Aria is a happiness company. We believe that true, long-term happiness is within everyone’s reach, and that interactive, positive psychology is the key to unlocking it. We develop interactive and engaging online tools which train the human brain to become happier, less stressed, and more resilient.
We have tested our ideas in our Meetup group: Practical Happiness & Success, which has 600+ members across Halifax and Montreal. This group has caught the attention of several professional counsellors, three of whom have joined our board of scientific advisors alongside Dr. Jennifer Stamp – a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University, and Chair of the Psychology Committee for Science Atlantic.
Paolo Melgarejo, Cofounder and UX Developer of Aria, is an accomplished freelance growth hacker and user experience developer who has helmed the UX initiatives for Fortune 100 companies such as Dow Chemicals, CBS Interactive, Wedding Wire, Konica Minolta and for promising startups such as Liwwa. He has increased the online revenue of past projects by 1200% and beyond through an integrated conversion rate, UX, and marketing strategy, and is one of the top rated UX Developers on Upwork.
Paolo showed an interest in psychology and self-improvement at an early age, consuming books about analytic philosophy and cognitive science. In his adolescence he suffered from major depression, dropped out of school and cut off most of his social ties. Through necessity, to merely survive, he shaped practical tools from what he had learned from cognitive science to overcome his adversity.
Through a series of happy accidents, Paolo found someone who had also suffered as he did from anxiety and a lack of focus in life, and slowly coached him online using the tools he had built. Over the course of a few months he had helped him to not merely survive but to thrive. This was when Paolo realized the potential of the tools that he had developed. What if, instead of sitting in a room by himself to create these tools, he had research labs, psychologists, and neuroscientists – a team? What if these tools were easy to use, and engaging enough to keep people applying the techniques in the long term? This, in short, has become Paolo’s mission.
Sam Levac-Levey, Cofounder and Chief Happiness Officer (CHO) of Aria, is a top senior mechanical engineering student at Dalhousie University with wide ranging design and leadership experience. His mechanical design work has saved SpaceX over $232,000/year, and has been a critical part of a new product launch at Tesla. Amongst other accomplishments, he has served as President of the Dalhousie ROV Robotics team, brought a river turbine company from concept to fully functioning physical prototype during an “entrepreneurial work term”, runs a happiness Meetup group in Halifax, and is writing a book about happiness.
In high school, Sam was an unhappy, stressed, socially awkward teenager. He was also hyper-competitive. Unsatisfied with his state of life, he decided that he would become the best at being happy. In a matter of days, he managed to eliminate negative stress from his life, drastically reduce his social awkwardness, and allow his happiness to flourish. He is now focused on helping others follow the same path the he did.
Sam uses his engineering training to break down the problems surrounding happiness and stress into their fundamental components, and to then design solutions from these building blocks – effectively “engineering” happiness.