According to the background information provided, Live Happy is a positive psychology iPhone app based on the happiness research of psychology professor and author of The How of Happiness, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. The app includes personalization based on short quizzes and research-based activities that can increase happiness. These activities include:
Expressing Gratitude Directly
Keeping a Gratitude Journal
Replaying Happy Days
Keeping a Savoring Album
Envisioning Your Best Possible Self
and Remembering Acts of Kindness
Some activities require some intention, attention, or time set aside, so it may not be an app that you can use just when you are waiting. Several of the activities require some typing; however, there was not a landscape mode option which can ease typing. The only other issue I had was that once I was typing about a picture I had loaded, I could not easily scroll up to see the picture again or re-read the instructions. It might be nice for there to be an option for push reminders so that you stick with it on a regular basis. These are small details, I would not be surprised if would be altered in the next update.
Live Happy recognizes the importance of health and fitness to happiness and includes it as a part of several activities if one so chooses; Live Happy is a customizable app, so you get to decide what is or is not included for you. There is plenty of instruction to read and videos to watch if you so choose; however, it is not necessary to utilize Live Happy. Quotes and facts on happiness can be seen each time you start the app. The smiley face is a shortcut button that also makes suggestions on what to try next.
The instructions for each activity are worded in a way to break down any barriers or resistance one might have to giving it a try, encouraging more use of the app. The activities were helpful and enjoyable. Even in an overly busy day, I found myself having fun while exploring each area. It is helpful to put these things into words even when you think you have a general idea already. I also like the option to post items to Twitter of Facebook; sharing things with others can make them more real.
The usability and simple, pleasant design make this a good iPhone app. The research base, integration of iPhone features, and various options make this a great app. At $9.99 Live Happy is certainly less expensive than any single session with a therapist.
Try the Live Happy iPhone app for yourself!
September 24th, 2009