We use our phones for pretty much everything these days—taking pictures, giving directions, paying at Starbucks —it’s a wonder that something that can fit in the palm of your hand can be so versatile. It can also make you happier. Beyond the hilarious grumpy cat gifs and adorable puppy memes, there are actual apps that boast mood-boosting powers. Swipe, click and download these five apps that make you happy and get ready to breathe deeper and smile wider.
There’s a science to happiness. Don’t worry if the subject wasn’t your best in high school, Happify has spent 15 years doing the research for you. The result? An app that gives you daily activities, like “Shine On” which asks you to list three victories from your day, that research shows can put you in control of your feelings and thoughts. Specify your personal goals, get a happiness score and give yourself a pat on the back as it goes up over the weeks. Free, my.happify.com
Even on the worst of days, you have something to be thankful for—it might simply be coming home and seeing that your dog didn’t eat the flip-flops you accidentally left out. Studies reveal that writing down things you’re grateful for can make you feel more optimistic and even motivate you to exercise more. If you take pride in hugging trees, download Gratitude Journal. The app looks like a traditional paper diary, making it perfect for those environmentalists who kind of miss paper and pencil, and will even send daily reminders to write in it so users can make gratitude a healthy habit. Bonus: it synchs to iCloud so you can access it on your phone or tablet. $2.99, getgratitude.com
Happy Habits: Choose Happiness
Your journey to happiness begins with a 119-question test to assess your happiness. Consider it time well spent. Based on cognitive-behavioral therapy principles, Happy Habits: Choose Happiness gives you tools for chilling out and creating happiness, such as audio guides to help you de-stress, an affirmation journal and graphs that show your progress. You can even customize the graphics inside the app to your liking, so you can get happy just by tapping it. Free, excelatlife.com
MoodKit is full of tools designed to up your mood and well-being. Engage in more than 150 activities that aim to do everything from improving social relationships to motivating you to exercise. The Thought Checker tool asks you to write down something that made you upset, think about why your thoughts might be a bit distorted and then gives advice on how to cope. $4.99, thriveport.com
Calm Down Now
You’ve probably muttered “calm down now” to yourself more than once or maybe a good, honest friend gave you this blunt piece of advice. Now, there’s an app for that. Guided relaxations and soothing sounds can help you ward off panicked feelings and get some shut-eye. $1.99, calmdownnow.com