But journals as they exist today are not these flimsy heart stamped pages you might remember from your childhood. They are tools for a better mental health. Mood journal health benefits include, but are not limited to: recognising your triggers, realising when you’re stuck in a rut, knowing what brings you joy, and finally, understanding what steps you need to take going forward to better live your life.
You might be tempted from here to delve straight away into journaling page upon page, narrating your day in detail. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, many struggle to keep up with this after a while. Furthermore, after particularly challenging day, sitting down and reliving the past 24 hours might feel a little too daunting. It’s easy to be put off if the bar is set so high from the go.
A way to ease yourself in is through a mood tracker.
A mood tracker divides a page into the amount of days in the respective month. This can be done by simply using a grid, but also allows for more artistic interpretations, such as hanging lightbulbs, Polaroid pictures or a gum ball machine. From here you shade the numbered sections using a key device to fit your usual moods. Using a mood tracker in this way offers complete control over how you document your feelings each day, without the strain of having to justify your mood with lengthy logs. Using coloured pens does not diminish a journal’s impact; if anything, it increases the likelihood that you'll want to open its pages; the contents of your day eventually forming a rainbow of balanced emotions, growth and self-love.
If this format is not to your liking but you still want to understand more about why you’re feeling the way you are, how your mood changes throughout a month, or simply to use it as a way to keep track of the fast-moving world around you, there are several digital options available other than the trusty Microsoft Spreadsheet.