The small habits approach involves making small but consistent changes to our daily behaviours. Holly Health supports individuals to prioritise, achieve, and sustain new healthy habits across a range of health and lifestyle areas, covering nutrition, relationship with food, sleep, mental wellbeing and movement. Importantly, the service provides personalised recommendations on which habits are likely to work best for you.
Most of our overall health is defined by the tiny actions we take throughout each day, like what we eat and drink, when we go to bed, how long we sit down for, and how much exercise we get. Around 60% of our daily actions take place without us thinking (i.e. subconsciously). In order to improve our overall health over the long term, we need to address our subconscious habits.
However, many of us take an 'all at once' approach to health improvements, for example, going on a restrictive diet, or planning to go to the gym every day, as a new year's resolution. The problem with these intense approaches is they are rarely sustainable. Studies have shown again and again that the best way to make lasting changes to our health, is to make small, consistent changes, which can be kept up indefinitely. Holly Health makes this sustainable approach doable and way more fun!
The Holly Health service has been created with the user at the heart of its development, (otherwise known as a user-centred approach). This has included the analysis of hundreds of studies into behaviour change, hundreds of hours of user research and testing - spanning interviews, focus groups and intensive user pilots. This has been especially the case in our healthy ageing co-design project, which you can learn more about here.
The Holly Health approach to behaviour change is based partly on a cognitive behavioural therapy approach called 'behavioural activation'. Behavioural activation is a type of therapeutic intervention (most often used to treat depression) that focuses on behavioural changes in a client's daily life. It encourages new behaviours which are enjoyable, motivational, and help the individual to make progress towards their longer term goals. Behavioural activation is practical, simple, and very adaptive, it can involve any behaviours, as long as they are positive and useful to the individual.
Other important components of the Holly Health approach stem from evidence-based psychological interventions like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness-Based Interventions.
The COM-B Model of behaviour change (Michie et al. 2011) describes the relationship between capability, opportunity, and motivation, and the requirement for all three to be in place in order for behaviour change to occur. Additionally, Holly Health also adopts the principle of 'hinging', encouraging customers to tag new habits onto actions they already complete each day (e.g. brushing your teeth), to make it easier to incorporate a new habit consistently.
Learn more about our psychological approaches by navigating to Science & Research.
We believe that weight alone is not a direct determinant of a person's health. Evidence suggests that it's the actions that we take everyday, rather than how much we weigh, that determines health and predicts how long (and how well) we live. Taking this into account, we support those who do want to lose weight sustainably, or who want to maintain a weight range in which they feel comfortable in, through a psychological approach to eating behaviour, movement and general health.
- We guide people towards improving their relationship with food, rather than restricting or controlling what or how much they eat.
- We provide useful information about nutrition and wider health behaviours so people find what works for them, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach.
- We encourage mindful and fun movement, rather than punitive exercise routines. Overall, we support a person's physical & mental health, through small everyday actions that translate into long-term behaviour change for health and wellbeing.
Holly Health supports adults in their journey towards disease prevention, through sustainable lifestyle behaviour change. We take a holistic approach to improving health. Holly Health encourages:
- Improved fitness, addressing cardiovascular and muscular fitness as well as mobility and flexibility
- Better mood and mental health, including relationship with food, movement, and those around you
- Deeper and longer sleep
- More balanced daily nutrition, including variety of vegetables and whole foods
Most of all, it equips people with the structure, process and motivation to make and achieve the habits that feel most relevant to them, in their health journey. You can learn about Holly Health health outcomes in this blog post: https://hollyhealth.io/articles/health-outcomes.
Over the last year, we’ve partnered with over 100 UK GP practices, with a population coverage of over 500,000 patients. This has allowed us to support thousands of people and through the data, we can see how Holly Health can make a positive impact at scale.
For example, we’ve found that after 8 weeks users experienced...
- 22% reduction in anxiety*
- 11% improvement in energy levels*
- 18% increase in exercise frequency*
- And 33% of users felt like they needed less GP support (this is an encouraging sign that they felt more confident in managing their own health!) 🩺
*Based on people with low to medium baseline scores at week 0
Read the online report here: ‘How does Holly Health impact health and wellbeing?’
We recently conducted a survey to understand how Holly Health supports people with long term conditions. We received 120 detailed responses, with users managing a variety of chronic physical and mental health conditions. After 8 weeks of using Holly Health, the results showed how effective proactive behaviour change can be when it's personalised to an individual's needs.
Here are some key takeaways:
- 50% of users reported suffering from depression or anxiety
- Over 30% of users reported a cardiovascular disease-related condition, including hypertension
- 34% of users felt tangible improvements in their condition symptoms after using Holly Health for 8 weeks
- 51% feel more confident in their ability to self-manage their ongoing conditions after using Holly Health for 8 weeks
Full report coming soon.
Through our healthy ageing project with Age UK Lewisham & Southwark, we’ve been working with Holly Health users over 50 years old, co-designing the service together with the aim to support people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. We’ve improved the accessibility of the service, making the app easier to use and added healthy ageing-tailored articles, habits, exercise videos and more. Our intensive 12-week pilot showed the positive impact that Holly Health has on healthy ageing goals. The preliminary results showed that using Holly Health for 12 weeks resulted in statistically significant health outcome improvements across exercise, self-confidence, relationship with food, energy levels, mindfulness, short term mindset, health-mindset, overall life satisfaction, perception of life worth and happiness.
Full report coming soon.
We are a data-driven company made up of a team of scientists, clinicians and entrepreneurs who understand the importance of taking an evidence-based approach.
We currently have three service evaluation research projects underway with the University of Surrey, University College London and London South Bank University, and we can’t wait to share the results soon. If you’re a researcher interested in collaborating with us, we’d love to hear from you - you can contact us via the Science and Research page or email [email protected].
To use the Holly Health service you need a smartphone or tablet device (Holly Health also works on many iPad and Android tablets, but it does depend on the model). It operates on both Android and iOS (Apple). You’ll need a small amount of mobile data or wifi to access the app content. We recently launched a web and SMS/email coaching service in pilot form. If you're interested in learning more about this, email us at [email protected].
The Holly Health product uses conversational interfaces for onboarding as well as the ongoing service. This means that you will converse with the Holly Bird through a chat flow. Messages and replies are sent based on pre-programmed decisions, which have been designed by a team of psychologists, nutritionists and health instructors. Conversational interfaces are also known as chatbots.
There are lots of features on the roadmap. Some upcoming features include integrations with external health data, like from Apple Health and Google Fit, and community features to support adults in getting out to relevant community events and activities near them.
We are also developing machine learning capabilities to enhance the personalisation experience.
Great question! We recommend taking some time to explore the app and playing around with it. A good place to start is setting up a couple of new (achievable) habits on the ‘Today’ page, and browsing the library in ‘Discovery’. There’s lots to explore, with over 100 healthy habits to choose from, challenges, the Holly bird support chat, and a whole library of content (including exercise videos, articles, meditation and mindfulness, sleep stories and recipes). Here’s a short Youtube video explaining the different app features.
Holly Health takes a holistic, evidence-based approach, supporting people across sleep, activity, nutrition, relationship with food and mental wellbeing. We realise that no one person’s health journey is the same, so your experience is personalised to you. Over the last year, we’ve partnered with over 100 UK GP practices, with a population coverage of over 500,000 patients. This has allowed us to support thousands of people and through the data, we can see how it can make a genuine impact. Read more in the article: ‘How does Holly Health impact health and wellbeing?’
Holly Health has been developed to be accessible for people to use, especially through our healthy ageing project, where we’ve worked with users to improve the service together. We have often found that after a little time getting to know the app, people become more familiar and confident with using it. If you have a little bit of experience using apps on your smartphone (for example, using Whatsapp), then we recommend giving Holly Health a try. If you need support, you email us at [email protected]. If you’re not familiar with email and need more help, we suggest getting someone you trust to help you get to know the app, or you can ask them to help you to email us for support.
To edit a habit: Login to the Holly Health app and open it on the ‘Today’ page → under ‘HABITS’, tap on the habit you want to edit → tap ‘Edit’ in the top righthand corner → tap ‘Edit’ from the list → here you can change your habit goal, the days or times you’ve set, change the time of habit reminders or turn them on/off.
To delete or pause a habit: Login to the Holly Health app and open it on the ‘Today’ page → under ‘HABITS’, tap on the habit you want to delete or pause → tap ‘Edit’ in the top righthand corner → tap edit → tap ‘pause’ or ‘delete’
To add a new habit: Login to the Holly Health app and open it on the ‘Today’ page → under ‘HABITS’, tap the button ‘add a new habit’. (Can’t see the ‘add a new habit button’? That’s because you can only have up to four habits at any one time, so if you already have four you'll have to delete one first!).
You can email our team at [email protected] who will be happy to support you. Our contact hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
To delete your account in the app: Login to the Holly Health app and open it on the ‘Today’ page → tap on your account profile in the top righthand corner 👤→ tap on your email address to open your account settings → tap ‘Delete account’.
To delete your account on web: Login to your account at https://app.hollyhealth.io/settings and select where it says: “DELETE MY ACCOUNT”. If you need help deleting your account, you can email the team at [email protected]. Please note that deleting your account is not the same as cancelling any paid subscriptions. To check and cancel any paid subscriptions, please see ‘How do I check or cancel my paid subscription?’.
This does not apply if you signed up for a free account provided for by your GP or other provider (which is most people!) If you signed up for a paid subscription, you can check or cancel your subscriptions:
iOS (Apple) users: go to the settings on your iPhone or iPad → tap your profile at the top of the settings page→ tap subscriptions → tap on Holly Health from the list and follow the instructions to cancel the subscription. If you cannot see Holly Health in the subscriptions list, you will not have an active subscription. Further information can be found at support.apple.com.
Android users: go to the Google Play Store on your device → tap on your profile icon on the top-right corner → tap on payments and subscriptions → tap subscriptions → tap on Holly Health from the list and follow the instructions to cancel the subscription. If you cannot see Holly Health in the subscriptions list, you will not have an active subscription. Further information can be found at support.google.com.
FREE for NHS patients via your GP practice.
Affordability at scale is important to us - Holly Health is designed for whole populations after all. B2B partners pay as low as £0.10 per person per year, charged on a full population basis.
If you have not been given Holly Health by your healthcare provider, consumer subscriptions are from £5-9 per month, depending on the length of the subscription. The first 2 weeks via the app stores are free for new users.
To discuss a potential corporate or public health contract, please email [email protected].
The Holly Health team is open to partnerships with employers, public health providers and health insurers. If you would like to discuss a partnership opportunity, please email [email protected].
There are lots of features on the roadmap. Some upcoming features include integrations with external health data, like from Apple Health and Google Fit, community features to support adults in getting out to relevant community events and activities near them, plus Blood Pressure tracking, and more clinician facing tools. We are also developing machine learning capabilities to enhance the personalisation experience.
Holly Health is partnered with over 140 UK GP practices (in June 2023), supporting thousands of patients. We are also launching international partnerships and services spanning weight management and healthy ageing. If you'd like to discuss a potential partnership, please email [email protected].