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Review by expert Tali Ball, Ph.D.

Pros

  • Attractive and intuitive user experience
  • Customizable and flexible
  • App-specific passcode for added privacy

Cons

  • No research on this product

Description

iMoodJournal is an Android or iPhone app intended to be “the ultimate mood diary.” It aims to allow users to track their mood and understand it better. iMoodJournal encourages users to rate their mood 2-3 times a day and provides customizable reminders to do so. With each rating, users rank their overall mood on a 1 to 10 scale and write a brief note. The note can include hashtags to track specific emotions (such as #angry, #joyful, #calm), associated people or events (such as #friends, #family, #work), or to track other data (such as #sleep:8hours, #aspirin:1pill). Drop-down menus provide suggestions for hashtags as the user types. In addition, a picture (such as the user’s facial expression or surroundings) can be attached to the rating. Users can then view graphical summaries of their mood over time.

Ease of Use and User Experience

iMoodJournal is generally quite easy to use. It begins with a tutorial that explains how it works and includes a frequently asked question section. It has a colorful, attractive, and intuitive user interface. The hashtags and easily modifiable settings make iMoodJournal flexible and customizable for advanced users. It also includes features such as syncing across devices, backups via Dropbox or iCloud, and an optional app-specific passcode for additional privacy and security.

Appropriateness of Feedback

iMoodJournal does not provide extensive feedback and cannot diagnose or treat any condition. It does provide colorful graphs and charts of mood ratings over time. These can be filtered by date, by hashtag, or both. In general, users can expect to get more benefit from iMoodJournal the more they use it.

Scientific Basis

While there is certainly a scientific basis for tracking mood as a component of psychotherapy,1 iMoodJournal has not been the subject of any research studies. It was developed by an application design company, not mental health professionals or researchers. iMoodJournal should therefore be considered a tool to accompany, and not to replace, psychological or psychiatric treatment.

Qualitative Review of Program Efficacy

iMoodJournal is a targeted application for tracking and understanding mood. It accomplishes this task very well with an attractive and intuitive user experience. It can simply track overall mood, and can also be customized in many ways for more complex ratings. However, it is not intended as a treatment, and has never been researched.

Estimate of Efficacy Relative to Similar Products

There are many mood tracking apps available on the market. Unlike iMoodJournal, many of them are free. However, iMoodJournal has many benefits over its competitors including availability for both iPhone and Android, ability to rate intensity of mood as well as specific mood states, and inclusion of a passcode for added privacy and security.

Cost

iMoodJournal costs $2.


References

  1. Cone, J.D. (1999) Introduction to the special section on self-monitoring: A major assessment method in clinical psychology. Psychological Assessment, 11(4), 411-414.

 

Review date: June 2016

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