Mood Charts

Understand how a Mood Chart works and get access to a free PDF to help your clients track how they're feeling.

By Ericka Pingol on Jul 05, 2024.


Fact Checked by Nate Lacson.

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What are moods?

Moods are subjective states of mind or emotional conditions that influence our well-being. They are mental states ranging from positive mood (e.g., happiness, joy, contentment) to negative mood (e.g., sadness, anger, anxiety). A mood is not as intense as an emotion but tends to linger for longer periods and can significantly impact our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and overall functioning.

While every person experiences ups and downs, significant or persistent mood swings or enduring moods for an extended period can be concerning for most people. These signs might also be symptoms of a mental illness. Healthcare professionals should then emphasize the benefits of being mindful of emotional states and patterns (van der Watt et al., 2020). This can lead to better self-understanding and emotional regulation.

Factors influencing moods

Various factors can influence an individual's mood, including:

  • Sleep: Poor sleep quality or lack of sleeping hours can significantly impact mood and emotional regulation.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve mood and mental well-being.
  • Diet: A balanced and nutritious diet can improve mood regulation, while poor dietary habits may negatively affect mood.
  • Stress: High levels of stress can lead to  negative moods, such as anxiety, irritability, or depression.
  • Social connections: Strong social support systems and positive relationships can boost mood and overall well-being.
  • Life events: Significant life events and circumstances in our environment, both positive (e.g., getting married, achieving a goal) and negative (e.g., loss of a loved one, job loss), can impact mood.
  • Mental health conditions: Underlying mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, or bipolar disorder, can significantly influence mood states.

Importance of tracking moods

We experience many moods, from positive emotions like happiness and joy to negative emotions like sadness and anger. Neutral moods, where we feel calm or content, are also common. Mood tracking can be a powerful tool for both you and your clients. By monitoring mood fluctuations over time, you can gain valuable insights to:

Understand patterns

Recording moods regularly helps individuals identify patterns and potential triggers influencing their emotional states. This awareness can help them better manage their mental health and well-being.

Monitor mental health

Mood tracking can assist in monitoring the progress of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. It can help individuals and healthcare professionals detect early signs of relapse or identify the need for adjustments in treatment.

Enhance self-awareness

Tracking moods can increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It allows individuals to recognize their emotional patterns, understand their triggers, and develop coping strategies. For example, as moods affect our emotions and thoughts, clients who have negative thoughts about something coming up might find that they are having this along with a negative mood.

Facilitate communication

For instance, a daily Mood Chart or mood journal can be a valuable tool for individuals to communicate their emotional experiences with healthcare providers, therapists, or loved ones, leading to more effective treatment and support.

Mood tracking tools

Incorporating various mood-tracking tools into your practice helps practitioners gain valuable insights that can inform diagnoses, treatment plans, and overall client well-being (Bauer et al., 2023). Several tools are available for tracking moods, including:

  1. Mood Charts: These visual representations allow individuals to track their moods through a rating scale (e.g., 1-10 or using descriptive labels) at different times throughout the day or week.
  2. Mood journals: Mood journals allow individuals to record their moods, thoughts, and any relevant factors or events that may have influenced their emotional state.
  3. Mood tracker apps: Many mobile applications are designed specifically for mood tracking, offering features like rating scales, logging their emotions at a particular moment, and graphical representations of mood patterns over time.

What is a Mood Chart?

A Mood Chart is a simple yet powerful tool used to track and monitor an individual's emotional states over time. It is a visual representation that allows individuals to record and rate their moods on a scale, typically ranging from positive to negative emotions. Mood Charts can be paper-based or digital, using apps or online platforms.

The primary purpose of a Mood Chart is to help individuals and healthcare professionals identify patterns, triggers, and potential factors that may influence mood fluctuations. By consistently tracking moods, individuals can gain valuable insights into their emotional well-being and develop strategies to manage their mental health more effectively.

How does it work?

This free printable Mood Chart is pre-made to make tracking moods easier. It includes a simple chart with spaces to fill in the date, time, mood, triggers, intensity, and any notes your client may have. Follow these steps to get started:

Step 1: Access the Mood Chart

You can download a copy of the free template using the link on this page. Alternatively, you can access it from the Carepatron app or our resources library.

Step 2: Give your client a copy

You can give your client a physical copy or share the PDF version with them. Explain how the chart works and ensure you answer any questions they may have before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Let clients fill out the chart

Ask your client to use the Mood Chart template to write down and describe their moods over a specific period. Encourage them to include as many details as possible and to maintain this as a habit.

Step 4: Evaluate the results

Once your client has completed the chart, take some time to review it together. This will help you understand the triggers and patterns of your client's moods. Plan and decide how you can create a plan incorporating strategies to help them manage their emotions more effectively.

Mood Chart example (sample)

We have created a Mood Chart PDF example to illustrate how our free, printable template works. This sample is filled out by a hypothetical client wanting to track their changing mood and triggers. You may view the sample here or download it as a PDF for reference.

Download the free Mood Chart example (sample) here:

Mood Chart example

When would you use this template?

The Mood Chart template can be used in various settings, including one-on-one counseling sessions, group-based therapy, and self-care. As such, it is an invaluable tool to get insights into your client's emotional states and develop more effective treatment plans.

You can also use this handy Mood Chart template to:

Identify any triggers

This free Mood Chart template can help you establish which factors influence your client's mood. It will allow you to recognize any patterns that triggered their emotional instability so that you can address them more effectively.

Develop coping strategies

Using the Mood Chart template, you can work with your client to develop strategies and techniques that help them manage their emotions. This could include relaxation exercises, mindfulness-based activities, or other tactics your client finds helpful.

Monitor the progress of any interventions or treatments

The Mood Chart template can also be used to monitor your client's progress regarding their emotional well-being. It provides an easy way for you and your client to track their progress over time so that you both better understand how they're doing emotionally.

Tracking positive mood

Mood charts can also be helpful for individuals who want to monitor and celebrate their positive emotional states. Awareness of times when they feel happy, content, or joyful allows clients to gain interesting facts about the factors contributing to their positive mood and potentially replicate those circumstances or activities.

Why use Carepatron as your Mood Chart app?

Carepatron is the go-to solution for psychology and mental health practitioners who want to offer their patients a comprehensive approach to mental health care. Our practice management software provides an all-in-one platform for managing clients and creating customized Mood Charts.

You can also use Carepatron to send automated reminders to your patients, track progress, and make detailed notes of each session. With our electronic patient records, Carepatron allows you to quickly and easily monitor client progress, analyze trends, and improve your practice's clinical effectiveness.

At Carepatron, we believe in making mental health care more straightforward, more efficient, and more accessible for both therapists and patients. Join thousands of therapists who already trust Carepatron.

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Bauer, M., Glenn, T., Alda, M., Grof, P., Bauer, R., Ebner‐Priemer, U. W., Ehrlich, S., Pfennig, A., Maximilian Pilhatsch, Rasgon, N., & Whybrow, P. C. (2023). Longitudinal digital mood charting in bipolar disorder: Experiences with chronorecord over 20 years. Pharmacopsychiatry, 56(05), 182–187.

van der Watt, A. S. J., Odendaal, W., Louw, K., & Seedat, S. (2020). Distant mood monitoring for depressive and bipolar disorders: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 20, Article 383.

What moods should clients track?
What moods should clients track?

Commonly asked questions

What moods should clients track?

Let clients focus on emotions they experience regularly (happy, sad, anxious, etc.) They can also track specific emotions or activities influencing their mood, especially during significant experiences.

How do clients fill out a Mood Chart?

To fill out a Mood Chart, clients typically rate their mood on a scale (e.g., 1-10 or using descriptive labels) at specific times throughout the day or week. Some charts also include space to note potential triggers, activities, or other relevant information that may have influenced their mood.

How do moods affect the body?

Moods can significantly impact the body through the mind-body connection. Positive moods can enhance well-being, boost immune function, and promote physical health. In contrast, negative moods like stress or anxiety can lead to increased cortisol levels and muscle tension and even impact cardiovascular health.

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