Lizzie Barclay, Founder of Write Mynd, shares her story of mental wellbeing in a digital age.

I’ve always been a big fan of writing things down. Obvious things like shopping lists, things to do, ideas. But less obvious things too, like dreams, things I’m grateful for, friends I wouldn’t trust with a secret. It’s therapeutic to get things down. It’s orderly. It’s productive. It’s fun.

But I never realised how seriously useful it could be for improving mental wellbeing until I started properly analysing my musings. As an experiment, and because I can be self-indulgent, one day (and night when I couldn’t sleep), I decided to make sense of all the hundreds of notes I’d made in my phone, in emails to myself and on old school bits of paper too.

The findings surprised me. They weren’t just the ramblings of a burning-the-candle-at-both-ends twenty something. There were patterns.

I was really positive when writing about getting enough sleep, exercising, being outside and meeting new people. And I was an absolute Neggie Nora when it came to hanging out with certain people, working too hard and thinking about physical appearance. It sounds obvious, but until you’re staring at the patterns in black and white it’s so easy to ignore what’s good for you..

I was so inspired by my revelation that I wanted more analysis. But I couldn’t spend all that time every week pouring over notes looking for patterns. It was then that Write Mynd was born.

I started working on an app that would do just this. A diary, but one that gives you meaningful information, that plays your own entries back to you in different ways so you can better understand your feelings and behaviour. Essentially, you can see what makes you happy, and do more of it.

There’s also space to anonymously share your thoughts with the rest of the community. This is because I’m a firm believer in empathy. Seriously, we really need more of it in society. You can use the app to see that you’re not alone, but also to empathise with what others are going through. It’s a breath of fresh air in a world where we’re all presenting the exclusively positive side of our lives on traditional social media platforms. I know we’re all guilty of this, and we joke about it, but it’s a very real issue. Studies have shown that we’re actually more anxious when we come off social networks than before we went on. WHY are we doing this to ourselves?!

In my view it’s time to take back just a few minutes a day to self reflect. Like a gym membership, you get out more if you put more in. But unlike a gym membership, it’s free, you can feel the benefit immediately, and no-one’s going to judge you if you decide to do it whilst eating ice cream.

To try it out, download the app at writemynd.com.

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