In the past year, my own deep battles with my mental health have taught me a number of things about taking care of yourself. At the heart of getting to grips with my own personal mental health has been a sense of focus on the small things, tracking my progress, and consistency. Personally, I’ve found tools like the iPhone app Headspace invaluable, but with iOS 17, your iPhone is getting a brilliant new native tool to help, thanks to new mental health features in the Health app.
These new features let you log your daily moods and emotions either at set, specific times or spontaneously throughout the day. The new section of the app includes information about your sleep and exercise (two powerful tools in your own fight), as well as guidance about caring for your own mental health.
Here’s how to use the new mental health logging features on iOS 17.
How to log your mental health on iOS 17
Beta software, also referred to as a preview, seed, or release candidate, is a version of the software still under development and not yet released to the public. This software is intended only for installation on development devices registered under your Apple Developer Program membership. Registered development devices can be upgraded to future beta releases and the public version of the software. Attempting to install beta software in an unauthorized manner violates Apple policy and could render your device unusable and necessitate an out-of-warranty repair. Make sure to back up your devices before installing beta software and install only on devices and systems you’re prepared to erase if necessary.
iOS 17 is only available as a public beta at the time of writing. Here’s how to install it.
Finding iOS 17’s mental health log feature can be tricky the first time around, but once you’ve started using it, notifications will surface the feature daily so you don’t miss a day.
- Open Health and select Browse in the bottom right-hand corner
- Under Health Categories, tap Mental Wellbeing, or enter “mental wellbeing” into the search bar at the top
- In the Get More From Health section tap Get Started
- Tap Begin
- Choose either How you feel right now (recommended) or How you’ve felt overall today (best for the end of the day)
- Tap Next
- Move the slider to set your mood, then tap Next
- Choose a few words from the What best describes this feeling box (you can see more words by selecting (show more)
- Choose one or more items in the What’s having the biggest impact on you? Section, then press done
Schedule iOS 17 reminders for your mental health
Here you can now schedule reminders for logging how you feel. Apple recommends at least twice a day to help you get a better sense of your wellbeing
- By default reminders are set to during your day, and end of day
- Press Edit schedule to change when you receive reminders
- Select Turn on reminders when you’re done
You’ll now see the daily mood tree on your health app, and you’ll note there’s also a blue Log button at the top where you can add entries throughout the day if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, anxious, or just want to note a particular feeling. Otherwise, the notifications will take care of you, and the best part is they also come up on your Apple Watch too!
Be more mindful with iOS 17
Congratulations, you’ve now completed your first mental health log with Apple and will have reminders going forward to keep doing it. You can also take Apple’s Mental Health Questionnaire for a more comprehensive assessment of your current mood and risk of common conditions such as anxiety and depression.
iOS 17 also adds the new Journal app, which can work alongside your mental health logs to give you a more mindful life using your iPhone on iOS 17. While the Journal app is not available on the iOS 17 beta yet, I can’t wait to use it when it launches with the full release of iOS 17 in September.