We bet you’ve heard how technology can be hazardous to your mental health, but there’s more to the story than that. Your tech, especially your phone, can be used for the good, and these apps to track your happiness, and all of your other moods, fall under that category. If you’re familiar with behavior change or habit-building, you probably know that tracking is a top tip for making change stick. So these happiness apps are applying that science to your moods, which means you can watch for trends, see what most affects them, and make changes for the better. The trick is to find out what makes you happy and make sure you get more of that.
11 Apps That Track Your Happiness and More
Below, we’ve rounded up the top 11 apps for tracking happiness and helping you build positive habits into your busy life.
And the winner for the most directly relevant app name goes to…
You probably have a decent idea of what makes you happy, but wouldn’t it be nice to have data to back that up? Track Your Happiness is an app from Harvard University researchers that sends you questions throughout the day about what you’re doing and feeling at that moment. Every 50 responses, the app will give you a happiness report, so you can see exactly when and where you’re feeling your best—and make sure you keep it up. The downside? This one’s only available for iOS.
Want to know more? Watch this track your happiness TED Talk by the app developer, Matt Killingsworth.
We all know how easy it can be to be negative sometimes. But being able to shift your mindset to a happier one is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be learned. Happify can help you practice.
The app starts by scoring your happiness based on a questionnaire. After that, it will give you series of games and activities to help you change your mindset and find new ways to deal with stress in your daily life. Feeling overwhelmed? Try a guided meditation. Having negative thoughts? Happify can help you focus on the little, positive things in your life. You can even create your own track to make the changes that matter most to you and watch your happiness progress over time.
Price: Free for a basic plan with limited features; $11.99 monthly, $49.99 for six months, $59.99 annually
We know that focusing on the things you’re thankful for (i.e., gratitude) can help make you happier. While there are a lot of ways to practice gratitude, journaling is one of the best, research-backed ones out there.
Some of us prefer jotting these down on paper. If that doesn’t work for you, try My Gratitude Journal, an app that helps you track five things you’re grateful for every day. You’ll get reminders and rewards to help you create a journaling habit, and other fun things to help you along the way. But, just so you know, it’s only available for iOS.
If you’ve heard of any of the apps on this list, you’ve probably heard of Headspace. And we’ve even talked about it before. There’s a reason that it’s so well-known: It’s one of the best meditation apps out there. And it turns out that meditation and mindfulness are great ways to decrease stress and increase happiness.
Headspace guides you through a variety of meditations, from a free basics pack to mini-meditations to meditations specifically for sleep, happiness, work, and every other aspect of your life. Having a meltdown? There’s a meditation for that—and don’t worry, we’ve all been there. You can also keep track of your progress, get rewards, and link up with a buddy to keep you accountable.
Price: Free with limited features; $12.99 per month, $94.99 per year, $399.99 lifetime
RealLifeChange calls itself a “portable life coach,” and who hasn’t wished for one of those before? The app helps you take notes on what you’re feeling, experiencing, and doing and categorizes events based on your responses to them. You can even use hashtags to more easily sort all that daily life data, a plus for when you want to revisit those happy moments.
The app takes all your inputs and gives you insights into how your experiences affect you, and then it helps guide you to a happier life. As a bonus, it integrates with the Health app on iPhones.
Price: Free; $0.99 weekly, $3.99 monthly, $9.99 quarterly, or $29.99 weekly for even more advice
Feeling unhappy can be lonely. You might think that no one wants to hear about your issues or that no one will understand the way you feel. Stigma is aiming to cure that loneliness by connecting app users to each other for support. You can build your own support system by finding “pen pals,” support groups, and community forums, all without leaving the app.
The app also has two ways to track your happiness. You can use their journal function to record how you’re feeling or use Stigma’s automatic mood tracker by letting it take pictures of you once in a while. The app will also give you a word cloud and graphs of your mood so you can see how you’re doing over time. Right now it’s only available for iOS, but head to their site to sign up for early access to the Android version.
Price: Free; $2.99 monthly or $29.99 yearly for Stigma PRO
A key part of building happiness is resilience. While bouncing back from life’s challenges is important, it’s not exactly easy. SuperBetter makes the process less difficult by taking you through a series of activities that help you build resilience, reduce anxiety and depression, and lead a happier life.
How do they do it? Gamification. You become the hero in this app, as you gain points and power by completing and tracking daily activities. Everything from drinking a glass of water to taking a walk can count as a step toward your ultimate goal. Even better? You get to do it all with a secret identity and superhero story of your choosing.
This app lets you not only journal and track your happiness, it lets you track pretty much everything. We’re talking sleep, medication, menstrual cycles, and more. You can write long mood records or use hashtags to keep things simple. You can even attach pictures to see how your appearance connects with your mood.
iMood Journal takes all that information and gives you charts to help you figure out what affects your mood. And these charts mean business. From daily and weekly averages to ones linking your hashtags with your moods to a map of what you feel where, you’ll get charts for all of it. One of the best parts? They’ll send you reminders to track throughout the day, to help you build your habit.
9. Worry Watch
Do you find yourself feeling anxious throughout the day? Worry Watch can help you track and overcome your anxiety for a happier life. The app’s five-step process helps you record your anxieties, reflect on what the actual outcome was, analyze your thought patterns, realize (based on your previous records) that your worry might be unfounded, and challenge your anxieties the next time they come up. We all know the worst case scenario might not really happen, but Worry Watch helps you see just how infrequently it actually does.
Looking for something simple? Or maybe you’re just really into emojis. (The avocado one changed our minds on emojis permanently.) Daylio lets you track your happiness using icons that represent your mood and activities, then gives you a calendar and statistics to help you understand your habits. Want a longer entry once in a while? Daylio has you covered there too, with its “old-school diary” function.
On the other end of the spectrum is MoodKit, which provides cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to tracking. (And research proves that cognitive behavioral therapy works.) You can take notes and get charts on your mood, but the app also gives you activities and tips to reduce negative feelings.
MoodKit also provides more than one option even if you’re just looking for mood tracking. The Mood Tracker lets you rate your mood throughout your day, while the journal gives you space for longer notes and observations about those moods. Then, if you’re interested, MoodKit can help you identify and change the thoughts that lead to any negative feelings you might be tracking. The benefits of a therapist with the convenience of an app? Count us in.
Track Your Way Happy
Whether you’re looking to track your happiness and other moods over time, remind yourself of what matters, or learn tips to reduce anxiety and depression, these apps can help you build the habits that bring more enjoyment into your life. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
Your turn: Have you used apps or other means to track your happiness? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
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Author: Erica Hersh
Erica Hersh is a health writer, editor, and communications strategist based in Boston, MA. In 2014, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of being on Jeopardy. She did not, however, fulfill her dream of winning on Jeopardy.