Self-Help That Doesn’t Suck #7 : MoodGYM


The first page...
The first page…

Title: MoodGYM

The Break-Down: MoodGYM is a comprehensive on-line cognitive behavioral therapy tool. Through a set of modules, you learn how to really see how your thoughts color and affect your behaviors in actual life. Cognitive-behavior therapy is one of the most common, modern therapy modes out there and has found it’s way into many mainstream discussions. You’ve probably heard of it even if you don’t know the name. Anyone ever told you to challenge your negative thoughts? To locate and befriend your “inner critic”? If so, they are talking in the language of cognitive behavioral therapy.

Why I Loved It: My boyfriend suggested it to me  and being that I am obsessed with any kind of make-me-less-of-an-anxious-person processes, I did. MoodGYM is Australia-based and has the funny slang to prove it. (Unfortunately, I think this also translates to a lack of diversity on the site with the illustrations, all the cartoon-pictures of people are a watercolor beige color.) The modules are straightforward and still enlightening. It is free. I liked being able to see the kinds of common prisms with which I see the world (MoodGYM has online “characters” which represent our most common archetypes for seeing the world. “Elle” is self-hating and sad, “NOPROBLEMOS” is happily well-adjusted, and “Moody” is well…you know, moody).

I’ve read and worked through lots of cognitive behavior therapy, but we all need reminders about how our thoughts color our interaction with the world. Despite never having been formally diagnosed with depression or anxiety, I have had both in my life. I am pretty sensitive, can get stuck in stale thought patterns, and my inner critic eats her Wheaties. I know that I need to be very aware of my mind and have seen how my invisible, negative thought patterns color how I view the world, myself, and other people (usually in a not-so-great way).

Some of the characters...
Some of the characters…

For You, If…: You want to try out therapy but are mired in cultural shame or don’t have disposable income enough to warrant $175/hour appointments. You have bouts of depression or anxiety and your tried and true method of “just ignore that shit until it dissipates” is not working. You want to giggle at some Australian slang (someone please tell me what a “tinny” is…)

Woo-Woo Factor: 0.5 out of 5 amethyst rocks. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is pretty locked in with sciencey stuff.



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