Thanks to my kids’ love of Despicable Me 2, Pharrell Williams’ Happy song has basically been on constant repeat in my head for the past month. Then there was World Happiness Day last week (though we’re still trying to figure out what that was about.) On top of that, a new app I’ve been checking out called the Happier app has given me an extra little skip in my step.
Happier, started by Nataly Kogan who founded Work It, Mom, is a free iOS app and social network that lets you share your “happy” moments with anyone who wants to see them. Similar to Facebook (and many other social apps), there is a central feed where any updates can be made public. People can post their happy moments, include photos and status updates of moments throughout their days, whether it’s a run on the beach, a sweet moment with a child or an amazingly delicious piece of chocolate cake. (Chocolate definitely qualifies as happy in my book.)
If you’d rather not publicize those special moments, you can turn off the public feature in the Happier app and keep these thoughts to yourself, more like a gratitude journal.
There are little prompts to “encourage” happiness like do something kind for someone else, and the public feed is nice–but I have to admit, after a while it starts to feel like those people in your Facebook circle who only post the best things that ever happened to them. Even though some people throw in random updates about errands that don’t seem as relevant. Still if it’s authentic sharing of good and bad that you want, this app isn’t it.
Where the app has the most value, I think, is that you can take courses which provide you with a personal happiness coach of sorts. Right now, there are two 2-3 week classes–Everyday Grateful and Meditation Vacation--offering instruction on how to be more grateful, for example. Then the app provides specific tips, reminders via push notifications, and inspiring videos to help you achieve your goals toward blissdom.
The Everyday Grateful class is $24.99, which averages out to a little over a dollar a day. Not a bad deal if you really want to spend some time thinking about how to live a more grateful life. Also, if you need to get away from the angst, the debates, the politics and the complaining that compromise a lot of social media.
Hey, you still have Facebook for that.
The Happier app is available for free in iTunes. The Everyday Grateful Course is $24.99 and Meditation Vacation is $19.99, both available as in-app purchases.