I was wondering if anyone has tried less direct measures of mood. There are so many challenges with tracking mood and a big one seems to me the fact that tracking or thinking about mood in itself affects mood.
This wouldn’t completely get around it, but one thought I had was to choose a variety of songs to put on a ipod shuffle and at a few random times in the day take a five-minute break or so and record how long until I skipped for any given song. There are some obvious predictions, like I’d be more likely to dwell on a sad song when I’m sad, but I feel like there’s much more subtlety than that with changes in attention and interest in reflection that accompany different moods. So I guess my first step would just be exploratory and if it seems like a valid or interesting measure, I might use it and test out some correlations with other basic life stats for a while.
What do you think?
As a side note, I was poking around this mood forum last night and one thing I’ve been mulling over is the connection between mindfulness and tracking that I think a couple people suggested. The two strike me as almost antithetical-- of the many virtues of recording and analyzing life stats, focusing on the present moment doesn’t seem to be one of them!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on that too.