Mood tracker apps are a simple way to log your daily mood, which in turn makes it easy to watch out for depression and personal mental health triggers.
By tracking your mood, you can look at past entries and see the bigger picture of your overall mental health. This is incredibly helpful if you suffer from depression or bipolar disorder, as you can show your tracked progress to your therapist, which makes it easier for them to diagnose and continue helping you.
Mood trackers are also helpful to those who cannot physically leave their house, who can’t afford therapy, or who feel there’s a stigma around seeking help for their mental health. They provide a little bit of comforting anonymous support via daily check-ins. Plus, they are easy to use: daily prompts are automatic, and all you have to do is rate how your day is going.
We must note that these apps are in no way meant to be a substitute for medication or getting professional help, and are only intended for supplemental use. If you feel depressed or have other concerns about your mental health, please contact your doctor immediately.
These apps all do more or less the same thing, so it’s how they approach it that matters. Some have a daily pop-up reminder where all you have to do is choose the emoji that best matches your current mood. Others are more robust, letting you add photos, hashtags, and full journal entries for each day. Here are the key things to look for in a mood tracker:
- Automatic Reminders: Trackers are meant to be simple, quick, and something you don’t have to labor over each day. At a set time each day, a notification prompt should appear, then you enter your mood, and poof—you’re done.
- Customization Options: The best mood tracker apps let you personalize the experience so it feels more approachable. With some apps, you can customize things like emoji, set the specific time for when you want notifications to pop up, and even control how frequently they appear.
- Notes/Journal: Should you be in the mood to write a little, or if your day held interesting events worth noting, good tracker apps should provide you with somewhere to write in addition to prompting for your daily mood entry.
- Additional Support: No, we don’t mean technical support for the app itself (although that should be there), we mean additional information on getting professional help for your mental health, with educational websites, links to help you find a doctor near you, and national suicide prevention lifelines.
Daylio (Free, $2.99/monthly, or $23.99/annually) makes it easy to track your mood. It also lets you add your current activities and make regular (but small) journal entries. Daylio has a two-step entry process where you’ll pick the emoji that best matches your mood for the day (which you can customize the look and names for), then make a quick note about what you’ve been up to (with choices like work, cleaning, gaming, relax, date, sport, party, and more). It’s a colorful daily mood tracker that tracks your best day streaks, average monthly mood, and other helpful statistics. You can also lock down access to the app with a PIN.
Moodflow (Free) is a simple year-in-pixels style mood tracker designed to help you visualize emotional patterns in your life. Each day it will prompt you to enter your mood, which you’ll do by choosing one of five smiley faces, and tag a few emotions for the day as well (with options such as tense, cheerful, calm, gloomy, bored, sad, and more). On the next page, there’s a space where you can make a quick note, and below that, you can tag the activities you did that day (like work out, movie, shopping, me time, reading, family, etc) and upload relevant photos.
The app also has a premium version (starts at $3.49/month) where you can back up your photos to the Moodflow Cloud, access your Atlas (post geotagging), set daily empowering routines, and add weather data to your entries. The free version is more than sufficient, but the plus version allows you to support the developer and get a few extras.
It’s easy to feel alone in the world, especially if you’re suffering from depression or if you’re dealing with COVID-19 isolation, but Moodtrack Social Diary (Free, $1.99 for the personal journal feature) doesn’t want you to go it alone. Where most other trackers only check in with you once a day, Moodtrack allows for multiple entries in a single day—as few or as many as you’d like.
The app offers colorful graph-style tracking, which makes it easy to look back and see mood patterns and look more deeply into days that were particularly good or bad. For each entry, you’ll rate your mood and note your thoughts, which are shared publicly with other Moodtrack users, unless you spring for the premium version to keep them private. You can also look at other recent public updates to see how others are doing, and even reply to them. The site makes it easy to follow other users you like, gain your own followers, and communicate with other people whenever you want, because sometimes, having a community around you is everything.
Where many other mood trackers have a seemingly casual usage, iMoodJournal ($2.99) is a much more serious and powerful mood tracking tool. In addition to tracking your moods, it can track other things like sleep, medication, stress, energy levels, and so on. Input your mood, write a journal entry, take photos of yourself, and (most impressively) use hashtags to mark your current emotions. You can also customize the notifications and app interface.
iMoodJournal recommends that you log your mood two to three times a day, and use hashtags and notes when doing so. If you record consistently, the app will be able to generate powerful comprehensive reports that automatically detect correlations between your logged experiences and moods. Being able to see a graph of your moods over the course of a week or month, and being able to see your in-depth notes on why a certain day was so bad or good, makes it easy for you (and especially for your therapist, if you have one) to see what caused a slump or a really good period.