Personal Zen 4+
Play to relieve stress
Personal Zen Ventures, LLC.
- Offers In-App Purchases
Play this therapeutic mobile game for the recommended amount of time, 4 times a week for at least 4 weeks to reduce symptoms of anxiety and distress.
Personal Zen is a game-based digital therapeutic intended to treat patients 13 years of age and older with mild to severe levels of clinically elevated anxiety or distress and is intended to be used in consultation with your healthcare provider.
Personal Zen’s core therapeutic mechanism of action is a game-based approach to a decades old area of neurocognitive research known as Attention Bias Modification (ABM). Through this proprietary approach to ABM, Personal Zen uses gamification to target neural pathways associated with emotional and attentional patterns that can drive excessive anxiety and distress.
Based on your current levels of anxiety, fatigue and pain, a daily goal of gameplay is recommended (typically between 6 and 12 minutes). Play 4 times a week for at least 4 weeks to see the best results.
You can also access brief, science-backed tools to support your mental health journey including:
- Journaling & mood tracking to help identify feelings and triggers
- Breathing exercises to calm anxiety and improve sleep
- Mindfulness practices
How Does Personal Zen Work?
The human brain is uniquely predisposed to unconscious, sub-second processing of facial expression. Personal Zen uses facial archetypes and gamification to re-train emotional and attentional patterns that can drive persistent feelings of anxiety and distress. Personal Zen’s proprietary game mechanics have been designed and optimized through a decade of neuroscientific research using EEG, neurostimulation, eye tracking, heart rate monitoring and MRI.
Personal Zen has been clinically validated through six randomized controlled clinical trials published in leading peer-reviewed research journals including Clinical Psychological Science, Behavior Research & Therapy, and Biological Psychology.
After 4 weeks of usage, clinical effects have included a 38% reduction in anxiety (Beck Anxiety Inventory), a 491% reduction in cognitive signs of anxiety (Dot-Probe Task Measure), as well as a statistically significant reduction in the stress hormone cortisol.
How Do I Play Personal Zen?
Start by logging your levels of Anxiety, Fatigue, and Pain. A daily goal of gameplay will be recommended between 6 and 12 minutes. It is recommended that you meet this daily goal 4 days a week for at least 4 weeks. To play Personal Zen, swipe the path left by the friendly sprite (smiling face) after it disappears. A “medallion” will appear, telling you where to focus your attention next. Don’t let the angry sprite divert your focus. Unlock new regions by earning points and increasing your level.
What experts are saying:
“Instantly engaging for adults and kids, Personal Zen is a rare example of science turned into fun in order to reduce stress and anxiety.”
Dr. Tony Simon, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of California Davis
“Personal Zen brings cutting-edge research and well-established strategies for reducing anxiety and stress into the palm of your hand.”
Dr. Shannon M. Bennett, Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
Caution: Personal Zen is a computerized behavioral therapy (CBT) medical device software to provide a neurobehavioral intervention in patients 13 years of age and older with mild to severe levels of clinically elevated anxiety or distress, and is currently commercially distributed without prescription under FDA’s Enforcement Policy for Digital Health Devices For Treating Psychiatric Disorders. Above claims have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety and efficacy under a premarket review. Personal Zen does not represent a substitution for a patient's medication, and patients should consult with their physician before using Personal Zen. Please read Personal Zen’s Instructions for Use before using the device.
We made some bug fixes in this version. Keep track of how many times you’ve played during the week, and track how many minutes you’ve played the game towards your daily goal. Track your progress towards 4 times a week for at least 4 weeks.
Ratings and Reviews
Reduce anxiousness and negativity only after 12 mins
I have only been using this for 12 minutes - it already helped bring my mind out of a rut. I look forward to using it routinely as suggested and see what longer term changes it can produce to see if it is worth a paid subscription. (So 4 stars for now, will update this review then).
I recommend reading the instructions on the app’s page though, because when I first started playing I just thought I can leisurely trace the line and didn’t feel much difference and I kept getting the purple medallions (I did notice that my brain seemed drawn to the angry face).
But as I continued playing/and after I read the instructions, I realized there is a “trick” behind it to make it more “effective”: Loosely focus the gaze, that helped me notice the happy face more quickly and trace quickly, a medallion will appear - again loosely focus the attention on that spot where the medallion appear, and repeat. When I did that - I got more gold medallions which I believe is “better” than the purple. After I started doing that for the duration of the recommended session, I definitely noticed my attention more drawn to the happy face, and I also felt less anxious.
To the app developer: I would recommend giving clearer instructions to the users on the first gameplay. Not everyone would read the instructions in the game description page and may miss out on the ability to benefit.
Hello, I saw your app mentioned on a tv show this week. I downloaded your app and tried it and have a few suggestions. The first set of written words at the bottom did not fit the screen so I couldn’t read it all. (I am using an IPad in portrait position).
Thereafter, every text screen that appeared at the bottom never stayed long enough to read the whole message. That, in itself, was frustrating.
After the first set of swiping flowers, the app asked me to register. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about this app to feel comfortable sharing my personal information, so I ended up deleting the app. I’m sorry, because I was looking forward to using this app.
Developer Response ,
We are sorry that you had this experience with Personal Zen. Our team is currently updating the on-boarding experience based on user feedback, including yours, in our new release coming shortly. Once that release is live, it should be much easier to read and understand the goals of the app and how it works. We are thankful to you for reaching out with your feedback and could potentially offer you a code that will give you free access to Personal Zen if you don’t mind providing additional feedback. Alternatively, if you would like to participate in our virtual trials, feel free to email email@example.com.
Too many Tech flaws
Too many tech flaws. I have had this app for almost a week and still cannot successfully register because it always throws me to something else. The problem is with the lines overlapping. The font doesn’t fit the frame. I love the little game but our tax money shouldn’t be supporting funding of a project that may work beautifully if you could only get the tech right. You must start with the tech right or you’re wsending in a person already frustrated and that throws research. When you are conducting and touting research, you must provide an unbiased and workable environment. Like so many apps I see in this space, you have deeply flawed user tools. The difference is you are being funded by the NIH. In other words, me. Please fix the app or refund the NIH, in other words, me, the taxpayer. I hope to see you fix it. I know this stuff works. People need it. But yours won’t work so that it can work. If we can land a drone in an exact spot on Mars, surely we can fix simple user tools on an app. It’s not that hard. Thank you.
Developer Response ,
Sorry to hear that you’re having this issue! To clarify, while the underlying scientific research was, in fact, NIH-funded, Personal Zen is not funded by the NIH. We do make fairly regular updates to fix bugs. It's possible that an update we plan to make soon might help you with the problem you describe, or you might help us uncover an issue we haven't seen before in our testing process. We have reached out to you via email to help troubleshoot, so please look for a response from firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Personal Zen Ventures, LLC.
- 59.9 MB
- Health & Fitness
- Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 11.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 11.0 or later.
- Age Rating
- © Personal Zen LLC
- In-App Purchases
- Personal Zen $2.99
Some in‑app purchases, including subscriptions, may be shareable with your family group when Family Sharing is enabled.