Creators of Shine Meditation Workplace Mental Health Apps


The creators of Shine apps show how mental health at work is not yet cultivated for the folks at BIPOC. Peace and inclusion begin with meditation and conscious community.

We strive to share ideas based on diverse experiences without stigma or shame. It is a powerful voice.

One of the hardest things to come to terms with interviewing guests on the “Inside Mental Health” podcast is that I’ll never know as much as the expert. Despite a lot of research, sometimes my best efforts fail.

Recent guests Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi came to the show to discuss the needs of the Black, Indigenous and Colored (BIPOC) community for workplace mental health.

Their experiences as business leaders – and the experiences of their communities – needed a solution to fill the equity gap. This is how the Shine mental health app was born.

I am an ally of the BIPOC community and have accepted the fact that I cannot relate too much to experiences of under-representation.

Lidey and Hirabayashi gave me a master class on the experiences and needs of my colleagues and acquaintances from BIPOC.

My first question to the founders of the app was about a statement I read on their website:

“We started Shine because we didn’t see ourselves – a black woman and a half-Japanese woman – and our experiences represented in traditional wellness. Our bodies, our skin color, our financial access, our past traumas – it all often seemed altered. “

I just asked them to share with our listeners why they felt thirsty. But what I was really asking was to explain why all of the other things that workplaces do to meet the mental health needs of their employees haven’t worked for their communities.

Lidey explains this flip-flop at work of being altered, triggered, drained and entering a “spiral of silence”.

She says that although disparities and exclusion persist, many people of color do not isolate the events and manage their thoughts about the incident. Instead, they internalize, blame themselves, and exhaust themselves emotionally.

Lidey adds that she and Hirabayashi have started to look to each other for edification, but they know that hundreds of thousands of people don’t have a “Naomi” to turn to at work that does. empathy and builds them.

Lidey reflects that “The Spiral of Silence is a theory in social psychology that talks about this idea of ​​not only feeling that something is wrong with you, but that you are the only one:” There is something fundamentally wrong with you. not go with me. I’m the only one going through this, so I’m not going to tell anyone about it.

She adds that she and Hirabayashi “were able to unbox what we were going through and help each other move forward with tactical solutions. And we knew there were so many more opportunities to help people like us with this same company, to have someone talk about their day-to-day mental and emotional health in a way that could help them. move forward and ultimately flourish. . “

I know that as a middle aged white male I have the most privilege that society has to offer. But knowing and understanding are very different things.

While meditation and mindfulness do not magically promote a mentally healthy workplace, it does have the benefit of being something a person can do without the support of others.

While this is certainly not the necessary solution, it is a practical step towards defending these goals. and to stay healthy.

I kept asking Lidey and Hirabayashi what the BIPOC community needed to meet people’s mental health needs, and they kept dropping their knowledge.

What started to shine for me was how obvious these suggestions were to them.

Among others, they suggested:

  • Call it the thing. Hirabayashi says “don’t pretend the status quo is right or refuse to recognize problems or areas for improvement.” They both spoke about mental health issues such as exhaustion from portrayals and fatigue from racial fights.
  • Go beyond just ticking a “diversity box”; pursue inclusion. Lidey says “to be inclusive you have to be specific, and that means talking about specific issues that plague different communities.”

It wasn’t high-level research that they spent decades uncovering. They shared that members of the BIPOC community already know these things, but often cannot get buy-in from senior executives at many companies because most employers use a one-size-fits-all approach.

Hirabayashi explains that being righteous doesn’t solve much as a cover or singular attempt.

She says that the thought that “everything should be exactly the same because everything is fine and everyone is treated exactly the same [is] ignore and refuse to recognize and treat the systems at play that absolutely play a role in our mental health. “

“Shine is really building the most inclusive mental health membership in the world,” says Lidey.

“So that means if you’ve had a hard time because of the color of your skin or your gender, you identify with the people you love, with your body size, with whatever really made you feel.” like the only one and like you didn’t. fit, you’ll find a home in the Shine app, ”she says.

It seems to be a primer and a fire starter for an attitude of inclusion where one can straighten his soul, be seen and valid, then have the support they need to walk to their workplace.

The Shine app is a handy assistance system available on any iOS or Android device for everyday personal stress and anxiety.

It presents self-care strategies organized and told by voices of people of color for members of the BIPOC community. People can be inspired and guided by over 800 original meditations, sounds and stories about their workplace or family life.

Shine’s “Quick Hitters” are analyzed by:

  • morning state of mind
  • midday mood
  • evening atmosphere

And it’s really an atmosphere. With playlists for Asian and Pacific Islander members, Latinx, Black, and LGBTQ + members, members of under-represented groups can find mental health resources tailored to their needs.

Never meditated before, or maybe you don’t really know what mindfulness is? Lidey, Hirabayashi, and the rest of Shine’s hosts have you covered.

As the Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central, I have the privilege of delving deeply into all things wellness. Gabe introduced me to the story of the Shine app, and as I thrive on improving myself and present moment awareness, I tried Shine’s meditation experiences. Here is how I interpreted them.

Step 1: Make yourself comfortable. Get down to earth

For the best experience, you may want to make yourself comfortable in a space that allows you some privacy or a respite. It could be your bedroom, your office, your closet or a park bench.

Grounding techniques involve positioning yourself to connect with immutable or immutable elements. It could be the actual ground outside on bare feet, but it could also be your hands in hot dishwater, your fingers on your skin, or a reminder of a memory locked in the recesses of your mind. .

Step 2: Breathe

You can do a slow electric slide (or bachata!) With your breath:

  1. Inhale as you mentally pull yourself away. Hold the tap, then exhale as you move mentally towards the center.
  2. Inhale again while mentally passing to the other side. Hold the tap, then exhale again in the middle.
  3. Repeat this dance throughout your meditation.

Step 3: Focus on the present moment (and come back to it)

Try to close your eyes and awaken your senses:

Step 4: Observe Your Thoughts

Your thoughts will drift. This is to be expected. Just notice it and get back to your breathing work.

You could try to imagine that you are the sky and your mind is the breeze. Watch your thoughts as leaves or debris passing through. You can’t hang on to it; you can only recognize their presence and watch them come and go.

Step 5: let the intention surface

If your meditation has a purpose, you can think of your intention as a cloud settling in the expanse of your sky. Is it gratitude? Look at this. Productivity? See that fluffy cloud in your mind. If you want, you can say an affirmation or word that matches your intention.

You can check out these inspiring affirmations, intentions, and messages of encouragement:

Step 6: Take your receipt

When you open your eyes, get out of your comfortable resting position and resume your daily routine. It is very helpful to take something from your practice with you: some sort of receipt, proof that you traded the hustle and bustle of life or unnecessary behaviors for this centering practice.

Your receipt could be the work of the breath that you can return to at any time of the day, or it could be the intention that you focused on. It could even be the feeling of your muscles sagging during relaxation, from your brow bone to your un-flexed feet.

Either way, put your mental receipt in your pocket and review it whenever you need to.

Lidey and Hirabayashi have created a brilliant space for BIPOC and its allies to practice self-care, meditate and cool off. This is the kind of help and healing they aim to bring to the workplace so that people of color can be supported as well.

Meditation is just a starting point, and with faces and voices that represent each of our diverse identities, Shine makes room for all of our identities.

Want to learn more about the founders of the Shine app? Click the player below or visit the official episode page of the BIPOC Workplace Mental Health podcast episode “Inside Mental Health”.


Kristin Currin-Sheehan is a creative multimedia muse who was sent to this Earth to cultivate people and brands to their full potential. Her cover: a writer in her thirties and Cinderella breadwinner of a blended all-sports family.

As a poet, she has published in “California’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology” and in the Dying Dahlia Review. Kristin’s intriguing storytelling has been featured with various healthcare brands, special interest magazines, TV news, and public radio. Its illustrative approach to digital content connects businesses and consumers, news and the community.


Gabe Howard

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book “Mental Illness Is an Asshole and Other Observations”, available on Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author.

Gabe is the host of Healthline Media’s weekly podcast, “Inside Mental Health.” You can listen and find out more here.

Gabe can be found online at gabehoward.com.

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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