Featured app: Moodnotes

The people who brought you the utterly beautiful and multi award-winning app Monument Valley have moved in a new direction with their newest venture. Instead of just being entertaining, the developers Thriveport now want to help you too. Moodnotes is an app with a difference: one that helps you help yourself to achieve a better mental state. And it’s one that might help people with AS too.


The app that wants to know how you are

Moodnotes claims to be a different type of ‘happy app’ to others out there – one, its founders claim, that has solid science running through it.

In short, Moodnotes is a mood diary with a little self-help thrown in; but its simple exterior hides a clever core. Once you’ve downloaded the app (currently only available for iPhone for a small fee) Moodnotes presents you with a deceptively simple question: how are you?

Swiping up or down lets you record your mood then, if you wish, quickly delve into a little more detail. Further gentle (and optional) probing by the app gets users to ‘check a thought’ for any negative feelings. It then offers suggestions to combat any mental rabbit holes your thoughts may have a tendency to disappear down.

Over time, a digital journal of your moods builds up; one with potential patterns and triggers of negative thoughts, alongside tips to anticipate and deal with them.


App-lied thinking

Sound a bit far fetched? It’s all based on solid science – incorporating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (known as CBT) techniques among slick functionality: what Dr Edrick Dorian (Moodnotes founder and Clinical Psychologist) calls “hiding the vegetables in the meal.” In fact, self-management techniques have a proven track record for people with chronic illnesses, including rheumatic diseases.1,2 For example, people with knee osteoarthritis and insomnia showed significant improvements in their sleep with eight sessions of CBT, compared with patients taking a placebo therapy.3 Maybe it could work for AS too?

A solution, not the solution

Moodnotes may have potential when it comes to the psychological side of AS; the developers are hoping regular ‘journaling’ will have a broad benefit and appeal for all types of people and problems.

The app, it is hoped, offers the opportunity for a small psychological boost when it’s otherwise not there. Moodnotes is supposed to complement, rather than replace, the advice given by your doctor, therapist or any other healthcare professional. In fact, your entries can be converted into a summary, which you could use during consultations or therapy sessions (should you be attending either). However you end up using it, hopefully you’ll see something in Moodnotes that you feel might be worthwhile to try.


This article was written by one of the resident experts at ThisASLife.com. A social site, helping the whole AS community to: Learn. Share. Inspire. Discuss

1. Franek J. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser 2013; 13:1–60.
2. Iversen MD et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2010; 69:955–963.
3. Smith MT et al. Arthritis Rheumatol 2015; 67:1221–1233.


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