Live Happy iPhone App Review

woman happily listening to music in sunshine

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While there are many iPhone apps based around happiness, this was one of the first to come out, and it's still one of the best to use, in my opinion. I really enjoy this iPhone application for many reasons, and think it's a truly useful tool for stress relief in that it's based on the principles of positive psychology, and can help you actually create habits that are proven by research to help you live a life that includes more happiness and less stress (or more resilience toward stress).


  • It helps you create life-affirming habits.
  • It uses different applications from your iPhone to do so.
  • Its methods are backed by solid research.
  • It's fun, educational and easy to use.
  • It has a free trial version.


  • You have to remember to use it in order for it to work, of course.
  • The full version is a bit more pricey than average iPhone applications.


  • 'Savor' activities include creating an album of beautiful pictures to look at, or happy memories to relive.
  • 'Strive' activities include setting goals in different areas of your life, rating and prioritizing these goals, and more.
  • 'Optimism' includes envisioning your 'best possible self', an activity that I often recommend to readers and clients.
  • 'Social' activities include expressing appreciation toward people in your life, and keeping a 'kindness journal'.
  • 'Thank' activities include expressing gratitude to people in your life, and maintaining a 'gratitude journal'.
  • The 'Explore' section provides you with more information about positive psychology and the science of happiness.

Review of the Live Happy iPhone Application Review

Live Happy was based on the research and teachings of Sonja Lyubomirsky, a positive psychology researcher. It includes educational tidbits and videos that can help you better understand what is known about the attainment of happiness and resilience, as well as features that encourage you to engage in happiness-promoting activities.

The application lets you choose from several different activities tells you what to do, and tells you why and how this particular activity promotes happiness. There's even an email component that tracks your activities and emails you information related to what you're doing in the Live Happy application, as an extra reminder to engage in these activities regularly, which is a key part of making them a habit.

For example, I often recommend that people keep a gratitude journal, as it helps you cultivate an attitude of gratitude that can be great for stress relief and overall happiness. This iPhone app has a gratitude journal feature, which is useful to have right there on your iPhone--you can add to it throughout the day when you have idle time!

One of my favorite features allows you to create an album of positive experiences. You are given the choice of creating a 'book of memories' of sorts, and creating a new page for each positive memory you'd like to dwell on, or creating an album of beautiful sights you'd like to look at again. (I actually 'break the rules' a little in how I use this activity and create a photo album where I take pictures of things I've done and enjoyed, and write about what I did and how I felt.) It's nice to go back through a 'book of happy memories' when I need an emotional 'pick-me-up'. It promotes optimism and positive affect, which can build resilience against stress of all kinds.

There are several other features on this iPhone app that are useful in cultivating happiness; I recommend that you try the free version, and upgrade if you find yourself using and enjoying it.

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD
Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.