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May 8, 2015

How your smartphone can make you happier, according to science

The American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Wise words that we can all agree with. But, in our fast paced world, happiness can sometimes be more elusive than we’d like. Thankfully, help is quite literally at hand in the form of your trusty Lumia. So, let’s take a look at how we can combine the science of happiness with our smartphones to put a spring in our step every single day.

1. Get high on happiness

It’s well documented that exercise makes us happier. For a start it releases dopamine, a chemical in the brain, which is necessary for feelings of pleasure. What’s more, it gives energy, boosts confidence and eases anxiety. As we all know there are tons of apps dedicated to getting you fitter and healthier. But which ones should you choose? Well, If you’re like me and you just want to get motivated to move about more, why not try a completely automatic service like Microsoft Health. Happiness guaranteed.

happy smartphone

2. Stay super social

A research paper, “Very Happy People”, published in Psychological Science showed happier people were highly social, and had stronger romantic relationships. Fortunately, your Lumia is packed with apps and inbuilt functionality to help you keep in touch with your nearest dearest. Facebook, Skype and Whatsapp are all much loved, but there’s plenty more ace apps you can check out on the Windows Store.

3. Take time out

Take time to really enjoy the good things in life. According to research, savouring small moments throughout the day can make a big difference to your overall happiness. One great way of doing that is to enjoy spoken word content. It can be somewhat of an acquired taste, and for some it never works. But some of us love it. Podcasts and audiobooks work brilliantly for commutes, taking walks and household chores. The podcast market is best approached with an app like the one built into Windows Phone 8.1 and later or a quality third party app like Podcast Lounge.


For longer form spoken word audio, Audible remains a top choice.

4. Play to your strengths

“Signature strengths” are things you are particularly good at and using them as much as possible increases your happy thoughts. It’s using these strengths, for example, which makes starving artists so happy with their job. One great way to make the most of your “Signature strengths” is to use the Getting Things Done (GTD) method of managing tasks. By getting a task done quickly, you can more easily focus on your strengths. A particular good GTD app worth trying is CleverToDo. Give it a go and prepare to be wowed.

5. Record your life

Keeping a diary has long been suggested by psychologists as a great way to improve your mental well-being. One reason, no doubt, is that thinking writing about your life helps you better grasp what’s stressing you out. If you want to keep a private diary to improve your own understanding of yourself over time, why not try a password protected diary app that syncs with OneDrive? It’s also with you whenever your phone’s available.