February 11, 2021

This new startup wants you to treat mental fitness like going to the gym

Back in November 2017,  Cleveland Cavaliers star Kevin Love had a panic attack during a home game against the Atlanta Hawks.

“I was having trouble catching my breath,” he wrote in a piece for The Players’ Tribune the following March. “It’s hard to describe, but everything was spinning, like my brain was trying to climb out of my head. The air felt thick and heavy. My mouth was like chalk. I remember our assistant coach yelling something about a defensive set. I nodded, but I didn’t hear much of what he said. By that point, I was freaking out.”

Here was a pro athlete, among the best of the best, and he was openly talking about his vulnerability. Here was a man who had spent the better part of his life building his body into an elite basketball machine, but who had not spent enough time on his mind. “It’s kind of strange when you think about it,” he wrote. “In the NBA, you have trained professionals to fine-tune your life in so many areas. Coaches, trainers, and nutritionists have had a presence in my life for years. But none of those people could help me in the way I needed when I was lying on the floor struggling to breathe.”

Now Love is helping to launch Coa, short for coalesce, the world’s first gym for mental fitness. Founded by Alexa Meyer and Dr. Emily Anhalt in 2019, Coa is a therapist-led, emotional fitness class platform that includes therapist matchmaking, group classes, and one-on-one therapy. The idea is to make mental health a proactive and daily practice—just like physical fitness.  Read rest here