Mood tracker apps help a person monitor their mood over time and learn how external factors, such as their diet or lifestyle, affect how they feel. Some are free, while others are upgradable or require a subscription.
Mood tracking could make it easier for a person to monitor their progress in therapy or the effects of taking medication. Furthermore, understanding how and when mood shifts happen could help a person identify important patterns in their behavior.
In this article, we discuss the best mood tracking apps and what to expect when using them.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these apps. All information is purely research-based.
Mood tracking offers many benefits. For instance, it may help a person:
- identify triggers for bad moods, self-harm, and negative behaviors
- create strategies for managing low moods and harmful impulses
- monitor the extent to which medication or therapy is working
Research suggests that mood tracker apps are a helpful and safe way of offering support for young people to manage their thoughts of self-harming and develop a strategy to avoid this behavior.
Some mood tracking apps to try include:
MyTherapy makes it easy to identify exactly what actions help improve a person’s mood. A person can log their moods alongside the interventions they are using, such as medication, exercise, or eating and sleeping well.
From the inputs, a person can see how all their actions correlate with their mood. For example, someone could discover a link between exercising and feeling good afterward.
MyTherapy is free to download from the App Store or Google Play.
Breathe2Relax has an easy-to-use interface that allows people to enter mood information. Drawing upon this information, the app provides actionable steps for managing anxiety and depression. The user can then rate how well the intervention worked and get customized feedback for subsequent negative moods.
MoodKit supports mood tracking, but it also provides actionable feedback based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The app displays a person’s moods in week- or month-long charts, potentially making it easier for them to identify specific interventions that are effective in managing difficult moods. There is also a journal feature.
MoodKit is available to download from the App Store for a small fee.
MoodTracker offers mood tracking, as well as the ability to track any other health measure that a person wishes to monitor. It plots changes over time on a graph, and the person can then use these data to make lasting lifestyle changes.
People can also share their charts with healthcare professionals or get further support from an active online forum.
MoodTracker has a free version, but people can pay for a version with additional features should they prefer. It is a web app, which means that it is not downloadable. Instead, a person logs into their account online.
Daylio expands beyond mood tracking, allowing people to jot down a few thoughts or keep a detailed private journal. They can also log their activities from day to day and then track how these activities affect their mood over time. Daylio provides customized feedback, charts, and statistics to help people identify effective lifestyle changes.
Moody Month helps a person track their monthly hormonal fluctuations over the course of the menstrual cycle, as well as their mood. Doing this could help a person identify how hormonal swings, lifestyle changes, and overall health influence their well-being. The app can also help track patterns relating to fertility.
Moody Month is free to download from the App Store.
Using color coded mood tracking, Mood Log helps people monitor mood changes over time, track lifestyle interventions, and correlate lifestyle changes with their mood. The app allows people to see their mood swings on a calendar or graph for easy tracking.
Mood Log has a free version and a paid version with additional features. People can download it from Google Play.
CBT Thought Diary
CBT focuses on identifying automatic thoughts and feelings and helping people regain control over negative thinking patterns. CBT Thought Diary encourages people to identify their moods, log any trends, and replace negative thoughts with more healthful ones.
For people who feel that logging their moods every day is daunting and time-consuming, iMoodJournal could be a good option. The simple interface allows a person to select from a range of moods, then get plenty of graphs documenting trends over time. People who want to track more detailed information can add additional notes and even photos.
People undergoing therapy sometimes find that they cannot think what to talk about in sessions, only to remember a host of concerns and mood issues after they leave. Therapy Buddy allows people to track their moods over time, make notes for their next therapy session, and share mood information with their therapist.
Going beyond just mood tracking, RealifeChange is part life coach, part journal. The app monitors moods over time, then offers feedback based on a person’s input. People can track how well these tips work for a fully customizable virtual life-coaching program.
RealifeChange has a free version and a paid version with additional features, and it is available at the App Store.
People who struggle with anxiety may feel overwhelmed with thoughts that they cannot control. Worry Watch tracks these thoughts and feelings over time, then categorizes them based on CBT principles. This tracking could help a person identify thoughts that perpetuate their anxiety. Once they have identified these thoughts, they may be able to start making healthful changes.
People can download Worry Watch from the App Store for a small fee.
Drawing on published mental health research, MoodMission is designed primarily for people with anxiety and depression. Users can track their moods from day to day, as well as adding data about lifestyle and health. The app provides evidence-based feedback that could help people find ways to manage anxiety, depression, and other negative moods more effectively.
eMoods Bipolar Mood Tracker
Although designers built this app for people with bipolar disorder, eMoods is suitable for anyone who wants to track their mood. The app allows people to observe differences in low and high moods over time and look for trends based on medication, lifestyle, and even the season.
A number of studies suggest that mood tracking apps could improve well-being over time. For example, a 2018 randomized controlled trial found that MoodKit and MoodMission reduced symptoms of depression.
However, mood tracking is no substitute for quality mental healthcare. If a person finds that mood tracking does not help them better control their moods, the support of a therapist or psychiatrist may be necessary. As mental illnesses are medical conditions, an app — even a well-designed one — can only be a useful tool rather than a cure.
Everyone experiences bad moods from time to time. However, when negative moods affect a person’s ability to function, it may be time to seek help. A person should see a doctor or mental health provider if they are:
- experiencing more bad moods than good ones
- not seeing improvements after making lifestyle changes
- experiencing negative moods even after taking medication
- developing new symptoms with medication
- having thoughts of suicide or self-harm
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can call 800-799-4889.
The right mood tracker app can help a person identify patterns that can point them toward certain lifestyle or behavioral changes.
For some, these apps simply make it easier to note the links between lifestyle and mood. For others, the app may be the first step toward getting an accurate mental health diagnosis.
To benefit even more from mood tracking apps, people can share the data with a trusted mental health professional.