[live lounge app]Cate Conway creates app to help people connect, stay positive and talk
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Brought together through the grief of losing close pal Stephen Clements, Cate Conway and Ciara Daly are putting their pain into helping get others talking.
The pair have created an app called The Life Lounge helping people connect, stay positive and talk about the ups and downs of day-to-day life during the pandemic.
With video interviews with practitioners on emotional, physical and mental health, the pair hope to create a community to help people make connections and point them in the direction of therapies and activities that will help them stay positive.
And with 600 subscribers since launching on December 30, they are well on their way.
”People are feeling things they have never felt before, they are not sure what to do about it because there's a weirdness you can't put your fingers on, kind of a fear of the future or anxiety about it,” said Cate, who was one half of one of Northern Ireland’s best known presenting duos on Q Radio with Stephen.
”The knock on effect of that is going to be huge.”
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The idea for the app came about after radio host Cate grew close to her pal Stephen's good friend, make-up artist Ciara Daly, in the wake of his death last year.
The duo started spending more time together, talking about Stephen and helping each other through losing him.
Cate and Ciara with Stephen
(Image: Glenn Norwood)
Ciara, who is open about her own experiences with depression, told Cate she wanted to start an event bringing together people behind different alternative therapies. The idea was to bring together vendors to help with mental health in a similar style to the Quirky Weddings event Cate co-founded.
But with lockdown restrictions putting the brakes on gatherings, Cate and Ciara started working on a new idea, bringing together both of their strengths.
Cate had been working with radio consultants on new steps for her own career with her love of TV and had been told to start working on a pilot of a show she would want to do.
”I needed somebody to interview for this pilot I was doing and I said to Ciara, would you mind being the person I interview in this and it has somehow now snowballed into this app,” said Cate.
”With The Life Lounge we encourage people to talk about how they are feeling,” she said.
”We are all going through stuff, before Covid we were all going through stuff, and as you get older you go through phases of going to parties, then weddings, then friends start to get divorces, and through all those different stages with family or whatever, your friendship group changes as you need to be around people going through the same kind of thing as you.
”Quite often you might feel like you are the only person going through this because none of your friends are going through it, so it is about talking about those things like divorce, starting over in your 40s, trying to figure out online dating.
”We are going to be talking about topics like that but it is all very down to earth.”
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Ciara and Cate, who are in a support bubble together, have already compiled numerous interviews on the app and live streams, chatting to people such as Maria Rafferty, the Hormone Health Coach, and hypnotherapist Judith Ward.
And as well as content for women, there are also subjects specifically for men, including natural resilience coach Ciaran May interviewing former Royal Marine turned film director Marty Stalker about PTSD.
Cate said the pair want to deliver their content in a way that is accessible and down to earth so as many people as possible can connect with the message.
”The most important thing about the app is it's a community,” said Cate.
The pair interviewing Helen Hughes from Achievers Excel
(Image: Sayne Productions)
”Whenever you download the app it looks like a Facebook feed but you can post and say things like you have always wanted to try reflexology, has anyone tried it and did you find it worked and people can respond. It is about making connections with people.
”We did one about fear of 2021 and moving into 2021, it's not like any other New Year when you say goodbye to 2020 because it's not a fresh page, we are still in lockdown, people are feeling it's like Christmas didn't happen and it feels odd.
”I had mentioned I felt sad going into a year Stephen Clements was never in, and it's an odd thing even as I am saying it, but a couple of people commented and said they had lost someone and they felt the same way.
”It's not any huge revelation but just for someone to go, yes I felt that too, it is so important to people.
”The Life Lounge is really about reaching out to people and saying everyone is feeling crap, let's talk about it. It is not about sitting and everyone being victims, it is about acknowledging I feel crap, what do I do about it, how do I move on.”
She added: “It is about giving people hope that they don't always have to feel this way. Quite a few get stuck in a mindset, you don't feel there's a way to pull yourself out of it but we are trying to say to people, try this, but it is all delivered in a down to earth way.”
The app officially launched on December 30 with a fire ceremony.
The pair interviewing Kim Calvert from Dynamite Lifestyle
(Image: Sayne Productions)
Ciara and Cate wrote down lists of all the things awful about 2020 but “once you write it on the bit of paper it's gone and you aren't gurning about it any more”.
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”It was about saying goodbye to 2020 and then writing down the good things you want to bring into 2021,” said Cate.
Talking about the future, Cate said she was learning to take things one day at a time since losing Stephen.
”I am going with the flow because this last year was a blur, a total blur because of losing Stephen and then into a pandemic,” she said.
”I had loads of other life changes on top of losing Stephen and then I am with U105 now and I would usually be out hosting events but all that went as well and my wedding business, so last year it felt like all these things in my life were sitting on a table and a cat came along and just one by one tipped everything off.
”Now I am able to look at it like, OK clean slate, what can I replace that with, but it took me a long time to get to there.”
Cate and Ciara
(Image: Glenn Norwood)
Cate added: “I feel like ever since losing Stephen everything unravelled and I feel now I can't make any plans. My plan was to work with him again, that wasn't over.
”People talk about your five year plan but I don't have a five day plan, I have learned how to embrace that rather than be scared of it.”
Cate said the pair were overwhelmed by the response to the app already and said she had feared people may not grasp the concept, but that the public are really getting behind it.
She said Ciara and herself were a good balance and wanted to put across ideas like mindfulness in a way that is accessible and down to earth for everyone to relate to.
She said the pair were not experts but wanted to share their own journeys to help others.
”I joke that I inherited Ciara when Stephen died,”she said.
”They were great friends and I knew her but not that well but now we have formed this great friendship and just from a common ground in that we have both been through quite a lot in our lives. We would talk a lot about the different things we have been through and a lot of people don't have that, they want to reach out and want to be seen or to feel normal.”
”It is about connecting to other people and connecting to yourself,” said Cate.
”We just want it to feel like we are people you have bumped into in a cafe and we are telling you something,” she added.
You can download The Life Lounge, it is ￡4.99 a month following a seven day free trial, and follow them on Instagram.
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