An App to Consider: MoodTools
Disclaimer: Apps should never be used as a substitute or alternative for professional treatment and/or therapy.
Created back in 2015, MoodTools is a more well-known app to help users log and get a better understanding of their moods and emotions throughout the day. It acts as a sort of toolbox for things you can use depending on how your mood is that day.
The interface is simple with several activities involved. The app has you take the PHQ-9 (the questionnaire used by professionals to determine if one has depression and the severity of it), and has
you take it whenever you want to or can as a way to ‘check in.’ Everything else incorporates elements of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): a thought diary lets you record your thoughts about events that have stuck with you that day, noting
not just the situation, but the negative thoughts that came with it. You can choose the emotions and feelings you felt from a list and the level of distress that it caused you. There are also videos ranging from the educational to the meditative. Another key and important feature of the app is that it includes a safety plan for you to refer to in dangerous situations, including emergency resources if you are in a suicide crisis, warning signs to look out for, coping strategies, and a list of people that are important to you.
What makes MoodTools stand out was that it was created by then-college students. Two psychology undergraduate students built the app because of the lack of options for depression treatment at the time. It shows that young people understand how technology can be used as a method of treatment, making it easier to access.
MoodTools has been reviewed by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) and has consistently scored it highly on its effectiveness and usability. While the methods the app uses has a lot of research evidence (since it uses CBT), the app itself has had no research done.
MoodTools is free and is available for both iPhones and Androids.
Do you have a place where you log your feelings throughout the day? Would you consider using the app? Do you have any app recommendations? Share your recommendations below!