we were really taught to value and look after our minds like [anything else]. We’d get told “brush your teeth, wash your face,” but also “what are you going to do for your mind?”
While it stemmed from a young age, it became the focus of my life at around 24-25, when I really suffered from severe emotional burnout, and I remembered that I had totally forgotten to look after my mind.
2. What led up to this period of burnout?
I was putting so much pressure on myself and working all hours of the day and traveling – I was burning the candle at both ends.
A lot of people know what burnout feels like, but you have absolutely zero energy. I was bed-bound for a few weeks and felt consistently fatigued. I began to read about the science behind wellbeing and thinking “what could I do to feel better?” I kept a gratitude diary and went to breathing classes and I found how powerful journaling was.
3. Is that when you came up with the idea for Happy Not Perfect?
When I started looking into the science behind happiness, I fell in love with this book written by a neuroscientist, who I reached out to and asked if we could meet up. He started to work to teach me what happens to the brain when you do these simple activities and I began to imagine What if I could turn this into an app and Imagine if everyone could do a happiness workout every single day. That’s where the idea came from. I was thinking, How do I help other people prioritize their mind in an easy way? And if you can’t meditate, what else can you do to feel calmer, sleep better and reduce your stress?
4. Is there a specific target market you have in mind for the app?
It’s for everyone. Our biggest demographic are women in their 20s and 30s, but we have 87-year-olds email us and we also have 7-year-old [users]. It’s really for everyone because they’re exercises that make everyone feel good.
5. What is your vision for the future of Happy Not Perfect?
I really want Happy Not Perfect to be an app that every single person has on their phone because, if you’re a human being, you have emotions and it’s so important that we all have an outlet for our emotions. We’re also launching really cool supplements that are coming out in a few months and I’m excited about the physical products as well.
6. What are some other tools you would recommend in addition to using wellness apps for maintaining a healthy mind?
Besides for using wellness apps, I would recommend trying to spend as much time away from your phone as possible. So meeting up with friends, walking outside, going to the cinema. Do fun activities that get you outside and meeting people.
7. What are your thoughts on psychotherapy?
Talk therapy is brilliant. It’s really important to have a time to process all the things happening in your life. And even if you think Oh I don’t need to do it, I don’t know what I would talk about, it is so incredible for every single person to experience therapy.
8. Have you ever considered incorporating something like talk therapy into Happy Not Perfect?
Definitely, [perhaps] in the future!
9. If there’s one message you could share about happiness, what would it be?
If you’re trying to train to run a marathon, you would have to train every single day. If you want to learn French, you’d have to practice every day. This is the whole thing around positive thinking and feeling happy. You’ve got to practice feeling positive – it takes a little effort each day but it’s so worth it.
Some facts about Poppy:
- She is happiest “at home in the English countryside.”
- One individual she looks up to is “Oprah.”
- Her brunch favorites include “berries and eggs.”
- The best advice she ever received is “what is meant for you will not pass you by.”
- One of the apps she uses most on her phone is “Uber.”
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.