50 Therapeutic Journaling Prompts
When was the last time you wrote your thoughts or ideas in a journal? For many, this could have been back when you were in high school or college. But, this should be a practice that you do make a habit as it can;
Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
Help solve problems
Keep us accountable with goals
Identify triggers and patterns
Improve relationships with others
Overall, journaling can be therapeutic.
And, it doesn’t take much to get started. Simply purchase a plain notebook, grab a pen, and write regularly. You can do this daily, once a week, or whenever you need to get something off your chest. Eventually, you can use a guided journal or decorate the pages however you like. The key is to not make this overwhelming. It should be something that you actually enjoy doing.
But, if you’re having trouble getting started, try any of the 50 journaling prompts.
1. Describe your perfect day and think about who would you spend it with and what would you do
2. List three things that you achieved today.
3. Discuss five things you wish others knew about you.
4. Recall two moments you’ll never forget. Describe them in great detail, and explain what makes them so unforgettable.
5. What do you fear the most? Why? Is your fear rational?
6. “Today I am grateful for ______.”
7. What quote(s) inspires you?
8. When were you last not depressed? What is different in your life then and now?
9. Identify three short-term goals and one long-term goal.
10. Make a list of 30 things that make you smile or laugh.
11. What qualities about yourself do you love the most?
12. “My personal dreams include______.”
13. What words do you wish someone would say to you when you’re having a tough time?
14. What are three new hobbies you would like to try?
15. What is a self-care strategy you've always been curious about trying?
16. “Write about a moment experienced through your body. Making love, making breakfast, going to a party, having a fight, an experience you’ve had or you imagine for your character. Leave out thought and emotion, and let all information be conveyed through the body and senses.” (A prompt from Barbara Abercrombie’s Kicking In The Wall: A Year of Writing Exercises, Prompts and Quotes To Help You Break Through Your Blocks And Reach Your Writing Goals.)
17. Write about a difficult memory and the coping mechanisms you used. Would you change the way you dealt? How?
18. “The successes I’ve had in my life are______.”
19. Identify one thing you are looking forward to this week and explain why it makes you feel excited.
20. What is one habit you would like to either start or stop?
21. Write down three to five things that trigger feelings of anxiety in you and identify one to three coping strategies you can attempt to implement in response to these.
22. Make a list of the people in your life who genuinely support you, and who you can genuinely trust.
23. Write down a list of ‘regrets’. Either throw them away or toss them into a fire.
24. “I can rework my life’s narrative in the following ways______.”
25. What songs help lift your spirits when you’re feeling down?
26. Who or what (or both), helps motivate you the most? Why is that?
27. Pick one positive word you'd like to focus on today. Describe what it makes you feel or what you associate with it.
28. Describe a situation in which you helped someone else. How do you think it made them feel? How did it make you feel?
29. What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How can you act on these things whether you do or don’t?
30. Write a letter to a person who has negatively impacted you. (You don’t actually have to send it out).
31. “One thing that I can teach others is______.”
32. Write a letter to a person who has positively impacted you.
33. “If my body could talk, it would say…”
34. What makes you feel fulfilled?
35. Name something you need to forgive your younger self for.
36. Create a bucket list of things you’d like to accomplish or experience in the next 12 months.
37. Where do you want to be in five or ten years?
38 “Write about a time when work felt real to you, necessary and satisfying. Paid or unpaid, professional or domestic, physical or mental.” (Another prompt from Abercrombie’s Kicking in the Wall.)
39. Write down three of your favorite smells. Describe, in detail, how each one makes you feel.
40. “Tomorrow, I can do a better job of______ by______.”
41. Have you ever felt isolated? Write about it.
42. What’s surprised you the most about your life or life in general?
43. What are your favorite things to do when you feel depressed?
44. Describe your favorite time of year. What do you love about it? Who do you spend it with? What activities do you enjoy during that time?
45. Write about your values and morals.
46. “I feel most energized when…”
47. What element (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) do you consider to be you? Explain why.
48. Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes or no to.
49. Do you have any secret quirky talents?
50. What is the biggest life lesson you’ve learned to date? Describe how the lesson was learned. How it has impacted your life?