Mood Tracking

By Tony L. Sheppard, Psy.D., CGP

For many years psychologists and other behavioral health professionals have encouraged clients to keep mood logs. This usually involves using a journal or a handout to record information about moods between therapy sessions. The purpose is for the client and the professional to gather more accurate data on how moods vary over time. There are a number of reasons to do this including the following:

1. Human Beings are Terrible at Reporting on our Moods-We tend to be really bad at accurately reporting our moods across time. There is a tendency for us to overreport more recent feelings or to summarize greatly something that is rather complex. 

2. We're Not Very Good at Linking Moods to Things in our Lives-Even when we accurately report our moods, we aren't good at noticing patterns and trends. For example, we tend to miss things like feeling down after math class or feeling particularly happy on the days we start with a jog. 

Just as technology has changed many aspects of our lives, it offers us new opportunities for logging moods! Yes, there's an app for that. Free apps like Mood Log and Optimism (among others) offer the tech saavy (and even the not so saavy) a way to easily log and view their moods over time. 

This could offer you and your behavioral health professional (if you have one) a way to obtain better data for working with moods!

Dr. Tony