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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

The app for your h‘app’iness

Gagandeep Singh Sapra, Hindustan Times   August 26, 2014
First Published: 00:43 IST(26/8/2014) | Last Updated: 03:25 IST(26/8/2014)

Happiness is a state of mind. And the key to it is relaxation and finding joy in things around you. Sure, it depends on you, but there are some apps to help you become happier. Skeptical? We were, too. But a closer look showed that some of them do work!

Happify [iOS app and website: www.happify.com]
Available on the iPhone and as a website, Happify is a platform that uses quick activities and games based on a set of questions on how happy you have been in the last week, as well as your present state of mind. The activities help you reduce stress, combat negative energies and boost optimism and self esteem, besides encouraging open-mindedness.

Based on psychological research from leading academic institutions, the activities are personalised for you. If you like it, and want to do more activities, you can also buy a premium version, starting at `270 a month for a 2-year package and `790 a month if you pay per month.

Happier [iOS and Android - free]
This app is more of a journal. According to research, if you record happy moments of your life — from bumping into an old friend to a pretty sunset you watched, or just a cup of coffee with someone that gave you joy — the celebration of these “wins’ has a power to motivate and ignite joy. The app lets you record these moments, either privately or in a public mode.

A number of people around you, irrespective of whether they are your friends or not, will also show up in a feed. For example, someone may share the joy of their child making his/her first drawing, someone may feel happy after buying their first car — put this all into the journal, and it will help you build a happier nature.

In addition, Happier also offers courses on its website, from building 7 happier habits over a 7-day period or 7-days of outdoor walks and meditations. These courses cost anywhere from a one-time fee of `1,200 or a monthly fee of `600.

Smiling Mind [iOS and Web]
Designed primarily for the youth, Smiling Mind calls itself a modern meditation designed to bring balance into young lives. It allows you to specify your age group, starting as early as 7-11 years, going up to 16-22. You can choose an individual programme and also add education or sports to it. You can sign-up for a meditation session or set up a reminder for a later date.

The first meditation gets you into the mood with a 5-minute body scan, which relaxes your mind. There are several others as well that help you improve awareness of mind, body and all the senses — and all for free! You can even download these meditations and use them when you are on a holiday and not connected to the Internet.

Sleep Bot [iOS and Android]
Sleep disorder is a common problem these days. A number of apps and devices are available to help you monitor sleep, but Sleep Bot does things slightly differently. Launch the app when you are ready to sleep and it will shut off music, put your phone on silent or airplane mode if you choose to.

While you sleep, the app will record your sleeping time, movement – you just need to put the phone next to your pillow, and it even records sounds such as your partner’s snoring, or the neighbour’s dog barking in the middle of the night! Want to wake up at 5AM? Set the alarm and the app will wake you up in a 30-minute window where it senses your sleep to be the lightest. All data is automatically sent to mysleepbot.com, and you can track your sleep movements and make notes.


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