352: Try the “Happier” App! To Help You Become Happier, Healthier, More Productive, and More Creative

Try This at Home

Drumroll…announcing the Happier app! Putting the APP in HAPPier.

The Happier app is a personalized, practical toolkit to help people build habits to become happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. You can download it in the Apple App Store or in Google Play. For more info, visit www.thehappierapp.com. Start your free three-month trial with the early access code: HAPPIERNOW.

To learn more about the Happier app, if you hear about this conversation in time, join me on Thursday, November 18th at 11am PST/2pm EST. I’ll be talking about how to use the app on Instagram Live @gretchenrubin.

The Happier app starts by determining whether you’re an Obliger, Upholder, Questioner, or Rebel. That information allows it to suggest the habit-strengthening tool most likely to work for you.

Happier app The Four Tendencies Quiz

Happier lists the “Vital Nine” categories of habits to help you think of the aims you’d most like to pursue, and it guides you to write your aim in concrete, specific, manageable terms. The app will recommend a habit-tracking tool based on your Tendency, but you can choose any tool from the menu:

  • One-Sentence Journal – a great place to keep a short record
  • Numbers Tracker – very handy
  • Photo Log – I’ve been surprised by how much I love this tool
  • Accountability Partners – Obligers! This tool is especially for you, though accountability can be a valuable tool for other Tendencies
  • Don’t Break the Chain – so satisfying

Happier app choosing a tool

The app also has many other features to help you strengthen your habits and make your life happier. In the Home Tab and Explore Tab, you can find Tips & Hacks, Get Inspired (which lets you listen to a two-minute audio story, to get a “Little Happier”), Know Yourself Better questions, and Moments of Happiness for a moment of transcendence. Also, as Elizabeth mentions, you can Spin the Wheel for a quick boost by doing a five-minute challenge. This feature has turned out to be users’ favorite.  

Happier app Spin the Wheel feature

I worked with a brilliant team, and it shows. If I do say so myself, the app is intuitive, flexible, and gorgeous.

Gold star to everyone who helped us out by testing! And future gold star to people who let me know how they’re using the app. I’m so curious to hear about people’s experiences with it.

Happiness Hack

Write a six-word memoir.

To give this hack, we talked to Larry Smith. Larry Smith is an author, editor, and founder of the best-selling book series Six-Word Memoirs. He has a new book: A Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year: Hundreds of Six-Word Stories on the Pandemic by Teachers, Students, and Parents. (AmazonBookshop)

  • Elizabeth’s pandemic six-word memoir: “Zoom cocoon to Fantasy Island butterfly.”
  • My six-word memoir for writing my five-senses book: “More salt, more songs, more scarlet.”

We mention the Try This at Home to “Write a haiku” from episode 117. Some highlights from Larry:

  • “Self-expression is so powerful.”
  • “When we connect to people, or even connect to ourselves, that gives us happiness.”
  • “What’s so nice about the six-word memoir is that anyone can do it.”
  • “The more you can drill down into a specific subject, the better.”

Send us your six-word memoirs! We’d love to read them. (Be sure to listen all the way to the end of the episode if you want to hear Larry’s funny story about the six-word memoir he wrote when his son was a baby.) 

Screenshot of Gretchen and Liz Interviewing Larry Smith

Four Tendencies Tips

Two listeners suggested terrific tips related to the Four Tendencies.

Rebel points out that if he’s told to do something “immediately,” he will delay, so he feels that he’s doing the task on his own time–but all the while, he’s thinking about how he’ll tackle it. So while Rebels might seem to lack a sense of urgency, they can in fact be timely, even if they’re doing things in their own way.

An Obliger creates outer accountability for cleaning chores by making time-lapse videos. Sometimes she sends them to her husband and friends, sometimes she just looks at them herself, but either way, she creates accountability because she wants the video to be fun to watch.

Demerits and Gold Stars

Elizabeth’s Demerit: Her hiatus between Seasons One and Two of Fantasy Island is over, and despite her plans, she didn’t use that time to organize either her closet or her office. (I mention the phenomenon of procrasti-clearing.)

Gretchen’s Gold Star (and also a hack): I give a gold star to Nick, whom I met at a conference, who used a harmonica to call a group to silence. It works so well.


  • Try the new app! The Happier app is a personalized, practical toolkit to help you build habits to become happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. Start your free three-month trial with early access code: HAPPIERNOW. Available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

What we’re reading

  • Elizabeth: The Necklace by Matt Witten (AmazonBookshop)
  • Gretchen: Songs Without Words: Discovering My Deafness Halfway Through Life by Gerald Shea (AmazonBookshop)




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