Tuesday, 20 March 2018

What did the Moodscope Research say?

You recently received a survey asking for your views of Moodscope. We thought you might like to know what the findings were. We had a great response, so thank you.

The results told us that our members are very loyal once they find us, with the vast majority staying for over 2 years and most never leaving. Growth has been slow and steady with the biggest number joining following personal recommendations.

Users value three aspects of Moodscope highly and equally - getting a handle on their mood, the daily messages and being part of our community. Over 25% take the test regularly with others taking it occasionally and most glad it is there when needed.

Moodscope seems to genuinely help people in many positive ways - a few of which are captured in italics below. The biggest improvements requested were to make Moodscope available as a phone App (61%) and to list other user ideas, advice, tips, experiences in different catagories (42%).

Recognising that Moodscope cannot always be free, some people said they would be prepared to pay a small fee and 52% of people thought it was a good idea to start a crowdfunding campaign so that other people in need could be offered the improved service.

We know that around 25% of the population suffer from anxiety and depression and we know from our findings that Moodscope can make a big difference to their world. We are determined to help, but running Moodscope on a voluntary basis and on our savings cannot be sustained.

It will take time and money to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. So we are appealing for contributions to help us plan and develop the campaign. If you'd like to make a contribution, please click here: http://bit.ly/2DGmdeh

Any contributions will really help, but the greatest ongoing help would be if MoodscopeLite members upgraded to MoodscopePlus. To find out more about the benefits and extra features of MoodscopePlus, please click here: http://bit.ly/2poMNnT

It became clear from the research that many members, because of their mental health issues, have times when they can't work and therefore can't afford to pay for Moodscope, so if you are in a position to subscribe you will be helping us to help them and please be reassured that we will invest all funds we receive in to providing the service to those who currently can't afford it.

Many thanks for your continued support.

Kind regards.

The Moodscope team.

'It's an anchor. I can begin to anchor the fluctuating state of my mind, notice and understand it, including some of the triggers for the fluctuations. I also value the wisdom and warm support of the people who write and comment on the blog posts.'

'I think it's a resource that makes people feel less powerless. I recommend it to people all the time and am constantly amazed at what a difference it makes to people (a friend of mine is using it to help her survive the low mood that comes with giving up smoking!). The blogs are really helpful'

'The score can make me take some action instead of sinking even lower. It is also good to see my score rising. The daily blog is interesting and keeps me in touch with others like me. This is so important as depression is an isolating condition and it reminds me that I am not alone.'

'The card system helps me stop and "listen" and "feel" how I have been feeling inside over the day. It let's me evaluate and rationalise better where I am on my mood continuum. I have felt so alone for so much of my life. In Moodscope I have met a whole city of people who I can fit in amongst. It doesn't cure the problems I live with, but it makes them a lot easier to live with, cope with and accept.'

'It's been a lifeline - analysing my moods, giving me a routine to get me through the day on the low days and also confirming my emotional state on my better days. I can track how far I have travelled and, importantly, I am not on my own now thanks to Moodscope.'

'Moodscope has actually allowed me to recover (for now at least).'

'Invaluable lifeline. Imperial evidence for health professionals. A platform of understanding my condition. Feeling not alone anymore.'

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Monday, 19 March 2018

Margot the Meerkat Stands to Attention.

[Part 3 in our series of characters inspired by Moodscope's 20 Cards!]

Alice the Aardvark and Margot the Meerkat are the BEST of friends. Alice is very down to earth, keeping herself to herself, and Margot always seems to have her head in the clouds.

"Why do you always stand so tall?" said Alice one day, "I'm curious. Did you go to finishing school?"

Margot laughed, "No, it's my crazy Grandma and Grandpa – they were both in the military – and they make all the grandchildren stand to attention as soon as they can hold themselves up. They say it's 'cos we notice things that other animals miss! I've kept doing it because I not only see amazing things every day, I FEEL amazing when I stand tall!"

"I wish you could find some fresh termites, I'm really hungry!" said Alice.

"Well, why don't you try standing to attention, like me?" said Margot.

"I'll get dizzy, silly!" said Alice, and then thought twice. "Actually, I'll be OK if I rest against something tall."

The two friends walked to the nearest Baobab Tree and Alice stretched up as high as she could.

"Attention!" commanded Margot and they both burst into fits of giggles, falling to the ground again.

Once they'd got a grip on themselves, they both stood to attention again, and Alice saw the world as if for the first time. There were termite castles everywhere – as far as her eyes could see.

"So THIS is what it is like to be attentive," said Alice.

"Yes!" agreed Margot, "There are so many possibilities when we stand tall and look outwards, as far as the eye can see. The world can be an amazing place."

"I feel strangely happy," smiled Alice – her face flushed with pleasure.

"That's because you're seeing possibilities that were invisible to you before," said Margot, "And that gives us more hope. Be attentive and notice new things today, and tomorrow you'll be living in a new world – a bigger, wider, grander world!"

Of course, it would only be right if the two friends rode off into the Sunset, wouldn't it?  Well, they didn't exactly 'ride' but they did stroll off, content, side-by-side, occasionally standing attentively to attention, and chatting about all manner of treasures they discovered on their way back home...

That night, before she went to sleep, Alice said dreamily, "Every day, I'm going to stand to attention at least once, and look for things I couldn't see before..." and then she snored her way deep into happy dreams of a bigger, brighter world.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our post on the Moodscope web site:


Sunday, 18 March 2018

Something in my brain went 'ping'.

Something in my brain went 'ping!' It happened overnight. Unbelievable. But good! I went from negative to positive. From despondent to hopeful. From having no ideas, to overflowing with ideas. From not wanting to see friends, to wanting to see them.

It is a fact of my life that I have never fully understood, this light bulb effect. Even though it happens every year, sooner or later. In February or March, or even April.

It is very, very good to have strength back, my mojo, laughter, the ability to see and think clearly, and to enjoy.

But I am cautious too. I don't want this euphoria to boil over like a pan of milk on the hob, to drench me in stress and undue pressure. Because it can. The reverse of the coin to feeling flat and uninteresting - and uninterested - is that I want to skip, hop, and jump, and do all the things that have been outstanding, repair, patch up, make up for lost time.

So I must make a conscious effort to calm down, to tread carefully, to communicate with others effectively, and,crucially, to listen to what they have to say. Because I value the opinions of my loved ones, and they can see what I sometimes cannot.

I am a born survivor, the driver of my own car, metaphorically speaking, but it still has huge L plates on! What lies round the bend? I am really looking forward to the drive!

Does this ring any bells with you? I would be interested to hear your views and experiences.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Saturday, 17 March 2018


"I have had an insight into the world of The Gardener and many others this month. Sadly my Dad died this week after falling and my Mum then caught flu from visiting him and ended up in hospital herself.

Caring is hard and often thankless work. I have been left with the impression of intensive care nurses who did not manage to sit down for their twelve hour shift. My Mum overdid things and then got dangerously ill herself.

Today after three weeks of rushing to juggle work, hospital visits, parenting, supervising homework, walking the dog, I have had a day to myself. The kids off to their Dad's, I walked the dog and allowed her the indulgence of getting disgustingly muddy, I put a beef stew in the slow cooker, and listened to the Clash with a cup of tea and the dog in bed (after she had a bath...I do have some standards, you know).

I have not endured years of care giving like others have. However, it has given me an insight into the hell, the exhaustion, the emotional ups and downs but also the humour of staff, the universality of a free health service and the community of friends that both I and my family are receiving so much from.

And the impact on mood....? We faced a few days thinking my Dad would be brain damaged and live a very different life. We are grateful that he was spared this. I need to remember that my mood is affected by sadness and grief, and then hopefully not by depression. But time will tell....

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Friday, 16 March 2018

See-saw Margery daw.

(It's a line from an English nursery rhyme, apologies to all those not familiar.)

If you have anxiety, planning is essential. First identify the challenge. Then decide how you want to feel (realistically) and see what you can do to paint on that exterior and run with it. Use language not limited to:

I will
I now
I can
I have

"I find entering the meeting really tough and I will walk in early and go straight to pour some water to give me purpose." (this is popular, watch how many people do this!)

"Going to the doctor makes me squirm, I now write down my list of what I need and I don't leave without addressing each one."

"Today I am broken. I can do small stuff and that is good enough."

"This is hard and I have done it before therefore I know it is possible."

It's like a see-saw. Problem-solution. Problem-solution. It only takes a minute change in our thinking to make some things possible. Today anxiety, tomorrow anxiety-smasher.

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Thursday, 15 March 2018

Invisible pain.

A few years back I suffered a neck injury - which resulted in 7 months of non-stop intense pain. It wasn't fun; but the thought that kept occurring to me during this time was "It's nowhere near as bad as a bout of depression!" It became so clear to me that whilst physical pain can be acutely debilitating and life-changing, you can still be happy in parallel with the pain. I was, at the time, very happy, enjoying a new scene, a relationship and had started writing. Everything was fresh and new and I felt alive despite the physical pains. The opposite cannot be said. A bout of depression (for me at least) means a total blackout of the soul, and prohibits any happiness.

A few years later and the neck injury reoccured, but this time I was in London. It made me ponder again. With a huge ugly neck brace my injury was manifestly visible to all. And during those months commuting to work, I was struck time and time again by the sheer number of people jumping up to give me their seat and asking me how I was. I never once had to ask for help. (So much for selfish, busy Londoners!). The willingness with which people wanted to help, knowing that something was wrong, and knowing how they could help, was humbling. It saddened and comforted me at the same time. It saddened me because my neck injury (and me!) would have survived without those acts of kindness. We were getting on with it (and funnily enough standing was easier than sitting). Whereas when we're mentally ill, when we desperately need every last act of kindness and connection, strangers can't help. They probably don't even know that we're ill, they often don't know how to help, and would likely feel embarrassed to try.

Could you imagine if Transport for London created another 'Baby on Board' badge: a "Feeling Blue" one instead? Could you imagine people spotting it and immediately giving you a smile or a hug, or  words of encouragement to help you through your day? How wonderful that would be! And yet, what I saw did give me precisely that same sense of comfort. Knowing that people would rush to your aid if only they knew, gave me a strange feeling of consolation - I felt the swell of good wishes and kind vibes from total strangers.

I now secretly believe that if my inward pain were outwardly manifest, flocks of people would help in any way they could which comforts me. People basically wish others well. It took me those months commuting to fully realise this. Until that Feeling Blue badge appears though, there is Moodscope. A lovely band of strangers who write, wish each other well, and possibly do know what to say. So for this blog, I wanted to thank all the Moodscopers, for being the kind strangers on my painful commute. It helps.

The Travelling Girl
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Mother Knows Best.

One of the lessons I have taken from the immense bravery of my mother as she has moved, at the age of 81, into a much smaller home, is giving oneself permission to change.

She has had the courage to let go of so many things she has lovingly collected over the years. She has shed most of the possessions which defined who she is. She has scraped down her protective shell of "stuff" to the essentials.

I admire her so much.

Yes – even as I am taping up the fifty-second box of china (and you think I'm joking), I am amazed that she is letting go and moving on.

It is not painless. She says that she was sorry to see all her lovely woollen skirts and cardigans go. But she didn't have room for them, and somebody else will take pleasure in wearing them. She loved that china, but it's time to let it go. Somebody else will love her coffee cups, her plates, her china swans.

She has given herself permission to change her style of living.

I came home, thinking that this is yet another area in which I can learn from her.

My own style of living is not what I want.

I live with clutter because I have too many things. When I stay in hotel rooms, with the minimum of kit, the room stays tidy. At home, everything is a mess.

At home I cannot have a place for everything and everything in its place, because there is too much everything and too few places.

I must give myself permission to let things go: especially those things I do not love.

I have probably written about the Marie Kondo method of tidying and clutter-clearing. She echoes William Morris in his statement, "Keep nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." She rephrases it as, keep nothing which does not "Spark joy" in you.

Anything in your home, or indeed in your life, which produces feelings of guilt or despair or distaste, you can let go.

The clothes in your wardrobe you never wear, but couldn't throw out because you paid good money for them and one day they will fit/come back into fashion/stop itching? They don't make you feel good, so let them go. The spices in your kitchen which berate you for having used them only once in that exotic dish that no-one much liked? Let them go. The books you will never read again, the games you will never play, that little table you always trip over? Let them all go.

Breathe in the space and freedom their absence brings. You are creating space; you are letting light into your life and home.

Just as you would clear a tangled garden, you are clearing your life.

And into that space and light, you can plant beauty and joy.

My mother is happy in her new home.

She always knows best.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Tuesday, 13 March 2018


It started off as lovely walk along a beach I had never discovered before. The winter sun was welcoming and the the waves and the sparkling sand made me feel peaceful.

I sat on a concrete block and started chatting to my partner. I was laughing and smiing and I felt very relaxed.

On minute I am on sitting down and the next I am flat on the sand with my leg stuck under the concrete block. All I could think of was those movies where the actor had a leg or arm  stuck under rock and the only way out was by cutting off the limb that was stuck. I worried I would dehydrate and die of starvation.

Have I mentioned how I tend to catastrophise situations?

So there I am with my leg hurting and stuck under a concrete block.

Partner has a hernia so can't lift the block and we scream out hoping someone understands English. It felt like it was hours and I was faint but I was told that in a few minutes a man came over and lifted the block. I was free. I was hoping there would be scars or at least an enormous bruise but there was nothing.

I did need to limp to gain sympathy for a few hours.

I thought about what happens when we are emotionally stuck. There is no one to lift up the block and set us free. No, we often stay stuck for a long time as we can't move on. We keep repeating the same behaviours. We find ourselves with a concrete block on our thoughts, our emotions, our past and we can not move so we are stuck.

How do we move that block? Often we will need help - it maybe through Moodscope by getting an idea from a comment or a blog, from talking to friends or a counsellor, doctor etc.
These things can help us to move on but we must be ready to let them help us.

Having a heavy concrete block on my foot was scary and painful, but being stuck with unhealthy behaviours or destructive thoughts can seem more overwhelming.

Are you stuck with your thoughts or behaviour - feel you have tried everything but still can't go forward?

Have you been stuck and then worked your way out?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Monday, 12 March 2018

When Ratty Met Shelley.

In the second instalment of the Moodscope Men ('Men' in homage to 'The Mr Men' – no other gender bias intended), we meet Mr Irritable – first name 'Ratty'!

Ratty was not a happy chappy.

Everything got under his skin.

It didn't even have to be big stuff.

On some days, it was tons of little things that got him huffing and puffing and blowing his joy away.

That was until he met Shelley Oyster at a networking meeting.

Shelley said, "I really like seeing you at these meetings, you've got such a great sense of humour, and yet you seem really bothered about so many irritations. How can I help?"

Ratty said, "Oh, I'd love some help, I've always been like this though – and so have my parents. It seems to run in my family... like noses!"

They both laughed. Then Shelley shared, "We have a different approach in our family – it's been passed down from generation to generation. In fact, I can remember the day my Gran took me on her knee and told me about the family magic."

Ratty was fascinated, and asked, "Will you share this magic with me?"

"Yes! I'd be delighted," said Shelley. "We wrap every irritation in a magic potion. It's called possibility thinking..."

Ratty interrupted with a big huff. "I'm not into that tree-hugging positive thinking – it's just not realistic!"

"I agree!" said Shelley. "This isn't positive thinking, it's 'possibility' thinking. With possibility thinking you take the irritation and flow around it with the thoughts of how this could possibly turn out for the good. You might be making stuff up but it gives you enough time to stop being huffy before it's too late and you spoil your day."

"OK, that sounds doable – can you give me an example?"

"Yes! You miss your flight and you think to yourself, 'Maybe I'll meet someone whom I otherwise wouldn't have met.' I know people who have met their soul-mates and even life-partners through missing a flight!"

"I wish you'd be my life-partner!" declared Ratty – in a most uncharacteristic moment of impulsive joy. He was so attracted to Shelley's possibility thinking... and to the possibility of spending the rest of his life with someone so radiantly joyful.

"I was secretly hoping you'd ask!" Shelley said. "My answer is 'Yes!' – if you're proposing!"

And so our story has a happy ending. Shelley and Ratty got married, and I'm delighted to say Shelley's possibility thinking rubbed off on old Ratty! (It can so often be the other way around, can't it?) Instead of getting irritable all the time, Shelley helped him to 'pause for possibilities' – to reflect just long enough to see each situation in a new light.

And, in due season, they had a beautiful daughter, who they called 'Pearl'. I'd like to imagine that this is where we get the phrase, "Irritation is the beginning of a pearl," it's a possibility, isn't it?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:


Sunday, 11 March 2018

I'm forever blowing bubbles.

I'm forever blowing bubbles
Pretty bubbles in the air
They fly so high, nearly reach the sky
Then like my dreams they fade and die...

But I keep on blowing bubbles...

Can you pick yourself up after life's knocks and continue to dream?

Do share your dreams today, I would love to hear them.

My dream? No more worrying! Unrealistic I know! Now where did I put the bubbles...

Jane SG
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site: