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Free mood-monitoring apps

The following apps have been reviewed by Emma, who has considered them from the viewpoint of a potential client.

 

Nowadays, resources are available to monitor all aspects of daily life. They aim to help you to make those important lifestyle adjustments, and ultimately improve your quality of life and well-being. Whether you want to be better at budgeting or cut out the carbs, there is probably an app designed for that very purpose.

 

This article will examine some of the FREE mood-monitoring apps available, which are designed to help the user identify their emotional triggers (positive or negative) and help them to develop good habits and coping strategies. 

 

I initially started with a list of six mood tracking programmes. However, the AutoPilot Lifestyle, which is an entirely online system rather than a phone app, does not make the final cut, because I didn’t use it. The portability and convenience of a smartphone app was a key factor in this instance. I tended to reach for my app when I was mulling over the events of the day; on a bus journey, during a work break or right before bed. Being able to translate this stream of consciousness to my mood tracker was essential - I don’t want to have to get up and turn my laptop on, or wait until I’m at a computer in order to make the self-assessment. 

 

EXPEREAL

Characteristics

Expereal is a simplistic and aesthetically pleasing mood app. Users are able to rate their mood on a scale of 1-10, by using a stylish colour-burst graphic. There are options to add a log, location or even a photograph, before sharing it to Facebook (if that’s what you want).

 

Likes

Photo - Expereal is all about the visual. Adding a photo is a nice touch, particularly to document a pleasurable moment. Maybe use Expereal to try this little project, 100 Happy Days - it might improve your positivity.

 

Dislikes

Facebook Login - Although it is an optional feature, I do not like the idea of posting my emotional state to Facebook or sharing it on any other public forum, nor do I want to compare moods with my friends. 

 

Colour Burst - I like this unique, visual feature. However, I feel that personal attachments or reactions to particular colours might lead to misleading results. For example, the highest rating of ten, indicating very good mood, is represented by a large red burst. Whilst for some this might indicate brightness and happiness, for others it might represent extreme anger.

 

DAYBREAK

Characteristics

Daybreak is an extremely simple app. Moods are represented using weather icons, ranging from stormy to clear and bright. Users are also able to create a log containing more extensive information about their mood and the reason’s for it.

 

Likes

Weather Icons - The departure from number ratings for mood is refreshing. It sometimes feels slightly strange to simply quantify your emotions, choosing a value between 1 and 10. The visual representations of weather are excellent symbols for what a person might be feeling inside.

 

Dislikes

Requires a PIN - Considering the simplicity of this app, and the fact that many smartphone users will already have a passcode for their device, I could not see the necessity for this function. However, it may be that some users would find the security of a PIN to be reassuring.

 

Too Simple - In comparison to the other apps, this one can feel tediously simple. From the basic graphics to the limited functions, it sometimes feels like you might as well be using a notepad and pen.

 

NHS - MOODOMETER

Characteristics

Upon entering Moodometer, the user is met with six colourful smiley faces in various colours and moods. After selecting the face best befitting their emotion, the user is then given a list categories to which their mood might relate. The analysis is not comprehensive; it gives an average of the users ratings and presents them on a slider. However, the Tips are a nice touch.

 

Likes

Simple - If you are not looking for a detailed report of your emotional state over time, then Moodometer is a good choice. Its simplicity means that it only takes a few seconds to create a log.

 

Dislikes

Analysis Page - Because the app takes an average of your mood ratings over time, it is hard to chart the peaks and troughs in your mood. In order to identify the triggers that have a positive or negative impact, you have to go to the History screen to read through each of the notes.

 

OPTIMISM

Characteristics

Optimism aims to help you develop your understanding of "triggers" that affect your mood, and the early warning signs of any problems. It also allows you to input various strategies or coping behaviours that might have a positive impact on your emotional health. Your mood over time is presented in the form of charts and reports.

 

Likes

Stay Well Strategies - This is the only app that acknowledges the actions you might already be taking to improve your emotional well-being. 

 

Dislikes

Confusing - The app uses some ambiguous phrases, like ‘how coped’ or ‘looking outwards’. I found myself simply avoiding the aspects I didn’t really understand.

 

Lack of Categories - Unlike T2 or Moodometer, Optimism does not allow you to record moods under a variety of categories. For instance, I might have had a great day with family but still be feeling extremely stressed about work. The inability to distinguish between different coping mechanisms for different situations somewhat undermines the functionality of the app.

 

T2 MOOD TRACKER

Characteristics

T2 is probably my favourite app of the bunch. It can be customised to suit the individual’s issues: from head injury to anxiety. Simple sliders are used to rate various aspects of your emotion, and notes can be added to each mood evaluation. All of your data is compiled into a simple graph, as well as into a spreadsheet file that can be easily shared with your health care provider.

 

Likes

Bespoke - This app is made to order. The user can add custom fields and remove those that don’t apply.

 

Dislikes

Lack of Strategy - This app only serves to identify fluctuations and changes in mood. Unlike Optimism, it does not offer specific fields to record activities or coping mechanisms. However, this can all be recorded in the note function.