The Happiness App

Improving your mood can begin with a phone download.  And from there—perhaps you would care for a magnetic mental massage?


My wife has tried to convince me from time to time that I suffer from depression. I point out that I feel fine, I’m productive, I engage in all the basic elements of a reasonably full life. She counters that this is all evidence of how deeply I’m burying my depressive feelings. She has gone on to suggest that my fascination with technology is a way of distancing myself from other people.

I’m not buying it. But her comments did get me wondering: If I really did become depressed, could I count on gadgetry to help me find a way out?

For once I’m not alone in my distorted thinking. Or so I am assured by Edrick Dorian, a clinical and police psychologist in Encino, California. “Unfortunately, some people don’t want to go to a therapist because of the cost and the perceived stigma,” Dorian says. That’s one reason he and Drew Erhardt, a psychology professor at Pepperdine University, came up with MoodKit, a smartphone app that can help treat depression and other psychological problems.