These therapy journal prompts are some of the best ideas out there for when you are stuck. Your mental health is important. These will help!
Therapy Journal Prompts
Writing in a journal can be a huge benefit to your mental health. Whether you journal every day or every few weeks, it can be very helpful to have ideas for when you get stuck.
We don’t have all of the ideas all of the time, so asking yourself a question and delving into that answer can be really beneficial.
When you ask yourself these questions, do yourself a favor and try to expand on your initial response. These ideas are meant to inspire you and get you thinking about your emotional state.
Whether you choose to write about past experiences, small things that happen each day or you release your inner critic, journaling is a tool that will help you well beyond what people give it credit for.
Benefits of Journaling For Mental Health
Writing in a journal has been a tool that has been used for many, many years. It is a personal therapeutic tool that is also a great way to center yourself after each day.
Whether it was a good day or a challenging one, having a safe place to express your feelings with no fear of repercussions is something that everyone can benefit from.
You do not have to have a diagnosed mental illness in order to journal. Understanding that mental illness diagnoses are the same as physical illness diagnoses (an anxiety diagnosis should be looked at no differently than a thyroid diagnosis), we all have issues that we have to deal with.
It is managing these issues in a healthy way that provides us reflection and an outlet to be our healthiest selves.
Why Journaling Helps Depression And Anxiety
When you struggle with mental health conditions like depression or anxiety (which most people do on some level), you have a tendency to “spin.”
This is my own word, not necessarily something you’ll hear in therapy, but it’s meant to define that place in which you find yourself where you focus on the same worry or deep sadness over and over.
There is no internal instruction manual for letting go of it and it takes over entire days or weeks at a time. That is where a journal can come in.
Writing in a journal is a wellness tool that will help you break that spinning cycle. It is a method of discovery that will enable you to crack through some of the intensity within yourself and get it out of your body.
When you can share your internal thoughts with the external world, it gives a little less power to those feelings inside and enables you to sort through things you may not have been able to before.
Who Can Benefit From A Therapeutic Journal
Anyone can benefit from a therapeutic journal. Truly, anyone. You may have written in a diary as a child and teens nowadays may write a weekly blog post. No matter what age you started writing, you may have journal entries that span years and didn’t even realize it.
Expressing our emotions is an incredibly healthy thing to do and whether you have supportive friends and family around you or not, your deepest thoughts can be just for you.
You may have some opinions or worries that you don’t want to express to others – and you don’t have to. That is where your journal comes in. It can be your trusted friend on the cloudiest of days. It is your unconditional love book.
Where To Get A Therapeutic Journal
You can find many varieties of journals at your local bookstores, Promptly Journals, Target, Walmart, or Amazon. Often you’ll find dates in them because so many people start a new journal at the start of a new year, but choose a general journal that speaks to you.
It can be as muted or as colorful as you want, but choose something that you will want to reach for every day.
If you aren’t comfortable diving right into your deepest feelings, start with a gratitude journal. Each day, list the first things that you think of that you are grateful for. Once this becomes a habit and more comfortable for you, it may be easier to start writing a daily journal.
When To Use These Journal Prompts
Some days are very easy to start writing about. When you’ve had a perfect day or a hard time, you find that those thoughts and feelings just have to come out.
These therapy journal prompts are for those other occasions. When you are looking at a blank page and want to create a new journal entry, but you’re having a tough time triggering your thoughts or feelings.
Journaling prompts are good things to keep in your back pocket because they can inspire you. This list of journal prompts is meant to be a starting point for your personal development.
Think about each idea and how it touches you in the present moment. Next time, think about how your younger self would react to the ideas or what your future self should remember.
Some people have a daily routine when it comes to journal writing. Their morning routine consists of a shower, breakfast, and twenty minutes to write in their journal – or they close out their day by writing before bed.
Find the perfect time for you, where it affects your day in a positive way. It is one of those new habits that should easily slide right in if you want it to.
How To Journal With Writing Prompts
The worst thing you can do here is answer each question with two words or short sentences and call it a day. When it comes to journal therapy, the idea is to participate in an active way so that you can get the most mental health benefits out of the exercise.
The best way to begin a journaling journey is to treat it like a new habit that you’d like to turn into a lifelong practice. Consistency will help you have the most positive impact, so decide if you’d like to write first thing in the morning, only when you are working through a difficult situation, or as a tool for expressive writing.
Just remember that most of us manage mental health issues in some form and everyone has a bad day here and there.
Whether you write down all of your negative thoughts and keep them to yourself or use them to write an open letter to share with a best friend or family members, writing things down will yield positive changes in your life.
See which of these mental health journal prompts inspires you and run with it. Answer the same one over and over, looking at it in different ways, or start at the beginning and work towards the end. No matter what you do, journaling is a good place, a safe space, and a good way of improving your mental well-being.
List Of Journal Prompts
1. What do you feel about your day today and why?
2. What made you feel happy today?
3. What made you feel uneasy today?
4. What three things are you grateful for today?
5. When I think of my mother I feel…
6. When I think of my father I feel…
7. When I think of my best friends I feel…
8. When I think of my siblings (or lack of siblings) I feel…
9. Are you doing a job that fulfills you? Why does or doesn’t it fulfill you?
10. What would you tell your teenage self?
11. What would you tell your 25 year old self?
12. What do you wish someone had told you about life?
13. What do you wish someone had told you about love?
14. What makes you feel scared and why?
15. What makes you feel sad and why?
16. What makes you feel happy and why?
17. What makes you feel angry and why?
18. What makes you feel safe and why?
19. Why is your favorite color and why does it speak to you?
20. Why is your favorite movie and why does it speak to you?
21. What music makes you feel content and why?
22. What did you use to want to be when you grew up and why?
23. What would be your dream career and why?
24. What is a great memory from childhood?
25. Who is someone you look up to and why?
26. When you are having a tough day, what do you do to cope and why does it help?
27. What is a memory that sticks with you from your school days?
28. What do you envy about someone else and why?
29. Describe yourself with five words and explain why you chose them.
30. Where is your favorite place to travel and why?
31. Who is your favorite person to talk to and why?
32. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What makes you think so?
33. What is your favorite memory with your mother or mother figure?
34. What is your favorite memory with your father or father figure?
35. What are three of your short term goals?
36. What are three of your long term goals?
37. What is one thing that you love and why should other people love it?
38. When was a time where you were scared, but things turned out okay?
39. What is one of your favorite funny memories?
40. What pet would you have if you could choose any pet and why?
41. Do you prefer a sunny day or a rainy day and why?
42. Who are the most important people in your life and why?
43. What is one thing that you did for someone else this week and how did it make you feel?
44. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
45. What have you learned to say no to?
46. What have you learned to say yes to?
47. What about yourself are you proud of?
48. What about yourself do you hope to change?
49. List three reasons why you like yourself.
50. List three reasons why you love yourself.
51. What do you do to help your physical health? (Think exercise, food choices, sleep, etc.) Do you feel it helps your mental health?
52. What positive things have you heard someone say about you?
53. Write a letter of forgiveness to a family member or friend who has hurt you. Read it out loud and then dispose of it.
54. Which of your personal values are the most important to you and why?
55. What is your favorite book and why?
56. Write a list of people that you could call in an emergency.
57. Do you have a self-care routine? What do you do just for yourself?
Remember to revisit these guided journal prompts more than once. Just because you wrote about it one way the last time doesn’t mean it won’t strike you differently the second time.
I hope that these therapy journal prompts will help you find your comfort zone with writing. Let them guide you to write about what you feel are important things, difficult times, anxious thoughts, good news, or little things that you want to commemorate in writing.
For more ideas for journaling, check out these:
- 50 shadow work journal prompts
- 50 self worth journal prompts
- 50 manifestation journal prompts
- 50 law of attraction journal prompts
- 50 journal prompts for teens
- 50 depression journal prompts
And remember, you can use your journal for all kinds of things. If you feel inspired to write a short story, write it! If you feel the need to draw a picture or a doodle to express yourself, do it!
This is a therapeutic tool for you, so really make it your own. And if you need even more ideas, check out the 50 questions that will help you be the best version of you.
Thank you for this wonderfully written and helpful article. Mental health is an important topic and I am grateful that you speak on it as you do. These journal prompt ideas are amazing. I will be using the prompts to help me get back to journaling. God knows I need it.
Thanks for the weekly inspiration!
Alli Doubek says
I’m so glad! We all need some extra prompts to get going sometimes, so I hope they help! 🙂