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New Year, New You. 5 Ways to Motivate Health and Wellness App Users in 2023

Summer Swann
January 17, 2023
man using health and wellness app

Making New Year's resolutions is easy. Sticking to them is another story altogether. Health & wellness apps can help... if they're designed right.

We all know the routine. Each year, as the holidays approach, we inevitably find ourselves focusing on how we can make our new year “the best ever!”. Fail proof plans for improving our health, exercise, and diets dominate holiday party conversations - and we fill our holiday lists with the equipment we’ve deemed necessary for reaching our goals. We spend January crushing those goals and when Valentine's Day arrives… our motivation seems to disappear.

In recent years we’ve seen many people turn to mobile health and wellness apps to help prevent this crash in motivation. Open the app store and you’ll find hundreds of products marketed to users who want to stay accountable and driven to reach their health goals - but do they actually work? Do users continue to utilize these apps long after the thrill of goal setting has passed? The short answer is “sometimes”... and when they do, it’s all about UX design.

If you’re currently building a health and wellness app its success depends on your ability to retain customers - which means creating an app that continuously motivates users to reach their goals and create new ones. These are our top 5 suggestions for designing health and wellness apps that motivate and retain users.

Make it user friendly

If you want your app to be used consistently, make sure it’s user friendly. The easier it is for users to interact with your app and track their progress, the more often they  will use it.

Forcing users to jump through hoops with lengthy login processes, confusing navigation or clunky features is a good way to ensure they’ll quickly move on to a competitor's app. To retain users - and attract new ones - ensure the app your designing is intuitive, seamless and easy to navigate.

Provide personalized feedback and advice.

Users don’t want generalized suggestions or lessons when using health and wellness apps - they want advice that is specific to them and their circumstances.

To help tailor each user's experience, find unique ways to gather information about individual users, such as quizzes, games and surveys - and don’t shy away from asking more than just the basics - the more information you’re able to gather, the more accurate and personalized your feedback will be. Setting users up for success is the golden ticket to retaining customers.

Include Social Features

Social support is a key factor in helping people achieve their goals, and having a built-in social network within your app helps users stay motivated and accountable.

Creating a community of individuals working towards similar goals can also increase the value of your app tenfold - users will have the ability to crowdsource solutions to individual problems, trade tips, and share their progress - plus the accountability and relationship building baked into your app's social community will do wonders for user retention.

Offer Rewards and Incentives

Users are more likely to continue pursuing their goal  if they feel like they are making progress and being rewarded for their efforts. Unfortunately, progress towards health and wellness goals, such as losing a specific amount of weight, can often feel slow going - and it can take some time for physical progress to be seen. In these cases, providing incentives and rewards for reaching milestones is a great way to keep users motivated and engaged.


Exercise, healthy eating, meditation and other wellness pursuits can be boring for many people - so transforming these tedious tasks into something fun and engaging is a sure fire way to gain and retain users.  Building competitions, challenges and other interactive features into your app will provide users with an engaging, fun experience that they’ll look forward to day after day.

Motivating users to stick with their health and wellness goals is no small feat - in fact it’s an age-old problem - but it can be done! The suggestions presented here should provide you with a good foundation for designing an app that motivates users to reach their goals - and have fun while doing it!

If you’re building a health and wellness app and could use some expert advice, feel free to reach out - we’re here to help!

Summer is Yeti's Marketing Manager. When she's not working on amazing Yeti content you'll likely find her searching for treasure in thrift stores, hiking in the Sierra Nevadas, cooking healthy vegan treats and reading anything she can get her hands on. Summer lives in the remote mountains of California with her partner and their dog and 3 cats.

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