Healthy Minds @Work and the Spark Appreciation Challenge

Train your mind and build the skills to be calmer, more focused, and resilient, in just 30 days! Offered by Hoos Well to all UVA employees and their benefits-enrolled spouses, Healthy Minds @Work is an evidence-based, easy-to-follow program featuring scientific podcast-style lessons, guided meditation practices, personalized well-being reports, and a customizable mobile app. It is a personal guided journey through the science of a healthy mind, built by neuroscientists and designed to teach and measure skills associated with emotional well-being.

Join your teammates in training your mind, improving focus, reducing burnout, boosting resilience, bringing more purpose to your life and work, and building a culture of appreciation — all in only 5–10 minutes a day.

New Challenge: Spark Appreciation to Fire Up Your Well-Being

Spark Appreciation logoPart of Healthy Minds @Work, Spark Appreciation is a 3-week well-being challenge that guides you in building the skill of appreciation. The challenge will help you learn to see the positive in yourself and others while finding meaningful ways to bring the skill of appreciation into the workplace. Employees and spouses enrolled in the UVA or UPG Health Plans can earn a $25 reward in the Hoos Well portal for completing the challenge. Backed by decades of scientific research, this challenge features:

  • 3 weeks of guided lessons and practices in the Healthy Minds Program app
  • Assessments to track your progress
  • Weekly encouragement emails with tips to bring appreciation alive at work
Read FAQs about Healthy Minds @Work and the Spark Appreciation Challenge

How to Participate in the Spark Appreciation Challenge

Expand the section below that pertains to you to read step-by-step instructions.

Why Appreciation?

It's good for you - and your work!

Appreciation is the skill of noticing the positive in ourselves and others. But more than that, appreciation spreads easily. When we appreciate and feel kindness towards others, they feel it and it gets passed on. Practicing appreciation at work has many benefits related to social connection; appreciation helps to improve our work relationships, helps team members feel valued, improves morale, and leads to a more positive work culture. Training in well-being skills, like appreciation, has been shown to have benefits for your well-being such as:


Spark Appreciation Toolkit, with tips for team members and leaders to support a culture of appreciation at UVA Healthy Minds Innovations’ Spark Appreciation webpage, with digital appreciation cards to download and share Download a flyer to print and share with your team

Appreciation is a Skill You Can Learn in Just 5 -7 Minutes a Day

Stephanie Wagner, Healthy Minds lead Trainer and board-certified health coach, introduces the Spark Appreciation challenge and provides background about Healthy Minds Innovations.

*Read the results of a Randomized Controlled Trial on the effectiveness of the Healthy Minds Program app
2,000 +

UVA participants in Healthy Minds @ Work

20 %

Decrease in burnout among UVA users, after 30 days

18 %

Increase in Awareness after just 30 days

FAQs about Healthy Minds @Work and the Spark Appreciation Challenge

Please see Hoos Well's list of FAQs for more information, including those about earning rewards.

  • What is included in the Spark Appreciation Challenge?

    The Spark Appreciation Challenge is a three-week well-being challenge that provides simple guided meditations and podcast style lessons to support healthier habits of the mind. Each week of the Challenge you will explore the components of appreciation including innate self-worth, cultivating gratitude, and appreciation for everyone. The Challenge includes personalized feedback on your app so you can track your progress along the way.

    Spark Appreciation Challenge weekly themes

  • I am not enrolled in the UVA or UPG Health Plan. May I still participate?

    Yes! Hoos Well offers Healthy Minds @Work and the Spark Appreciation Challenge to all UVA employees and their spouses. However, the $25 reward is available only to enrollees in the UVA Health Plan or the UPG Anthem Health Plan.

    Read FAQs about eligibility for Hoos Well rewards
  • How do I sign up?

  • When does the Spark Appreciation Challenge begin and end?

    While there is no specific start date, you are encouraged to begin the challenge soon, so that you can participate along with your 2,000+ UVA colleagues who have a Healthy Minds program account. You may begin the 3-week challenge anytime between February 2 and November 2, 2023.

  • How much is the reward and how do I get it?

    UVA employees and spouses on the UVA or UPG Health Plans can earn a $25 reward for completing the Spark Appreciation Challenge. Visit your Rewards page in the Hoos Well portal, scroll down to the bottom, and click on “Complete the Spark Appreciation Challenge by Healthy Minds @ Work.”  (If you don’t already have an account in the Hoos Well portal, create one here.)

    Complete and submit the short form to attest to your completion of the challenge. Please note that the first day you can complete the 3-week challenge is February 23, 2023.

    Visit your Rewards page in the Hoos Well portal
  • When will I get the reward?

    The reward will appear immediately in your Virgin Pulse account when you complete the challenge and submit the completion form. All Hoos Well rewards are directly deposited into the health plan subscriber’s paycheck after each quarterly rewards period. Please allow approximately one month for rewards to be processed after the close of each quarter. For example, rewards earned by March 31, 2023 will be paid to the subscriber by late April or early May.

    Read FAQs about receiving rewards in your paycheck
  • I already have a Healthy Minds account in the free version of the app. What can I do?

    If you have the Healthy Minds free app you have 2 choices. One is to delete your free account and the other is to maintain 2 accounts with 2 different email addresses.

    Option 1:

    To delete your current account, follow the steps below:

    1. Please navigate within the app to Profile > Settings (gear icon in top-right) > Delete Account. *Note this will delete all of your data
    2. Follow the step-by-step sign-up instructions to create a new account:

    Option 2:

    If you would rather maintain 2 Healthy Minds accounts with 2 different email addresses:

    1.  Log out of your current Healthy Minds app by navigating within the app to Profile > Settings (gear icon in top-right) and scrolling down and tapping the Logout button.
    2. Then use the signup instructions to create a new Healthy Minds account with an alternate email address.
    3. Go back to your app and tap the Log In button and enter the credentials you used to create your second account.
    4. By logging out and logging back in again, you can access each account.
    Questions or need technical support?
  • I’m not receiving the weekly emails with tips and resources. What should I do?

    Please check your spam folder for emails from If you still don’t see the emails, please contact

  • How much time do I need to dedicate to participating in the challenge?

    Plan to dedicate 5-10 minutes per day to the Challenge over the course of three weeks. The app will guide you through five activities each week.

  • What happens after the challenge?

    All participants will continue to have access to the Healthy Minds Program app, with access to the “@Work” practices and additional training modules unlocked. In addition, Healthy Minds Innovations will offer quarterly well-being Learning Labs to attend periodically.

    In the app, you can tap the My Path button at the bottom of your Healthy Minds app home screen and either begin at the top of the path or jump back in where you left off.  The Healthy Minds four pillared program will help you understand the connections between what's happening inside your brain and how you're interacting with the world around you–with results ranging from increased focus to decreased stress and higher levels of health and well-being.

  • What is Healthy Minds Innovations?

    Healthy Minds Innovations, Inc. (HMI) was started in 2014 by world-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard Davidson. They are a nonprofit affiliated with the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison driven by a mission to translate science into tools to cultivate and measure well-being.

    HMI takes the discoveries and insights gleaned from the Center’s research–as well as that of their own scientific team–and translates them into tools that help people around the world build skills of well-being through the use of traditional contemplative practices (like meditation), skill building techniques, and opportunities to learn about the science behind the practices.

  • Where should I go for additional questions on the Healthy Minds Program app or troubleshooting?

    Please see the Healthy Minds Program mobile app "Help, How To's, and About the App" page for common app related questions and assistance. If you need technical assistance, please fill out this form or send an email to

    Questions or need technical assistance with the app? Email Healthy Minds support.
  • What policies are in place to protect my data?

    Hoos Well and UVA will never know how you personally answered any questions in your assessments. 

    Healthy Minds Innovations prioritizes data privacy of all users. Healthy Minds Innovations will never disclose personally identifiable data to anyone other than the individual themselves. HMI stores data using Amazon Web Services in one of its US-based data centers. This data is encrypted in transit and HMI provides limited, as-needed access (for individuals) to application data in order to provide product and end user support. Access to this data is further protected using multi-factor authentication and monitored using identity and system access management logging. Any data provided back to UVA will be de-identified.

    Learn more about HMI’s data privacy policies: Privacy Policy and End User License Agreement & Terms of Use.

  • What if I’m already a regular meditator. Will I need to stop my daily practice to begin the Healthy Minds Program?

    If you already have an established meditation practice, we encourage you to experiment with the practices in the app to supplement your current practice. You can try adding a shorter 5-minute seated practice to your routine or bring a more meditative mindset to your daily activities with the active practices in the app.

  • Can this program address my clinical mental health needs?

    Please note that the Healthy Minds Program is not a substitute for professional mental health treatment and is not intended to diagnose or treat illness. Contemplative practices such as mindfulness meditation may not be for everyone. If you are concerned, consult with your healthcare provider before beginning the program.