Tracking Moods With a Mood Tracker

I use a mood tracker called Daylio and have every night since June 2. The tracker allows you to record your mood on a scale of 1 to 5 (the mood categories are actually “awful,” “fugly,” “meh,” “good,” and “rad” instead of actually being called 1 through 5), lets you select the day’s activities with just a tap, and then allows you to write about your day. It also keeps stats about how many of each mood category you received through the month, compares your daily moods with each activity, so you can track what activities can help improve your mood, and shows you a chart of your moods throughout each month so you can see when there were trends in your mood. It also lets you backup your entries to Google Drive once a week so that you don’t lose data (or at least a lot of it at once). All in all it’s a pretty powerful little app and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s being asked to do something similar in their own lives. It’s available for Android and iPhones and it’s free, although the premium edition (which only costs a couple bucks, if I recall) allows you to download your diary data in CSV format, so you can share it with your healthcare professional.

It’s highly customizable. You can edit, delete, or add activities (and their icons) to your list, and you can change the mood category names if you want. You can write as little or as much as you want about the day, or you can skip it altogether.

When I first started with this app, I recorded any day that wasn’t bad as “good,” so there are a few months where a lot of my days aren’t very accurately recorded. In the early part of November, it looks like, I made the decision to be more honest with myself about days when I felt like I was just going through the motions, so to speak, being “meh” and not “good.” So of late I have a lot more “meh” days than anything else, partially because I’m being more honest with myself and partially because I feel like I’m stuck in a bit of a rut personally.

Overall, though, as of yesterday I’ve recorded five “rad” days, 132 “good” days, 92 “meh” days, and 14 “fugly” days. I’ve never truly felt “awful,” which is a good thing.

But the trend of “meh” days is concerning. In January, my stats are 0/2/24/4/0 (moving from “rad” to “awful”) meaning I’ve only had what I’d consider to be a “good” day twice this month – on the 7th because I did a lot of socializing with both friends and family, and on the 29th because I accomplished a lot of positive things with my day (this is also the day that I set a new full marks streak record on my checklist).

Am I being too hard on myself when judging how a day went, that if there’s not anything truly noteworthy about a day it’s not good enough to be “good?” Or am I being fair about days when I feel like I’m just existing being “meh” days? The app doesn’t really give you suggestions about what makes a day rate what it does, and for good reason – everyone’s experience is different, so it would be impossible to give a blanket definition to each category.

I think I need to work on defining these categories better so that I’m more honest with myself and with my therapist.

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