A core principle of WeFeel is that emotions mix and combine, and aren’t polar opposites of each other. You don’t have to be somewhere on a scale of sad to happy. You can be both.
A key principle in our philosophy at WeFeel is that emotions are not considered opposites. One good example of this is melancholy – being both happy and sad at the same time. For example: losing a race to your best friend. You are happy for them and sad for you; at the same time.
WeFeel has 6 core emotions you can track: Anger, Joy, Disgust, Sorrow, Fear, and Love. Where did these core emotions come from? There a wide variety of emotion models and lists that have been proposed by psychologists and research scientists over the years. We took a look at many of them and compared them to see what they had in common and where they are different. And it came down to these 6 core emotions, plus surprise; which you can see is missing from the core emotion icons. We do want to track surprise, but since it is a fleeting emotion (and tracking shouldn’t take the place of or interfere with living your life), future releases of WeFeel will track incidences of surprise with biometrics like heart rate.
But human emotion and life experience is a messy and complicated thing. One way of thinking about emotion refuses to accept that emotion CAN be boiled down to just 6 core emotions. Recently, David DiSalvo wrote about this in Forbes “Let’s talk about your Litost, and Other Emotions We Feel But Can’t Quite Explain”. And this graphic that I came across over a year ago gives a good visual representation. There are so many words, in so many languages, to describe emotion, and each one is a valuable and different experience.
So how does one put the idea of tracking emotion in 6 categories together with the amazingly diverse things that can be felt? WeFeel tackles this in two ways. First, the 6 core emotions are not discreet. You can choose both sorrow and joy. (And if you really want to you can also add anger, fear, love, and disgust. There is not a limit on how many of the core emotions you can choose.) And you can choose a different intensity level for each emotion you select. Second, you can add a note to specify the exact word for what you are feeling. Or, if you don’t know a word for it, you can note the circumstances for what you are feeling.
WeFeel doesn’t limit your feelings. We understand that getting in touch with your feelings can be a complicated process – and we want to make it easier for you. Letting you record a combination of emotions with different intensities is just one way we help you improve your emotional awareness.