The latest app developed by Pebble is called the Happiness app. It’s a nifty app that runs for one week (or more if you choose) that tracks several mood indicators throughout your day and presents you with a summation of the data at the end of the week.
Once you download the app, it takes you through a brief set-up process where you set the frequency of the questionnaires, snooze length, and the times of day when you want the app to question you (eg. 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM). Then all you have to do is sit back and let it do its job. Once an hour your Pebble will begin its questionnaire. This questionnaire asks about your mood, energy level, where you are, what you’ve done in the past hour, and who you were with. Conveniently, there is an “other” option for several of these questions. When you select “other,” you are able to verbally input the activity/person/location. There were a few times where I wanted to input an “other” option, but it would have been really awkward to use the verbal input, such as when I was getting my hair done or in the middle of a conversation. It would be nice if I could go into the app to type in a response at a later time, but I didn’t find that ability in the app.
At the end of the day you are given a daily survey. This survey contains similar questions to the hourly questionnaire. At the end of the week, you are emailed a compilation of the data you’ve input.
I found the hourly and daily opportunities to reflect on my mood to be somewhat enlightening. I think I already knew that 4:00 PM was a rough time of day for me – It’s getting toward the end of the day, my kids are usually itching to be entertained, and I also need to start cooking supper around that time. Also not surprisingly, my mood improves with alcohol. Go figure! I did find it surprising that my mood and energy levels were highest when I was with friends. I’m an introvert, so I expected my alone time to be when my mood and energy levels were highest. I guess I like my friends more than I thought!
By the end of the week, I was ready to not be pestered every hour. I’d had enough self-reflection, so I didn’t opt in for the second week. But I found the app to be fun and interesting, and possibly a good tool for those struggling with mental health issues like depression or anxiety. Persistent data collection in this manner could be useful for practitioners overseeing patients with mental health issues, and patients using various treatment methods, such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy, could use these questions as reminders to monitor their mood and self-talk. I think the concept of a wearable data collection device is something we will see more and more of in the future, and I’m happy to see Pebble taking those first steps and a fun and accessible way. What’s your take on this app?
Download: Happiness App – Pebble Appstore