Skip to main content

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Can you value an economy based on how often you get ticked off or depressed? What about how well you're sleeping and the amount you smile? On today's Old Dog, New Blog, my sister, Nicole, and I teach Jim Cramer how apps can make this concept more realizable.

Surely beyond GDP and sheer monetary wealth, there are alternative ways to measure a country’s collective health. Cue the GNH (Gross National Happiness), a metric used in the Himalayan nation of Bhutan to take the temperature of the collective mood. To boot, GDP can sometimes be inadequate in measuring health care, education, natural resources, etc. But indications of people’s individual mood—whether cranky or enraptured—can dovetail with a society’s collective happiness.

Today we introduce Cramer to how the Happathon Project is trying to find a way to track happiness as a value. This venture—which combines the concept of a “hackathon” with the search for bliss—seeks to develop a finished app by March 20, 2014 to have people provide responses to their personal happiness indicator score.

Two platforms already exist to gauge your mood: Emotionsense and Moodscope. Emotionsense is an Android app that asks you to respond to surveys and actually records your conversations and ambient sounds and assembles an evaluation of your happiness. Moodscope is a website that allows you to measure, track and share your mood with friends.

By providing literally billions of data points for people to indicate their mood, this mood app would governments and businesses to respond to stimuli and provide better feedback and services.So who's to say happiness can't net a robust economy?

TheStreet Recommends

As Cramer mentioned to us off camera, at his 35th reunion at Harvard this past spring, he and his classmates were polled on what they felt had been the biggest contributors to their happiness since college. There were some interesting take-aways, which we will update you on in a future video (stay tuned!), but why wait decades to reflect on how you should be allocating your time to feel both better and be more productive at the same time? These apps and initiatives work to provide regular reminders to “check in” and get data on what’s working. To get a sense of where Cramer, stands we will be setting up Moodscope for him and see if we get any positive feedback. Thus, we explore the notions of collective happiness and individual happiness- with tools from apps.

In the meantime, we continue on our quest to introduce the new gadgets and tech products to Cramer each week. Check back on Mondays and Fridays for Old Dog, New Blog.

Check out more Old Dog, New Blog:

  • Airbnb Anxiety
  • Cramer Gets Hip With Uber
  • The 'Urkel' and Measuring Twitter Impact
  • Learning the Hip Language of Emoji