Happier Spotlight: We Love User Feedback

joshd-happier-momentWe love to get email here at Happier. (Well, email from our users. Not so much the email from the stranded Nigerian princes who would like us to wire them some money.) We love it when you just write in to tell us how much you love Happier, of course, but we also love to hear your questions and ideas and even complaints—it’s all part of how we figure out the best ways to keep making Happier awesome.

Meet Josh Dotter—he took the time to write us a really thoughtful email about his Happier experience. Here’s an excerpt from Josh’s mail:

First, I want to tell you I absolutely love the community that has been built through your app. It is by far the most uplifting social media I’ve used. I’ve never used Facebook, and I loved Twitter. However I hardly ever touch it anymore b/c Happier draws me in so deeply. I found the app through Twitter, I follow Life is Good and I believe they promoted your story.

I would love to share some thoughts about my experience. In the beginning I loved the app but thought there wasn’t near enough users. Man was I wrong. It just took a diligent effort to friend as many people as I could in the beginning. Now I find myself following each request and still reaching out to new faces I see. In the name of spreading joy more than anything, and making myself open to their joy as well.

Josh went on to suggest a number of possible functionality enhancements, all of which were great ideas. But when I contacted him to ask if it’d be okay to feature his email on the blog, he rushed to tell me that he hoped his suggestions came across as just that, suggestions, and not complaints. [At this point let's just pause and agree that Happier users are pretty much the nicest people in the world. It's a fact.] I reassured him that we love suggestions and not to worry at all. His entire email—the praise and the suggestions—was awesome. We appreciate you, Josh! Thanks so much for reaching out!

Do you have feedback, ideas, or anything else you want to share with us? You can always reach us at team@happier.com, and we are always happier when we hear from you!

Happier Spotlight: A Very Happier Recovery

Periodically we feature feedback we receive from folks who reach out to tell us how much they love Happier. We’ve been so busy moving and expanding and developing awesome new content that we haven’t done one of these in a while, but it’s definitely time to get back to it. I hope you’ll love this one as much as we do.

Hi Nataly,dinak-tmnt-moment

I have to tell you that I have so much respect for you and the Happier group. I admire your life story and how you made a change in your world and are trying to make a change for all of us now.

I cannot tell you the amount of times in which I have had a stressful day these last few months and turn to Happier at the end of my day and am so uplifted.

In the last six months I have spent a lot of time in bed due to a recovery for a double mastectomy and now again for reconstruction. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Happier has helped me through it all.

Thank you for being true to your cause and allowing me to be a part of it.

Sincerely,
Dina Kuhlman

I reached out to Dina last week to ask for permission to share her email, and to ask her how she’s doing now. She reports that her health is “great” and she is “fully recovered and slowly getting back to her normal routine.” (Yay!! That makes us happier!) She not only said we could share her email, when I asked her to tell me what she likes best about Happier, she added this:

I love the community of friendship, support, and healthy positive energy. Having said that, what I appreciate the most is the transparency. This may seem like an odd comment, but when reading posts on Happier I realize that we are a community of people trying to be real but learning from each other to look for the positive in every situation. We all don’t have “great or stress free” days, but if we look for a positive amid the ick it softens the negative and makes it manageable.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Dina. Thanks for being a part of Happier, and may I just add that your daughters totally cracked me up. Please tell them that they—and you—are my heroes, too.

Happier works… even if you’re not already happy

Today’s user story really strikes a chord with me, because I, too, am the sort of person who is given to feeling like the glass isn’t half empty so much as it’s smashed on the floor and unusable. A lot of people make comments to me about how something like Happier “isn’t for me” and that’s when I want to jump up and down and say, “That’s why it’s exactly for you,” because even those of us who have more in common with Eeyore than Pollyanna can find it changing our lives.

Enough about me. Check out what Amy had to say:

Dear, dear, dear, dear, dear Team Happier…

I have been meaning to write to all of you for a while, now, to tell you of the effect that Happier has had on me and my life.

I saw the Happier App in December of 2013… it intrigued me, so I downloaded it. I took a perfunctory look around… wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I left it alone.

At about the same time, I started to see a therapist to help me learn how to cope better with some of the problems I have had to face. I know that everyone has their own special and unique set of challenges and issues, but some of the ones I have had to face… well, without going into specifics, let’s just say that they are particularly painful, unusual and of an ongoing in-your-face nature… and I defy anyone to face them with a perpetual smile on their face.

One of the things that I realized myself, though, was that attitude has almost everything to do with how well a person copes with anything that they are facing… and, simply put… my issues were not going to disappear, so I knew that what I needed was an attitude adjustment.

My therapist has been absolutely incredible in helping me with this. After a couple of weeks of getting to know each other, one of the first things that she suggested I do was to start a gratitude journal as a way to help see more positive things in my life. My assignment was to write down 3 things each day that I was thankful for (with the stipulation that there were to be NO repeats!). Some days were pretty bad and I had to get seriously creative in order to complete this task (I remember one day being thankful for indoor plumbing because I honestly could not think of anything else for which I could be grateful).

In any case… one problem I constantly ran into was that I would forget to write things down in my journal… and I would then beat myself up for not being consistent. Well… one day I remembered this cute little app I downloaded called Happier. Perhaps I could use THAT during the course of my day to keep track of a gratitude moment before it passed me by and I could then be more consistent.
Well… since then, I have not only been consistent, most days now are filled with many, MANY grateful/happy moments!

Now, I am not saying that my problems have gone away… or, that I deal with them perfectly… but I DO credit Happier and the Happier community with helping me to have a brighter outlook… a more positive attitude… a happier frame of mind. I now actively look for AND NOTICE any little thing that makes me smile or laugh, gives me a sense of peace, a feeling of accomplishment a sense of gratitude. And… I have also begun to look for things to share that may not necessarily be what I need… but may be just what someone else in my circle of Happyites needs. And…in seeing the Happier moments of others, I am reminded at times at some of the things that I have taken for granted… things that I SHOULD be happy and grateful for!

I apologize for the length of this message, but I really want to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who have made this little slice of heaven possible. It has (without meaning to over-dramatize) changed my perspective… and hence… my life. Just writing this email… my heart is so full… I cannot thank you enough.

Please make sure that everyone connected to Team Happier knows that among the many many people who are thankful for all of you… one of them is pretty sure you may have saved her life.

Lots of love to each and every one of you…
Amy

Wow, Amy. You are awesome! Thank you so much for letting us know how much Happier has meant to you. I hope your story will inspire others to give the app a whirl (I don’t see how it couldn’t).

(Do you have a story to share about how Happier has affected your life? We want to hear it! Write to us at team@happier.com.)

Happier in the checkout line

We’ve been so hard at work here at Happier, we almost—almost!—missed sharing an inspirational user story this week. This is such a great one, though, that it instantly made us happier… and we think it may do the same for you. Here’s the email that came to Nataly:

I have been so impressed with this app; I downloaded it around New Year’s, for my resolution to be more thankful this year (at least vocally so). Wow, has it done wonders for my attitude! I actually go throughout my day now, looking for excuses to be happy.

An example of this: just the other day, as I was standing in the grocery line, some issue was holding up the person who was checking out ahead of me. The cashier was getting agitated, the customer was more so, and both turned toward me to apologize for holding things up. I just smiled, and said how thankful I was that I had a chance to rest before I had to pack all the groceries that were in my cart into my car! Their looks were priceless, but they both relaxed and we all just chilled for a bit until the issue was taken care of.

Honestly, if I had been in that situation two months before I started using the Happier app, I may have reacted in a negative way—further aggravating the situation and stressing out everyone, including myself!

So, having said all of that, thank YOU!! Thank you for the awesome idea and implementation of creating such a positive app—a great experience that I personally think is FAR better than any social network out there. I could spend so much time on Facebook and get off feeling just crappy about my own life; but with Happier, I spend any length of time on it, and I leave feeling amazingly uplifted and encouraged!! What a difference.

I could obviously go on and on! Suffice it to say, the Happier app has made me Happier. I don’t think that you guys should change a thing.

Blessings,
Christina P.

Thanks so much for writing, Christina. Happiness really is the gift that pays itself forward, even in places as mundane as the grocery store!

(Do you have a story to share about how Happier has affected your life? We want to hear it! Write to us at team@happier.com.)

Happier changes things

We get thousands of emails, letters and messages from you, the Happier community telling us what a difference Happier has made in your life. Reading these is more powerful than any Happier challenge or tip that we could ever write, so we’ll be sharing some of our favorites in our new, “Stories that Inspire” serious. Enjoy! (And happy Friday).

Hi Nataly & the Happier team.,
Just wanna let you know..
I am feeling so much happier since downloading your app and joining the Everyday Grateful course.

I haven’t come across a negative comment yet and love reading everyone’s happy moments. Seeing pics from around the world is really amazing – it’s like living in other people’s worlds as a fly on the wall and sharing their precious moments with them.

This site is much more refreshing to be a part of rather than some other social networking sites that just list negative thoughts, comments, pics etc.

I love logging the happy moments in my life and would love to have a summarised yearly paper book of all my pics & comments that I can look back on for each year! Maybe you could offer this service in the future? Wow what a gift to give a loved one or your children in years to come.
What you guys are doing is really “awesome” not a word us Brits use often but I’m loving getting used to saying it more !

Every user that joins is another drop in the ocean of happiness making our world a better place to be! You can’t buy happiness but you guys are teaching the world how to feel it.

Thanks again,
Jayne

Do you have a story to share? Write to us at team@happier.com.

Meet our new “Stories That Inspire” and, well, be inspired!

We get lots of emails from Happiers telling us about the positive impact our app and community — and now our new course — have had on their lives. We LIVE for these emails. Our entire team reads them, and they are what make the long hours and uphill battles of start-up life worth it. Like, SO worth it.

But we’ve struggled with how to make it clear to people that don’t know Happier just how amazing and life-changing it can be. Turns out that nothing we say can come close to the awesomeness that you guys are able to put into words, so we’re going to kick off a new series that will showcase these moving and uplifting tales of growth and change. “Stories That Inspire” will keep committed to make the daily choice of focusing on the happy moments in your life, instead of on the bad ones, even on days when good moments are far and few between. “Stories That Inspire” will certainly keep us dedicated to doing what we’re doing: trying to make the world a happier place, one moment at a time.

Our first story comes from over-the-top awesome Happier, Pinkie. Pinkie is a long-time member of the Happier community, posts amazing happy moments and is genuinely an awesome human being. Pinkie recently took part in our Everyday Grateful course and had the following email exchange with Nataly, our fearless leader and chief happiness officer.

“I’m taking the Everyday Grateful course and, right in the beginning, you asked us to come up with a daily ritual.

I hate being told what to do, but myself and I agreed that we’d give it a shot. I didn’t want to set the bar too high (bipolar + high personal expectations = pooey days) so I kept it simple: when I traipse down the stairs every morning,  the first thing I’ll do is write a quick happy note and stuff it into my 2014 happy jar.

I cannot in words explain how Herculean this was for me to stick to it, but I did it. For two weeks – only missing a day when I slept in ’til I’m not telling o’clock – I have been consistent. It feels good and I’ll have to find a bigger jar.

I am grateful for Nataly Kogan.
-Pinkie”

“Hi, there,
You have no idea how much this means to me – THANK YOU for taking the time to write, for doing what I asked in the course:), and for making gratitude a part of your life. Send us a photo of your happy jar! We would love to share your story on our blog and it would be so awesome to include a photo.
Thank you for sharing this and making my day!
In gratitude,
Nataly”

“OK. This is nuts. You just took something off my bucket list.
I would love nothing more than to send you a picture for Happier’s blog. I consider it an honour and an opportunity to tell the nation how great life can be hence the bucket list comment.

Here’s the ‘Happy Corner’ I see every morning. In the background is a granite fountain filled with raw amethyst (my birthstone) that was given to me by my oldest son. It makes me happy every time I see it :) So does the orange vase, the antique saucer and the beautiful tablecloth passed down to me from my Oma.

My Happy Jar is a beautiful pink vase I found at the thrift store. I didn’t think I’d fill it up, like, ever, so it seemed like a pretty distraction from how few crumpled up happy notes I actually had.

Pinkie1
Since starting the annoyingly strongly suggested ritual, I have to squish my happies down so they don’t spill over.

What do you think of my new Happy Jar? It’s orange, awesome, cost only $2 AND a cookie jar! It’s meant to be!

Pinkie2

Pinkie, You. Are. Awesome.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, and the world.

5 Million Smiles!

We reached a pretty amazing milestone (smile-stone?) recently. The Happier community has shared 5 million smiles! That right there, that’s a serious amount of smiling.

To commemorate this awesome achievement we contacted our 5 millionth smiler, the very happy Adrienne. And while, more than anything we wanted to make it rain down buckets and buckets of actual confetti in her house, we instead opted to offer her complimentary  registration for our brand new Everyday Grateful course, starting in January.

And because here at Happier we are all about science (don’t believe us — check this out) and fun (hopefully you already know that part), we leave you with a fun 5 million-related fact.

We have 5,000,000 smiles.  If each smile were a pat of butter, that’d be enough butter to sustain a person (2,000 calories/day) for 219 years!

Whoa. That’s a lot of butter. But let’s stick to smiles :) Thanks for helping us get to the first 5 million, here’s to many more, awesome smile-stones ahead!