Updated: Mar 23, 2020
B'well therapists do not live under a rock; we know that we exist in a day and age when there's an app for everything- including our mental health- and while we believe there's nothing quite like IRL connection, we were curious to try some of the apps we've seen and have even had recommended to us by clients. So in this blog series, we're sharing our reviews of some of the apps we've tried* one week at a time this summer.
*Worth mentioning b'well counseling services is not an affiliate or sponsor of anything we're reviewing and we are definitely not getting paid to share our opinions on these products!
Up next is me, Nick.
What app did you use for one week?
I used MoodPath. And I actually used it for two weeks, but I’ll get to that.
What were your impressions before you started using it?
I was excited by the app! It’s the first one like this that I’ve used. What excited me the most was the hybrid nature of it - it has both a mood tracking feature and self-help features. I had to admit I chose it because it said it calculates “findings” every two weeks about your reports.
How was the interface for this app?
Mostly great! Very user friendly layout, with a couple of exceptions. One, I wish that the app had slightly more instruction with the check ins. Three times a day it prompts you through push notifications to check in and presents you will some specific questions, but then leaves you will a text box for “thoughts” and two selection tools for “emotions” and “experiences.” It didn’t every provide introductory instructions about what should go in these boxes, nor did it provide a time frame for the “experiences”, which would have been helpful. Even as a therapist - or maybe because of that - I found myself wondering if I was “doing it right” because I knew what it was supposed to be tracking. The other exception is the location of the reading material. While it is very easy to find the audio recordings (simply click “discover”), the psychoeducational materials, as well as the link to BetterHelp (who they partner with) is located in the settings, which is only located in this “discover” section. I just found that weird, but once I figured it out it was fine. Otherwise, everything is easy to use.
I did find the introduction to the app very friendly and helpful. The way it walks you through the purpose of it like it’s a text conversation was very easy, and surprisingly the privacy information was presented in a very easy to read format (yes, I read it).
What about the app was helpful?
The mood tracking and the “results” were easy to use and gave me some personal clarity into my day to day. It is also VERY helpful that it presents you with a summary letter including symptom results to give to a doctor or a therapist, so it can be used in tandem with services. It was nice to have purposeful time to check in with my emotions so I can see what maybe I should do moving forward, instead of pushing forward without considering my needs. I also thought that the guided audio was spot on. The mans voice was very calming and relaxing, and everything was presented in simple terms. It was part educational and part experiential. I didn’t get a chance to use every recording because there were just so many reflecting so many topics. They provided needed relaxation in a medium-format meditation style approach.
What would you add or take away from the app?
One thing I wished it would do is recommend or give push notifications to use specific readings or audio activities before the results. I did do some of that work on my own, but it became easy to just answer my questions and not take advantage of the resources in the app. The recordings are also about 30 minutes long, so any shorter options would be great, especially around the mid day check in.
What did you notice after using this app for two weeks?
I did notice less ambiguousness about my own feelings and thinking. Sometimes we just move through the motions without checking in and then downtown is spent with our brains catching up to us. Because I was being prompted to be honest with myself, my downtime wasn’t like slamming on the breaks and my thoughts catching up with me.
Who would benefit most from this app?
I see this being helpful for people who aren’t sure what’s going on internally and find themselves struggling in certain facets. Maybe those who are experiencing depression or anxiety for the first time. It also would be great for people who are in therapy who are working on recovery from PTSD, or working with providers about more chronic mental health issues like Bipolar disorder. Since this app collects longitudinal data and provides regular summaries, health care providers can use this information to see if the therapy or medication are effective.
What's the cost for this app after a free trial?
Free app to download. After a one week free trial (which doesn’t get you to your first results) it is $7.49 a month or just about $50 for the year.