I was inspired by meditative apps like headspace but was looking to do something that inspired more interpersonal reflection. Personally, I have struggled with mental wellness all my life and found that meditation applications did not really help me, as I always found it hard to listen to someone else’s voice when all I could hear is my own thoughts. During a therapy session, my therapist had suggested that I write all my thoughts down, whether good or bad, without filtering through them. It was like brainstorming. I was told only to review my journaling at the end of the week or month. At that time, I found it a dumb idea but did not realise the positive impact it had on me to consciously sit through my thoughts and feel them fully without reacting to them. Yet, it helped improve my mental health greatly after a period of time. With this experience, I came up with hearthold.
What it does
Hearthold is a reflection application that allows users to submit daily reflections. It allows users to submit logs of their day's challenges or joys. I made this application in hopes of making reflections easier on the go, so that users can reflect on their day as a whole, including all the small ups and downs and recognise patterns in our moods.
How I built it
I used react native, node.js, and expo to create the front end and basic navigations of the application. I drew the UI mockup by hand as I did not have the time to do up a proper Figma mockup.
Challenges I ran into
The time constraint really challenged me to even finish doing up the front end, and I did not manage to finish up the backend to include a properly working API along with a dedicated database for hearthold. Unfortunately, I did not manage to add it in even by the end of the hackathon.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
This is my second hackathon and having to do the entire project myself really challenged me to work really quickly on very little sleep. I am also not very familiar with frontend frameworks, having done the backend for my other projects (Databases, APIs). I was proud that I was able to get the frontend of the application up and running despite being new to react-native, and was very happy that the designed looked pretty clean and calming.
What I learned
I learned to communicate earlier with a team and to be better at managing my projects (time, structure, etc). I also learned react-native better (which is great!). Despite not finishing what I wanted to, I really learnt how important it is to plan ahead before starting on a project; and how significant this can be during hackathons with tight time constraints.
What's next for hearthold
As disappointed as I was that I was unable to finish the project during the run of the hackathon, it really motivated me to continue working on personal projects that I am interested in and to continue coding. I really hope to be able to fix up an API along with a database for hearthold and improve the UI so that it can be a fully-functional application. I might consider deploying the application to learn how to deploy mobile applications as well!