By Mary Baker
In an effort to help students take a break from their often stressful lives, the Student Life department recently brought the Mobile Happy Lights Relaxation Station to Grand Rapids Community College.
The Happy Light Relaxation Station was parked between the library and the Raleigh J. Finkelstein building. Faculty and students were allowed on the bus for 20 minutes to take off their shoes and relax.
“Twenty minutes of relaxation reduces depression and anxiety,” said Monica Sparks, owner of the bus.
Sparks put in great effort to make this bus an experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
The bus has multiple lighting therapies that help with blood circulation and reduce inflammation in the body. The red happy lights produce serotonin to make the body feel happy. Guests are asked to take off their shoes because the floors are heated and covered in himalayan sea salt. The sea salt is antibacterial and helps detox the body. Other therapies on the bus include aroma therapy, music and a special prayer for everyone on the bus. Mental health guides are passed out also.
The cost to sit on the bus is $25 but the company prefers to have organizations sponsor The Mobile Happy Lights, like GRCC did so students could go on the bus for free.
Sparks also owns a body bar and spa located in Grand Rapids. At the age of 36, she was diagnosed with ADHD and it was difficult to access the help she needed. She said her goal is to assist others in their journey in mental health. She is also the founder of a nonprofit organization called Community of Hearts which supplies the community with mental health resources. She enjoys working with people of all ages and demographics including senior citizens and college students.