The Happiness Workout: Abandoning Perfection with Poppy Jamie

Poppy Jamie, of Pop & Suki fame, is hitting reset with her new app, Happy Not Perfect. An experience in relaxation and optimistic thinking, it can be used on the regular to feel happier, less stressed and more balanced.

Entrepreneur and former TV presenter Poppy Jamie has set out to bring a little more happiness and a little less stress to your day.

Very few people wake up feeling like a "happy bubble" every day. Yet for Poppy, happiness is a skill that anyone can work on, it just requires daily attention to achieve and maintain. "I view my emotional health, like my dental health, just like you brush your teeth to keep them healthy, you have to exercise your brain to keep it calm and happy."

You might expect that, armed with a happiness toolkit that includes journaling, lavender pillow spray and staying logged off social media until the afternoon, Poppy should be the definition of cool-and-collected at all times. Not so - you'll likely catch her hauling a family's-worth of luggage to her flight gate (which is making its final call). Yet with her in-app calm time right at her fingertips, she's unfazed by chaos. Here's why.

What is the Happiness Workout?

Simply put, the Happiness Workout is daily positive ritual to help you feel happier, less stressed and more balanced. Anyone can try it out for free on the Happy Not Perfect app and you'll be guided through a simple and easy five-minute game-ified experience to relax, process thoughts and practice optimistic thinking.

Step One of your app asks you to identify your emotion at time of use. What emotion you most frequently identify with?

It really depends on a number of things: where I am, the day of the week, my plans for the day etc. I'd love to say I am always happy and relaxed, but in reality this is just not the case… I definitely have spent many years managing chronic stress and anxiety, times of heart-break, anger and all the things in between. Having spent time developing coping strategies and a greater understanding of my emotional state, I've learned that feelings are all temporary and changeable. Happiness, sadly, is not a given.

How do you relax and stay mindful while travelling?

If you travel with me, you'll realise it's a very chaotic experience! I'm always late for the plane, trying to bend time, carrying way too many bags and probably attempting to take a phone call at the same time as going through passport control. I'm embarrassed to say, I am a walking mess when travelling.

The happiest place on earth is…?

Beside the sea with a sunset. I recently was very lucky to visit the Bahamas for the first time and it was breathtaking. I find the sea very calming to be around.

Do you use Instagram for travel inspiration when planning trips?

Yes and no. I love finding spots no one has really explored yet so I try to look off Instagram, but of course I get inspired by some feeds that focus on travel discovery, such as SUITCASE.

Your Instagram bio reads: "(Warning: social media distorts reality)". Do you think all social media sites should come with a warning?

After giving my TED Talk on social media addiction, I've become passionate about increasing the awareness around the dangers of distortion and deceit on social media. It is so important for everyone, especially young people, to be educated on social media perfectionism and how different a projected reality is form IRL.

We are all motivated to post the best pictures and present the highlight reel (much like in job applications and dating profiles) and sometimes it's very easy to forget this. The old saying, "comparison is the thief of all joy" couldn't be more true. I don't believe social media is all bad, it has brilliant aspects to it, but little warnings help us to manage it better I think.

Highlight of your career to date?

I must say the day we launched Happy Not Perfect, I definitely felt a sense of achievement and pride knowing we were going to help so many people with their mental wellbeing. The second highlight would have to be meeting Theresa May, then the Prime Minister, to receive a Point of Light award in recognition of how much the app has helped mental wellness in England.

Your favourite apps…

Happy Not Perfect for my morning and evening rituals, and Spotify for podcasts on my walk to work.

Your top five hotels…

The Edition Hotel (I love its hotels in NYC, London, Miami), Soho Beach House in Miami, Vana in India, Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles and Anassa Hotel in Cyprus.

Where's your next adventure?

I'm desperate to go to India on a meditation retreat. It's been a busy year launching the app so I would love to peace out for a moment.

Do you unplug or limit your phone usage while on holidays?

Although social media is an incredible way to connect with people in a positive way, this also means it is very easy to do the opposite. I find it very important to limit my scrolling time and avoid all social media in the morning, especially when on holiday. To kick the habit of reaching for my phone when I wake up to look on Instagram, I complete The Happiness Workout instead.

What are you reading at the moment?

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown and The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer.

One piece of travel advice…

Try to take a social-media detox and focus entirely on you. You deserve all the relaxation, self care and compassion time - don't waste it on others.

If there was one destination you could go back to immediately, which one would it be?


What are your travel essentials?

I never go away without my Happy Not Perfect Ultimate Eye Pillow and some sun cream - I burn like a crab.

And finally, what's in your SUITCASE?

My Happiness Diary and my Chill the F**k Out lavender spray are musts.