Tech Talk: Happify Makes the Science of Happiness Fun and Accessible


tech talk redesignThis semester, I’m trying to help college freshmen articulate their ideas about success and happiness. When I found the Happify app, I thought it would be worth checking out, so I dutifully downloaded it.


No — no problems with the download or with accessing the features. After playing with it for a bit, I intentionally deleted it, then, later on wondered if perhaps I’d dismissed it too hastily, so I re-installed it (it was free, after all). As it turned out, I liked taking the survey (twice), but I didn’t like the app itself any better the second time.

It’s not a bad app — it just wasn’t the right fit for for me. Sure, I wanted more information on the subject of happiness, but I wasn’t interested in setting goals and establishing action steps. To me, that just sort of sucked the happiness right out of it. It made it feel very intense and overwhelming. Then again, I’m more of a spontaneous, global person than a step-by-step detail girl.

As it turns out, though, Happify had something to offer me that was the right fit. Their email newsletter, Happify Daily, is just perfect. Its contents, a short informational video, a quote of the day on a pretty, social-media-shareable background and a short, smile-inspiring video like this one, are like a menu of happiness booster shots; you may not want all three of them, but chances are good that at least one of them will be worth your time.

With experts like Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. (The How of Happiness) and Shawn Achor (who gives a very entertaining TED Talk) behind it, Happify is science-based without being sciencey. And acronyms like STAGE (savor, thank, aspire, give, and empathize), make it clear that science and spirituality aren’t mutually exclusive.

And after all, who can’t use a shot of happiness each day?

The Happify app is available for iOS and Android. Visit to get started.

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Copyright 2015 Lisa Hess. All rights reserved.


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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