Moodnotes is an app I’m passionate about sharing with others, because it provides a service millions of people need for the price of a latte. Healthcare in America sucks; and, even more so, mental healthcare is not readily available or affordable to the vast majority of people. But it’s so incredibly important. As someone who has bipolar disorder, I understand how difficult it is to find help that is actually helpful. While this app is not a replacement for medical treatment, it’s a companion that can make a world of difference. Utilizing the science-supported methods of cognitive behavior therapy, Moodnotes is a powerful app for tracking moods and improving thinking habits whether you struggle with mental health or not. I’ll go over lots more on what Moodnotes does and why we love it below.
Moodnotes ($ 3.99)
What It Does
Moodnotes uses visuals prompts to help you track your moods and identify common “thinking traps” we all fall into. When you log a mood, you’re asked to swipe up or down until the face on the screen reflects your own mood. You can then Quick Save or Add Detail, which is when the value of the app becomes apparent. Next, the app asks you, “What’s happening at the moment?” This allows you to reflect on where you’re at and potentially identify some of the triggers that led to your current mood. Then you select both the positive and negative emotions that describe how you currently feel. You can also give each feeling a percentage value.
The next part will depend on the emotions you selected. If you selected any negative emotions, the app will ask you to Check a Thought. The app will ask you to identify the thought that contributed to the negative emotion, then select the “traps” associated with the thought and feeling. Personally, I find the most value in simply reflecting on my current mood. Whether or not I find the traps helpful depends wholly on how self analytical I can be in that moment. But Moodnotes allows you to save your notes at any step, so you don’t have to go through the entire process if you simply want to log a mood and reflection.
Overall, identifying the traps is meant to help you recognize and avoid unhealthy thought patterns. Traps include:
- Downplaying positives: minimizing or dismissing positive qualities, achievements, or behaviors by telling yourself that they are unimportant or do not count.
- Mind Reading: Jumping to conclusions about another person’s thoughts, feelings, or intentions without checking them out.
That’s only two of the fourteen listed but you can see that these are thought patterns anyone can get stuck in; and I would argue that they’re thought patterns everyone gets stuck in now and again.
Why We Love It
Once you’ve logged multiple moods, you’ll start to see both Moodtrends and Insights. Moodtrends charts all of the moods you’ve logged for each day and visually presents them. Insights shows a few different things including your Moodpie, which shows the percentage of time you’re in each mood. You can also view the traps you fall into most often and the emotions you log most often. Within Settings, you can set a passcode and turn on reminders. The app also provides a Feedback tab, so you can share how the app is working for you.
What’s incredibly unique about Moodnotes is that it was clinician developed and designed to use the techniques one would find in professional therapy. Again, the app is not a replacement for therapy or medical treatment. And it’s also not just for people who have a mental illness; everyone needs to take care of their mental health. And Moodnotes is a great way for the everyday person to do that at very little cost.