Wednesday, February 25, 2015

“Happify” – Lumosity for Your Smile

As I talk to brain tumor and stroke victims and their caretakers, I wrestle with how the whole idea of “positivity.” It’s one thing to be positive in your daily life if you only have to juggle a demanding boss, several kids, a crushing mortgage/rent payment and an uncertain economy.

It’s another thing to do all that with a brain tumor, stroke or similarly horrifying brain injury or illness.

Somehow telling the brain tumor victim I met with last week, who still isn’t out of the hospital after a ten (10!) hour operation, that everything is going to be just ducky makes it sound like I'm the one on heavy meds (actually I am on meds, just not his supper-strong meds).

This is where “Happify” comes in:  As best I can tell, “Happify” is to improving your positive feelings as Lumosity is to improving brain power. 

More specifically, “Happify” is a software program designed to make you happier, primarily (as best I can tell) by making your remember the happy moments in your everyday life and reminding you to savor them a bit. Of course this is a gross exaggeration and probably grossly inaccurate.

The Happify site, just like the Lumosity site, explains how all this is based on real science that they’ve transformed into a learning tool. For example, Happify explains that “Happify's S.T.A.G.E. framework helps you build five key happiness skills: Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize.”

Happily, you can access the basic program for free. And, of course, there’s also an upgraded more powerful/penetrating/happier (?) version which costs buckaroos.

I like the idea, the little I know about the science and what I've read. So I’ve signed up and have started to do the daily exercises with the same tenacity that I tackle Lumosity.

I’ll give you updates.


PS – Is there an app for this? Of course! And here’s a link to the NY Times review of their app:

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