August 24, 2020 (Orange County, CA) -- Happy Money, a company that provides financial tools and services to improve happiness, is launching a wellness tool that uses cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and psychometrics to help people understand and reduce the impact of financial stress on their lives.
Research conducted by Happy Money’s science team supports the finding that life satisfaction remained relatively unchanged. A peer reviewed study regarding social connection during COVID-19 suggests that people have done remarkably well at maintaining feelings of social connectedness and life satisfaction during the pandemic despite physical distancing requirements. However, some individuals exhibited serious declines in life satisfaction and social connection, underscoring the value of providing support to people who are suffering.
Happy Money’s own research shows that a major contributor to stress increases has been income disruption. From May until the end of July, when the research was conducted, 21.7 % more people experienced an impact to their employment. The research then showed that those losing their jobs experience a 20% increase in general stress levels and a 49% increase in financial stress over those not impacted.
“We may not be able to change our financial circumstances, but we can change how we experience them,” said Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, a Top10 Ted Talk creator for 2019, Chief Science Officer at Happy Money, and co-author of the book Happy Money . “Even though some people are feeling a lot of stress right now, COVID-19 can potentially offer a ‘happiness reset’ to renew our ability to appreciate what we have and savor positive experiences.”
Unlike other wellness tools that are “quizlettes” or developed by marketers, the six-week Peace program was designed by leading researchers in the area of clinical psychology, positive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. The wellness tool is grounded in a wide body of science and features weekly exercises that can be completed in under 10 minutes per day. Peace is a free tool, and anyone can sign up for it. In the next week, it will be launched to nearly 100,000 people via Happy Money’s credit union partners.
Peace’s weekly exercises include: Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Challenging Negative Thoughts, Problem Solving, Telling Your Money Story, Mindfulness and Savoring Small Pleasures. Upon registering, participants take an assessment that identifies their Happy Money Personality and level of stress. Each exercise is designed to build skills aimed at helping to address stress levels, while promoting more positive associations, all in digestible bites for busy people.
Research suggests that credit card debt is associated with enhanced vulnerability to stress during these volatile times. Particularly susceptible are those who view the remaining balances on their credit cards as a replacement to savings, a group that has grown with each passing month. Viewing credit cards as a savings replacement is associated with a reduced sense of gratitude, optimism, and resilience, leaving people less equipped to effectively manage financial stress.
The steps offered in Peace, paired with Happy Money’s debt elimination tools are both sides of the coin to holistically address financial stress. “We know money is emotional and stressful, so we want to help our members in ways that go beyond their wallets,” said Scott Saunders, CEO of Happy Money. “Peace looks further than someone's finances to hone in on how they can have a healthier relationship with money that improves their overall well-being and happiness.”
About Happy Money
Happy Money® is a financial technology company, delivering digitally-native financial tools and services for human happiness™through its purpose-driven marketplace between mission-aligned capital and consumers. Happy Money is creating an alternative to the “Sad Money™” system with a connected ecosystem of consumer financial products designed to help borrowers become savers. Happy Money. A Happier Future.™
Backed by leading investors including Anthemis Group, Tencent Holdings and CMFG Ventures, Happy Money has helped over 100,000 members pay off nearly $1.8 billion in credit card debt. Founded in 2009, Happy Money has a diverse employee base of over 290 people and is based in Orange County, California. For more information, please visit www.happymoney.com.
About Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, PhD
Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, PhD, is Happy Money’s Chief Science Officer with a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University and a PhD and M.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Dunn conducts experimental research examining how time, money, and technology shape human happiness. She is the co-author of “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending” (Simon & Schuster), her work has appeared in top journals with three published papers, and she has given a widely acclaimed talk on the main stage of TED on money and happiness.