Get to know NextCorps incubation client, MYRetreat, which is blending the practice of mindfulness with the allure of chocolate to revolutionize habit formation.
Based on an interview with MYRetreat Inc. CEO, Melissa Mueller-Douglas, LMSW.
About MYRetreat: Making it Easier to Find Time for Self-Care
MYRetreat is out to change the wellness game. Leveraging a behavioral psychology concept known as “temptation bundling,” MYRetreat’s mobile app and group workshops pair mindfulness with chocolate to help users remember to meditate while feeling instant gratification. Users of the free MYRetreat app can access daily “virtual retreats,” 3-minute guided meditations designed to be experienced alongside a small piece of chocolate.
Wellness workshops from MYRetreat — offered locally throughout Rochester as well as virtually for hybrid or fully remote companies — are 60-minute customizable experiences for team-building that use chocolate instead of trust falls.
“It’s a fabulous way for teams to connect with each other, to decrease stress, and to ideally increase productivity,” said Melissa Mueller-Douglas, LMSW, CEO of MYRetreat. “Employees leave the workshops with a stronger sense of belonging to their organization.”
Putting Priorities Straight
“[The idea for MYRetreat stemmed] from my own feelings that I wasn’t doing enough to take care of myself so I could show up fully in my job,” said Melissa. “Talking to my colleagues, I realized it was an issue many of them were facing as well. They said they either didn’t have the tools or were planning to wait to focus on themselves until major life milestones, such as children going off to college.”
Melissa remarks that the inevitable burnout that follows neglecting our mental well-being can have detrimental effects on one’s overall health and happiness.
“MYRetreat tackles this problem head-on by introducing a blue ocean strategy* that intertwines the wellness and chocolate industries, making self-care accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their stage in life.”
*Blue ocean strategy refers to the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand, as coined in the book by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.
MYRetreat Successes and Milestones
To further help MYRetreat app users stay consistent with their meditation practice, Melissa’s team recently began rolling out chocolate subscriptions. Subscribers receive three packs of 33 pieces of chocolate per quarter, available in milk, dark, and white chocolate, as well as a variety pack option.
Recognizing that not everyone likes or wants to eat chocolate every day, MYRetreat also announced a new partnership with Mona Moon Naturals. The Rochester-based creator of all-natural, small batch skincare products is supplying chocolate truffle lip balm as a simple, nourishing alternative to pair with meditation.
Finally, MYRetreat recently celebrated the signing of a contract with Dr. Charmain Jackman — a distinguished psychologist and Founder and CEO of InnoPsych — to collaborate on the MYRetreat app recordings on Sundays.
“Dr. Charmain’s expertise adds a powerful psychological perspective to MYRetreat, enhancing its effectiveness in promoting mental well-being,” said Melissa. “This collaboration will help to further MYRetreat’s commitment to delivering a comprehensive and science-backed approach to wellness.”
Start Indulging Better Mental Health
If you’re looking for a powerful professional team building experience or a way to elevate your personal well-being, look into MYRetreat. And to start receiving your bite-sized indulgence packs in the mail, simply click on “Start a chocolate subscription” within the free MYRetreat app. Learn more at ChocolateMindfulness.co.