SuperBetter

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
SuperBetter Website Poster Image
Develop, strengthen positive habits with motivating game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about healthy living and positive attitude choices. The site emphasizes exercise, avoiding stress, and living a balanced life; kids see good and bad behavior examples and test out healthy habits in daily activities. The system also reinforces goal-setting and achievement. Activities are labeled with the strength they support, such as mental capabilities, to help kids connect positive behavior with results. A clearer, more concise overview of how the site works might help new users get up and running faster; however, short videos and descriptions help explain the different activities and encouragement tools as you access them. For kids struggling to change a habit or overcome a personal challenge, SuperBetter can be a great motivator.

Positive Messages

Site content centers on healthy physical and mental attitudes and habits.

Violence

A few users mention cutting and self-harm habits on message boards.

Sex

Users agree not to post any obscene, vulgar, or sexually oriented items when registering for site forums. 

Language

There are instances of "f--k" and "s--t" in a few forum posts.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One user posted about using the site tool to regulate cannabis use; other users have posted about trying to overcome alcohol addiction. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SuperBetter is a game-like motivational tool that promotes positive habits for teens and adults. Kids need to check a box saying they're 13 or older to sign up; however, there's no real age verification to prove this. It can be a helpful tool for teens struggling with depression or body-image issues or who simply want to reduce stress. 

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What's it about?

Created with input from doctors, psychologists, scientists, game designers, and medical researchers, SUPERBETTER is part game, part healthy-living activity log, walking users through small, inspirational steps to encourage them to recover, both mentally and physically, from an illness, injury, or emotional setback. (Suggested options include "stress," "depression," and "working out.") It provides a daily to-do list of healthy-living tasks for each user and tracks success with motivating feedback. Power-ups, such as drinking a glass of water, are included for a feel-good boost; potential roadblocks, or Bad Guys (such as avoiding exercise), also are listed, with suggestions to help users break negative patterns. Kids can choose a particular challenge from a drop-down menu -- ranging from lowering stress to feeling more confident -- and list a reason why they'd like to feel SuperBetter.

Is it any good?

SUPERBETTER says its suggested site exercises are designed to boost physical, mental, social, and emotional resilience in 30 seconds or less, in turn strengthening your stamina, willpower, and focus. That may sound like a lot to accomplish in under a minute -- but when it comes to inventive, easy, feel-good activities and guidance, SuperBetter delivers.

The site is so packed with enthusiastic go-get-'em attitude that you can't help but feel a bit more excited after using it. Treatment of topics that could have a negative connotation, like losing weight, wisely avoid iffy territory by focusing on health aspects, instead of body image issues. And users also learn to identify and conquer negative influences, like shame, by ranking how well they battled it that day and how big an issue it is in their life. Still, even with all that constructive self-confidence instruction, parents may have some concerns about kids spending time on the site. You're supposed to be 13 to register; however, kids can easily get through the process if they aren't. It's also very easy to connect with complete strangers on the forums -- many of whom are adults; and some are not in a particularly positive place. As a result, some forum posts may contain content that's a little too intense for younger users. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss healthy lifestyle choices. What current ones does your kid practice? How could your family improve its eating and exercise habits?

  • The site breaks lifestyle changes down into small daily tasks. Talk to your child about how large projects can be divided into parts to make them feel more manageable. 

Website details

For kids who love feeling great

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