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Noom Mood review

Noom’s new wellness program focuses on mental health

Person smiling and looking at smart phone while leaning across the back of a couch Credit: Getty Images / filadendron

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  1. Noom Mood

At the close of 2020, I remember thinking, “Good riddance. I’m ready for a new year.” Little did I know that 2021 would prove much more stressful. And I know I’m not the only one who can say that. Maybe this year hasn’t presented us with the same level of shock we experienced with the first COVID surge, but as the pandemic stretches indefinitely before us, a general sense of weariness seems to be settling in. It’s been quite the emotional and mental grind.

We sent our kids to school for the first time this year after homeschooling, and my 4-year-old nearly died over the summer when we discovered she has Type 1 Diabetes—it’s been a year of drastic and stressful change for our house. Frankly, I’ve been hanging on by my fingernails. I’m sure you can relate.

In the midst of my personal chaos, I heard that Noom, which makes a popular weight loss app, has launched a program built to help people become more emotionally resilient and aware. Did I sign up? Absolutely I did. The program is called Noom Mood, and I’ve been using it for a couple of months to find out how well it works.

What is Noom Mood?

Noom Mood’s site promises step-by-step guidance to mental wellness by teaching users techniques to handle stress and emotional awareness. This is done through reading lots of small articles presented daily in the app, following instructions to learn stress management techniques, and communication with a personal coach. Yes, a real person checks in on you to offer support and respond when you need to vent about life.

What I like

I’m learning so much

Three screenshots: data permissions for Fitbit, a mood wheel, and saved articles in the app
Credit: Noom

The courses are full of useful information, and you can sync your own health data as well.

Noom Mood goes beyond a band-aid approach to emotional wellbeing. It’s not just positive thoughts and reminders to be happy. Noom takes a scientific look at the psychology of wellness and trains users in mindfulness, grounding, and breathing techniques that can be used any time anxiety starts to creep in.

While I was already familiar with some of the tools offered in the articles, I also learned some new things and was reminded of de-stressing activities that I’d not yet tried. Folks who have spent a lot of time in the meditation/wellness/self-care world may not find anything new here, but then we all need a little nudge sometimes to do what we already know to do.

The app is easy to use

Three screenshots: set reminders, daily reading, mood graph
Credit: Noom

Noom Mood's interface is easy and intuitive.

The app layout is simple and pleasing to look at. It opens up to a screen full of the day’s articles, with the first one highlighted. You have to proceed through the articles in order. They are grayed out until you read the preceding lesson.

At the bottom of the screen, you’re prompted to log your mood, track exercise, weigh in, log meals, and track blood pressure. Calories burned can even be pulled from Apple Health or an Apple Watch. There doesn’t appear to be a way to overlay those data points to have, for example, your activity and mood on the same chart, but maybe in some future update?

An actual person is there to coach me

Person sitting on couch focused on smart phone
Credit: Getty / fizkes

Your Noom coach is an actual human you can chat up like a friend, if you so choose.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Noom Mood program is that membership comes with a personal coach. My coach would send me a message every so often to ask how I was doing, and more than once the conversation evolved into something akin to a counseling session in which I shared what was stressing me out, and my coach asked questions and offered suggestions to help me navigate the issue. (I should note that they are not counselors or therapists, nor are they intended to be used that way.)

For example, she asked what brought me to Noom Mood, and I told her about the year I’ve had, including the health issues with my little one. She empathized as a fellow parent and asked how I’m taking care of myself in the midst of it all. Of course I was struggling to find the time, but she gently nudged me on a few occasions to take just five minutes to breathe or get in touch with my senses.

What I don’t like

The tone is a bit juvenile

Three screenshots of text in articles within the Noom Mood app
Credit: Noom

The tone is super friendly. Maybe too friendly? Like, we just met.

The articles themselves are written in a voice that I personally found a bit off-putting. It’s very cutesy and full of little jokes and almost feels like it’s written for kids. That being said, the science of mental health can certainly get a bit dry if it’s not something you love already, so I appreciate the attempt to be entertaining and relatable. It was just a little much for me (a person who does love learning about the science of mental health).

It’s not cheap

At first, I balked at the $149 price tag, but when you consider that it gets you four months of a very personalized program, skills that you can use forever, and access to a personal coach, it’s not too bad. I also think that a somewhat significant money commitment makes it more likely that I’ll take the program seriously and stay with it.

But for some, the price would be an issue. A per-month option might be a help in those cases, as currently, you can only pay the $149 every four months.

Is Noom Mood worth it?

Yes. If you’re serious about working toward a healthier mindset and lowering your overall stress level, Noom Mood is a good investment of time and money.

One caveat: If you really hate reading, you might struggle to stay engaged with this program, as you’ll read several small articles per day. There is no option to listen to the text instead of actually reading it.

But if you don’t mind a little light reading every day, this is for you.

Try Noom Mood

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  1. Noom Mood

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