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Journal Prompts for Mental Health Overview

If you’ve ever struggled with stress or any form of mental health issue, you may have found how helpful it can be to keep a journal. Getting things off of your chest/mind and onto paper can help us not only face what we are dealing with but also provide a means of self-expression. [1]

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, depression, anxiety, relate to others, and make choices.

Here are 50 therapeutic journal prompts for mental health:

  1. Write down five things that make you incredibly happy and describe why they make you feel this way.
  2. What do you fear the most? Why? Is your fear rational?
  3. What qualities about yourself do you love the most?
  4. In the following year, what are five improvements you would like to make regarding your life? Write about the improvements and create a plan to accomplish each one.
  5. Write about one of your happiest memories.
  6. Write about the people in your life that make you feel the most “at ease” and what they do to make you feel that way.
  7. Write about a complex memory and the coping mechanisms you used at the time. Would you change the way you dealt? How?
  8. Write a poem (that DOESN’T HAVE TO RHYME) describing the exact opposite of yourself.
  9. Write about the last time you cried. What caused you to cry?
  10. Write about the last time you laughed hard. What was so funny?
  11. Write a letter to the future YOU.
  12. Write a letter to one of your parents – even if you don’t give it to them.
  13. What has your anxiety taught you about yourself?
  14. Write down a list of ‘regrets.’ Either throw them away or toss them into a fire. (Let go of past regrets & move on).
  15. In detail, describe a perfect day.
  16. Write a letter to a person who has negatively impacted you. (Again, you don’t have to send it out).
  17. Write a letter to a person who has positively impacted you.
  18. Write about a tough choice you’ve had to make in your life.
  19. Write down all your coping mechanisms. Evaluate the ones that are most helpful and the ones that are the most detrimental. 
  20. Describe what love means to you in detail.
  21. Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.
  22. Write down 3 of your favorite smells. Describe, in detail, how each one makes you feel.
  23. Have you ever felt isolated? Write about it.
  24. Write about five songs that mean the most to you. Why do the lyrics speak to you? How do you relate to these songs? How do they make you feel when you hear them?
  25. Write down all the compliments you can think of that you’ve received. Write down compliments to people in your life.
  26. Write a list of 10 things you want to remember during difficult times. (Use this later if you’re feeling down). 
  27. What risks do you want to take? What’s holding you back?
  28. What element do you consider to be YOU? Write about why. (Earth, Air, Fire, Water).
  29. What are some of the strongest emotions you’ve ever felt? Write about how those emotions affected you and what caused you to feel those emotions.
  30. Physically, how do you feel right now?
  31. What speaks to you on a spiritual level? (Poetry, quote, song, etc.) Write about it.
  32. What items/objects do you find the most comforting? Why do you think that is? What is comforting about them?
  33. Write a love letter to yourself.
  34. Write about something frustrating to you.
  35. If you could be anywhere in the world at this very moment, where would you want to be and why?
  36. What are three things that make you angry? Why?
  37. What activities do you think would make you feel better? Make a plan to carry out those activities.
  38. Write about something random you’ve seen that made you smile.
  39. Describe your dream house.
  40. Who or what (or both) helps motivate you the most? Why is that?
  41. What are you worried about? Why?
  42. What are some of your favorite books? Why? Write about them.
  43. What makes you laugh?
  44. Write about what you perceive to be the worst thing you’ve ever done.
  45. When was the last time you did something for someone else? What did you do, and how did it make you feel?
  46. What secrets are you keeping? Are these secrets affecting your life or mental health? Why or why not?
  47. Write about something that truly surprised you.
  48. Describe an outfit that makes you feel entirely comfortable in your skin. 
  49. If you weren’t afraid, what are five things you would do? Are there any ways you can think of to overcome the fear?
  50. Write a letter of forgiveness to someone who has caused you pain.

Keeping a journal can be a great way to manage your mental health. You can explore your deepest emotions and identify healthy means to deal with your feelings. Hopefully, these prompts can help you get your feelings onto paper and release the negative emotions from your mind. 

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 a journal. However, understanding that mental illness diagnoses are the same as physical illness diagnoses (an anxiety diagnosis should be looked at no different than a thyroid diagnosis), we all have issues that we have to deal with. Healthily managing these issues provides us with reflection and an outlet to be our healthiest selves. 

Who Can Benefit From A Therapeutic Journal

Anyone can benefit from a therapeutic journal. Truly, anyone. As a child, you may have written in a diary, and teens nowadays may write a weekly blog post. But, 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. 

Journal prompts for mental health is taking notes of your fears, problems, and concerns, and dealing with them.
Journal prompts for mental health is taking notes of your fears, problems, and concerns, and dealing with them.

Why Journal Prompts Helps Depression And Anxiety

Journaling can have positive mental health benefits for some people, this project is not intended to treat any mental illnesses or mental distress.
Journaling can have positive mental health benefits for some people, this project is not intended to treat any mental illnesses or mental distress.

When you struggle with mental health conditions like depression or anxiety (which most people do on some level), you tend to “spin.” This is my 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. Unfortunately, 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. 

When To Use These Journal Prompts

Some days are elementary to start writing about. When you’ve had a perfect day or a hard time, you find that those thoughts and feelings 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, you’re having a tough time triggering your thoughts or feelings. 

Journaling prompts are good to keep in your back pocket because they can inspire you. This list of journal prompts is 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 views of what your future self should remember.

The worst thing you can do here answers each question with two words and call it a day. When it comes to journal therapy, the idea is to participate actively so that you can get the most mental health benefits out of the exercise. 

It helps you visualize the changes you want to make

Journaling provides an outlet and enables you to visualize where you want to go. One of the many benefits of journaling is it gives you an outlet for your thoughts and emotions. In addition, journaling provides you with space to express yourself honestly. 

You can begin to break down the things you are struggling with into smaller pieces that feel less overwhelming; journaling offers an efficient solution, problem-solving.

By reading over previous journal entries, you may begin to see a pattern emerge. This pattern can be a great way to discover where you need to implement changes, even if they are just little things or small new habits that create change.   

Self-reflection a new perspective

Through journaling, you can begin to do some self-reflective work. You can identify your beliefs, morals, and values. And you can also start to identify your limiting beliefs too. So often, our “I can’t… because I’m not…” statements that we say to ourselves keep us stuck. 

By using a journal as a space for self-reflection, you can begin to discover where your beliefs, morals, and values, as well as your limiting beliefs, come from. We often inherit these things from our primary caregivers, passing them down through the generations. And through journaling, you can begin to discover where you have learned these things, especially when it comes to the limiting beliefs that we often want to change. 

And it is through moments of self-reflection, we can gain the perspectives that we need to decide if we want to change something that we have held onto. So through the act of journaling, you can begin to recognize the themes coming up for you. And through journaling, you can reflect on what you want to change to have the life you want to have.   

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 positively affects your day. It is one of those new habits that should easily slide right in if you want it to. 

Journaling can help you find different ways to cope with overwhelming emotions and foster positive mental health,
Journaling can help you find different ways to cope with overwhelming emotions and foster positive mental health,

We 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 essential things, difficult times, anxious thoughts, good news, or little things that you want to commemorate in writing. 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 yourself. 

At We Level Up Treatment Center provides world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. In addition, we work as an integrated team providing information about the 50 Therapeutic Journal Prompts for Mental Health and other aspects of treatment. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.