Android, meet Happier!

Well, first, Happier, meet Tony, who is one of our awesome developers and who has some pretty great news to share today:

This is Tony. Like all of us at Happier he loves giraffes. A lot.

Hi Happier community!

Today marks the first day that you can officially download Happier from the Play Store, and boy does it feel good!

While you may not be able to take your favorite course on the go yet, you can collect and share your happy moments and stay connected with our awesome community that makes Happier what it is! We’ve spent a good deal of time making sure all of the basics are there, so you’ll be able to do things like keep up to date with your friends, browse featured moments, and smile and comment at the things that made your day just that much brighter.

 Of course, with all new apps, there are going to be some small issues that have slipped through the testing cracks, but we’ll be keeping a close ear to the ground and make sure that the Happier for Android becomes the app that we would all want it to be! (We are always really excited to hear from you — yes, even when it’s to report a bug — so keep your feedback coming to team@happier.com.)

So what’s up next then? I’ll be working on search and notifications. Because these are quite big tasks, I can’t give you a shipping date yet but I promise they’ll be out soon! Once that’s done and we’ve added some of the community features our users love, I can start tackling courses and make sure that you can really get the full experience of Happier on Android!

Thanks everyone for being so patient with us on this and I’d love to give a big, huuuge thanks to everyone who joined as early beta testers. You guys were a great help and were absolutely fantastic at pointing out every little bug that I’d missed during the early stages of development.

Until next release!

Tony (and the rest of the very excited Happier team)

Happier goes on The Doctors!

OK, no pretending needed, we’re pretty insanely awesomely excited that Happier will be part of the The Doctors episode today. A lot of people watch the show and we get a chance to share some of our tips for being happier with them? Awesome.

(In the Northeast we’re on at 2pm EST. To check your local channel listings, click here.)

Not only is this the first time Happier is on national TV but this was the first time I taped a segment for a national TV show. WHOA does a lot go into a really short 2-3 minute segment. I have a whole new degree of respect for the hundreds of people putting on The Doctors (and other similar shows).

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One of the fun parts of being on the show was picking out some orange outfits to wear. The producers asked me to bring 4-6 different options with me, which would be fine except I didn’t have 6 different orange pieces I could wear for the show. And since you guys know I wear something orange every single day, help to the rescue.

My dear friend is also an awesome stylist, so I asked her to help me find some awesome orange. I ended up wearing this dress she found and even a few of the doctors on the show commented how happy it looked on set!

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And funny thing about the dress: Because it had no belt they had to put my microphone charger pack behind my neck, taped to the top of my dress. About half way through the segment I felt something drop and there was my microphone pack, hanging down behind me. Lucky for me Travis, the doctor wearing scrubs, noticed it, gave a signal to pause taping, moved me off stage to get it fixed, and then walked me back to the right spot. What could have been a really stressful moment actually turned into a really awesome one when he gave me a hug and told me I was doing a good job. PHEW, because even though I am used to big audiences and lots of lights, nothing is quite like this.

(Here’s me, backstage, as they are putting the microphone stuff back together. One of the producers captured this shot.)

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If you have a chance to watch our segment, have fun and if you’re here because you saw us on The Doctors, welcome to Happier! We’re really psyched you’re here :) (And if you’re wondering where to get started, check out my Everyday Grateful Happier Course, which is the foundation of the happier life tips I shared on the show.)

 

Everyday Grateful Course launches in Happier!

EGIt’s a big day here at Happier: We’re really excited to announce that we’ve just launched Everyday Grateful, our very first Happier Course, right in the Happier app!

When spreading happiness is your mission, it feels like there’s always more to be done. We’re really proud of the start we made with the Happier app, and then we moved on to the first Happier course, Everyday Grateful, to offer a guided tour of sorts to those wanting more assistance in cultivating the happiness habit. It’s only been a couple of months, but the feedback on the course has been humbling.

I’m getting so much out of this course, not least because at the moment, I’m going through some hard stuff in my life. Your daily reminders help me stay focused on being as grateful as possible every moment, because bad stuff is transitory but the happy stuff sticks around. This is a big deal for me because it’s changed my entire outlook on everything: I don’t worry as much, I sleep soundly and I’m a much more positive person now.

-Hannah

I could each day’s task really quickly but realized it had a lot of impact. I notice now when I am becoming grumpy and can stop it before it gets worse.

- Tracy

Great feedback is awesome (OK, to be honest, it’s amazing and means so much to us!) but wanted to see if we could make the course even better. And I think we have.

Everyday Grateful is still:

  • A 3-week interactive course designed to cultivate the “attitude of gratitude” which research proves makes you happier and healthier
  • Chock-full of tips and advice (practical and never preachy, pinky swear) to help you focus on the positive

  • Videos, inspiration, and guided activities designed to increase your happiness in just a few minutes a day

  • Supported by a coach you can reach at any time (just shoot me an email!)

In addition, Everyday Grateful is now:

  • Accessible through the Happier app on your iPhone whenever and wherever you like
  • Perpetually available — go back and repeat activities that really spoke to you, do the whole course again as many times as you like (how you use it and pace yourself is up to you)

  • Enhanced with new content (based upon user feedback and the latest research; we take our happiness seriously!)

We’re offering the new and improved Everyday Grateful for just $24.99. Think about it; for the cost a week’s worth of lattes, you could be cultivating a lifetime of increased gratitude (which, in turn, means greater overall happiness). We’re so sure you’ll love it, it comes with a full money-back guarantee, too.

Thank you for being part of our amazing Happier community and I hope you’ll join us for Everyday Grateful!

iOS 7: We’re ready for you

Hey everyone, I’m Brian, the iOS developer around these parts.  That means that I’m the guy working on everything related to our iPhone app (including the fishy animation)!

In case you haven’t heard, Apple recently announced their new operating system: iOS 7. We are super excited to get Happier ready for it! You might be asking yourself: “what’s so different about iOS 7?” One big change is that apps are going to be much more ‘flat’. This means that, for example, buttons won’t have as much depth as they used to. Here’s a preview of what you can expect in the next update:

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Take a look at the Me screens above in iOS 6 and iOS 7. As you can see, there are slight changes to how it looks, especially at the top of the screen. Many of our buttons in iOS 7 no longer have depth, which leads to a much cleaner design! Also, the status bar at the top is now orange to match the rest of our app (it is the happiest color after all!).

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Take a look at the side-by-side comparison of the settings screen above. As you can see, the rows look slightly different, as does the switch on the ‘Account is private’ row. Everything is much cleaner and smoother.

Besides the changes to Happier’s look, I’ve been spending at lot of time reworking the insides of our app to make it really speedy in iOS 7! The next update to the app will be coming soon and I hope you all like the changes!

Welcome to Happier 2.0!

For the past five months since we launched the Happier app, we’ve listened to your feedback and watched this amazing Happier community take shape. You inspired us to think about how to make Happier easier, faster, more fun and, yes, happier. I speak for the entire Happier team when I tell you that we are grateful for your feedback and ideas and mostly, for how much you care about making Happier an awesome experience for everyone.

We’re beyond excited today to introduce Happier 2.0!

discoverHere’s what’s new:

- Easier ways to connect with friends. You can now follow anyone whose happy moments inspire you as well as look for friends by name, in addition to email, contacts or Facebook. Have fun connecting with other awesome Happiers!

- Fewer steps to share happy and cleaner overall layout. We’ve made it more fun and way faster to share your happy moments on just one screen and added frames so you can include more than one photo.

- Simplified privacy options. Share your moments with anyone in Happier, including friends who follow you. If you like, make your account private to approve who can follow you. (And no worries, any happy moments you shared before will only be visible to friends you had in Happier 1.0.)

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- Brand new celebrations that will make you smile. (OK, maybe even grin.) There’s no way we’re giving away the surprise so you’ll just have to share some happy moments to see them. – Happy moments from your past. Be reminded about what made you happier and inspired to find more happy moments in your day.

- More awesome quotes, fun challenges, and featured collections in Discover. You told us you dig them and we listened!

- See a moment that really inspires you? Tap “me-too” and share it to your friends to spread some happy.

We are excited to share Happier 2.0 with you and eager to hear your feedback. As always, you can reach us at team@happier.com.

(And don’t forget to check out http://www.happier.com – we promise it will make you smile! Android users, we hope you’ll join us there too!)

Thank you and happy sharing!

How our friends at MongoHQ made us Happier

This post is slightly different than most on this blog. It’s quite a bit more technical, talking about some engineering and technology topics. Why is it here?

We had a service outage in June 2013 that made many of our users, and of course the entire Happier team, very unhappy. But in that time of stress and frustration, we made new friends with some MongoHQ employees, and they made us happier.

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MongoHQ is a startup in California. They provide database hosting services for a product called MongoDB, which is an open-source database. Happier uses this to store most of our data, such as our happy moments, smiles, comments, and more. If this database is down or not working, our applications don’t work, and users cannot share happy moments. No one wants that.

Although the Happier team can usually handle its technical issues by itself, once in a while issues arise outside our realm of expertise. In those times, it’s extremely valuable to be able to call on expert help, as we did. We want to give Jason and Matt McCay at MongoHQ a major shout-out and say thank you, for working with us on nights and weekends, resolving our issues as best they (or anyone) could, and getting Happier back online.

We won’t go into the gristly technical details here. Suffice it to say that thanks to our friends at MongoHQ, we never lost any happy moments (or other data), never had any security issues, and ended up on shiny new hardware servers, making the application faster, more reliable, and more fun to use.

That makes everyone Happier :) Thanks you, MongoHQ friends!

World, please meet Happier!

loadingScreenI tried for hours to think of an interesting and unexpected way to start this blog post. Then I realized there is no better beginning than this:

World, please meet Happier!

Starting today you can download our Happier App for iPhone and iPod touch from the App Store.

A few months ago our team set out to create something very simple to help you do something very powerful: BE HAPPIER. We were inspired by research that shows focusing on the positive and sharing good things with people you care about makes you happier and healthier.

Our mobile app is a beautiful way to collect and share happy moments with people you care about and be inspired to do more of what makes you happier.

* Capture & collect happy moments. You don’t need to climb Everest or get your dream job to be happy. Actually, research shows that small happy moments and experiences make you happier than epic life achievements.

* Make your close friends and family smile. Feeling positive is contagious in the best way. When you share your happy moments with friends and family you help brighten up their day and inspire them to notice the good moments in their lives.

* Discover what makes you happier. Seeing what types of experiences make you feel good encourages you to do them more often.

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Here’s the thing: We think it’s possible to find happy moments in every single day, including those “I want to hide under the covers everything is going wrong” days. And that’s because your happy moments can be tiny — from eating something you enjoy for breakfast to catching the train just as it pulls in, getting an email from a friend or a hug from your kids. Becoming happier is about collecting these happy moments and sharing them with friends and family because face it, when you make them smile, you feel freaking awesome.

We would love for you to give Happier a try and let us know what you think. The more feedback we hear from our Happier community the faster we can work to make Happier something that truly, well, makes you happier!

I want to close this post by saying a huge heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who has been part of our Happier journey so far.

Thank you to our kickass investors who believed in us before we had much to show but our huge vision to make the world happier.

Thank you to our incredibly patient beta testers who dealt with endless bugs and crashes and shared tons of useful feedback.

Thank you to our families and friends who have supported us and shown great patience through all the late nights and weekends (not over yet, guys, sorry).

Thank you to our brilliant and kind advisors, who somehow find just the right mix of harsh feedback and generous and inspiring encouragement.

And finally, I want to thank the absolutely unbelievably insanely awesomely wonderfully incredible Happier team. Every single day I am in awe of you guys and feel beyond grateful and lucky to have the chance to work together and make the world happier (and paint it orange!)

Happier is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or you can click this link to download it now.

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