Increase Your Optimism With These 5 Happiness Apps

Happiness at the push of a button: Photo credit: Collection/Getty Images


For iOS and Android – Free

Basing its science-backed games on the concept of neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to change its thought patterns over time — Happify offers a range of activities to boost your happiness quotient. A series of simple daily exercises aims to train your brain to conquer negative thoughts, reduce relationship friction, elevate optimism, change stress patterns and be more fearless.


For iOS – Free

The idea behind HappiJar couldn’t be simpler: It essentially acts as a grab bag of happiness triggers that you can access anytime, anywhere, whenever you need a boost. With bright, artful, jewel-toned graphics, the app encourages you to record music, images and text , all of which are stored for later use. Then, whenever you’re feeling down or need a pick-me-up, you can shake the jar (by shaking your phone) and prompt one of the buttons to present itself for a quick hit of happy.


For iOS and Android – Free

In an age of social media over-sharing, an app featuring anti-social media technology feels almost revolutionary. That’s one of the perks of Azasu, a daily micro-gratitude journal app that collects your private thoughts for comprehensive access by one person and one person only: you. Once you download the app, you enter one personal sentence each day, making a note about your favorite thing that happened over the past 24 hours. A beautiful, soothing interface presents your entries back to you in a scrolling memory archive afterward, which should come in handy the next time you’re feeling blue.


For iOS and Android – Free

To explain the notion that drives Happier, its developers cite more than 11,000 studies showing the correlation between daily gratitude habits and a host of benefits, from better sleep and greater optimism to heightened creativity and productivity. The app features a gratitude journal with serotonin-boosting visual prompts, as well as interactive courses, and a digital community dedicated to positive feedback and affirmation. Users can choose the activities that appeal to them the most, customizing the experience to meet their needs.

1 Second Everyday

For iOS and Android – Free

Describing itself as “an app that stitches the moments of your life into a single continuous chronological movie,” 1 Second Everyday has even found itself featured in Jon Favreau’s 2014 major motion picture Chef, making it a sort of movie inside of a movie. As illustrated by the characters in film, the app prompts you to record a one-second snippet of your life each day. It then threads the collection together into a mini-film highlighting the memories you’ve made over a period of time.


About the Author

Amy Lynch is a writer/editor whose work has appeared on Refinery29, The Hairpin and The Collective Quarterly, telling the stories of places that ignite conversation, projects that stimulate progress, and people who move the world forward. She lives in Austin, Texas.