Mood Tracking Aps: Support or Crutch?

In my own life, and in my coaching, I am a proponent of the importance of mindfulness of emotions in cultivating overall wellness. I often encourage my clients to practice awareness of their emotional states by checking in various times throughout the day to what they are feeling. In a recent session, a client challenged me with “there MUST be an app that can help with this”. Now perhaps I am a bit slow on the technology front- but I had no idea how MANY apps already exist for mood & habit tracking. So many, in fact, that I needed to seek out a good blog that would compare them all, and tell me which one was best for what. 

I came across a useful blog- cleverly entitled “The Quantified Soul” and after reading a breakdown of the pros and cons of each app, I decided to download one to try it out myself! Now to be honest, I have mixed feelings about the idea that one can create a state of mindfulness and wellness through responding to a prompt on one’s phone (or computer).  To me, mindfulness is something that takes a level of commitment to take the time to be present and tune into oneself, not a simple tick off of a long to-do list.  However, after having an app on my phone for several weeks now, which prompts me several times a day by asking “How are you feeling?”, I can say that it can be a useful reminder to take time out of the busy-ness of the day to notice what I’m feeling.   
The technology can only be as mindful as its user of course; it can also be easy to tune it out altogether, or to give a one-word answer without truly being present. Alas there is still no magic bullet for mindfulness. However, for someone who is genuinely wanting to begin the process of practicing mindfulness, and finds difficulty getting into the habit of awareness, it could be a useful tool. Or perhaps the traditionalists would say it’s a crutch of technology….I’m interested to know your thoughts….?
Lucine Eusani
MA & MPhil Conflict Resolution, RYT