3 Ways a Mood Diary Can Support Mental Health


woman writing in journalWhile some people like to keep a diary to chronicle the events of their day, track nutrition or document a trip, a diary can also be a useful tool to support mental health.

Learn three ways that a mood diary can help to keep you mentally well.

1. A Diary Can Identify Signs of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is characterized by intense mood fluctuations. Even people being treated for bipolar disorder can still have a bipolar episode, either slipping into a depressive phase or experiencing a manic period. Keeping a daily mood diary can track changes that may predict a bipolar episode, helping a person stop it before it starts.

Mental health professionals suggest a rating system for each day. For example, a good day could be recorded as a “5” and a bad day could be a “1.” In order to track signs of bipolar and potential mood swings, it’s also important to note:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Mood
  • Changes in diet
  • Anxiety level
  • Stressors
Keeping a mood diary can help to stop a bipolar episode before it starts.

2. A Diary Can Help to Maintain Healthy Habits

When you’re focused on avoiding a bipolar episode, you’re more likely to be devoted to healthy habits. Maintaining a diary keeps you accountable to yourself and helps you to track your thoughts, activities and challenges daily, which can help ward against behaviors that may trigger a bipolar episode.

3. A Diary Can Offer Valuable Insight to Your Doctor

As a record of your moods and important events, a diary can be a helpful diagnostic tool for your doctor or mental health specialist to have. A diary can shed light on potential triggers for depression or a mood disorder and offers information on how your mood has been since your last appointment.