Happify is an app for adults aimed to improve overall well-being and happiness, with influences from positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness. The application has three tabs: Home, Win Prizes, and Profile. “Home” shows the user their current activities, which consist of games, tasks and meditations. The goal is to spend a few minutes every day completing activities. Each activity intends to strengthen one of the five happiness skills: savor, thankful, aspire, give, or empathize. As the user completes activities, they earn points and unlock additional activities. Points go towards winning an experiential prize, ranging from a film night to a family trip, and can be viewed under “Win Prizes”. The number of points required for prize eligibility varies from month to month, though they usually start at 20 points which can be earned through one short activity. There are over 70 prize winners per month providing many opportunities for users. “Profile” allows the user to see points earned in the present month, lifetime and check on their improvement on skills. Additional features include the option of following other users in the app to track their progress and receive encouragement on yours.

Available for: iOS 8.0 or later (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), Android 4.4 or later
Company Name: Happify Inc
Classification (Type of Treatment): Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness, Symptom trackers
Targeted conditions: Mood disorders, Stress & Anxiety
Target demographics: Adults
Special provider necessary: No
Languages Available in: English
Where to get it:
Google Play
Cost: Free

Expert ratings and reviews

PsyberGuide rating: The research and support basis of the product

Research base 1/3
Research support 1/2
Specificity of proposed intervention 2/3
Number of consumer ratings 3/3
Product advisory support 1/1
Software support 2/2

Total 10/14

date of rating:  September 2017

Explanation of the rating factors

MARS rating

Quality scores range from 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum score

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Research on the product

One study evaluated the effectiveness of Happify by exploring whether usage of the program related to increased well-being. Overall, users showed an upward trend in happiness, however, with no control group it is impossible to determine whether benefits were attributable to Happify. More usage predicted more increases in positive emotion but again this a correlational rather than a causal relationship.

Several elements within Happify are based on evidence-based strategies leaning heavily on positive psychological interventions. For example, one feature within the app is weekly gratitude reflections, which has been studied extensively by Dr. Robert Emmons. One study found that undergraduate students keeping weekly gratitude journals for 9 weeks reported more optimism and overall well-being (Emmons & McCullough, 2003). When the gratitude journal intervention was intensified to daily for two weeks, the participants reported higher levels of positive affect and pro-social behavior.

  • Carpenter, J., Crutchley, P., Zilca, R. D., Schwartz, H. A., Smith, L. K., Cobb, A. M., & Parks, A. C. (2016). Seeing the ‘big’ picture: Big data methods for exploring relationships between usage, language, and outcome in Internet intervention data. Journal Of Medical Internet Research, 18(8), e241. doi:10.2196/jmir.5725
  • Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.377

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