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28 Oct 2013

Happify self-help website claims to cure misery with 'brain training'

This makes them seem as elusive as the promises of Tony Robbins and his ilk. Throughout Self-Help, Inc. she evaluates all self-help trends on the basis of how likely they are to lead to progressive, even radical political activism. Perhaps, she suggests, the inward-looking little communities formed to follow 12-step programs can be encouraged to agitate for economic justice and the redistribution of resources and opportunities? Like a lot of academics, McGee seems to think that the general public is merely ignorant of the principles of socialism and, if properly educated by more informed persons like herself, will surely see that their best interests lie in this direction. This is the sort of well-intentioned but disastrously patronizing attitude that whips red-staters into a frenzy of Bush voting. Many of these citizens do crave a counterforce to the brutality of the marketplace, but they prefer to seek it in church and a retreat to traditional values. The old ways of life, to their mind, provide at least some emotional security. Socialism they see as thoroughly discredited, a proven recipe for deprivation and oppressive bureaucracy. McGee has the sense to insist that activists ask themselves why people have embraced self-help groups what do they get there that they dont get in political organizations? What she fails to consider is the possibility that those organizations have yet to articulate a coherent, alternative and post-socialist vision of society thats sufficiently appealing to lure people away from the siren song of capitalistic individualism. Many people look at the ever-widening gap between rich and poor in this country and think to themselves, Hey, its a great time to be rich.

Sign up at Happify's website. AFP RELAXNEWS Happify A look at the new self-help website, Happify. For those among us prone to stress, self-esteem slumps, and mood swings, a new website called Happify just launched with the mission to help you "optimize your well-being." TechCrunch reports that the new site plans to "bring the latest scientific advancements in positive psychology and positive neuroscience to consumers in the form of games, activities, and exercises." Happify launched publicly Wednesday after amassing 100,000 members during private beta. RELATED: HAPPIER, SOCIAL NETWORK FOR POSITIVE PEOPLE Cofounders Ofer Leidner and Andy Parsons told TechCrunch that the site's features are based on more than a decade's worth of research from the Universities of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and Stanford. "Happify partnered with leading scientists in the field, engagement designers and marketers to create an experience that helps develop emotional skills shown by the scientists to lead to greater well-being," Leidner told TechCrunch. Positive psychology is a new-ish field that has been gaining recent attention and is closely associated with University of Pennsylvania professor and self-help author Martin Seligman. The concept focuses on human prospering, rather than dysfunction and abnormal behavior, to help people improve compassion, confidence, resilience, and other qualities associated with happiness, all in an effort to "make normal life more fulfilling," as Seligman says. RELATED: PEOPLE HAPPIEST IN THEIR 20S, 60S Other companies with a similar self-help target include relaxation training app Calm.com, goal-setting service Wishberg, self-improvement app Lift, and "brain training" personal development seminar program Muse, a headband that is designed to help people gain more control over their thoughts and emotions. Another company, Lumosity, offers an online assessment that tests memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving.



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