Happiness: Battling Sadness, One Finger Swipe at a Time

February 5, 2013

9:00 am

Am I happy? It’s a question that surely lingers interminably on our minds. However, the bigger question is: why am I happy? That’s where the Happiness app comes in to help.

Happiness is an iOS journal app with the primary goal of helping the user become more self-aware and thus “make better decisions [in life].” It does this by asking one question: how are you?

2 - Happiness screenshot

The app has a very clean design, with the main page featuring a simple slider to gauge your current emotional state, from -5 (not so happy) to +5 (happy). The reminder function allows you to choose from a wide range of options (from “every couple of hours” to “every month or so”).

Not only do you score your emotional state, but the journal function lets you describe the reason behind that state (e.g., I’m +2 happy because I just ate cheesecake and finished something for work). This info is subsequently compiled into infographics that allow a user to look at the varying sources of happiness (green blocks) and unhappiness (red blocks). Visualizing these influences to your moods helps you determine what changes to make in your life; there’s nothing like a big red square labeled “stress” to notify you that you need to chill out a bit.

Realizing the rampant role of mood disorders and depression in society, Michael Forrest created Happiness because he “felt that mood tracking software could help people avoid depression without the use of medication.”

Prior to Happiness, Forrest’s app development startup Good To Hear released Good Habits, an app aimed at monitoring, changing, and developing personal habits. “Technology is at its best when it works to improve the wellbeing, health, and happiness of its users,” explains Forrest. “I want to help people to be the best they can be, and I want to do so using technology because that’s where I have the best hope of doing so in a way that has never been done before.”

Good To Hear hopes to launch a new project along the lines of Happiness and Good Habits in May of this year.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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