Creating a Daily Mood Journal
By: Samantha Steiner
For those of you who are anal about keeping track of all things mental health like, how you have felt during the day, what symptoms you had and so on… a mood journal is for you. All you need is a notebook and pen, both your pick. You can keep track of as much as you want or of as little as you want. Think is YOUR mood journal. You don’t even have to show it to anyone unless you feel like you. Sometimes it is best to let your therapist glance at it once in awhile so they can see you where you at.
Basically, all you have to do is at the margin at the top of the page you write the date that you want to start at. And then under that you are basically just going to be asking yourself questions about how you felt for that day, what were major events that happened, did you have any appointments, etc… Below I am going to give you a bunch of examples that you can pick and choose from. Remember to keep up with your mood journal every day because this is going to help you figure out patterns, triggers, and sometimes you may even be able to predict when you are about to switch into an episode by looking at past entries. It sounds totally weird, I know, but it really does help. When you remember to complete it that is.
Here are some examples of prompts you can use:
- Overall, how was your day on a scale from 1 – 10?
- What types of emotions and feelings to you deal with the most today?
- Did you face any triggers today? If so, what and how did you cope with the triggers?
- Are you working on any coping skills? If so, which ones?
- Were there any major events today? If so, what?
- Did you have any appointments today? If yes, what kind and with who?
- Did you take all your meds as prescribed today?
- Did you have any side effects from your meds? If so, what?
- Did you start any new meds today, even OTC?
- What if your positive affirmations for today?
- What are your gratitudes today?
- Did you use drugs or alcohol today?
- Did you self-harm today?
- Did you isolate today?
- What was your goal for today?
- What is your goal for tomorrow?
- Did you have any suicidal thoughts today?
- What was the best part of your day?
- (If you are a recovering alcoholic/addict) Did you attend an AA/NA meeting today?
- How many hours did you sleep last night?
- What time did you wake up?
- What time did you go to bed?
- (Females Only) Did you have a period?
- How would you rate your anxiety today on a scale from 1 – 10?
- Did you have any panic attacks today?
- How would you rate your depression today on a scale from 1 – 10?
- How many meals did you eat today?
There are so many other things that you can add to a personalized mood journal. Add whatever you would like and whatever is more relevant to you.I find that the best time to complete a mood journal is at night before bed because then you will be able to rate your entire day and it will be more accurate.
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.