back to

State of Mind Tracking for Monitoring Mental Health in iOS 17

5th September 2023

Jacob Woolcock



In this comprehensive tutorial, I’ll guide you through the brilliant new State of Mind Tracking feature in iOS 17, designed to help you monitor your mental health. Learn how to effectively log your emotions, track mood changes over time, and gain insights into how lifestyle factors impact your state of mind. Whether you’re looking to enhance your emotional well-being or simply curious about the connection between mental health and exercise, this video has got you covered. Join me as I delve into the world of mood tracking and provide you with the tools to analyse this data in a really simple way.

Play Video

The Health App on iOS 17 has had a really big change in one particular way this year, and that’s around the idea of mental well-being. If I go into the Health App and then go to the bottom, there’s now a section for mental well-being. When I tap onto that, I get new sorts of data and information in the Health App. The one that I’m interested in is called State of Mind, and that’s right at the top there. So when I tap onto there, I now get this really interesting looking screen, and it tells me how I’m feeling at the moment. Now, it hasn’t obviously guessed how I’m feeling; I’ve had to tell it that, and I’ll show you how that works later. But what you can do is, you can select sideways, and you can see over time how your mood and emotions have changed. Now, viewing it day by day is perhaps interesting, but it doesn’t really show me much information that’s usable. So at the bottom, there’s a button that says Show Charts, and when you go onto here, I then get a graph showing over the last week how my mood has changed. There’s a scale here that goes from very pleasant to very unpleasant, and neutral’s kind of in the middle, and you can see here how that’s looked over the last week. You can explore this data further by using the associations, which links tags that you put in when you track things, again I’ll show you that later. And it really interests me that the last option there will let you compare it against other Health Data. So if you look here, you can see how the number of exercise minutes in the last week correlates with the mood tracked above, and you can change this to hours of daylight, you can change it to sleep, lots of different things to see if there are any connections to your mental health. So it’s quite an interesting way of raising that data and perhaps getting a better insight into your own state of well-being and your mental health as a result of that. But you’re probably thinking, well, where’s it got this data from? How do I add it? What’s going on? We’re going to come out of that screen, and then in the top corner, we’re going to press Log. Now from here, you can choose an emotion that you’re feeling at this moment in time, or you can choose to log a general mood for the whole day. I’ll show you in a minute how we can make this process simpler by using reminders to kind of give us a prompt. But for now, let’s log how we’re feeling at this moment in time, an emotion for now. And I’ve now got this really colourful and interesting graphic. I can use the slider to move it right if I’m feeling more positive, or left if I’m feeling less positive. So if I go right, you can see it becomes more pleasant, more round, more flowery, all the way up to very pleasant at the end. Conversely, if I move the direction the other way, I’ll go back past neutral towards slightly unpleasant, and then unpleasant, ending up at very unpleasant, and you’ll see those shapes, the colours change, and they look a little bit spikier perhaps than they did before. You can choose how you’re feeling right now based on this visual representation, and there’s not just like five points, it’s a completely fluid scale, so you can put it exactly where you want it to be. Right now, I’m feeling quite pleasant, so I’m going to move the slider along to there, and then when you move on to the next screen, there’s the option of putting a couple of keywords to explain why you’ve made that choice. I’m feeling quite happy and relieved, actually, because I’ve made good progress on my videos today. And I guess if you’re watching this now, that means it’s gone well. So I’m going to tag those two options, and there are more options underneath if you wanted them. When you move on to the next screen, you’ll then get to add a little bit more information about why you’ve made that choice, why you are feeling that way. So for me, the factors that have kind of influenced it, I guess, are completing some tasks on my to-do list and getting some work done. So I’m going to choose those two, and there’s a text box at the bottom as well. None of this is compulsory; you haven’t got to do any of these tags or text, but I’m going to put a few words in here just to kind of say what I’ve done today and why I’m feeling like this. And when I finish and press done, it’s going to log that emotion onto the day for me. You can then see on that overview all the different things that I’ve felt as the day’s gone on, and it picks out some of those keywords to kind of create

a summary as well of the day. If I wanted to track an overall mood for the whole day, I’d press Log again, and I can do the exact same process, rather than focusing in on one particular moment that’s happening right now, I’m reflecting on the whole day to make that decision. Now, if you’re watching this far into the video, you’re probably thinking, yeah, this looks like something that I might benefit from, that perhaps I could get some use out of by looking at that data over time and comparing it to different things and just monitoring and checking in on how I’m feeling. But I’m not sure that I want to go into the Health App and then find this every single day. I’m gonna just forget. Well, there are options to add reminders automatically for you. If I scroll down at the bottom of this page and onto options, I can then turn on different reminders. I can set reminders to go off during the day when things are happening, and I can even schedule custom aligned. So I might have one for first thing in the morning, perhaps to have a feeling of how I slept or something like that. You can use your Apple Watch to track this as well, and it’s super quick on there, just like you’d expect. And over time, that data will build up, and you can start comparing it and looking for trends and maybe finding some patterns. I hope this overview has been helpful for the State of Mind and mental health tracking in iOS 17. Quite frankly, I think it’s a really important thing to do, to keep track of how we’re feeling and to reflect on what’s causing those different changes as time goes on. There are lots of apps that do it, but having it built right into the Health App seemed like a really accessible first step for a lot of people. If you want to see what else is new in iOS 17, jump on this playlist now on the end screen. And if you like these videos and you’d like some more, please do subscribe down below.

Leave a Reply

All of my content is completely free to watch. However, to create these videos I require a steady stream of caffeine!

If you've found this #QuickTip helpful then please do consider buying me a coffee. Thank you.

Copyright © 2019-2024 Jacob Woolcock. All Rights Reserved.