Meet Skylight: A Mental Health and Spiritual Self-Care App Fostering Wellbeing Among Genzennials

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Skylight

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Welcome to our series, Cool Brands Doing Cool Things, where we get a behind the scenes look at the innovation, products and development, business practices, and more from these impactful brands.


At GenTwenty, we are no strangers to facing mental illness and focusing on our mental health on a daily basis. If you’ve read the blog for any length of time, you’ll know we are big supporters of erasing the stigma surrounding these topics and aim towards improving this aspect of your life whether it’s through therapy, medication, meditation, a fitness and nutrition journey, and spirituality.

This is why were were so intrigued to learn about Skylight – a self-care app that is focused on transforming the mental health of Gen Z and Millennials through your spiritual journey, meditation, yoga, prayer, stretching, music, and more.

We had the opportunity to chat with Skylight’s Executive Director John Dye to get a behind the scenes look at the brand’s development, mission, and ultimate goal of improving the wellbeing of a stressed out and burnt out generation.

And the best news? Skylight is currently free to all users thanks to donors that support their mental health work.

Skylight

What inspired the creation of Skylight, and what is the brand’s ultimate mission?

Young adults are hurting—Millennials and Gen Z are suffering from unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression and loneliness. That’s why we created Skylight. While access to mental health resources is better than ever, we believe there’s even more we can do to help these young adults live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

At Skylight, we believe strongly in the power of personal connection with the divine. 

No matter what they call their higher power—Adonai, Allah, Presence, the Universe, or God, every person can seek and find a personal, loving relationship and feel what we call “spiritual wellness.” Our goal is to bring this to millions of young adults.  

But there are obstacles: 

First, personal spirituality just isn’t something young adults can talk about openly, depriving them of “social permission” and peer guidance to get started on a spiritual path. Second, beginning a personal spiritual practice can be a little intimidating. Young adults don’t often know where to start and are wary of traditional institutions. 

Skylight is on a mission to open conversations about spirituality and ensure those conversations are relevant to youth aged 18-35. We want young adults to realize that spiritual practice is a normal part of being human. And then we want to help them take their first steps to connect with their Higher Power, building a divine relationship that they can count on as they pursue their own spiritual journey.

Because spiritual wellness is a component of overall self-care, Skylight created a spiritual self-care platform with over 500 spiritual exercises that can help anyone feel less stressed and anxious, get better sleep, and feel more love. Through short, expert-led activities, Skylight has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals, from all spiritual backgrounds, enjoy the benefits of spiritual wellness. With Skylight, spiritual wellness is accessible anywhere, anytime, and always for free.

Can you tell us more about Skylight’s development process? What research do you base your development on?

Skylight’s development process is deeply rooted in a multidisciplinary approach that combines insights from behavioral science psychology, spirituality, and user experience design. This robust framework ensures that the practices and resources offered are not only scientifically sound but also spiritually enriching and user-friendly.

Here’s a closer look at the components of Skylight’s development process:

  • Scientific Research: Skylight bases its content and practices on behavioral scientific research contemporary psychological research and neuropsych neuroscience studies that underscore the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and spiritual engagement. These studies often explore how such practices can reduce stress, enhance cognitive functions, and improve emotional well-being. Research, as you might guess, is never-ending as we attempt to optimize our practices and approach to spiritual wellness.
  • Spiritual Traditions: The development of Skylight’s resources also involves an exploration of various spiritual traditions from around the world. By integrating diverse spiritual teachings and practices, Skylight ‘s offerings are inclusive and resonate with a broad audience. Again, this is an ever-evolving effort as we add more and more practices. We intend to eventually include more direct practices from Eastern traditions like Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as more insights from Western spiritual paths and even Indigenous spiritualities.
    User Feedback: Skylight continuously gathers feedback from its users to understand their needs, challenges, and preferences. This feedback informs ongoing updates and modifications to the platform, ensuring that it remains responsive to the evolving demands of its users.
    Collaborations with Experts: Skylight collaborates with experts in various fields, including psychology, spirituality, and holistic health to develop and refine its content. These experts contribute their knowledge and insights, ensuring that Skylight’s offerings are credible and effective.
    Technology Integration: Skylight incorporates the latest technological advancements to enhance user experience. This includes mobile-friendly design that allows users to access resources on-the-go. Personalized content delivery is currently on the roadmap as well.
  • Ethical Considerations: Skylight prioritizes ethical considerations. The goal is to ensure that the Skylight spiritual practices promote mental and spiritual well-being without exploiting cultural traditions, personal data privacy, or any other aspects that may cause concern.
John Dye Skylight Executive Director

How does Skylight work for users? Where do you recommend new users begin?

Skylight works as a platform for spiritual and mental wellness, designed to be easily accessible and user-friendly. It is not a replacement for traditional religiousreligion rituals or other spiritual practices; rather, Skylight serves as a tool to help users see the value of connecting with a higher power and encourage them on their spiritual journey.

For those new users seeking to embark on their personal spiritual journey, Skylight offers a variety of entry points tailored to individual needs and interests. Here’s how users can get started and what we’d recommend for beginners:

  • Website Navigation: When users go to skylight.org, they can explore different sections dedicated to meditation, affirmations, prayer, and spiritual music and movement. There is also a blog component that contains articles, video content, and guided practices to give more context.
  • Daily Practices: Skylight encourages daily engagement through short, purposeful practices that users can incorporate into their normal routines. This could be a morning meditation, a nightly gratitude journaling session, or periodic prayer reminders throughout the day.
  • Personalized Playlists: As users become more familiar with the platform, Skylight offers playlists to tailor their journey. Users can choose paths that align with their specific interests, challenges, or goals, whether it’s dealing with anxiety, stress, sleep, loneliness, or self-esteem.
Skylight

For new users, I personally recommend starting with a simple guided meditation (literally just over a minute) to experience immediate benefits and gain a feel for what additional practices might offer. 

Here’s a link to a basic guided meditation on Skylight, ideal for beginners looking to explore the benefits of spiritual wellness. This session is designed to introduce you to the practice of meditation and help you connect with a higher power, fostering a centered body, mind, and spirit.

How does Skylight approach the mental health challenges GenZennials face today?

Skylight recognizes that GenZennials encounter unique stresses, including digital overload, economic uncertainties, and a complex social landscape.

To address these challenges that are the cause of many mental health maladies, Skylight’s approach includes . . .

  • Integration of Technology: It often seems counterintuitive to think the exact mobile device that creates much of the anxiety, stress, and loneliness in this generation may also hold the cure to these ailments, but it is true. Skylight leverages technology to meet GenZennials where they are—online. Offering digital resources like meditations, affirmations, prayers, and spiritual movement and music practices, Skylight ensures that help is readily accessible and can easily fit into daily routines.
  • Education on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Prayer: Understanding the power of connecting to a higher power through mindfulness and meditation, Skylight provides comprehensive resources and tools to teach these practices and show how these practices help with anxiety, stress, and other issues. These practices are designed to help GenZennials develop coping mechanisms needed to enhance mental and spiritual resilience.
  • Diversity of Content: Acknowledging the diverse backgrounds and needs of GenZennials, Skylight offers a wide range of content that addresses various aspects of life and mental health from different cultural perspectives and spiritual palettes. This inclusivity helps every individual find something that resonates deeply within them.
  • Encouraging Spiritual Exploration: Skylight encourages exploring spiritual identities as a means to cultivate inner peace, purpose, and personal growth. Through guided spiritual practices and exploratory exercises, users are invited to connect with a higher power, which can provide a foundational support in their mental health journey.
  • Responsive and Adaptive Strategies: Skylight is and will remain adaptable to the changing dynamics of mental health discourse. Resources and content are constantly refreshed to address emerging mental health and spiritual wellness issues and incorporate the latest findings from research.
Skylight

Looking ahead, what is Skylight’s vision for the future? How will you continue to meet the mental health and spiritual needs of Genzennials?

Skylight’s vision for the future is focused on expanding its reach and deepening its impact, particularly among GenZennials—a demographic that values authenticity, transparency, holistic wellness, and mental health.

To meet the evolving spiritual and mental health needs of this group, Skylight plans to leverage technology and innovation in these ways:

  • Digital Accessibility: Understanding that GenZennials are digital natives, Skylight aims to continue to enhance its online platforms, making spiritual wellness practices to make them even more accessible through mobile apps. This approach allows users to engage in meditative and reflective practices anytime and anywhere, aligning with their on-the-go lifestyle.
  • Personalized Experiences: Skylight intends to offer more personalized spiritual guidance by tailoring content and practices to individual preferences and current emotional states.
    Inclusive Content: Skylight is committed to expanding its range of content to include a wider variety of spiritual traditions and religious tradition rituals from ethnically and racially diverse contributors whose cultures and languages vary. This inclusivity will help address the diverse needs and backgrounds of its users, providing a rich tapestry of resources that respect and honor different perspectives on spirituality and faith.
    Educational Initiatives: Skylight plans to introduce more educational content focused on the science of spirituality and its benefits to mental health. This may include partnerships with experts in psychology, neuroscience, and spiritual studies.

By focusing on these areas, Skylight aims to stay at the forefront of spiritual wellness, offering GenZennials and other users innovative tools and supportive resources to navigate life’s challenges and enrich their lives and holistic wellness.

skylight logo

Make sure to check out Skylight for free on their website and see how their resources can help you along your mental health journey.

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About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com




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