Anyone who played Monument Valley remembers the feeling of wellbeing that washed over them as they discovered the solution to each puzzle. It’s that sense that everything had its proper place; that things fit together and work in harmony. The world, when you manage to see it from the right perspective, simply makes sense. It was the serenity that made Monument Valley such an unforgettable and invaluable experience.
Ustwo, the design studio behind the M.C. Escher-esque mobile gaming masterpiece, teamed up with psychologists to combine the emotional tranquility of Monument Valley with wellness science to create a powerful digital tool. Moodnotes is an app that not only tracks your emotional states with an intuitive and beautiful interface (ustwo’s influence), but also uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to improve your thinking habits.
Created in partnership with Thriveport, the app allows users to record their mood with a simple smiley face scale. Ranging between happy and sad, the app registers your input only to then prompt you with questions tailored to your mood. Not having a good day? The app might inquire into whether or not you find yourself getting trapped in a perpetual thinking loop. Enjoying yourself? Moodnotes inquires further to understand how you got there.
Moodnotes wants to help people with their emotional problems by making them more aware of their own patterns. According to what Moodnotes‘ clinical psychologist Edrick Dorian told Wired,”thinking habits are one of the most important but least taught areas of our well-being.” By tapping into your feelings and behaviors, the app gets to the root of the users thought process and helps them identify warning signals for next time. “Much like road signs, you wouldn’t just blast through stop signs and red lights; you’d stop to consider what they’re asking of you,” says Dorian. “You can think of feeling states similarly.”
If you’re wondering how ustwo could possibly find themselves involved in such clinical work, Nicki Sprinz, the studio’s business developer explained to Wired.co.uk. that, “we’re all conscious of the impact that stress, anxiety and depression can have on an individual lives, and we wanted to look at a digital solution to help people manage their emotional health. We’re not unique in believing that the current cognitive overload of modern life requires a dedicated outlet, but our solution came in the form of a journal, with psychological advice subtly baked into the experience.”
Thriveport are no strangers to building digital tools that gives results. In 2011, Thriveport released “Mood Kit,” a complex emotion tracking app that clinical psychologists would suggest to patients. Moodnotes serves the purpose of streamlining that experience and tailoring it to more general mood issues like anxiety and stress rather than more serious forms of mental illness.
You can check out Moodnotes for yourself for $3.99 here.