Social apps review: boost your mood by putting the ‘app’ into ‘therapy’
Today marks the first ever International Day of Happiness, a day created by the United Nations to spread joy and positivity across the globe. But sharing the love isn’t always as simple as slapping a smile on your face. Some of us need a little help when it comes to adopting a positive attitude towards the unrelenting challenges of life, and these nifty apps can help you do just that.
Why pay hundreds of dollars for professional therapy sessions when you can shell out five bucks and carry a therapist around in your pocket? That’s basically what MoodKit is; your own personal shrink, offering four features designed to lift your spirits and help you deal with day-to-day stresses in a more positive and productive manner. Activities provides more than 150 mood-lifting exercises and actions; Thought Checker allows you to write about situations that have left you upset and identify thought patterns; Modd Tracker lets you rate your daily mood on a scale of one to 10; and the Journal itself is a place to keep written notes, with helpful templates for specific situations.
Platform and developer: iPhone (by Thriveport LLC).
Final word: It’s no substitute for therapy itself, but this app – developed by clinical psychologists – does offer a helping hand in dealing with the emotional gremlins that stop us living life to the fullest; a good-value investment in your mental health.
Based on the research of positive psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, the Live Happy app helps its users focus on the happier aspects of life and become more resilient to stress through a set of varied activities in a range of areas. For example, ‘Optimism’ activities include envisioning your ‘best possible self’, and ‘Social’ activities involve expressing appreciation towards loved-ones. It all sounds a bit eye-rolling, but think about it – when was the last time you told your other half how much you value them? A wealth of positive reviews of the app demonstrates just how quickly these little actions add up to a happier life.
Platform and developer: iPhone (by Signal Patterns)
Final word: Look beyond the cheesiness and this little app could do wonders for your relationships, life outlook and karmic payback.
If you want to use your bad mood for more than introspective journalising, and to help others, then download MoodMate (UK only). This mood recording app has been developed by the University of Reading as part of a wider experiment to determine whether recording emotions in this way yields any long-term benefits. It also points users to local NHS services where they can receive free treatment and advice in real life.
Platform and developer: iPhone (by Jack Rostron)
Final word: Bit apprehensive about getting emotionally touchy feely with an app? Try this instead and tell yourself that you’re only doing it to help others, in the name of science.