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Numerous concerns are weighing on the minds of many, whether it’s current global conflicts, climate change or the precarious state of the economy, it is no surprise that the world is grappling with a mental health crisis.

Some users have turned to apps to cope with mental health struggles. According to data by Grand View Research, the global mental health apps market was estimated to be worth $6.2 billion in 2023.

Scribble Journey is an art therapy and mental health app that aims to help users express and explore their emotions through art. On Monday, the startup launched a new feature for iOS devices that allows users to complete drawing activities in the app rather than sketching in a physical notebook at home. 

Available in the App Store, users choose a daily intention, such as “Build Self-Love” or “Explore Emotions,” then select an activity like “Emotion Color Wheel.” Scribble Journey provides step-by-step drawing instructions for users to doodle their feelings. For instance, the “Emotion Color Wheel” activity instructs users to draw a big circle and divide it into six sections, then label each with an emotion and draw things that represent that emotion. 

Once they’ve finished their drawing, the app prompts them to follow a guided journaling prompt to reflect on what they drew and write down the emotions it evoked. The entry is then saved into their “Journey” log, where they can return and reflect on previous journal entries.

Image Credits: Scribble Journey

In its latest update, Scribble Journey integrated PencilKit, Apple’s drawing framework, allowing users to draw with their finger or an Apple Pencil directly in the app. This feature aims to offer more flexibility and ease of use for users who may want to journal on the go.

In addition to the PencilKit integration, Scribble Journey released other small features as part of the update, including an autosave function, daily suggestions, simplified navigation and new activities. There are now 21 activities, with more to come.

Scribble Journey also reduced its pricing to attract more users. The annual subscription is now $16 less at $20 per year, and the monthly subscription costs $2.99 per month. The app also just released a free trial for new users: one month free for annual subscribers and two weeks free for monthly subscribers. 

Image Credits: Scribble Journey

Founded by Stephanie Hubbard in 2020, Scribble Journey initially began as a set of activity cards sold on her Etsy store. The concept originated from Hubbard’s college thesis, which she developed after consulting with art therapists while dealing with stress during her studies.

“I was already doing a lot of drawing and journaling on my own to deal with my stress,” Hubbard told TechCrunch. “I started looking at art therapy, interviewing therapists, reading case studies and doing a lot of research on how art therapy helps people.”

Art therapy dates back to the 1940s and is a form of alternative therapy that researchers have identified as a beneficial and complementary experience for patients of all ages. It’s designed to help reduce conflicts, boost thinking skills, build self-confidence and improve emotional intelligence and social abilities.

After the success of the physical Scribble Journey kits on her Etsy store, Hubbard decided to expand its reach by developing an app. She approached her husband, Greg Hubbard, who had recently switched careers after attending a coding boot camp, to help her bring her vision to life.

The official Scribble Journey app launched on iOS devices earlier this year, attracting nearly 2,000 users. 

Future updates are in the works, including Journaling Suggestions and notifications, hopefully set to be released with the iOS 18 update in September. Additionally, an iPad version of the app is in development.

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