Can you think yourself to happiness? Psychologists believe that you can. In fact, they are so sure of it, there are now a range of apps, not forgetting some helpful books, that can help even the saddest Eeyore’s among us.
“Studies show that fifty percent of our happiness is determined by our genes,” according to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness. “The other ten percent is determined by circumstance. That leaves forty percent within our power to change”.
Using psychological principles to increase well-being, apps and books offer users the power to change that forty percent within themselves and discover their innate potential for joy.
But which ones from a marketplace that is growing? Here now follows Happy Ali’s guide to some happy apps and books. Welcome to a brighter, more centred, happier you!
Living in the present and seeing ourselves in the best light possible are two of the activities and prompts which this free app encourages, based on ideas about positive psychology.
Drawing from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), this app teaches coping mechanisms, including grounding exercises, breathing techniques, and how to recognize distorted thought patterns.
Meditation has proven, over and over, to be a path to relieving stress. This simple app gives you ten short meditations, and a series of videos to explain how they can help.
Helpful strategies for people who suffer from anxiety. It is particularly aimed at teenagers and young adults and has excellent tips for people who find themselves in a state of panic.
Fun games that promise to improve mood and build resilience, based on positive psychology, CBT and empowerment.
My Mood Tracker
This app will collect information on mood, the places we go and people we talk to, linking how we feel in those situations, so that we can understand what stresses us and what makes us happy.
Thought Diary Pro
This app is particularly useful for people who might already be aware of cognitive behavioural therapy. It keeps track of your negative thoughts to help you stay away from unhelpful thinking biases. It can be used as an add-on to therapy.
CBT Tools for Healthy Living, Self-Help Mood Diary.
This app tracks moods, activities, and gives daily goals so you can correct unhealthy habits and become an active participant in your own behaviour.
The How of Happiness, A New Approach to Getting The Life You Want, by Sonja Lyubomirsky (Penguin books).
Instant Happy: 10 second Attitude Makeovers, by Karen Salmansohn
Think Happy: Instant Peptalks to Boost Positivity, by Karen Salmansohn.
Think Yourself Happy – Five Changes in Thinking That Will Immediately Improve Your life, by Greg Jacobson.
Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, by Martin E P Seligman.