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5 Apps to Make You Feel Truly Happy Even If Life Is Hard Sometimes

5 Apps to Make You Feel Truly Happy Even If Life Is Hard Sometimes

Fact: Life is stressful. Another Fact: It does not have to be.

In a sad statistic, only 1 out of 3 Americans can say they feel truly happy [1]. This means the other two are either depressed or general ‘meh.’ These unhappy feelings are certainly valid in difficult economical times. It gets harder and harder to find work every day, and the bills and payments associated with adulthood don’t slow down just because your paychecks do. People also feel unhappy when a relationship ends or becomes challenging. There are plenty of explanations as to why we are all so bummed out.

We live in a crazy world full of obligations, responsibilities and time frames forever-shortening with the advancements of Technology. Picking up your beloved cell phone can be a great distraction throughout the day, but did you know there are certain apps that can help you to feel happier and less stressed?

Nearly two-thirds of Americans can say they own a smart phone [2], so read on to find out how you can make your phone work for you.

Why our recommendations can be trusted.

Social media and content platforms can be tricky to navigate. Often times, influencers across the web are paid to advertise a product. This doesn’t automatically mean they wouldn’t use the product otherwise, but the line blurs. The apps that will be featured in this article have either been used by us here at lifehack.org, or we have researched the app and paid close attention to the reviews. This isn’t a sponsored ad, so don’t worry about getting conned out of $0.99. Besides, I prefer free apps myself.

I became interested in happiness-inducing apps as soon as I realized they existed, but I was also well-aware I needed them. Have you ever noticed how anxious you can feel after scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? It’s so common to come across a picture of your ex with their new partner, or see a friend you’ve been arguing with getting coffee with your frenemy. Sure, it seems petty, but that doesn’t make it any less true; it’s hard to not be bothered by things when they’re directly in your face. So I’ve found apps you can install to split your time between chaos and stress and meditation and bliss.

If you go to the app store and search ‘happiness,’ you will be inundated with thousands of apps. So where do you start? We’re going to list out our top five happy apps that we have used and love, and the highest rated. These apps will be rated on their uniqueness, price, usability and appearance.

Headspace

I’ve used this app and I really enjoy it. It’s short meditations which is great for beginners who don’t yet know how to quiet their mind. There are levels to ensure you slow down and truly do one at a time, but each guided meditation session lasts only 10 minutes. The narrators voice is calming and steady which helps keep you focused.

     Uniqueness: 8/10

    My favorite unique feature is the SOS option. If you just had a stressful argument with a coworker or partner, you can go to the SOS screen and choose a topic to get you back on track quickly.

     Price: 10/10

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    This is a free app!

     Usability: 9/10

    I think this app is super user-friendly when it comes to navigating and also accessing in general. Because the meditations are short, it’s easy to carve out ten minutes of the day to listen and be still. Sometimes I’ll listen before bed to drift off to sleep easily. And as a side note, it has an incredible 5 star review on iTunes.

     Appearance: 10/10

    This app is clean, attractive and fun. The colors are vibrant without being loud, and the animation is adorable. The app is happy to look at, and makes you feel happy!

    Happify

    This app offers activities and games to help with stress. It’s a new app and only has a handful of reviews, but they’re five stars so far! I’ve got this app on my phone and it’s such an interesting approach. You don’t just sign in and start, you fill out a questionnaire and it finds the right tracks for you. It provides customized games and activities that focus on happiness and positivity. It’s easy, customized and fun!

       Uniqueness: 10/10

      I appreciate how personal this app is. It helps me feel like it’s really focused on my happiness and not ‘general’ happiness.

       Price: 10/10

      It’s free!

       Usability: 8/10

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      It does require some reading and tutorials. None of it is complicated, but you can’t just download and know what to do right away.

       Appearance: 7/10

      Some of the graphics aren’t super impressive, but ultimately it’s a colorful app that’s easy to read.

      Happier

      This app aims to do exactly what it sounds like: make you happier! This app connects with Apple Watch, and you can allow the app to randomly send you happy quotes. The app also serves as a gratitude journal. More so, you can take expert-led, short courses to discover new ways to find joy. You can keep your account info private or share your gratitude with other users.

         Uniqueness: 7/10

        This is such a neat app. It takes all the best elements of social media (sharing happy photos and positive interactions) and adds meditation, boy, community and more.

         Usability: 6/10

        You can connect with Facebook to quickly create an account, and I find that super convenient. It also allows you to invite contacts to grow your own little community of real life friends and family.

         Price: 10/10

        It’s free!

         Appearance

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        This app also uses lots of bright orange to keep everything positive. The graphics are nice and the lines are clean.

        Stigma

        This is a great app if you are more concerned with documenting your mental health rather than meditating or finding courses. This app allows you to track your mood and anxiety which can really help to pin-point what triggers your unhappiness.

           Uniqueness: 10/10

          I think this app deserves such a high score because it takes a unique approach to your own daily experiences.

           Usability: 10/10

          Easy to understand and easy to reflect upon.

           Price: 10/10

          It’s free!

           Appearance

          Clean lines, calming colors, easy-to-read font.

          10% Happier

          Honestly, this one has to make the list because I think it’s so funny. This app is specifically targeted at “fidgety skeptics” and boasts “no robes, no crystals.” Everyone should have access to meditation and happiness, not just the metaphysical yogis. The 5 star rating clearly proves people agree.

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             Uniqueness: 10/10

            This app is 100% unique in its approach to mediation and making this app attainable to everyone.

             Usability: 10/10

            It doesn’t get simpler than this.

             Price: 10/10

            It’s free!

             Appearance: 6/10

            It’s not the cutest app, but it serves its purpose.

            Have you tried any of these apps? Do you have an app not featured on this list that you swear by? We want to hear about it!

            Reference

            More by this author

            Heather Poole

            Heather shares about everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on February 11, 2021

            20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

            20 Amazing Facts About Dreams that You Might Not Know About

            Dreams — Mysterious, bewildering, eye-opening and sometimes a nightmarish living hell. Dreams are all that and much more.

            Here are 20 amazing facts about dreams that you might have never heard about:

            Fact #1: You can’t read while dreaming, or tell the time

              If you are unsure whether you are dreaming or not, try reading something. The vast majority of people are incapable of reading in their dreams.

              The same goes for clocks: each time you look at a clock it will tell a different time and the hands on the clock won’t appear to be moving as reported by lucid dreamers.

              Fact #2: Lucid dreaming

              There is a whole subculture of people practicing what is called lucid or conscious dreaming. Using various techniques, these people have supposedly learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things like flying, passing through walls, and traveling to different dimensions or even back in time.

              Want to learn how to control your dreams? You can try these tips:

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              Lucid Dreaming: This Is How You Can Control Your Dreams

              Fact #3: Inventions inspired by dreams

              Dreams are responsible for many of the greatest inventions of mankind. A few examples include:

              • The idea for Google -Larry Page
              • Alternating current generator -Tesla
              • DNA’s double helix spiral form -James Watson
              • The sewing machine -Elias Howe
              • Periodic table -Dimitri Mendeleyev

              …and many, many more.

              Fact #4: Premonition dreams

              There are some astounding cases where people actually dreamt about things which happened to them later, in the exact same ways they dreamed about.

              You could say they got a glimpse of the future, or it might have just been coincidence. The fact remains that this is some seriously interesting and bizarre phenomena. Some of the most famous premonition dreams include:

              • Abraham Lincoln dreamt of His Assassination
              • Many of the victims of 9/11 had dreams warning them about the catastrophe
              • Mark Twain’s dream of his brother’s demise
              • 19 verified precognitive dreams about the Titanic catastrophe

              Fact #5: Sleep paralysis

              Hell is real and it is called sleep paralysis. It’s the stuff of true nightmares. I’ve been a sleep paralysis sufferer as a kid and I can attest to how truly horrible it is.

              Two characteristics of sleep paralysis are the inability to move (hence paralysis) and a sense of an extremely evil presence in the room with you. It doesn’t feel like a dream, but 100% real. Studies show that during an attack, sleep paralysis sufferers show an overwhelming amygdala activity. The amygdala is responsible for the “fight or flight” instinct and the emotions of fear, terror and anxiety. Enough said!

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              Fact #6: REM sleep disorder

              In the state of REM (rapid-eye-movement) stage of your sleep your body is normally paralyzed. In rare cases, however, people act out their dreams. These have resulted in broken arms, legs, broken furniture, and in at least one reported case, a house burnt down.

              Fact #7: Sexual dreams

              The very scientifically-named “nocturnal penile tumescence” is a very well documented phenomena. In laymen’s term, it simply means that you get a stiffy while you sleep. Actually, studies indicate that men get up to 20 erections per dream.

              Fact #8: Unbelievable sleepwalkers

                Sleepwalking is a very rare and potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is an extreme form of REM sleep disorder, and these people don’t just act out their dreams, but go on real adventures at night.

                Lee Hadwin is a nurse by profession, but in his dreams he is an artist. Literally. He “sleepdraws” gorgeous portraits, of which he has no recollection afterwards. Strange sleepwalking “adventures” include:

                • A woman having sex with strangers while sleepwalking
                • A man who drove 22 miles and killed his cousin while sleepwalking
                • A sleepwalker who walked out of the window from the third floor, and barely survived

                Fact #9: Dream drug

                There are actually people who like dreaming and dreams so much that they never want to wake up. They want to continue on dreaming even during the day, so they take an illegal and extremely potent hallucinogenic drug called Dimethyltryptamine. It is actually only an isolated and synthetic form of the chemical our brains produce naturally during dreaming.

                Fact #10 Dream-catcher

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                  The dream-catcher is one of the most well-known Native American symbols. It is a loose web or webs woven around a hoop and decorated with sacred objects meant to protect against nightmares.

                  Fact #11: Increased brain activity

                  You would associate sleeping with peace and quiet, but actually our brains are more active during sleep than during the day.

                  Fact #12: Creativity and dreams

                  As we mentioned before, dreams are responsible for inventions, great artworks and are generally just incredibly interesting. They are also “recharging” our creativity.

                  Scientists also say that keeping a dream diary helps with creativity.

                  In rare cases of REM disorder, people actually don’t dream at all. These people suffer from significantly decreased creativity and perform badly at tasks requiring creative problem solving.

                  Fact #13: Pets dream too

                    Our animal companions dream as well. Watch a dog or a cat sleep and you can see that they are moving their paws and making noises like they were chasing something. Go get ’em buddy!

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                    Fact #14: You always dream—you just don’t remember it

                    Many people claim that they don’t dream at all, but that’s not true: we all dream, but up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams at all.

                    Fact #15: Blind people dream too

                    Blind people who were not born blind see images in their dreams but people who were born blind don’t see anything at all. They still dream, and their dreams are just as intense and interesting, but they involve the other senses beside sight.

                    Fact #16: In your dreams, you only see faces that you already know

                      It is proven that in dreams, we can only see faces that we have seen in real life before. So beware: that scary-looking old lady next to you on the bus might as well be in your next nightmare.

                      Fact #17: Dreams tend to be negative

                      Surprisingly, dreams are more often negative than positive. The three most widely reported emotions felt during dreaming are anger, sadness and fear.

                      Fact #18: Multiple dreams per night

                      You can have up to seven different dreams per night depending on how many REM cycles you have. We only dream during the REM period of sleep, and the average person dreams one to two hours every night.

                      Fact #19: Gender differences

                      Interestingly, 70% of all the characters in a man’s dream are other men, but women’s dream contain an equal amount of women and men. Also men’s dreams contain a lot more aggression. Both women and men dream about sexual themes equally often.

                      Fact #20: Not everyone dreams in color

                      As much as 12% of people only dream in black and white.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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