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The App That Reminds You You’re Going to Die

Believe it or not, a large number of people have chosen to be reminded five times a day via a smartphone app that they are going to die. The app, called WeCroak, has more than 10,000 downloads and there are 30,000 monthly users. More than 25 million reminders are sent annually. Most of the messages are simply “Don’t forget, you’re going to die.” Others are equally as somber, “The grave has no sunny corners” and “Those who are afraid of death will carry it on their shoulders.”

The messages are sent “at random times and at any moment just like death.” The founders of the app were inspired by a famous Bhutanese folk saying, which asserts “to be a truly happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.” The basic idea is that the more we are reminded about the inevitability of death, the more we will “smell the flowers,” and appreciate every moment of life.

Co-founder Hansa Bergwall elaborates:

One of the things that makes us most unhappy is we tend to get caught up in things that don’t matter. We tend to get caught up in minutiae or in stress or in tons of things that ultimately aren’t that important to us. And when we remember our mortality, we can take a deep breath and just go, “Oh, I don’t have to think about this. I don’t have to engage. I don’t have time for this.” And move on.


Bianca Bosker, “The App That Reminds You You’re Going to Die” The Atlantic (January/February, 2020); Eric Johnson, “You’re going to die someday. WeCroak’s Hansa Bergwall says remembering that will make your life better,” Vox (4-24-19).

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