HappiMe for Young People

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
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Brain-centered mindfulness helps kids learn positivity.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Reflect on thoughts and develop the habit of positive self-talk. Learn the different brain states and practice mindfulness. Develop resilience, reduce stress, and support mental and emotional health.

Ease of Play

Very easy to use. Excellent intro video and visual tutorial. Detailed written instructions for each feature.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that HappiMe for Young People is a free, U.K.-created mindfulness app for kids ages 11 to 17. The app uses a system to "Learn, Recognize, Deal with Your Emotions, and Replace" unhelpful thoughts with positive ones. It helps kids learn how to take charge of their own thinking for less anxiety and more confidence. It illustrates the three distinct "characters" in the brain: the chimp, the happitar, and the computer. Then it helps kids recognize when they're listening to their chimp brain or their happitar or employing their computer to think through their own thoughts. Features include creating audio playlists of positive thoughts, playing the Swipe game to identify negative thoughts, listening to mindfulness and visualization exercises, and finding mental health resources (mostly U.K.-based). There are also app versions for younger kids and one for adults. Note: Apps designed for mental health purposes are best used in conjunction with a mental health professional (when warranted) and aren't a substitute for professional treatment. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

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What's it about?

To use HAPPIME FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, read the on-screen tutorial and watch the intro video. Name your chimp and select a username and password. Choose your happitar. Create a playlist of positive thoughts for a specific thought issue (for example, worry, school, friends), and then select the background music. To play the Swipe game, read the quote and then decide if it's a helpful thought from your happitar (swipe toward the happitar to choose that) or an unhelpful thought from your chimp. Read what the "more helpful" thought would be. Listen to the guided relaxation and other mindfulness exercises. The resources section lists mostly U.K.-based resources.

Is it any good?

Using digital media to boost kids' well-being is what this unique, well-thought-out app aims to do. Consistent use of HappiMe for Young People can help kids learn that a thought is just a thought that can be changed with mindfulness, practice, and a bit of willpower. Some of the British phrases in the Swipe game ("rubbish," for example) may not be relatable for young kids who are unfamiliar with their usage, and most of the support resources are U.K.-based. Still, there's a lot for kids living anywhere to learn and practice.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what stressful situations your kid most frequently encounters that might be helped by creating a playlist with HappiMe for Young People. Encourage kids to be part of selecting or recording the positive phrases that ring true for them and the background sounds that are most relaxing to them.

  • Changing a negative self-talk habit will take consistency and may take a lot of time to see consistent change. Read Common Sense Media's How can I use media to teach my kids perseverance?.

  • Encourage your kid to play the Swipe game and talk about the alternative phrases. Add your own phrases.

App details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love meditation and health

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