Do you ever wish you could travel back in time and give your teenage self advice, encouragement, or maybe just a hug? Many of us have great memories of being a teenager, but we all remember plenty of challenging, cringe-worthy moments, too. A lot has changed, but tweens and teens still need tools to help them stay strong and navigate the ups and downs of adolescence. 


We don’t have a time machine on hand, but we have the next best thing for the young people in your life right now. Lucero is a gamified wellness app that helps tweens and teens build healthy habits for self-care and emotional resilience in just a few minutes a day. It’s designed by licensed therapists and tweens and teens themselves, and – best of all – it’s fun! Lucero gives young people a mental health mentor, right in their pockets. Here are four ways our approach is unique and tailored for today\’s tweens and teens:


1. Lucero is youth-driven.

It’s time to get serious about solving the youth mental health crisis. The number of high school students reporting persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased by 40% between 2009 and 2019, and from 2007-2018, suicide rates among youth ages 10-24 increased by 57%. To create solutions, we need all the experts on board, and Lucero believes that includes tweens and teens themselves. After all, who knows better how young people are thinking and feeling right now? We asked our youth advisors, “If you had a magic app that could solve the problems you face, what would it do?” Then we built the safe space they asked for. All of our content is created by trauma-informed licensed therapists who work closely with tweens and teens to get it right.


2. Lucero is accessible.

In 2016 only about half of children with a treatable mental health disorder actually received treatment, and the pandemic made it even harder for young people to access mental health care. Many face accessibility and affordability barriers, and most families lack the skills, language and tools to talk about mental health with confidence. Lucero makes emotional regulation and self-care skills accessible to anyone with a smartphone. It learns which activities improve teens’ mood and well-being, and provides a customized experience that includes families as part of the care team. Lucero also gives parents and pros insight into topics that resonate with teens, as well as streamlined access to support and resources.


3. Lucero is gamified.

Lucero’s approach is to gamify healthy habits like positive self-talk, emotional regulation and connection with others. The 12-week adventure of World 1 helps teens develop self-awareness and build confidence while evolving their Avatars, tracking their progress and earning badges. The Crew feature lets them invite up to seven friends and family members to join them on the journey, so they can have fun learning together. Why gamify? Studies show that making learning fun increases motivation, so tweens and teens stay engaged longer and lock in those healthy habits. 


4. Lucero is bite-sized.

Did you know that all it takes to create a healthy habit is just a few minutes a day? Behavior scientists and psychologists say the best way to make big changes is to take it one small step at a time. That means breaking down big goals into micro-habits: tiny habits that are easy to repeat and build over time. Teens who take this approach are more likely to stay inspired. Lucero provides daily reinforcement of resources and healthy habits that support teens in mind, body and spirit. It’s almost as if your older, wiser self showed up to say, “Hang in there! Here are some tools to help you get through this.” No time machine required.

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