Apps like Daylio, Moodily, MoodPanda, and Moodkit are free apps that any phone can download to begin tracking moods. These apps were created because they recognized the great benefits of mood tracking. The apps remind you each day to take note of how you are feeling. While journaling has the same effect as an app, the swift ability to punch in how you’re feeling and what you have been doing can be more time efficient. As well as more appealing to those who don’t particularly like or stick with traditional or guided journaling. Many of the apps have the feature to track the things that you had done that day – things like work, school, connecting with friends, exercise, reading, or any other hobbies that may benefit you. These are customizable on most apps to alter and add activities or habits that you personally want to track; either to add to your life or quit.
Why bother tracking your moods and what are the benefits of mood tracking?
Mood tracking apps aid in making you pause for even just a moment each day to assess how you’re doing. Creating a space to reflect on how the day has been going and how you’re feeling can help you become more conscious of mood fluctuations throughout the day or week. Through this, patterns can appear that tell you, for example, that on Sunday evenings you tend to be more anxious and sad, while on Tuesday afternoons you are typically in a better mood. With this data, you can then figure out what causes these moods and then predict or alter them.
Mood tracking is greatly beneficial if you are trying to change a habit. Not only are you able to track when the bad habits occur, it can fill you in on the mood that may precede or occur with them. This will give you data about the factors that contribute and possibly trigger them, making the habits less random and preventable.
Particularly When struggling with depression, days can seem like a blur and it can be difficult to tell if there has been any change in your day to day mood over the course of the four weeks it may take for the medication to reach its full therapeutic effect. To tell if a new medication meant to aid your mood is working, it does help to collect data and this would show up on a mood tracking app when you are asked to record how you’re feeling once or twice a day. Just like the self-awareness and habit aspects, adding things like anxiety or crying as traits of depression, it would be beneficial to see how often these are occurring once starting the medication.
Many of the apps have a feature that allows you to add a line or two about the day and what has been occurring in relation to what you report. This is a much more vital feature than just the simple ‘what did you do today’ buttons that you can tap to collect data because while you may record exercise and connecting with friends on a good mood day, the same traits can be added to a bad mood day but the journaling allows a little more explanation if something exceptional occurred that same day. Writing just one to three sentences a day in a journaling fashion has been shown to improve happiness and productivity, especially when aimed at what you are focusing on in life, grateful for, and wanting to let go of. Just commenting on your own progress in these areas can lead to better self awareness and overall fulfillment.