Category Archives: Mental Health

Daylio – an application to benefit mental health through mood tracking.

My friend showed me an app called Daylio which is basically used as a mood tracker. You rate your overall feeling of the day through one of five emoji on a ‘rad to awful’ scale. You can click different activities that you’ve done that day, which takes seconds. If you have more time you can even fill in a little diary.

The diary may take a little more time but to me it is the most beneficial aspect. I can pinpoint exactly what went well on a day (or even a week) if I’m struggling to see the positives. I can then also link it to the activities that I’ve done such as ‘sport or ‘cleaning’. These activities act as indicators for how the day went, as the app makes a connection between the two.

From there you could potentially take up a certain activity more if you notice that it is contributing to better days. For instance if a lot of your good days involve sport then perhaps you look to do more physical activity. But obviously this is hard to assess if sport is something that you constantly do. So for me, it could still be a ‘meh’ day for instance.

There are also ten achievements available to motivate you to keep filling it out. You can set your phone to remind you and if you’re still busy the apps allows you to add entries days later. This is helpful as you may forget or run out of time to do so. Overall it is a very helpful app and it is free. It counts your activities and adds up all your different feelings from different days. This can be great for reassurance and also help you in the right direction to get better

5 Songs that have addressed mental health.

Mental health has become more prevalent throughout the lyrical content of various artists. Mental health conditions such as depression affects approximately 300 million people (WHO, 2018). The openess of these artists to share their personal experiences can become inspiring and influential for others. The lyrics can give anyone the ability to identify with what is being said, and that they do not have to be alone with their own thoughts. There is also the healthy outlet for aggression, where for just a few minutes you would feel better shouting and screaming the words that you are struggling to pen down and speak. Because music can provide this healthy outlet, it is important to look at some of the songs that are contributing to this outspoken approach.

Paramore – Fake Happy

” I feel so fake happy, and I bet everybody here, is just as insincere, we’re all so fake happy, and I know fake happy” sings Hayley Williams, on track 5 of Paramore’s latest album After Laughter. Mental health can be a difficult thing to confront for ourselves, before even thinking about discussing it with another. It can become too easy to bottle up our genuine feelings and instead portray a completely different persona. What is important to remember is to stay true to ourselves and accept that is okay to not be okay.

Patent Pending – One Less Heart To Break

One Less Heart To Break, which was originally released on 2010 EP ‘I’m Not Alone’, is a song that addresses depression and suicide. The message shows that it is important to know that you can rise from your negative feelings and that things can get better in your life. “Just stay with me through one more night, because it’s always darkest before the light” gives hope through the dark times. Not everything in life in written for us and we can write our own destiny. Sometimes we just have to ride the wave, and come out stronger. Life is a process and we can all have a frustrating day, but we are all capable of pulling through.

As It Is – The Stigma (Boys Don’t Cry) The song by the Brighton 5 piece targets the societal pressures that are placed on males. In the first verse, American born pop punk vocalist, Patty Walters sings “Just close your eyes and bite your tongue for now, don’t let them see you fall”. The stigma surrounding the gender stereotype of males is that they must be tough and strong . Expression emotions can therefore be difficult as men can be discouraged in order to meeet these gender norms. The song stands for transgressing against these societal pressures, so that their popular fanbase can feel comfortabe with their emotions.

All Time Low – Therapy

Vocalist Alex Gaskarth told Teen TV that “Therapy” is about every kids’ nightmare. When people are telling you to get help, but all you really want is a hug. His passion in this song is evident as the intensity of his voice increases throughout. The issue with therapy is that not everyone is ready to confront their feelings. In the chorus, “Therapy, I’m a walking travesty but I’m smiling at everything” hints that it may not work for everybody, whilst others may need reassurance and support. The most reassuring thing can be developing this rapport with someone, so that they can help facilitate one anothers succees and wellbeing.

Real Friends – Short Song

I could have mentioned a range of songs but I decided to go with one of my personal favourites from the Illinois pop punk / emo outfit. The song is under 2 minutes long but within this time packs an emotional punch. In the track Dan Lambton screams “And in life we’re gonna cry, In life we’re gonna lose sleep, We’re gonna feel helpless but thats how its got to be”. In similar vain to ‘One Less Heart to Break’, Real Friends illustrate that we can face troubles that we must come out stronger from. Perserving in the face of adversity is a pivital component of this, as we strive for success. Despite the sleepness nights and tears, this is not forever and we can come out stronger.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this. Let me know in the comments what you thought and if I should do a part 2. I have loads more songs I would love to share with you. Remember to look after your mental health at all times and keep going. I’m so proud of you.



5 tips for improving your mental health.

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Mental health is an important aspect of an individuals well-being, that must be cared for thoroughly. Particularly throughout work and education, which I believe as a university student myself can fluctuate quite quickly. Therefore a lot of this will be based around that context, as I share five things (there are countless more options that work for different people) that personally help me or could help others in being healthy.

  1. Exercise – Regardless of ability or fitness level, the intensity can be adapted to suit the indiviudal. It is easy to stress when caught up in a great workload, but even walking outside (in hopefully bright sunshine) can be enough to take your mind off of whats troubling you. This can also be done with a friend to offer a social aspect and motivation, so you avoid becoming buried in your textbooks experiencing burnout.

2. Diary / Mood tracker – If like me, you can struggle to see the positives of a day sometimes, then downloading an app such as ‘daylio’ can be an excellent method of logging and assessing your days. You can rate your days with one click of an emoji, click what activities you did in the day and write notes. It logs it all so anytime you’re questioning yourself, you can go back and view what you did well.

3. Music – Sometimes as much as we enjoy socialising, we just need to be on our own for a while to recover and recharge. This is perfectly okay and music can come in different genres to suit your different moods. When I’m in a good mood I tend to listen to indie rock or pop music, anything catchy enough to spark my attention. Whereas when you’re down in the dumps, perhaps ‘sad’ or uplifting songs can give you hope through relating to the lyrics.

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4. Speak up – If you’re speaking to the right people then they will be happy to help you, but to do this you must help yourself first. It is okay not to be okay and the first step is communicating. This can be tough but relieving when you find that special person who understands you. Bottling up your feelings will lead to them eventually pouring out. So whenever it gets a little too much, take a step back and reflect, then reach out. You do not have to face anything alone.

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5. Try new activities – Try not to get stuck in your comfort zone. We all love it for a reason! But it’s so healthy to branch out and try new things, you may even meet new people. I try to be as open minded but I do admit some things can be a stretch too far (such as me having to do Dance with absolutely no skill whatsoever), so it can help you if its in an area you are somewhat familiar with. For me this is sport and exercise, which has numerous societies where you can meet new people with a common interest. These societies also exist for non sport too, and I seriously joining at least one if you can.