Game On, Happiness

There are only so many times that watching carpool karaoke or this rat and his pizza will boost your mood. Move over, YouTube. Happify is a new site and app that wants to make you happier by gamify happiness. 

The idea behind Happify is that happiness can be learned. The scientists at Happify have identified five skills based on research that links positive words and images to a sunnier outlook and well-being. Those skills are "Savor," "Thank," "Aspire," "Give," and "Empathize." If this starting to feel a little like Inside Out, don’t worry, you aren’t expected to learn them all at once.

It works like this: You start with a quiz to determine which happiness skills you need to work on. Then you are assigned a track with activities to help you strengthen those skills. According to Happify, if you spend a few minutes a couple times each week on the site or app, you’ll complete your track within a month. There are four free tracks: cope with stress, find your calling, conquer negative thoughts, and mindfulness meditation. Other tracks are available for a few dollars each week.

My track was “Cope Better with Stress” and the activities have included a weekly gratitude check-in, a guided meditation, and a game called “Uplift” where I was supposed to click on balloons with positive words. I can totally get behind anything that makes me focus on gratitude and am slowly learning how to meditate, but the game was too cheesy (and this is coming from someone who never mastered Super Mario Brothers) low-tech.

Still, if reducing stress, having a brighter outlook, or feeling confident is on your to-do list, Happify is worth your time and phone’s GBs.

Until then, here’s that video of the rat carrying pizza on the NYC subway.