If you haven’t started journaling for mental health yet, I think today is the perfect day to start!
Journaling – or ‘expressive writing’ – is a writing therapy that is great for self-discovery, personal development and mental illness recovery. It’s a bit like keeping a diary, but rather than just mind-dumping your chaotic thoughts, journaling for mental health encourages you to write with intention and purpose. It promotes self-awareness, growth and discovery by allowing you to acknowledge your core beliefs, values, fears and more!
If you have depression or anxiety, using mental health journal prompts will have a particularly positive effect on your mental health. Journaling has been scientifically proven to reduce the symptoms of depression and offer considerable anxiety relief.
Journaling also –
- Improves your self-awareness
- Sparks creativity and productivity
- Regains your emotional control
- Reduces stress and helps to alleviate worry and ruminating
- Helps you to identify and rationalise negative thoughts
- Boosts your confidence and sense of self
As someone with BPD, journaling has had a life-changing effect on my mental health. I struggle with unstable self-identity issues, intense emotions and erratic mood swings which can make my brain a very crowded, chaotic place – especially when you throw depression and anxiety into the mix!
Journaling allows me to organise my thoughts and understand them better. It’s especially beneficial for managing my anxious thoughts, as I can either distract myself by writing about something positive, or I can do a self-awareness exercise by exploring and challenging my anxious beliefs.
I truly believe that everyone should start a journal for mental health, even if you feel as though you don’t know where to start. Here are some mental health journal prompts for depression, anxiety, self-love and self-discovery!
Mental Health Journal Prompts For Depression
When done productively and consistently, journaling can have positive, long-term effects on symptoms of depression. Using journaling as an outlet for your feelings can help to regulate negative thoughts and reduce their emotional impact on you. It’s also really nice to have positive things to look back on when you feel down!
- Write about a past struggle that you overcame. How has it made you stronger?
- On my worst days, I want to remember that __________
- Describe something positive that happened this week
- Who in your life has the biggest positive impact on your mental health? Why?
- Write about something you’re looking forward too
- Who is your favourite person in the world? Sing their praises!
- Describe your dream life. What steps could you take to make this dream a reality?
- What is your favourite memory?
- Which of these self-care activities could you try today?
- What is one of your worst negative thoughts? Is it rational?
- Write down your favourite mental health and inspirational quotes
- What can you do today to make yourself feel better tomorrow?
- What is something that you’d really like to hear right now?
- Write a letter to your depression. What would you say?
- List 5 things that make you smile!
Mental Health Journal Prompts For Anxiety
Psychologists say that journaling for anxiety is particularly beneficial. Not only does expressing your feelings through writing therapy help to calm down anxious thoughts, but it allows you to observe these thoughts introspectively and objectively. Self-awareness is fundamental for managing anxiety because once you are able to identify and challenge your negative thought patterns and behaviour, controlling and transforming them becomes a whole lot easier!
For an introduction into journaling for anxiety, try my free anxiety workbook!
- What’s your biggest anxiety fear?
- Which of your fears are unrealistic? Why?
- List some positive affirmations for anxiety
- When do you feel most calm? Why?
- What strategies do you currently use to help calm down your anxiety?
- What is something new you could try?
- Write about the thing that you most want to let go of
- List all of your worries, big and small!
- Write about a time you overcame your anxiety
- When was the last time you felt truly relaxed?
- What does anxiety feel like for you?
- Write about a time that you were extra-sensitive to someone’s opinion. Are there any steps you can take to stop caring so much about what people think of you?
- In what ways does anxiety affect your life?
- What situations trigger anxiety and what can you do to make them more comfortable?
- If failure wasn’t an option, what would you achieve?
Journal Prompts For Self-Love
Journaling for self-love is a beautiful way to boost your confidence, sself-worth and motivation while practising some well-deserved self-care! It often doesn’t come naturally to us to make time for self-love, and when you also have depression and anxiety, your negative thoughts have a habit of overwhelming any positive ones. Give your positive thoughts the spotlight for once by journaling about them! It’s always nice to read them back if you need a bit of a pick me up 😊
- List three things that you like about your appearance
- What are your best qualities?
- Write about a time somebody made you feel good about yourself
- Write about a time that you did something nice for somebody else
- What is the thing you value most in life and why?
- Write about your happiest moment
- Describe your biggest accomplishments
- What talents do you have?
- When do you feel most confident?
- Who inspires you the most in life? Why?
- What is one thing you can do to pamper yourself every day?
- Write about a time that you felt proud of yourself
- What are your favourite positive affirmations?
- What motivates you to succeed?
- What is your greatest strength?
Journal Prompts For Self-Discovery
Get to the core of your beliefs, values and goals by journaling for self-discovery. It promotes personal growth and self-awareness, allowing you to deeply reflect on your life in a constructive, positive way.
- List three things that you’re grateful for
- What is your perspective on happiness?
- If you could only keep three things in the world, what would you keep and why?
- What is something that’s missing from your life?
- Write about a difficult time in your life and the lessons it has taught you
- What is your life goal, and what steps can you take to achieve it?
- Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
- Write a letter to your teenage self. What advice would you give him/her?
- What is something new that you would like to learn?
- What distracts you from achieving your goals?
- Is there anybody negatively affecting your mental health? If so, why?
- Write about a character trait of yours that you want to improve on
- What is one habit that you would like to break?
- What is your biggest insecurity?
- What does your perfect day look like?
If you want some more advice on how to start a journal for mental health, The Positive Author has some great tips on how to get started! Journaling for mental health is one of all-time favourite ways to manage my illnesses. What’s yours?