When someone asks you that question that is the pinnacle of polite small talk, ‘how are you?’, do you sometimes wish you could spill your guts and say exactly what’s on your mind down to the last worry, rather than respond with the standard ‘fine, yourself?’
If you do then this app might be for you. From UK-based ustwo, developers of the amazing Monument Valley, comes Moodnotes, the mental well-being app that asks you how you are because it actually wants to know. The app is based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), an established form of treatment for many psychological issues. Due to the need to take great care when providing any kind of therapy or treatment for mental health, even in the form of something as innocuous-seeming as an app, ustwo partnered with US developers Thriveport, founded by Dr Edrick Dorian and Dr. Drew Erhardt, both clinical psychologists, in order to develop an app that is both useful and scientifically sound.
At specific times every day, Moodnotes will ask you how you’re feeling and you’ll able to respond by altering a smiley face to reflect how you feel, with the added ability to add detailed notes or specific emotions to this feeling. This journal-like feature is intended to help you track your moods over time and to help you explore your feelings further if you feel like you have time. The app will track when you repeatedly log negative feelings and invite you to delve deeper and help you identify patterns in your thinking that might be causing negative feelings. Once you’re aware of how you feel and why you feel this way, the hope is that you become increasingly self aware and more equipped to handle stressful situations.
The app is also suitable for those already diagnosed with mental illness and undergoing CBT, allowing them to expand their treatment into their everyday life and possibly make it more effective. Moodnotes users will be able to export their data as CSV or PDF files and share them with their doctor or therapist. It’s being stressed, however, that all this data will be localised on the user’s device, with no support for iCloud, in order to secure privacy. However, thanks to its streamlined and easy to manoeuvre layout, the app is really useful for anyone who simply wants to take more of an interest in their mental wellbeing. When it’s in the form of an app, CBT is opened up to a larger audience, allowing it to reach people who might benefit from such treatment but who are unable or not inclined to pursue it.
With the rise in popularity of fitness trackers, which have made keeping an eye on our physical health fashionable and easy, digital assistance with maintaining our emotional health seems like the next logical step. When so many people are hesitant to speak out about their mental health, Moodnotes offers a safe and personal way to take the first step.
The app is available now, priced at £2.99. Unfortunately it is only available on iOS, with no word as of yet on an Android version.
Main Image: Ustwo