Ulta Beauty Wants to Spark Joy

Ulta Beauty has tapped lawyer, podcast host and author Mel Robbins to launch The Joy Project.

After listening to feedback from associates who regularly witness guests struggle with negative self-talk, Ulta was inspired to understand how the inner critic could be affecting people’s ability to experience joy and overall well-being, the company said.

Cue The Joy Study, commissioned by Ulta, which examined a sample of how 5,000 adults and teens experience joy and the common barriers to experiencing it on a daily basis. 

It found that 73 percent of those surveyed experience negative self-talk, 70 percent experiencing it don’t recognize negative self-talk when they’re actively doing it, and 91 percent identify negative self-talk as a primary obstacle in their ability to experience joy. 

Gen Z is the least equipped to overcome their negative self-talk, according to the study. 65 percent reported feeling they lack the tools, relationships, or resources to recover from challenges and maintain joy, compared to 54 percent of the general population.

Armed with this research, Robbins crafted a bespoke associate training curriculum to positively transform the way Ulta Beauty’s 53,000 associates think about themselves and ultimately empower guests to do the same.

“It’s stunning that the research shows that negative self-talk is the biggest obstacle to experiencing joy, yet the majority of us don’t even realize how much we engage in it. I’m proud to work with Ulta
Beauty and The Joy Project to address this head on,” said Robbins. “There are so many brands publicly discussing mental health, but few are activating in such a tangible and meaningful way. I’m honored to work with Ulta Beauty, creating custom trainings that will empower those associates to silence that inner critic and coach guests to do the same, all with a mission to inspire a national conversation to spread more joy.”

Dubbed “A Toolkit for Joy,” the video-based series of mini courses taught by Robbins will provide all 53,000 associates the strategies and tools needed to identify their inner critic, interrupt the negative patterns, and inspire themselves and others in the process. Associates are then encouraged to share those same practices with guests.

According to Robbins, who previously undertook a similar project with Starbucks’ associates, the three-step process is designed to help people to catch the inner critic, to interrupt it and then to encode a different way of talking to yourself.

“The reality is, there’s a joy deficit in our country, which if left untreated, will only continue to hold people back from living the lives they’ve always wanted,” said Michelle Crossan Matos, chief marketing officer at Ulta Beauty. “By taking an inside-out approach, in helping our associates unlock their own barriers to joy, and using our platforms to positively influence the communities we serve, we know we can ignite a movement that will help people everywhere live more authentic and joyful lives.”

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