There’s obviously a lot more to being healthy than wearing a smile when you see yourself in the mirror. Good health is mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. And if just one of these is even slightly off-track, their interdependence prevents us from being the best version of ourselves.

Instead of focusing on just one or two aspects of our overall health, a new social tool – called SuperBetter – considers them in tandem. After just a couple of weeks of exploration, I’m already an active user and avid promoter. And I think you should give it a shot!

Jane McGonigal, the founder of SuperBetter, describes it as an online, social game that helps you achieve your health goals by building up your “personal resistance.” Jane is a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games (ARGs) – games designed to improve real lives and solve real problems. When she suffered major head trauma in 2010, she created the first version of SuperBetter to prevent her emotions from continuing to slow down the healing process. While the game started with a focus on recovering from major illness or injury, it can now help you tackle any kind of real-world health challenge.

Whether you want to get in shape, sleep better, quit smoking, reduce stress or recover from depression, the customizable tool uses gaming mechanics to help you achieve your “epic win” – an outcome that is so extraordinarily positive you have no idea it is even possible until you achieve it. Similar to games you usually play in front of a screen, this one has everything you need.

Quests

The short-term goals – big or small – that you set and accomplish to get closer to your epic win.

Allies

People you recruit to help you tackle your challenge. The best are people who make you smile or inspire you.

Power-Ups

Things in your everyday life that make you feel better and get stronger. You activate these when you need a burst of positive emotion or energy.

Bad Guys

Triggers that make the symptoms worse, such as staying up too late or drinking too much caffeine

Future Boosts

Something specific you’re looking forward to in the next few days or weeks.

Power Packs

Downloadable quests, power-ups and bad guys for when you’re unsure how to get started (or keep going)

I was a little skeptical at first, but shortly after signing up, I could see how this might benefit my life in more ways than one. The starting point is a series of simple challenges that immediately make you feel better – like shaking someone’s hand for six seconds or searching YouTube with the keywords “cute baby” and your favorite animal. From there, it’s a series of steps – not leaps – that help you to see and feel progress in just a few days.

My first epic win will be looking and feeling “super better” for my June wedding by eating (and drinking) healthier. I’m already drinking more water, stopping to question food choices, and trying to eat only when I’m actually hungry (and stopping when I’m no longer hungry). I may just recruit some of you as allies! In the meantime, visit superbetter.com and start your own journey toward a better you.

For more information on Jane McGonigal, watch her TED talk, visit janemcgonigal.com or check out her New York Times Bestseller Reality is Broken; Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.

How SuperBetter Works