Mental Health Apps Artificial Intelligence Experience Design

Today there are apps that allow you to track your mental wellbeing by logging your moods and by taking standardized mental health assessments to understand your current risk of depression and anxiety.

Note: If you have concerns about your mental health, consult a clinician. If you are distress or struggling with your feelings, please call 988.

The goal is to empower people to take charge of their own health journey. These insights help support people in their daily decisions and offer more informed conversations with their doctors.

Mental health is as important as physical health and affects people every day in how they think, feel, and act. Research shows that reflecting on one’s own mental state can help build emotional awareness and resilience. A UCLA Digital Mental Health Study showed more than 80 percent of participants found reflecting on their mood in the study app increased emotional awareness, and about half said it increased wellbeing.

In these health app, you can see valuable insights to identify what might be contributing to your state of mind — whether it’s associations or lifestyle factors, such as sleep or exercise — and can use these insights to better manage your overall health.

The AI

If a clear association emerges from your logging, you may receive a highlight offering additional insights from the app. These are generated by the AI, so no humans are viewing and analyzing your data.

However, without enough data to analyze, it’s unlikely the AI will spot patterns. That’s one reason to consider using the feature regularly. The other benefit is that more data means you can personally evaluate the logged emotions and moods for connections to lifestyle and other factors.

The Experience Design

The Experience Design brings an engaging and intuitive way for you to reflect on your state of mind.

You may select an emotion or mood to track, you can log how you’re feeling. Some apps allow you to drag a slider left and right—from very pleasant to very unpleasant and a spectrum of choices in between. As you move the slider, the shape and color displayed changes to align with the selected feeling.

After picking a feeling, you may be given a few word choices to further describe what you selected. For example, if you’re feeling neutral, you may see words like “content,” “calm,” or “peaceful.”

From there, you may be asked to select the items that are having the biggest impact on you that day. Options may include “family,” “work,” “money,” and “dating.” Some apps allow you to type in more context information.

Some apps have depression and anxiety questionnaires. You might select ‘State of Mind’, ‘Anxiety Risk’, or ‘Depression Risk’. From any of those areas, tap ‘Take Questionnaire’ and go through the questions. You can also see resources available in your area or create a PDF to share the results of the assessment with your doctor.

Logging your moods and feelings on a regular basis can be beneficial. “It is good for everyone to have a sense of how things in their life and their environment are affecting them,” Dr. Dan Reidenberg, National Council for Suicide Prevention Managing Director, told PCMag. “This is particularly true for anyone who is living with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or any mental health issue.”

Hayes, Tyler. State of Mind: How to Log Your Mood in Apple’s Health App. August 25, 2023

Ruiz, Rebecca. How to use Apple’s newest mental health features. September 28,2023

Apple provides powerful insights into new areas of health. Apple. Press Release. June 5, 2023