Really Big Happier News: FREE Courses!

attitude-gratitude-ipadWe’re making some big changes here at Happier, and we shared some of the app changes with you already. (Side note: more information on specific changes there are coming, we promise!) But now we’re ready to share the really big news with you guys: Most Happier courses are now absolutely FREE to everyone!!!

Since we launched them earlier this year, thousands of our members have taken Happier courses and loved them. We’ve got a lot of work to do to make the experience even better, but we’ve already heard that our courses really make a difference, fit into your hectic schedule, and are simple and fun to do. Thank you!

We founded Happier on the belief that anyone can make the choice to be happier. And that’s why we decided to make most of our courses free: We want to make learning and practicing simple habits proven to make people happier accessible to everyone, everywhere.

I encourage you to give one — or many! — of our courses a shot. (I’d recommend starting with Attitude: Gratitude, if you’re not sure where to begin.) It won’t cost you anything, and you can try as many of our free courses as you like (and repeat them as often as you find helpful). It’s that simple!

To get started:

  1. Log into your Happier account (on your iPhone, tablet, or web — Android courses are literally only days away).
  2. Tap on Learn, and choose a course from My Courses to get going. You’ll see a prompt that says “Thank you for purchasing,” but don’t worry, we haven’t charged you anything.
  3. If you don’t have the new version of our iOS app yet, your courses might show up under Purchased, but again, we promise we haven’t charged you a thing.

Every once in a while, we’ll offer a Premium course, taught by world-class experts. We’ve made these ridiculously affordable (our first one, launching this Friday, is under $5), and we’re thrilled to be able to bring you this advice, inspiration, and practical expertise.

We remain grateful to and humbled by you, our amazing Happier community. You’re the reason we do what we do! If you have any questions/comments/feedback, go ahead and either leave a comment on this post or mail us at team@happier.com.

With awesome gratitude,
Nataly & the Happier Team

Awesome Humans: Greg Krueger Gets Creative For Cats

awesome-humans-greg-krueger-091714Sure, you love your pets, but do you love them as much as Greg Krueger loves his pets? Krueger has spent over 15 years turning his house into a veritable kitty playground for his cats. His house now sports over 100 yards of overhead catwalks, cat-shaped access cutouts, and a plethora of cat-sized hideaways.

Krueger credits his high-functioning autism for blessing him with “great focus” to not only conceive of new features for his feline friends, but to work on them to completion no matter how long it takes. Seriously, this is amazing. Take a look:

Today we’re inspired not just by this fantastic creation, but also Gary Krueger’s dedication to what makes him happier. We should all be so creative and lucky!

Happier Has A New Look!

photo_erinHi there, Happiers, it’s Erin here. I’m the Creative Director and Designer at Happier and I’m excited to share some fun news today.

Over the past few months we listened to your valuable feedback and made a lot of improvements to the Happier app, all with the goal of giving you a better, faster, more awesomer, Happier experience.

OUR BIGGEST NEWS

We now have an iPad app! Our awesome iOS developer Brian has been working really hard on giving you more ways to get your Happier fix. Just install the app from the app store and it will adjust to any iOS device.

COMMUNITY NEWS

  • This is about you! We wanted you to shine, so we made it easier for you to see happy moments and photos. The changes we made also allow you to scroll through your friends’ moments even faster.happier-new-look-ipad
  • Quick and easy to use. We simplified our navigation so you can find the things that are important to you—quickly!happier-new-look-EG

COURSES NEWS

  • Your questions answered, fast. Our goal is to get you the answers you need about courses. (For example: Why should I take a Happier course? How do Happier courses help me? Stuff like that.) We also added short videos to give you a quick overview of what you can expect.
  • Easy step-by-step lessons. In each course lesson our step-by-step bar gives you a way to measure your progress, making it easy for you to track how far you’ve come and how close you are to completing the course.

OUR NEW ICON

happier-new-look-new-iconWe also changed up our app icon a little bit. We think this new one is even spiffier, makes us even easier to find, and goes well with the new and improved us. (Don’t worry—as you can see, we’re still orange. Of course.)

Thank you for being part of our community and as always, we love your feedback. Comment here or drop us a line to let us know what you think; you’re the reason we do what we do!

Mindful Break: Are You Loyal? Take The Test

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Loyalty.

What does it mean to you?

  • MARRIAGE

To the married women out there, what if you were on a girls trip in Vegas and Ryan Gosling made the moves on you in the wee hours of the morning?

Could you walk away or would you succumb?

One sacred text says to be really careful as lust, along with anger and greed, are the 3 great dangers on the human journey

  • FRIENDSHIP

When you are down and out, which of your friends stays true?

Take a moment to think who that person is and send them a little love today!

  • SPORTS TEAM

Look at Captain Cleveland, the most hardcore Cleveland Browns fan.

He has been committed for 35 years; even though the Browns haven’t been to the playoffs in 10 years and haven’t won a playoff game in 20 years.

  • ANIMALS

I love the story of a dog named Tommy who would accompany his master Maria on errands and to church.

When Maria died, Tommy would still show up at Church everyday when the church bells rang, paying homage to Maria.

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Of course, we could always be more loyal to our spouse or our teams or even our pets.

But how about loyalty to THE MOMENT.

If you are not present, you miss all the encounters, revelations, and visions that Life delivers right to your doorstep.

It’s like going to a 4 star restaurant and ordering the most amazing meal, but leaving before the food comes.

Sometimes we all get restless when we have to wait.

As it says in the Tao Te Ching, if you feel weak, it is only because you were once strong. If you feel poor, it is only because you were once rich. If you feeling hungry, it is only because you were once full.

Presence is Loyalty.

Show up fully and watch what happens.

Your Meal is coming, your Team will win, your Sun will rise again!

Happier Challenge: The Power of Stillness

happier-challenge-stillness-091514Good Monday morning! I trust you had a happier weekend and are looking forward to an awesome week, ahead. In fact, if you’re like me, Monday morning is prime time to become convinced you need to do everything, and furthermore, you need to do it all quickly. And that’s the inspiration for this week’s Happier Challenge.

Take 5 minutes to be completely still today.

Maybe it sounds silly, or easy, but I suspect you’ll be amazed both at how hard it can be, and what you discover when you do.

Of course, I like to leave you with a few fun links to get you going for the week, too. Here you go:

Have a great week, and don’t forget to come share with the Happier community about all the small joys you’re collecting!

Happier Jump-Starts: Tips For Healthier Connectivity

happier-jumpstarts-091414One of my teenagers recently asked me how we found out the answers to everyday questions when I was a kid. “You know, before you had Google.” The idea that once upon a time you couldn’t whip out a device to figure out who that guy in that commercial is strikes them as foreign. When I explained that some of those burning questions simply remained unanswered—and others had to wait for the library to open—the pity in the room was palpable.

So yes, modern information availability and computer power are wonderful things, but as they say, with great power comes great responsibility. Some of what we think makes us happier when it comes to digital involvement is, in fact, making us less happy. A few quick pointers should help keep you on track.

For a more productive day, never start with email. Most of us get on our email first thing in the morning, even though we know it’s a black hole of distraction. I love Sid Savara’s explanation of why it’s a bad idea, and switching to an “accomplish one big task before touching email” approach made a huge difference in my overall productivity. Try it!

Do as much in person as possible. It’s easy to fall into that trap of saying/doing things online you wouldn’t do in person; it’s happened to the best of us. Even when we remember good online etiquette and avoid this pitfall, many of us begin to prefer online interaction as easier, which leads to social isolation and other relationship damage, even as we perceive ourselves to be “very social.” There’s no substitute for real human contact when it comes to our happiness.

For better sleep, turn off devices (and take them out of your bedroom). It’s clear that engaging with a glowing electronic device prior to bedtime is disruptive to sleep; the research on this is unanimous. What’s less clear is whether this applies to all glowing screens (including the television, which is arguably more passive than email or gaming), and how long before planned slumber one should turn everything off. At a minimum, experts suggest stowing electronics an hour before you plan to sleep, and also that just having devices in your bedroom is likely to cause potentially sleep-disrupting hyper-vigilance for text messages and such.

Have rules for the whole family. Many parents bemoan their kids’ dependence on technology, but behave similarly (it’s just that we’re “working” while they’re texting). Decide as a household what is and isn’t acceptable, and then hold everyone to those rules. In our house, for example, phones and other devices aren’t allowed at the table when we’re eating, and that goes for kids and adults. We also have an “electronics bedtime.” What rules make sense for your family are your call, but do take the time to consider what you value and how to best implement it.

Make a point to unplug now and then. Connectivity is part of our world, now, and I personally use it for everything from work to keeping tabs on my kids. I’m not knocking it! On the other hand, the occasional day when we leave phones behind and go on a long hike or otherwise just commit to spending time together, in the moment, distraction-free, are pretty much my favorite thing. Unplugging periodically not only makes us happier, it’s a good barometer of the healthiness of your relationship with technology, too, so that you can make adjustments if needed.

So enjoy your gadgets and the ability to find information, look at cute kittens, and reach loved ones across the world… but moderation and mindfulness can be part of that, too.

Happier Spotlight: Aim High, Let Go

Here at Happier there’s nothing we like better than hearing that something we brought to your attention made your day a little brighter. And now that Happier Notes is going out to so many folks every day, our reach is growing and more folks are writing to let us know how their lives are becoming happier.

Although we try to vary the content of Happier Notes each day, we recently started including a daily mantra from our very our Dave “Yeah Dave” Romanelli. The idea was that a simple phrase could serve as a touchpoint throughout the day, as needed. We hoped it would resonate with the community, and wow, did this one make us smile.

Check out the email we received from Elizabeth:

I LOVED yesterday’s mantra of: Aim high. Let go. Relax. Trust the Flow. Yesterday was the defense of my dissertation. I got my technology set up, all things were a “GO” and I just relaxed. My husband was stunned at my confidence and calmness. But I even tweeted this mantra so I had a record of how I felt on the day of my dissertation defense, and the day I became Dr. Elizabeth Wallace!

Thank you!

Aim high. Let go. Relax.

Trust the flow.

Thank you, Elizabeth… er, Dr. Wallace. We’re thrilled Dave’s mantra helped you on your way to an awesome dissertation defense. It sounds like you aimed high, let go, and rocked.