Depression journal prompts are a great way to inspire your mind when you are having trouble coming up with creative ideas on your own. Let this list energize your therapeutic process.
When looking for effective treatment options for our everyday concerns, one of the most healthy ways of helping ourselves is through journaling. And when you are feeling depressed, getting some of those feelings out on paper can be crucial to your well-being.
Whether you have a mental health disorder or are just down in the dumps, depression is something that most of us are familiar with. We’ve all experienced some melancholy or heartbreak at one time or another.
That being said, there are different levels of depression. Major depressive disorder (also known as clinical depression) is a diagnosable mental illness that includes levels of depression that get in the way of one’s everyday function.
Depression symptoms may include sadness, hopelessness, insomnia or hypersomnia, irritability or anger, and a general loss of interest in daily life.
But whether you have mental health symptoms such as these, are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, or are managing a general apathy for life, depression journaling may be exactly what you need.
What Is Depression Journaling?
While a journaling journey can take any path, depression journaling focuses mostly on exploring the feelings of depression while also making a positive impact by making you go deeper.
When one is dealing with negative thoughts and hard emotions, it can be extremely difficult to get past your inner critic.
While journaling itself is a form of self-care, focusing specifically on topics that help you explore both positive things as well as a challenging history and grievances is a great way to get you out of your head and make you more present.
Who Should Be Using Depression Journal Prompts?
Journaling is a self-care tool that anyone can use. You can use any list of things that are relevant to the specific topics you want to explore, so these journal prompts that center around depression will be good for anyone on a path of self-exploration.
You do not have to have been diagnosed with clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or any other mental health issues to benefit from this great tool.
We all deal with traumatic events and feelings of worthlessness that warrant a journal entry, so don’t shun the mental health benefits of writing just because you may not have a specific diagnosis.
Human beings deal with a lot and whether you are in cognitive behavioral therapy, confiding in a friend, or keeping it all inside, symptoms of depression have a way of leaking out when we don’t address the core issues. Don’t let them linger when you can do something about them.
How Do I Use These Journal Prompts?
There is no wrong way to use journaling prompts, but there are a few best strategies.
First, use this list of questions when you want to journal, but find yourself looking at a blank page and have no inspiration. Choose the best things you see, the journal prompts that speak to you.
Second, you can use the same questions over and over again. Write about one experience the first time and a different experience the next time. You are exceptional and complicated, you will likely have more than one potential area to explore for each question.
Third, use these questions as well as your answers to address your cognitive distortions. There are times in both talk therapy and writing therapy when we are speaking so candidly that we say or write things we are shocked to learn that we believe.
They make sense to our emotional selves, but logically, they can be completely surprising and something to delve into further. Let your answers to these questions drive you to further self-analysis.
When Should I Be Journaling?
The best way to get into a journaling practice is to create a weekly or daily routine. Whether you find it easiest to reflect in the morning or the evening, during your lunch break at work, or before you go to sleep, finding a set time for your journaling session is an ideal habit to create.
Journaling is one of the coping skills that you develop through repetition. You can, of course, journal when you are having a bad day or in a low mood, but if it is something you do on a regular basis, you may find it that much more soothing and therapeutic over time.
What Type Of Journal Should I Use?
The most important thing when choosing a therapy journal is that you pick something that will fit into your daily life.
You want something that makes you feel comfortable, that is compact if you plan to take it out with you, and that will provide an easy and effective way for you to put your thoughts to paper.
Some people prefer guided journals with quotes and drawn pictures and others prefer a basic spiral-bound notebook. Purchase what you feel drawn to.
You can find various options at your local bookstore, Promptly Journals, Target, Walmart, or Amazon. You can get some very fancy journals for an extra cost, but there are very nice and reasonably priced options as well.
For more mental health journal prompts, check these out:
- 50 best therapy journal prompts
- 50 best self worth journal prompts
- 50 best manifestation journal prompts
- 50 best law of attraction journal prompts
- 50 best journal prompts for teens
- 50 best shadow work journal prompts
List Of Journal Prompts For Depression
1. What are 3 of your recent achievements? Nothing is too big or too small.
2. What are 3 things that you are grateful for?
3. When was the last time you felt happy? What was happening in your life at that time?
4. When was the last time you laughed and what made you laugh?
5. What are the 3 hobbies that you enjoy and what do you enjoy about them?
6. When you think of good things in your life, what is the first thing that you think of and why?
7. What is a goal that you are hoping to achieve and why is it important to you?
8. What is a memory that bothers you? Why does this specific memory stick out?
9. What concerns do you have about the world and why?
10. What family member or close friend do you feel you can count on? Why did you choose that person?
11. What is an experience that you want to let go of but can’t?
12. What is one thing that could make you happy today and why?
13. What is the last thing you did to make yourself happy?
14. What is something about yourself that you are proud of and why?
15. Tell the story of a time that you helped someone.
16. What is your favorite childhood memory?
17. If you could change one thing about your life, what would you change?
18. What is one of your flaws and what makes it a flaw?
19. Who is the closest person to you? What makes them special?
20. What do you aspire to become one day?
21. If you could shapeshift for a day, who would you be and why?
22. What do you tell your friends to comfort them when they are upset?
23. What would you like to be told when you are upset?
24. What coping mechanisms work best for you when you are having a tough time?
25. Who is that one person you like to maintain your distance from and why?
26. Imagine yourself at 75 years old. Where do you see yourself and with whom?
27. What’s your idea of a fun time and why?
28. What is the one song that always lifts your spirits and why?
29. What is your favorite happy memory and why?
30. What is your biggest accomplishment and why is that what you chose?
31. How would you like to be pampered by people?
32. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received and why was it meaningful?
33. What is something you believe in with all of your heart and why?
34. Describe an embarrassing moment. Why did it embarrass you?
35. What do you think is your ideal career and why?
36. What advice would you give someone who is suffering from depression?
37. When did you feel like you were in the right place at the right time?
38. What has been your biggest failure? What have you learned from it?
39. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
40. What is a simple act that you could take to make today a little bit better?
41. What is one impossible thing that you would like to be possible?
42. How would you describe depression to someone who has never experienced it?
43. What is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you?
44. Describe your safe space. What is it about this place or situation that comforts you?
45. Name one of your triggers. What happened that created that trigger?
46. What is an event in your life that could have changed your life if it had gone differently?
47. Where do you want to see yourself in ten years and why?
48. What is something you need to forgive your younger self for and why?
49. Write three positive affirmations. Why did you choose them?
50. Write yourself a love letter. In the letter, pretend that you are your best friend even if you don’t believe it right now.
Managing depression can be a challenge, but journaling is a helpful tool and a great first place to start working on yourself.
Whether you find that these questions lead to a brain dump of lots of important information or days of reflecting on what you’ve written, hopefully, it will benefit you in the long run.