Happier Spotlight: Bringing People Together

Every now and then we get some user feedback that not only makes us happier (that part goes without saying), it’s so completely awesome it needs no explanation whatsoever. Check this out:

Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful app! I’ve been changing my life one happier moment at a time for about a month now. For about a year I kept a gratitude journal but having it on my phone makes it so much easier. When I first started using the app I put my settings on private, but then I noticed my brother getting lots of smiles and I was envious and curious about who all these other Happier users were — as they say “A stranger is a friend we haven’t met yet.” I started looking up people in my area and randomly smiling on their updates, and I’ve found myself intertwined with a random group of wonderful strangers who are kindred spirits. Happier is like Facebook for people who focus their attention on gratitude and the part of the glass that is half full. (While Facebook is saturated and littered with the latest celebrity drama, gossip, breaking news story and sob stories and could be considered a sad country song.) I actually find myself checking my Happier account more frequently than my Facebook.

I read a book called Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, and it stated that it takes 6 positive experiences to make up for 1 negative experience, that our minds are like teflon for positive and velcro for the negative. I’ve been working on turning happy moments into happy experiences, and your Happier app has been the keystone tool for doing just that, so THANK YOU! I am probably your biggest fan and supporter. With that said, I’ll get to the point of my email and apologize for the long introduction.

I think that there should be Happier parties! Facebook has done it, Myspace did it and so have numerous other companies. The fantastic thing is that most of my Happier interactions are with people I wouldn’t normally “socialize” with. And I love it. Happier users may come from different lifestyles, locations and have different interests but we all have one thing in common: we are choosing to focus on the positive things we experience and observe in our lives. If you want things in your life to change you have to change things in your life, including your perspective. Happier events would bring people together and just by the very nature of the event, it would be positive.

With all the sadness and chaos going on in the world today we could use a Happier revolution.

Jane Perkins

First of all, thank you so much, Jane, for being such a fantastic part of the Happier community and such a cheerleader for our vision. You’re the best! You’re the reason we do what we do.

Second, we are intrigued by your idea. So part of the reason we’re sharing your awesome email is to open it up to the community and ask if this is something others would be interested in, as well. What do you think, folks—would some sort of in-person Happier party/event be something you’d want? We make no promises, just yet, but if this is something a lot of you think is a great idea, we need to explore that. So please let us know.

Don’t Panic: Changes In The New Happier App

We were super excited to announce the latest version of the Happier app, because we’ve been working hard and we always love to bring our community improvements and even more ways to make you happier. But we also recognize that change can be a little uncomfortable, so we want to help clarify some questions we’ve received about changes in the new and improved app.

Help! Can we not edit or delete moments anymore??
In the old version of the app, you had the little gear wheel in the upper righthand corner of a moment. In the new version, instead, you have an ellipse (that’s the ) either under your moment text (if there’s no picture) or on your photo (if you used one); in either case, you’ll see it in the lower left corner. Clicking on the ellipse takes you to your editing options. See below (I drew an orange arrow pointing to the ellipse) (I also used this moment of me holding the official Happier Baby because he’s adorable):

app-changes-momentapp-changes-moment-edit

Help! Where did my moment collection options go?
Instead of doing all of your moment stuff on a single screen, in the new version of the app, you input text/photo information first, then hit the next button to proceed to the rest of your options, like choosing a category, where/how your moment will be shared, etc. See below:

new-moment-text-inputnew-moment-options

Did comments disappear?? I don’t see them!
You can still leave comments on others’ moments and read comments left by others; we have simply opted to hide those comments from your main feed (for a faster load and scroll). The little speech bubble on the lower right of moments is where you click to either read comments or leave your own; a count number will appear to indicate the presence of comments, too. Here’s a moment from Nataly that had 7 comments when I scrolled passed it:

app-changes-comment-count

But what happened to…
Please bear in mind that the Happier app is a work in progress, and sometimes we have to do things like remove some functionality you enjoy in order to update something else. We know some of you are already missing certain functionality, such as the ability to post multiple photo frames. We’re listening to everyone’s feedback, we promise! Some of the changes in this version may not be permanent, and some of your beloved options may return in future updates. Just keep letting us know what you love and what you don’t, and we’ll keep doing our best to make Happier awesome.

Have more questions or feedback? You can comment here on this post, or drop us an email at team@happier.com, any time.

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.