Narrative

Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 @ 5:36 PM. By Elizabeth Han.



Storytelling. Journals. Oral recordings. Finding words to bear witness to tough times. Here are some excellent tools that can make it easier to find a voice.

 

1. Stigma

Free
big_stigma Stigma, reviewed here by Copefully, is the classiest little journalling app I’ve found so far. You check in with a mood and add a tweet-length note about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of what’s going in your life. Beautiful visual summaries of your moods are generated in the form of line graphs and a heat map superimposed on a calendar. The most informative part is Stigma’s “word clouds”, which depict your most used words, with the option of viewing different clouds depending on negative or positive valence.

This is a great app for patients who want to track their mood without having to write a whole lot. And of course, anybody who loves a gorgeous UI.

Pros: Stunning UI, graphs, word clouds, ability to share data with a trusted person or group
Cons: Starting to incorporate too many features (in my opinion)

2. OneWord

Free

writing A lot of people think that they need to write something substantial. Either long or profound or the beginning of their novel. A patient once told us to start writing…and tell yourself, “I AM WRITING SHIT.” Which gives you license to write whatever you want, freely.

If freestyle journalling isn’t your stride, OneWord is a simple website that displays a word at the top of the page. You have 1 minute to write something. Then you can submit it to the public page. Forget about writing about your illness. Just write.

Pros: Free, anonymous, simple, view what others have written
Cons: Web-only, doesn’t save or accumulate your writings — you’ll have to do that yourself


3. Instagram

Free

27DA0B1400000578-3050116-Taking_a_good_food_picture_for_Instagram_requires_thought_planni-a-12_1430212889456 Instagram has single-handedly revolutionized photo-sharing in our time. On one hand, it’s the symbol of self-obsession and over-sharing of minutiae and advertising. But on the other hand, I believe it’s one of the easiest and slickest ways to keep a journal of how you’re doing from a mental health perspective.

First of all, create an account and lock it down to either just yourself or the people that you trust. Then challenge yourself to take one picture a day. In the caption, write a quick note of who you’re with and what you’re doing. Tag the location automatically. Then forget about it. Keeping a photojournal helps to honor the moments in your life, good or bad. Take a look at your photostream when you’re not sure what to write about, what to discuss with your therapist, how to talk to a friend.

Pros: Free, easy-peasy, visual
Cons: No prompts, not language-focused unless you want it to be