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Research question: is it possible to find correlations between mood and any of the things you do to feel better by monitoring both on a daily basis?

Background here.

Method: Libby completes a modified PHQ9 (at c.7am, for the preceding 24 hours) and also records the extend to which she has done a predetermined list of helpful things.

Mood scores (based on PHQ9)
Over the last 24 hours, have you been bothered by any of the following problems? Score: Not at all (0); A tiny bit (1); A little (2); A lot (3)

a. Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
b. Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
c. Trouble falling/staying asleep, sleeping too much.
d. Feeling tired or having little energy.
e. Poor appetite or overeating.
f. Feeling bad about yourself, or that you are a failure, or have let yourself or your family down.
g. Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching TV.
h. Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite; being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around more than usual.
i. Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way.
j. How difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?
k. listlessness (not PHQ9)
l. irritability (not PHQ9)


Things that help scores
Over the last 24 hours, have you done these? Score: Not at all (0); A tiny bit (1); A little (2); A lot (3)

  • getting up early
  • 8h good quality sleep
  • playing my trombone
  • strenuous exercise
  • omega 3 supplements
  • medication (prozac)
  • mindfulness
  • social contact
  • exposure to sunshine
  • absorbing activity
  • eating regularly throughout the day
  • eating no refined sugar and more wholegrain cereals, pulses, fruit and vegetables
  • eating protein at each meal
  • eating a wide variety of foods
  • eating oily fish (omega 3 fatty acids)
  • adequate fluid intake
  • no alcohol
  • help others

Results: experiment ongoing but preliminary analysis suggests the system is too crude to pick up anything very useful. However, the mere act of monitoring seems to be helpful (‘what gets measured gets done’) .

The actual scores are here


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