You Should Try Imprint’s 15-Minute Happiness Course

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It comes courtesy of Imprint, one of our favorite education apps

A kid running through a field with an arts and crafts jetpack on his back.

“The Science of Happiness” covers some serious topics, but in the end it’ll leave you looking at the world refreshed and anew.

Imprint does not mess around.

The education app, currently ranked #74 in that section of the App Store (so it’s popular, but by no means ubiquitous), offers daily reads, distillations of buzzy non-fiction and access to one-week courses with highly-regarded professors on topics like history, wellness and leadership.

It’s a real treasure trove, but as the software developers over at Polywise, Inc. are wary of users downloading the app and then forgetting about it forever, there’s some accountability baked into the app.

I’m currently “auditing” a daily, 15-minute course on happiness, taught by Dr. Jason Mitchell, a professor of psychology at Harvard University. Once I complete the day’s lesson, I have to choose a time to reconvene the next day, for the next unit. I’ve been going with 8:15 a.m. If I miss the engagement, I get locked out of the course.

Something I’ve noticed just a few days in: I have no intention of missing the next lesson. I’m actually looking forward to it.

My own experience echoes a review I read online about the Imprint app, which, while doting (and potentially cycled to the top, in order to encourage downloads), I actually found quite accurate:

“The content is first-rate, the visuals and storyboarding work well for my ADHD self, the format is intuitive, the layout clean, the quizzes incredibly helpful, and like one review said… this has replaced my doom-scrolling of social media with valuable learning and growth. I crave this app.”

Key word there? “Crave.” I feel the same way. While social media generally leaves me feeling down, as a result of either what I read or watched (or how I feel about the fact that I spent so much time reading and watching), spending time on Imprint, or Duolingo, or DailyArt, or NYT Games, leaves me feeling energized and accomplished. I like chasing that feeling. Over time, it reorients your relationship to your smartphone. You don’t have to “hate” your phone, or stuff it in a drawer for hours on end, if the 15-minute spurts you spend on it here and there make you happy.

It’s a meta affair, of course, when you’re sitting there learning about the very nature of happiness. Though Jason Mitchell’s daily course (which lasts for seven days) does compel you to interrogate cognitive distortions, reframe negative thought patterns and spend time emptying your mind…none of which is comfortable or easy.

I’m not going to spoil the course, titled “The Science of Happiness,” but suffice to say, it provides a psychological framework for learning to prioritize and prize one’s self-worth, mindfulness and emotional intelligence. And, it bears mentioning, the graphics along the way are delightful.

Check out the app here, if so inclined. Just don’t miss your lesson! You’ll be happy you showed up, trust us.

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