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Five happy 'products' to buoy you up during those dark times

By Pieta Woolley

When singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams released the 2013 song, “Happy,” the mega-catchy tune sprayed out from grocery store speakers and car radios like some omnipresent chanted prayer. 

Yes, okay. We all want to be happy, except for the contented curmudgeons among us. But what makes us happy? 

Perhaps religion is one cause. In this month’s Observer, Samantha Rideout tackles the question of what faith has to do with it.

Finding meaning and giving to others – as this Victor Frankl-inspired article tidily reminds us – are other ways.

But what else?

Well, as attendance has plummeted in North America, a happiness-industrial complex has emerged to plug in the floundering and the sad. Simply put, happiness is big business now.  

1. Get coached: Delivering Happiness

Are your employees happy? Happy employees are productive employees. Deliveringhappiness.com promises 300 percent more innovation, a 37 percent increase in sales and 66 percent fewer sick leaves with happiness. Like Hilton and Audi did, invest in evaluation, the book, a keynote speaker and coaching. 

2. Get the app: Happify
Overcome stress and negative thoughts. Build resilience. That’s the promise of this app, website and business-coaching program. (The app is free but offers in-app purchases.). Games, rewards, seminars, push notifications – don’t let happiness slip away for lack of “engagement.”

3. Take a course: A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

The Indian School of Business offers a six-week, $63 online course with Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan, a marketing professor and author of the 2015 book, If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t you Happy Yet? Join the more than 100,000 people who have taken the course so far (The next class starts on Aug. 1.)  

4. Spend smarter: start by buying Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending

Harvard Business School’s Michael Norton and UBC psychologist Elisabeth Dunn offer what’s now common knowledge: choose experiences over stuff, spend money on others, and more.  Just $12.60 on Amazon.

5. Shop yourself happy at shophappiness.com

Interestingly, the models look absolutely miserable on this Italian fashion site. How could you be sad while wearing bright pink sweatpants with the word, “happiness,” printed on the leg (Only 89 euros)? A “Yay” t-shirt with a front vent that's somewhat revealing? Or a menacing black hoodie emblazoned with a bright white hand of Fatima on the chest? Shopping at one of the storefronts – rather than online – might help. It would mean that you’re in Venice, Rome, Corsica or Milan – all happy places. 

Author's photo
Pieta Woolley is a writer in Powell River, B.C.
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