Podcast: Tech for Mental Wellbeing with Nanea Reeves, CEO of TRIPP

Podcast: Tech for Mental Wellbeing with Nanea Reeves, CEO of TRIPP

An image from one of TRIPP's virtual reality experiences for mental wellness. Nanea Reeves is TRIPP's CEO.


The "Making Sense of Science" podcast features interviews with leading experts about health innovations and the ethical questions they raise. The podcast is hosted by Matt Fuchs, editor of Leaps.org, the award-winning science outlet.

My guest today is Nanea Reeves, the CEO of TRIPP, a wellness platform with some big differences from meditation apps you may have tried like Calm and Headspace. TRIPP's experiences happen in virtual reality, and its realms are designed based on scientific findings about states of mindfulness. Users report feelings of awe and wonder and even mystical experiences. Nanea brings over 15 years of leadership in digital distribution, apps and video game technologies. Before co-founding TRIPP, she had several other leadership roles in tech with successful companies like textPlus and Machinima. Read her full bio below in the links section.

Nanea Reeves, CEO of TRIPP.


This conversation coincided with National Brain Awareness Week. The topic is a little different from the Making Sense of Science podcast’s usual focus on breakthroughs in treating and preventing disease, but there’s a big overlap when it comes to breakthroughs in optimal health. Nanea’s work is at the leading edge of health, technology and the science of wellness.

With TRIPP, you might find yourself deep underwater, looking up at the sunlight shimmering on the ocean surface, or in the cosmos staring down at a planet glowing with an arresting diversity of colors. Using TRIPP for the past six months has been a window for me into the future of science-informed wellness and an overall fascinating experience, as was my conversation with Nanea.

Show notes:

Nanea and I discuss her close family members' substance addictions and her own struggle with mental illness as a teen, which led to her first meditation experiences, and much more:

- The common perception that technology is an obstacle for mental well-being, a narrative that overlooks how tech can also increase wellness when it’s designed right.

- Emerging ways of measuring meditation experiences by recording brain waves - and the shortcomings of the ‘measured self’ movement.

- Why TRIPP’s users multiplied during the stress and anxiety of the pandemic, and how TRIPP can can be used to enhance emotional states.

- Ways in which TRIPP’s visuals and targeted sound frequencies have been informed by innovative research from psychologists like Johns Hopkins’ Matthew Johnson.

- Ways to design apps and other technologies to better fulfill the true purpose of mindfulness meditation. (Hint: not simply relaxation.)

- And of course, because the topic is mental wellness and tech, I had to get Nanea's thoughts on Elon Musk, Neuralink and brain machine interfaces.

Here are links for learning more about TRIPP:

- TRIPP website: https://www.tripp.com/about/

- Nanea Reeves bio: https://www.tripp.com/team/nanea-reeves/

- Study of data collected by UK's Office for National Statistics on behavior during the pandemic, which suggests that TRIPP enhanced users' psychological and emotional mindsets: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-03...

- Research that's informed TRIPP: https://www.tripp.com/research/

- Washington Post Top Pick at CES: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/01/...

- TRIPP's new offering, PsyAssist, to provide support for ketamine-assisted therapy: https://www.mobihealthnews.com/news/tripp-acquires...

- Randomized pilot trial involving TRIPP: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/11/4/e0441...

Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
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