Noom Mood review
Noom’s new wellness program focuses on mental health
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I keep wondering when life will feel normal again. I'm not sure it ever will, as we've gone through some difficult years, and those years have changed us.
Mental health has taken the spotlight as many of us struggle to adjust and stay connected with other people. I've felt a need to focus on my own emotional wellbeing much more over the past few years than I have in quite a while, so when I heard fitness app, Noom, was coming out with an app focused on mental health, I had to try it.
The program is called Noom Mood, and I’ve used 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 about Noom Mood
I’m learning so much
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, or self-care world may not find anything new here, but sometimes we all need a little nudge to do what we already know is right for our mind and body.
The app is easy to use
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. Users must proceed through the articles in order. They are grayed out until one reads 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 that might be good fodder for a future update.
An actual person is there to coach me
One of the most interesting aspects of the Noom Mood program is that each 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. My coach always asked questions and even 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 personal struggles I'd been facing. She empathized 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 about Noom Mood
The tone is a bit juvenile
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 in a tone that 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 financial commitment makes it more likely that I’ll take the program seriously and stick with it.
But for some, the price may be an issue. A per-month option might help those with tighter budgets, 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.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.