Emotional fitness app launches in partnership with UK universities

fika emotional fitness

Fika is this week launching ​a nationwide programme to engage with some of the UK’s top academics and university bodies to reach the students of the UK​, addressing issues of loneliness and anxiety affecting the student population. 

At launch, Fika is in closed trial partnerships with a number of leading universities across the UK, including the Universities of Coventry, Exeter, Lincoln and Manchester Metropolitan, to provide a scalable ‘Emotional Fitness’ service to help students build resilience, improve performance, develop soft career skills and reduce loneliness and isolation.

The next phase of Fika’s development will see the company undertake academic research and longitudinal studies with partner universities and more than 1500 students, with the aim of building a body of primary empirical evidence to support the benefits of proactive emotional exercise.

It will also see Fika work with partner businesses, to provide ‘emotional fitness’ training as students transition into the workplace and as employees journey through the life cycles of their careers; from promotions, to management roles, to returning to work after children and the resultant demands of a different work-life balance.

Nick Bennett, founder and CEO of Fika said​:

“The world is emotionally out of shape. We all know the benefits of regular physical exercise, but what about regular emotional exercise? We are bringing Fika to market to address this problem and raise awareness of the benefits of emotional fitness, to get the best out of our lives.

We are on a mission with our university partners to prioritise proactive emotional support for students and help prepare them better for their transition into university and beyond into the world of work and the uncertainty of the current economic climate.”

University comments(​ arranged by alphabetical order)

The University of Coventry

Jordan Dawson, PhD, CUSU Satellite Campus Manager, Coventry University Students’ Union. Said:

“Student wellbeing across Universities is increasingly on the national agenda, where Students’ Union have a key role to play in supporting and developing students. Emotional Fitness is a key element of their continued success in both their educational and co-curricular offering. Innovative forms of technological wellbeing such as Fika are a key route into engaging with our student body which comes from a diverse and varied background. 

Dan Holmes, CUSU Coordinator London, Coventry University Students’ Union said: 

“Across our Coventry University London campus we have a wide variety of students with cultural differences, educational experiences and which we celebrate and aim to build engagement programmes around for the benefit of students. The Fika mission to encourage emotional Fitness is one we at, Coventry University Students’ Union, believe is much needed to help foster inclusion and engagement across these important student segments whilst supporting them to be successful in their student journey through enhanced emotional wellbeing.

The University of Exeter

Professor Tim Quine – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Exeter said:

At Exeter we take the wellbeing of all of our students incredibly seriously, and always look to enhance our students’ experience and support them to develop a well-rounded set of skills and attributes. This new partnership gives us an exciting opportunity to explore a new approach to enhancing wellbeing among our students, building valuable life skills such as self-acceptance, confidence and empathy. We are excited to be collaborating with Fika and the other universities involved at this early stage in the journey to emotional fitness, and look forward to seeing the programme develop.

The University of Lincoln

Professor Liz Mossop, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Engagement at Lincoln University said:

“Supporting our students through their university journey to become confident and highly employable graduates is incredibly important here at Lincoln. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to provide support, and we believe digital tools such as Fika provide excellent additional help alongside our extensive face to face provision. The concept of emotional fitness is extremely helpful and we are looking forward to working with the developers alongside our students.”

Dr Roger Bretherton​, ​Principal Lecturer (Enterprise) at the University of Lincoln said: 

“As an academic psychologist who researches and applies the science of character strengths, Fika is the approach to mental health I’ve been waiting for. Emotional Fitness, as a concept, places the ability to care for ourselves and one another back in our own hands, by drawing on a wealth of evidence-based wellbeing practices that have been accumulating in psychology for the last few decades. It resonates strongly with the well-developed ethos of student engagement that has become a fixture of the University of Lincoln. It’s great to work with Fika and other university partners to develop an accessible, proactive and preventative approach to mental health.” 

The Manchester Metropolitan University

Jennifer Moorby, Head of Student & Graduate Employment at Manchester Metropolitan University said:

“University life does not end with graduation. We commit to support our students long after they have left Manchester Metropolitan, providing a much needed support bridge into the competitive graduate job market and fostering a sense of alumni belonging. We know that wellbeing plays an important part in personal success and commend the science backed Fika mission with our support ” 

Graham Jackson, Talent Match Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University said:

“We are always looking for innovative ways to support our graduates and we see a great opportunity to join Fika and the other University partners in the Emotional Fitness programme to help shape and support the important transition students have from university to the workplace.”