Kristin Rulon, Founder & CEO of Mind Star Health

  • Published on:
    February 19, 2019
  • Reading time by:
    7 minutes

Mental Health

Today, too many do not seek treatment because of stigma or a lack of understanding. One of the greatest challenges in mental health is changing this culture: from treatment-avoidance to one where people seek treatment before their mental health negatively impacts their lives. Kristin Rulon is one of them who took her own mental health serious and found a company called Mind Star Health. Mind Star Health advocates universal self-care.

Rulon’s story

Rulon is a survivor of severe postpartum depression/anxiety and OCD. When Rulon gave birth to her third child she developed PPD/PPA/OCD after the birth control shot. Rulon did her best to combat it naturally – eating healthy and exercising and upping her vitamins. It helped and then right after her daughter’s first birthday, Rulon’s mental health came crashing down again. She knew she deserved to feel better so she finally went on meds, started therapy and began to read every personal development book she could get her hands on. 

The idea of Mind Star came in the summer of 2018. When Rulon came home from work, finished kickboxing and made dinner for her three kids. That’s when she thought “Where is my gold star for being an adult?”

“Why can’t people be rewarding for taking care of themselves? What if people were rewarding for making their bed, drinking their water, going outside and getting some fresh air?” 

Rulon tells when you are in the trenches of a mental illness, it can be hard to see anything. It pulls you into isolation and some days you are reaching for anything to pull you out of the fog. Rulon truly believes Mind Star can help do that by building awareness and self-compassion for its users. 

‘’It’s time we start celebrating the small things we do for ourselves, instead of focusing on the bigger, expensive things we do.’’

Mind Star app will help users build awareness, self-compassion and empathy in a way that’s educational, fun and rewarding. It will allow users to do the following:

  • Create a custom self-care routine that fits their life and self-care goals
  • Track their self-care routine over time by collecting stars (points) and as they reach self-care milestones, users will unlock free rewards provided by sponsored businesses. 
  • Connect with other users based on health concerns and find mental health professionals nearby.

How did it go, getting approached by a company through Instagram?

When the idea came to me I wrote it down in my “Million Dollar Idea” journal. I have several journals I have given this title to because as a creative, ideas have come and gone, some stay,  but as fellow creatives know – when an idea comes you that causes a rush through your whole body, you have to hang onto it! I began obsessively writing about Mind Star. I then thought “This has to be brought into the world, but I can’t do this.” It was because of this limiting belief that I decided to post about the app. I used the hashtag app idea on Instagram and then I put the idea in my journal as a “maybe.” Is it amazing how we are so quick to agree with our limiting beliefs, to just go with the flow because this is how our life has always been or this is how we think w should be. A few months went by and I dreamt about the app, I would journal about it but I didn’t go beyond that.

I then received a direct message from the company Inventive Byte. They told me they liked my vibe on Instagram and wanted me to check out their website because they help people apps. My first thought SCAM, see ya! I was a Sunday and I was at the clinic for my oldest. Shortly after that I received another message from them saying that their CEO wanted to talk to me. I knew I had a decision to make – take a cash and give out my number to complete strangers or ignore the message. I took a chance and a few hours later I was sitting in my closet, sorting my husband’s underwear and socks when Ankit Sharma (the CEO of Inventive Byte) called me and before I knew it, we were talking about how to make Mind Star a reality! I still can’t believe it all started over Instagram! 

What makes Mind Star app so special from the other health apps?

Mind Star is special is that is recognizes true self-care, not just hyped up forms of self-care that society likes to feed us. Things like making our bed, eating breakfast, saying something kind to ourselves and others, reading a few pages of a book, going outside for some fresh air. There are so many things we can do to take care ourselves but many people don’t have the awareness or understanding of what true self-care is, that it’s not selfish but a vital part of being our best selves. You can pour from an empty cup.

If you want to love others the way you need to be loved, you must first learn how to love yourself so you know how you need to be loved. Mind Star will help users build a self-care routine they can track over time, earning points as they check-in daily. Those points add up and once they reach a self-care milestone they will be rewarded for their self-care progress! What a great way for businesses to show they care about people’s mental health and overall well-being! Mind Star also advocates universal self-care – which means we welcome all minds  and we are inclusive. We share lots of fun space facts on our social media and tie them in with personal development. We picked the dark background and jewel tones to help set us apart from other self-care apps and to also be welcoming for all. users will also be able to access mental health professionals within a 30-mile radius of their location with ease with crisis numbers right at their finger tips.

We have a few other unique features we hope to implement in the near future, such as the ability for users to search other users based on health concerns (all depending on user’s privacy settings, of course). Imagine putting eczema as a health concern and then searching that in the app and finding other users with public profiles who have eczema, being able to reach out to them one-one-one and share homemade eczema relief remedies? amazing, right? I think of our autistic son Jackson and how he could search autism and see other people in the app and be able to connect with them; this will hopefully remind people that we all have something we are dealing with and that we are never alone. 

How can customers create their own self-care routine, how do they know what’s right for them?

    We will have suggestions curated by mental health experts, professionals who are on the Mental Health Advisory Board, and what is great is that if they don’t see something on the list of suggestions, they can add their own self-care item to the routine. I think by looking at the suggestions they will gain a new perspective on self-care. Sometimes it’s putting on your favorite song and dancing to it, remembering to pay your bills on time, making your bed, giving yourself time to decompress after work. 

What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/ disagree with? Why?

I disagree with the notion that you have to work non stop. You have to work for your dreams, yes, but I say you have to work smarter, not harder. Time management is very important so you can have time for those you love and you’re not neglecting your relationships as you build your dream. That said, sometimes we have to sacrifice nights out for nights in to work but we are not robots. We need connection, we were made for it. We need to rest, reflect, rise and repeat.

I’ll say it again, we have to learn how to take car of ourselves, and do the personal work of loving others before we can give back and truly love others. We don’t have to answer every email right this second. Sure, we must be timely and when opportunities arise, we must leap but we must also know when to take a step back and make sure we stay aligned with our passions for our purpose lies within our passion. We must reflect on all forms of success (even the hard-lesson mistake successes). and learn to grow through our struggles before we rise and reach our goals. 

Health apps are receiving a lot of personal information from users. It is a common thing that a lot of companies sell personal information like this to health insurance companies or any other commercial companies. how is Mind Star app using their users’ information?

We respect a user’s decision to share or not share (and be anonymous) sensitive information with us. Mind Star has no intentions now or in the future of selling any of the data it collects. We want people to feel safe and welcomed and not have to worry about their data being used in anyway to anyone. User’s data will be protected with the utmost care. 

What is the most rewarding aspect of Mind Star App?

There are two things one: Even though the app is not out yet, when I share with people, especially with those who have a chronic mental illness, what using Mind Star will be like, their eye light up, some even are on the verge of tears because they know this is something that is going to help them with those really rough days when their mental illness is lying to them.

This is the app I needed when my mental illness was affecting my life and who I wanted and needed to be in order to function in society. When people open up to me about their struggles and we share encouragement with one another, I joke that those situations make my heart grow a few sizes (Grinch reference! Yes,  I am a Grinch fan) but seriously, I have always felt a calling to give back and to stand up for those who need someone to help them up and know I am doing that with Mind Star. 

Do you believe in destiny or do you think you can control your fate?

I believe in both. I believe our destiny will call to us over and over again and it’s up to us to quiet our minds and really listen. If we ignore, that’s a choice, we are controlling our fate by not answering the call. We all have a purpose here and that is to shine our light in our own unique way for all to see. If we all shined, how much of the darkness in this world would be blinded by our light? I understand the beauty, the hidden treasures in the dark but I also know we were meant to be the light. I don’t know about you but I only have one life and I want to be as bright as the sun. 

What else motivated you to become an entrepreneur?

    Besides my personal development work, I’d say my children. Our kids are my muses, they are the future. God also motivates me, not because I’m looking to please him but because I know he gave me Mind Star for a reason and I want to do it right because it was meant to help change the world. 

What does the future of universal self-care look like?

    The future of self-care is embracing what self-care really is – small, acts of kindness toward ourselves done consistently over time. We all deserve self-care not matter our gender, race, religion. All minds deserve to be here and deserve to be celebrated. The future of self-care looks beyond all that and looks what we all have in common – our humanity and our ability to hope for a better tomorrow. 

I’m a award-winning journalist with a degree in journalism from Northwest Missouri State University (December 2007). I’m a former life coach, blogger and fiction writer. I’m a creative, that dabbles in oil painting and the occasional Pinterest craft. I’m the mother of three humans and one fur baby, a Newfie named Tank. I’ve been married for more than 10 years to my high school sweetheart, Adam. I’m a military wife and sister. We are currently crowdfunding with Indiegogo Mind Star App

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