How One iPhone App Can Make You Happier

looking for gratitude

I talk a lot about gratitude.

On this blog, in my upcoming book (SQUEEEE!!), in the weekly challenges, and pretty much any chance I get.

Gratitude is a life changer.

Scientists and psychologists have done a ton of research, and time and time again they’ve proven that practicing gratitude is, in a nutshell, a good thing. They key word there is practice.

When these research studies are done, participants are asked to write down or in some way log that for which they are grateful. They don’t just fee grateful, they practice it. That, I’m convinced, is the key to gratitude that changes a life.

And that’s why I’m obsessed with the Happier app.

Happier is an iPhone app (sorry Android and flip-phone users) that asks you to record moments that make you happier. You can take a picture or write up a little bit of text, and then you save the moments in collections. The collections let you see what kind of things make you happy a lot.

Happier encourages you to log three happy moments a day, a number that all those researchers seem to agree is the best for maximum happiness boosting. You can share your happiness moments with other users, post them to Facebook and Twitter, or just keep them as private memories for yourself. Whatever you do with them, it’s the recording that makes a difference.

Actually, it’s the noticing that makes a difference.

Because I have this digital collection to fill, I find I’m more likely to go out looking for things to be grateful for. I noticed the same affect when I was doing weekly happiness highlights here on this site. Knowing I have a gratitude practice to keep up puts me into happiness seeking mode. It shifts my perspective, and that shifts everything.

The Happier app is free, and I highly recommend checking it out if you have an iOS device.

Don’t have an iOS device? Nothing wrong with a notebook and pen!

Do you have a gratitude practice yet?

Happier was founded by the woman who gave me my very first writing gig, Nataly Kogan. That’s a happy coincidence, since I have absolutely nothing to do with Happier except for being an early adopter and avid user. I wasn’t paid for this post. In fact, they don’t even know I wrote it.


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  1. Claire says:

    I have been blogging ’3 Good Things’ for the last five months. The reason for blogging it was to be held accountable and make sure I took the time to appreciate the good things in a day. As you can see from my last post I don’t intend to continue blogging it but I know now that even if a day seems really rubbish there really are good things to be found in all of them!
    Claire’s most recent post: 3 Good Things – Sun 9th June

    • Miss Britt says:

      I love that you’ve been doing that. My weekly happiness highlight posts held me accountable, too.

      I have to admit that since stopping that blog practice, it’s been harder to remind myself to be as consistent with practicing gratitude. (So, heads up on that!)

  2. SarahInMI says:

    I *love* the Happier app. It’s been a saving grace on days I’m struggling to find joy.
    SarahInMI’s most recent post: Because Sometimes I Don’t

  3. Nancy says:

    I’ve been using the app as well, loggin in my 3+ items each night before bed. I, too have noticed a huge change in my attitude. Taking time to reflect on what went well each day puts the hard stuff into perspective.

    • Miss Britt says:

      Ohhhh, that makes sense now that they always seem to come in a row. I LOVE seeing your updates there. Steve and your kids always make ME smile.

  4. el-e-e says:

    Yay!! Love the Happier app (and Nataly, too). It has really helped me.
    el-e-e’s most recent post: Bird dream

    • Miss Britt says:

      Small world: Nataly gave me my first writing job way back “in the day”. :-)

      Are we friends on Happier?

  5. Megan says:

    Love Happier! I need to get back on there…
    Megan’s most recent post: Breakfast Companion

  6. What about us with a blackberry Britt!! We are left to rot in ungrateful misery.

    I do like the idea. Are days are filled with ups and downs. When we feel sad it sometimes feels that we will always be that way when in reality we aren’t. It helps to remember the good days.

    Journaling helps me to practice gratitude.

    I am grateful,

    to have read this article,
    for my parents,
    for being able to live today.
    Sebastian Aiden Daniels’s most recent post: 50 Ways to Gain the Label “You’re A Jerk”

    • Miss Britt says:


      (Just kidding, my son has one, too.)

      I’m impressed that you journal. I’m a writer and I have never been able to maintain a regular journaling habit. And I WANT to.

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