People are obsessed with finding ways to be happier. With the popularity of Positive Psychology research, there are loads of resources out there sharing tips and advice for finding lasting happiness.
Happiness seekers can turn to books like Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project,” TED talks like “Dan Gilbert: The Surprising Science of Happiness” and websites like Berkeley’s Greater Good Center, which sponsors scientific research into social and emotional well-being and helps people apply it to their personal and professional lives. There’s even a program at the University of Pennsylvania to pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology so you can incorporate the tools and principles of positive psychology into a related career.
From my research and experience, I can report that happiness levels increase when you’re actually engaging in activities that have happiness benefits. While reading books and watching lectures about happiness can be fascinating and informative, you won’t get happier by osmosis. You need to be inspired to adopt and commit to practicing happiness activities in your life on a regular basis. The three interactive sites I’ve come across provide exercises and communities that can actually help you develop and maintain lasting happiness practices.
Happify is an innovative site offering research-based activities and games designed to help you build skills for long-lasting happiness. I’ve been a pioneer member since the beta stage early in 2013 and have enjoyed and learned from the engaging and often thought-provoking games on the beautiful site. You can choose to do activities from a number of different “tracks” which focus on things like Coping Better with Stress, Finding More Me Time, Getting Motivated to Get Fit and Enjoying Parenting More. There are explanations rooted in science with each game so you’re learning the purpose behind what you’re doing. You can choose to get periodic reminders when you haven’t checked in for a while so you can continue your track or select a new one. I highly recommend Happify and, not coincidentally, find it a happy place to learn and play.
Happier is a free site and app offering a place to collect and share your everyday happy moments. You have the opportunity to “follow” friends or other members and be inspired by their happy moments, and you’ll find that what you post will make others smile as well. It’s a cheerful, colorful platform, and very easy to use. The founder of Happier, Nataly Kogan, gave an awesome TEDx Boston talk last summer that might get you inspired:
ThankfulFor is a free online gratitude journal, where the simple prompt is “What are you thankful for?” Entries are then publicly shared in a stream, and reading the range of what other people have written is genuinely uplifting. You need to remember to visit the site, but if you make it a regular part of your daily routine, you’ll find that there are significant happiness benefits to expressing gratitude.
Feel free to share below any other interactive happiness sites you’ve found, and also let me know if you try any of these.