Happiness Is an iPhone App

July 14, 2009

Sonja Lyubomirsky, professor of psychology at UC Riverside and author of the book “The How of Happiness,” has teamed up with Signal Patterns, developers of psychology-based Web and mobile applications, to create the new “Live Happy” iPhone application.

Based on key points from Lyubomirsky’s book, the application - the first of its kind - will guide users through a set of daily activities to boost short- and long-term happiness.

Lyubomirsky’s research supports the idea that to become more happy, satisfied and fulfilled, one needs to take deliberate action to promote optimistic and grateful thinking, pursue important goals, invest in relationships, live in the present, and do away with . She studies what makes happy, how people can continue and increase their happiness, and what kind of benefits are produced from a more positive outlook.

The new application will help people enhance their overall mood by helping them engage in simple activities, including:

• Goal setting/evaluating/tracking
• Expressing gratitude directly
• Keeping a gratitude journal
• Replaying happy days
• Keeping a savoring photo album
• Envisioning your best possible self
• Nurturing relationships
• Remembering acts of kindness

Users may be prompted to express gratitude by sending an e-mail or text message to someone in their contact list, or practice savoring the moment by taking a photo.

Prompts in the application will also allow users to measure their happiness on a regular basis, and will help identify which happiness strategies are right for them.

The application builds on traditional happiness programs that previously had been only found in books. With the ’s capabilities to e-mail and text message, write notes, and take photos, the “Live Happy” app provides a comprehensive program that engages users on an interactive platform whenever and wherever they go.

The app is available on the Apple App Store for the iPhone and the . A free version, which supports a limited number of activities, is also available for download. The paid version includes unlimited activities and the “Ask Sonja” feature that allows people to send questions to Lyubomirsky.

Signal Patterns will donate 10 percent of each sale to the Live Your Life Well (SM) Program, a public-education campaign dedicated to helping people cope with stress and enhance their well-being. Lyubomirsky is not benefitting financially from the app, but plans to use it for research.

Lyubomirsky has extensively studied and written about the psychology of enduring emotions - specifically, and depression. She explores how exceptionally happy people view themselves and their worlds, and how that enables them to stay upbeat and, most important, how less happy individuals can learn such happiness-enhancing habits.

More information: Sonja Lyubomirsky Web site

Provided by University of California, Riverside

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