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While fitness trackers have long been viewed as personal health management tools, the main emphasis of these devices is often on physical wellness: counting daily steps, tracking sleep, and encouraging more movement.
But times have changed, and the latest fitness trackers are getting users to do the opposite: slow down.
By integrating new mood-tracking features, like stress management, sleep optimization, and even voice analysis, the newest models of fitness trackers take emotional measurement into account for a more holistic approach to wellness.
In other words, the primary focus of these devices is to integrate more mindfulness into your day.
Keep reading to find out if you should add one to your toolkit.
Given the current state of mental health in the United States, mood tracking is considered a priority — and it makes sense.
From the 336,525 people who completed a screening during the
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health and wellness, research has pointed to a rise in anxiety, depression, and addiction issues for years prior to the pandemic,” says Mike Gallager, LPCC.
He adds that a number of reasons contribute to this, including the ever-increasing pace of life, the transition to digital-first interactions, changes to diet, and lack of exercise.
“It’s important to remain mindful of your stress and heightened emotions, because increased amounts of either can be detrimental to one’s functioning,” says Jennifer Teplin, LCSW, a psychotherapist. “When we take care of our basic needs and remain aware of how we’re doing overall, we can ensure a balanced life.”
If you are ready to gain deeper insight into your emotional wellness and improve your fitness routine in the process, here are five mood trackers to have on your radar.
The mood trackers chosen here are the latest on the market, featuring the most innovative technology.
These trackers want to get users to slow down by integrating emotional measurement and stress management tools for a more holistic approach to health and well-being.
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $100–$300
- $$$ = over $300
Launched in late 2020, Upmood Watch is described as the first emotion detection device of its kind.
With mood tracking at the forefront of its design, this watch collects biodata from the user (by monitoring heart rate) in order to detect 11 different emotional states, like when users are anxious, calm, tense, and happy.
Users can use the corresponding phone app to analyze the data and gain a better understanding of their emotional triggers or patterns in their mood.
An innovator in the tracking device space, Fitbit’s latest fitness tracker can measure heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and stress levels. But one key feature narrows in on skin — the body’s largest organ — to gather data.
Fitbit Sense has a skin temperature sensor that’s designed to help users track their body’s thermal homeostasis, or heat regulation. The sensor, which sits on the wrist, logs your skin’s temperature while you sleep and lets you know when it’s higher or lower than your baseline temperature.
This temperature data can provide valuable insight into your overall sleep quality, according to Fitbit’s Director of Physiological Sensing, Lindsey Sunden.
“If you see peaks in your skin temperature during the night, it could be a sign that overheating is disrupting your sleep,” Sunden notes on the company website.
Most users say the skin temperature sensor is a helpful addition to the overall stress management tools that the device is built around.
In addition to its fitness features that track and measure intensity and duration of movement, the Amazon Halo is designed to analyze your emotions and improve your mood. This is done specifically through its Tone of Voice feature.
This key feature uses voice recognition to pick up on emotional cues by analyzing the pitch, intensity, and rhythm of the user’s voice. It then identifies any notable moments throughout the day and categorizes them into emotional states, like friendly or overwhelmed. It even lets you know the times of day when you sound the most positive or negative.
Users say the voice analysis typically aligns with how they’re really feeling and allows them to better acknowledge and adjust their tone.
The Amazon Halo also comes equipped with wellness programs, like guided meditations, at-home workouts, and sleep sounds, that further drive home their focus on holistic wellness.
Rather than taking the shape of a watch or bracelet like other tracking devices, the Oura Ring packs advanced technology into a minimal ring design.
The company claims that the finger placement, combined with infrared light sensors, offers more precise measurement than the wrist.
The device’s features are focused on optimizing three categories: readiness, sleep, and activity.
Readiness picks up on your body’s signals to make sure you’ve recovered well and can perform at your best. To do this, it tracks everything from resting heart rate to skin temperature and sleep patterns. This helps users gain deeper insight into their daily habits, so they can better tailor their wellness activities.
With a price tag of around $300–$400, this mood tracker is definitely a splurge, but it’s one that could be well worth it.
The newest Apple Watch model, Series 6, comes equipped with even more features designed to streamline most of your daily activities. This makes it one of the best overall fitness trackers.
But, out of all its convenient, high-tech features, the health monitoring apps are the ones that shouldn’t be overlooked.
The watch measures blood oxygen levels and comes with an ECG app that helps users better manage stress levels. When tracking these metrics in tandem with the built-in Breathe app, users say the insights act as a reminder to pause and focus on breathing, which can ultimately reduce stress.
Managing stress, anxiety, and sleep can help you have a more holistic approach to mental health and wellness.
Fitness trackers are now equipped with tools and features, such as sleep tracking, voice tone recognition, and skin temperature reading, that can help you on your wellness journey.
Sam Lauron is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Austin, TX. When she’s not writing about wellness, creativity, or personal development, she spends her time reading, listening to true crime podcasts, and soaking up the sunny Austin weather with her partner and their dog. Connect with her on Instagram or Twitter, or by visiting her website.