Utah Filmmaker Creates App to Gamify Positive Psychology

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(Newswire.net — January 4, 2016) — Recent research in positive psychology shows happiness is more than a mood or a feeling—it’s a skill. A new app called Feed Your Happy, launching today, helps people practice techniques to reprogram negative thinking patterns and develop a positive mental lifestyle. 

Commercial film director, Scott Wilhite, states, “I thought being a ‘tortured artist’ was the natural baggage that comes from being creative. When I learned happiness was a skill it transformed me. Now I’m using all of my creative talents to help others upskill their happiness.”

An avalanche of research has pushed positive psychology into the limelight by revealing the biological connection between happiness and overall wellbeing. The US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, prescribes happiness, claiming it reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes while improving overall health. He states, “Happiness affects us on a biological level. It lowers stress hormones as well as inflammatory markers. Even when you control for smoking, physical activity and other health behaviors, it turns out happier people live longer.”

What’s more exciting is we can train our minds to be happy. Technology can help. The Feed Your Happy app gives people the tools to condition themselves for a positive mental lifestyle. Through challenges, reminders, and micro-journaling, users complete activities centered on seven core happiness skills such as gratitude, fostering relationships, and improving daily. Charting features enable users to track and monitor their progress.

Dr. Christian Laplante, clinical psychologist and co-creator of the app says, “It’s like 7 Habits meets the Fitbit. In order to change personal behavior, one must first believe change is possible. When they see the charts they can begin tracking their improvement and they’re incentivized to move forward.” Dr. Laplante is responsible for gamifying the positive psychology principles. He says, “Cognitive Therapy aims at building the skills to identify inaccurate thoughts that are causing negative emotions. The challenge is to identify and rectify thinking, so we’ve make it a game.”

Along with the app, Wilhite is celebrating HAPPY New Year by launching a daily webisode called 2-minutes to HAPPY. He says, “The concept is to make it super accessible for people to learn happiness is a skill (actually a set of skills), and to receive support and encouragement to make developing those skills a daily habit.” The webisode series is part of nCOURAGE.tv, a website that uses entertainment to encourage personal improvement.

The Feed Your Happy app is available starting today as a free download from Apple’s App Store.

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Media Contact: Scott Wilhite