How to Shine, Sleep and Smile Using New Technology

The responsibilities of an active businesswomen on-the-go can be endless.  Often last on the seemingly infinite list of to-dos is taking care of one’s own wellness, which is critical to the ability to function at a high level on the job.  


The exploding trend of wearable technology and apps has given individuals unprecedented opportunity to take personal health matters into their own hands.


Melissa Thompson, CEO of TalkSession — an online counseling company – offers a few tips to get moving, get some rest, and get a fix of happiness, all through seamless technology and increased awareness.


1)    Get moving.


Highly functional, frictionless, and well designed – Shine lives up to its tagline as “the most elegant activity monitor”.  It is sleek, fits seamlessly into one’s life, and its features reflect an understanding of user needs.


Shine is a robust, yet passive tracker.  It measures activity ranging from “light” to “moderate” to “heavy;” the device knows when a user is cycling and when she wakes.  Shine monitors the number of steps taken and number of hours slept.  Users can set goals and the low Bluetooth data transmission technology allows seamless syncing, requiring no extra effort by the user.


Created from aerospace-grade aluminum, Shine is the best-looking wearable on the market.  It arrives with a sport band and a magnetic clasp but I attached Shine to a gold omega chain and received compliments on it as jewelry.  Shine is the only wearable that I have never taken off, as it is completely waterproof.  I never have to think about taking care of the device; I can let it take care of me.


As long as the wearer’s phone’s Bluetooth is enabled, the app will update automatically.  For a device the size of a quarter, it is amazingly precise and needs next to zero manual adjustment.  As activity trackers saturate the market, it will be the most frictionless devices that will prevail.  My best recommendation is the Shine by Misfit Wearables.


2)    Get rest.


Sleep yields positive effects on memory, health, and productivity, leading to physical and mental restoration.  As an active businesswoman I know too well that getting a good night of sleep is easier said than done.  Here are a few digital apps to help you get the sleep you deserve:


Best sleep tracker: The Sleep Cycle app ($0.99) is an alarm clock that uses your phone’s accelerometer to monitor movement and determine users’ sleep phase.  The app will wake a person within a preset window, triggered by coming out of a “deep sleep” into a more awake state, improving one’s probability of waking up on the right side of the bed.  I found the alarm clock less useful than the ability to recognize the frequency I went in and out of sleep cycles (as well as the pitiful amount of sleep I get).  The app was also smart enough to rhetorically ask, “Short night or nap?” 


Best alarm clock: Wake by Tiny Hearts.  I endorse this app’s self-proclaimed description as, the “most beautiful innovative alarm for iPhone.”  Of all of the devices and apps that monitor sleep, Wake, provides the most comfortable experience to start the day.  (And if you want to snooze a bit, you just have to flip the phone upside down for a few extra precious Zzzs).


Faster to Sleep: Dormio app.  I was under the misimpression that it took me a long time to fall asleep.  By using the Dormio App, I realized that I just did not try to go to sleep.  This free app has a library of meditative music and sound tracks engineered to help users fall into a faster and deeper sleep.


3)    Get Happy.


It’s a fact- happier people are healthier and more productive. Here is an easy technology fix to raise your mood. 


Start with one of my favorite TEDx talks, given by “sharer of joy,” Nataly Kogan. Nataly, founder of the Happier app, gave a contagiously feel-good, 15-minute talk on “how pancakes can make you happier and change the world.”  Then download theHappier app (free in the iTunes store).


Expressions of gratitude are positively correlated to happiness. Happier, and Nataly’s perspective, put this phenomenon into application in more ways than one, and added a bit of confetti for good measure.  Sharing joyous events and small moments… does that a braggart make?  Happier is a platform not for humblebrags, but for the little moments that bring us joy.  An entry from the current feed: “The scent of a harvest berry candle and soft music on a cool autumn night.”  Doesn’t that bring a smile to your face?


That is contagious happiness.


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About Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson is the founder and CEO of TalkSession ( and is a member of GE & StartUp Health’s Entrepreneurship Program, as well as Springboard Enterprises’ Life Sciences Accelerator. Previously, Melissa was an analyst at Goldman Sachs as well as a technology and business development advisor to multiple startups. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Melissa is a member of 37Angels, a Board Advisor to the Flawless Foundation and Newport Academy, and is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Health Innovation, Women in Healthcare & Life Sciences. Melissa holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.


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