What is WellBe Bracelet?
The WellBe Bracelet is a Bluetooth device worn on the wrist that tracks stress levels and, through the WellBe app, provides relaxation exercises of various durations to calm you. The WellBe costs $149.
The company hails the product as “the world’s first stress-therapy bracelet” and that it uses a patent-pending algorithm to calculate your stress.
CEO Zach Sivan launched campaigns on Indiegogo and Kickstarter back in 2016. Both efforts were quite successful – WellBe raised more than $263,000.
Doron Libshtein, a former Microsoft exec and the founder of wellness website The Mentors Channel, led the development of the WellBe project.
We first heard of the WellBe from the company’s PR agency, who sent us a bracelet to test. After using the device for two days, we feel prepared enough to write a clear, unbiased review about the WellBe’s performance and usefulness.
In the next few minutes we have together, we’ll cover how the WellBe works, what features it offers and what other people like you are saying about the bracelet.
We’ll conclude this WellBe review by talking about our experience with the product and how it matches up to the company’s claims.
How the WellBe Works
Your WellBe stress bracelet is a Bluetooth device similar to a Fitbit – it tracks your stress levels via your phone’s Bluetooth connection.
The bracelet ships with a charging dock, a charging cable, an extra bracelet, a small tool for changing bracelets and the WellBe device.
Setting Up Your WellBe
To setup your WellBe, you’ll have to place it in its charging dock. The power cord has a light on the connector that indicates when the WellBe needs to be charged (red) and when it’s full (green).
You need to keep the WellBe in the charger in order to pair it with your WellBe app.
Once you download the app, you’ll be shuttled through a series of videos. The first one shows you how to unbox the bracelet. The second one instructs you to place the bracelet in the charger.
The third video takes you through the pairing process, which takes place when you tap the “Scan for devices” button. At this point, your screen should show your WellBe.
Tap on the WellBe icon and the pairing process starts; it should only take a few seconds.
The final setup step is calibration. You’ll be instructed to “firmly” strap the WellBe to your wrist so it can calibrate to your heartbeat and blood pressure.
You’ll get a stress rating (0-100%) at the end of the test, and from there, you can get into the features WellBe offers.
Pro tip: The WellBe’s app will only sync with your bracelet if your phone is connected to the internet, the WellBe app is open and your Bluetooth is on.
WellBe’s Four Most Important Features
The WellBe app has four main tools: stress check, stress triggers and relax.
The WellBe’s stress check feature is half of what makes this a “stress-therapy” device. The bracelet automatically runs a stress test every hour. The test takes about three minutes and requires that you keep your hand still.
You can also do a spot check whenever you want by tapping the stress check option in the menu.
At the end of the stress check, the WellBe gives you a stress score.
One of the interesting features of the WellBe is that it sync’s with your phone’s calendar. The idea here is that your hourly tests will start to line up with your calendar, and through the test results you can see which meetings or events caused you the most stress.
The stress-trigger tool also gives you the chance to look at your test results on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis.
In addition to calendar- and time-based stress readings, you’ll also get to see where you were when your stress tests took place.
If the stress tests are the first half of what makes the WellBe a stress-therapy device, the app’s library of relaxation exercises is the second half.
There are more than 40 different stress therapies, and they’re divided by time: 5, 10, 15 and more than 15 minutes.
You can also search the various exercises by categories: popular, music, breathing, meditation and history.
You can do any of the sessions at any time, but you’ll be prompted to choose a session after a stress test.
This feature provides users with serial sessions that last up to 21 days. Topics include “21 Meditations on Love”, “Meditation for Busy People”, “A course in Meditation” and a series of sessions with Arianna Huffington titled, “On Becoming Fearless”.
An Example of a WellBe Relaxation Session
Many of the relaxation techniques are from WellBe and narrated by a soothing female voice. There are other relaxation methods lead by various relaxation and meditation experts.
Here’s a sample of the narration of a 10-minute session called “Guided Quiet Place”:
“In this busy, electronic world of today, it is, at times, difficult to disconnect. Even when we turn off our laptops and phones our minds may be connected to stressful people or situations.
From using your WellBe bracelet, you are aware of specific circumstances that cause you stress, but do you pay attention to what physical places or spaces feel more stressful or relaxing to you?”
The narrator’s voice is calming and slow. There’s ethereal, new-agey music playing in the background. This is typical of all the relaxation/meditation programs.
What Other People Are Saying About the WellBe
Because the WellBe bracelet started shipping just a few months before this review, user opinions on the bracelet were pretty thin outside of two sources: the iTunes and Google Play stores.
iTunes Reviews of WellBe
So far, the WellBe only has three reviews in the iTunes store. One review is one star and the other two are five stars.
The one-star reviewer complained about connectivity issues and missed calendar events. The five-star reviewers said they loved the meditation and relaxation exercises.
Google Play Reviews of WellBe
At the time of publishing, 29 reviewers gave the WellBe an average score of three stars. Of the 29 reviews, 11 were five stars and 10 were one stars.
The most recent reviews of the WellBe reflect the overall trend: four are one-star and three are either five or four stars.
Common complaints about the WellBe are that the device isn’t reliable when it comes to syncing with the app. Multiple people said there were big gaps between automatic stress tests that are, in theory, supposed to happen every hour.
Positive comments were short, saying the app and meditations were great.
My Personal Experience With the WellBe
Like many of the journalists who wrote about the WellBe before it launched, I was excited about the prospects of a device that could track my stress levels.
Unlike those journalists, however, I actually had a chance to test the WellBe. The first few hours were fantastic.
Great Design Elements
The WellBe packaging is very Apple-esque. The charging dock is unique and I like how the charging cord lights up when you plug it in.
I was also pretty happy with the extra bracelet, which proved to come in handy because the other bracelet wouldn’t fit around my wrist.
I downloaded the WellBe app to my Android phone, then went through the set-up steps I described earlier in this review.
The WellBe app gave me a stress score, and I then proceeded to do a five-minute breathing exercise. It was amazing. I could feel the stress leaving my body. I did another stress test and, sure enough, my score dropped about 10%.
For three hours, my WellBe worked like a champ. Then, the issues started.
Somehow I either closed the app, disconnected from the internet or turned off my Bluetooth. Either way, when I started the app it couldn’t connect to my WellBe even though it was fully charged and sitting just a few feet away.
I tried for about 15 minutes to get it to connect by tapping on the Bluetooth symbol that appears when connectivity issues arise. No luck.
So, I logged out and logged back in. Same result. My last resort was to take off the WellBe, plug it into the charging station and let it charge up (you can’t view the bracelet’s battery life if your device isn’t connected).
Sure enough, after a few minutes, the app magically connected to the bracelet.
This issue happened again later in the day and the following day as well. Instead of trying to reconnect through the app, I took the bracelet off, put it in the charger and waited for it to connect. The second day, it took about five minutes to connect.
I found this very odd and, at the very least, frustrating. Why create a Bluetooth device that doesn’t automatically reconnect if your internet or Bluetooth is turned off and on? My wireless speaker, Fitbit and Tile all reconnect once I open the app and turn on Bluetooth and location.
Also, what do you do if you’re out and about and didn’t bring your charger, or if you’re on a flight and have to put your phone on airplane mode for a few minutes?
Missed Stress Tests
I also noticed big gaps in the hourly stress tests, too. This might be because the app wasn’t open during the day, but this is certainly no excuse in the world of the Internet of Things.
My Fitbit gathers data when the app is closed; why not WellBe.
Poor Customer Support
When I contacted support to tell them that I was having connectivity issues, I received the following response in less than 24 hours:
Thank you for your email. The bracelet should be paired through the app only. If you paired it directly through your phone you should unpair it and pair it again using the app.
Regarding the missing recordings, it might happen sometimes due to the following reasons:
1. The bracelet was out of power
2. The data collected from your wrist was too noisy and couldn't be analyzed
3. Your wrist was exposed to strong light (sunlight for example)
4. The bracelet was not connected to the app for more that 3 hours
5. Your mobile phone was not connected to the internet
Please also make sure to:
1. Keep the app open in the background
2. Keep the Bluetooth always on (I noticed that you are disabling it quite some times...)
3. Keep the phone connected to the internet
What stood out to me most here was the excuse that the WellBe might have been exposed to strong light (which means it may not work outdoors) and that the bracelet wasn’t connected to the app for more than three hours.
The funny part about these random requirements is that I didn’t even tell them that my bracelet was missing stress test records. This makes me believe this is a template response with a few poorly-worded customizations – “I noticed that you are disabling it quite some times”.
The final frustration was the bracelet itself. WellBe says it’s a cork bracelet, but it’s actually a rubber or plastic bracelet with a thin cork coating.
Our Final Thoughts About the WellBe
As a concept, the WellBe bracelet is a great device. Most of us feel the stress of life bubble up every day at predictable and random times. A bracelet that tracks our most stressful moments is a great way to become mindful of our mental state.
The relaxation and meditation exercises included in the app are tremendous – as I pointed out earlier, they really do help bring your stress level down.
I also really enjoyed the design aspect of this device. The bracelet’s natural cork look is pretty cool, and the metal cover that hides the device is stylish.
Unfortunately, the WellBe’s $149 price tag demands that it works as it should, and the connectivity issues I faced were supremely frustrating.
I thought I might have received a bad device, but numerous negative reviews on Google Play and iTunes confirmed this is an issue for other WellBe’s users.
It’s really confounding that a device like this can only work properly when it’s not exposed to light, its app is open, Bluetooth is on and your phone or tablet is connected to the internet.
In our opinion, the WellBe is a good idea that hit the market far too soon. To their credit, they launched an updated version of the app, but, as my experience shows, the issues weren’t resolved.
Based on my personal experience and what seems to be the experience of many people, the WellBe is not worth your $149.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find a solution for your stress, though. Take a look at Highya Senior Editor Derek Lakin’s article, “6 Ways to Naturally Improve Your Focus, Energy, Productivity and Decrease Stress”.
His article provides practical tips for lowering stress levels and leading a more focused, efficient life.