How happy are you? Happify wants to train your brain for emotional fitness


Over the past couple of years, a smattering of studies have suggested that technology is taking its toll on our emotional wellbeing. But a new startup wants to use the web to commercialize the lessons of “positive psychology” and help people hone their happiness skills.

Founded two years ago by mobile and casual gaming entrepreneurs, New York-based Happify has been building and testing its emotional brain training tools with users in private beta for the past nine months. On Tuesday, the company announced that the site is now open to users far and wide.

Positive psychology is a relatively new field but has steadily gained attention from the popular press and inside academia. Promoted by former American Psychological Association president and University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman (you may have seen his popular TED Talk here), it studies positive human functioning (unlike most of psychology) and aims to…

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The older we grow, the more stability we crave for.

Stability is a state of something that is not easily changed. It is amazing how we, individuals,  become more resistant to change in this globalised world that is constantly changing.  Ironical isn’t it? Maybe we have not realised but pause for a while and think about it. What were the criteria of a soulmate you look for 10 to 20 years ago? Did the criteria remain unchanged?  You may have a sudden realisation how simple your criteria has become or that it may have even been so simple that all did not matter except stability.  He has got to be a guy with a stable income, career and a “stable” character.  What do I mean by a stable character?  A guy who is willing to settle down instead of living out his fun-loving, highly social life. Moving away from relationships, we too realise that as we get older, we pursue things that do not bring about change.  We go for methods that have been been traditional and long used. We choose jobs that are stable and less volatile.  We prefer to go about our job doing what we have been so used to do. Stability is not bad but too much stability results in a lack in progress. In nice terms, it is stability. Crudely speaking,  it is stubbornness.  As we age, we have to continue keeping an open mind to keep up with the world’s progress and counteract the negativity of stability. 


The movie ‘Gravity’ is about the journey and experience of 3 astronauts as they face death and the actions that they choose to take. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the movie has been inspiring in its ways. Has anyone ever thought of the greatness of astronauts? Most of the time, we recognise politicians, soldiers, doctors, lawyers and all reputable professions we know. Have we thought about astronauts? Although they do not appear in our everyday lives, they are out there risking their lives in the name of scientific research. Sent to space, they and neither do we, know what may happen. Debris flying around in space, risk of spaceship malfunction etc etc pose all sorts of danger to them. Yet, if they do die in space, how many of us in the nation know, recognise and honour their deaths? This movie has really set me thinking on the recognition of this noble profession. Also, another food for thought is how life can be so unpredictable. Many a times, we do things that we usually do without considering that anything will go wrong. We walk the same path to work everyday but we would never expect being hit by a car. Like us, these astronauts are so used to going to space that they would never expect a sudden crisis or that their space shuttle would explode all of a sudden. The question is, are there any precautions made? The people working behind the scenes; the administrators, engineers etc, how much are they able to guarantee our astronauts’ safety?