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!

Why the Happier community is the best ever

We have some really, super exciting news for you guys, but first, a story that will restore your faith in humanity and make you realize that yes, people are really, really awesome.

Yesterday, to little fanfare and to just “test the waters” so to speak, we quietly announced the launch of a first of its kind “Jumpstart Your Gratitude” Happier course. A 21-day challenge that will 100%, absolutely change your perspective to a more positive one.

We quickly started seeing happy moments mentioning the course, but one in particular, unbeknownst to anyone at the time, became something much bigger.

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Within minutes of Autumn’s happy moment being posted we got an email.

“Would it be possible for me to pay for Autumn to take the course, anonymously? I’d like her just to be happy knowing it was taken care of by a friend. “

And before we could even respond with an emphatic, “YES!!”, this amazingly caring member of our Happier community just went ahead and booked the course in Autumn’s name. At this point our office suddenly became a little “dusty” and some eyes started to water a little bit.

And then we saw this:

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Just wow! To say that we were humbled by this amazing act of kindness is an understatement. And Autumn wasted no time in keeping her promise to pay it forward. You can read her blog post about her awesome Thursday here.

Thank you, Happier community, for being as incredible, supportive, and yes, awesome, as you are. You guys rock!

- – -

And yes, we do have a Happier course which is the other bit of insanely exciting news we wanted to share.

You can check it out here:

Jumpstart Your Gratitude Happier Course

The 21-day Happier Challenge comes with really awesome things like daily gratitude activities, really fun Happier gifts (wait until you see the custom-designed gratitude journal) and Nataly right there along with you to help every step of the way. She’s armed with awesome stories, advice and a general abundance of enthusiasm :)
We’d love to hear your thoughts (on anything really!), so leave us a comment or you can find us at team@happier.com.

Friends are Awesome

November is a month where lots of people take time to give thanks. But in true Happier style, we thought: If giving ‘thanks’ is great, wouldn’t telling people they’re awesome make the month even, well, awesomer?!

And with that we decided that only great things could come from setting out to make November the #MonthOfAwesome! We’re a week into the challenge, and wow: You’ve posted so many incredible happy moments, and the tweets and emails you’ve sent have been amazing, too. Not surprisingly, friends have been a theme of many of the ‘You’re awesome!’ moments that we’ve seen. Here are just a few:

#MonthOfAwesome #MonthOfAwesome #MonthOfAwesome  #MonthOfAwesome

Life would be seriously less awesome without friends. If you haven’t already, why not tell a friend that they’re awesome? If you already have, tell them again, or tell another friend! Spread the love! They’ll feel really freaking amazing and so will you. Now go forth and be awesome!

NovemberChallenge_SQ_heart

Melissa’s Bad Day Gone Happier

Some days don’t go the way we’d like them to. In fact, some days seem to spiral so out of our control that there’s no reigning them in. Enter Melissa. Her Bad Day Gone Happier story is awesome. So we just had to share it. Enjoy!

Meet Melissa. Recently she was having a bad day because…

“My business can be very stressful at times and one day it had taken me to the moon! Nothing was falling into place, problems out of my control were causing conflicts, I was being pulled in ten different directions trying to take care of clients, and our beautiful city was being ravaged by another devastating wildfire (the second in two summers). The impact of that fire coupled with the business stress had me wanting to go home and go to bed.”

But she managed to have a few happy moments such as…

“I ate peas. Yes, at one point of the day I forced myself to think about one happy moment in the day. I love peas. Fresh peas, steamed with butter. I had somehow managed to sneak in a quick lunch of peas and THAT was my first happy moment of the day. After posting that moment, the day got a pinch better. Then I ate the leftovers for dinner. More peas, one more happy moment. Once I had time to reflect on the craziness of my day and review my “happy moments” I had to laugh. Peas? Really? People must think I’m crazy. But the laughter brought thoughts of other little things in my life that I’m happy about — health, family, love, a good career, faith and friends (just to name a few) — and as I reflected, the bad didn’t seem quite so bad, and tomorrow would be a new day with new solutions, twists and turns. Plus, I had more leftover peas. :)”

There you have it. Your bad day could be a few peas away from getting much, much better. Have a Bad Day Gone Happier story to share? We want to hear it!

Come meet the Happier team & tour Happier HQ

Hey there Bostonians! Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Happier? Or who creates those awesome parachuting ice cream sandwiches? Now is your chance!

Join us for our first-ever Happier Meetup in Boston!

Come hang with Nataly and the team and meet other awesome Happiers. We’ll have some drinks, snacks, and of course, really fun Happier swag.

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Meeting all of you would make us happier so please join us and feel free to bring a friend :)

RSVP for this awesome event!

Our “Bad Day Gone Happier” Story

Unbeknownst to us at the time, it turns out that yesterday was an absolutely perfect day for our ‘Bad Day Gone Happier’ community email to go out. Yep, chances are you noticed that yesterday was not our day.

To make a long story short, for a few hours in the afternoon our iOS app had a bug that made it impossible to open the app and subsequently very difficult (ok, fine, basically  impossible) to share those happy moments in your day.  But, much like a Bad Day Gone Happier, while it wasn’t our first choice of things to happen on a Thursday afternoon,  many truly and unexpectedly awesome things came out of it.

First, it introduced a ton of our loyal iOS Happiers to the website platform that our Android friends have been enjoying all along: www.happier.com! Like magic, many of our iOS users logged in for the first time to find their happy moments, their friends, and everything else they’d come to know and love about the mobile app right there on the web!

But beyond that, we got (yet another) reminder of the amazing community that Happier is building. Once the Happier team got a quick fix in place, emails, tweets and happy moments started pouring in. Like these:

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You guys are un-freaking-believable! We could not be more proud, humbled, stoked, [insert excitement eliciting adjective of your choice here] to call you guys our community. Truly, you’re incredible, and we’re beyond grateful that you’re a part of our lives — and that we’re a part of yours.

(And yes, in case you’re wondering, the issue has been 100% resolved, so please feel free to update your app and share some happy moments with the new and improved Happier 2.1.1.)