• Journal Prompts

Journal Writing Prompts

What are journal prompts.

Have you ever had a feeling that you want to write something in a journal but don’t know where to start? Journal prompts, also known as writing prompts, are journaling ideas that help you to focus on what to write. Using journal prompts give you a clearer direction before you start writing!

Finding your Perfect Journal Prompts

Open notebook and pencil.

Choose whatever works for you: word, phrase, quote, photo. You can find prompts in the Coach section of the Journey app. But if you’re stuck, we'll provide a list of journal prompts you need below! The following journal prompts are designed to help you clarify your thoughts, perspective, and desires. You’re sure to find a writing prompt here that will spark your imagination and get your words flowing.

Journal Prompts Examples

Some suggestions below are a series of examples to start off your first entry!

Write about yourself

Write about the daydream that you had

Real rainbow and sky with clouds illustrating day dream.

Write about the present

Write about the future

Plant for the future.

With Journey , all journals written are kept private and secure, so you can write about anything that concerns you, and you would like to reflect on.

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Focus on the positive things in your live.

Write one line a day for the next five years.

A bible journal is one that holds your thoughts and reflections after a religion class and feelings that concerns life.

Record your dreams on a regular basis and keep track of the dream's themes and patterns.

Document your adventures, road trips, places that you have visited, and discoveries that you made along the way.

A self-reflective journal helps you to create your life with intention.

Write a personalized experience of your pregnancy journey.

Equip yourself with on a journey towards improving your sleep

Keep a log of all your daily meals to ensure a balanced nature diet.

Streams of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning.

A way to organize your time and your life

Create your own faithful digital planning companion

Find the planner for you

Make every week your best week

Start your digital journal - download Journey app today!

Journal Prompts: You, Your Life, Your Dreams

On this page, you'll find journal prompts for writing about yourself and your unique perspective. At the bottom of this page are links to more journal writing prompts on different subjects.

Journal prompts - all about you

Journal prompts - daydreams

flower and china, representing memories for a page with journaling prompts and ideas

Get journal ideas for writing about your memories .

Get descriptive writing prompts and tips on writing powerful descriptions .

Find out how to keep a writing journal for your poetry and fiction writing .

See a list of all Creative Writing Now pages on how to keep a journal .

Join our online course on memoir writing. << BACK from  Journal Prompts  to Creative Writing Now  Home

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Ready, Set, Journal! 64 Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery

writing exercises journals

Your journal creates an opportunity to reconnect with yourself and explore difficult emotions.

Many people keep a journal in their teenage years, either by choice or due to a school assignment. Perhaps it’s been years since you’ve considered putting pen to paper and expressing your thoughts and dreams. But journaling can have benefits for anyone at any stage of life.

For centuries, people around the world have turned to journals as trusted friends.

Reflecting on daily experiences, relationships, and personal values can help you get in better touch with your thoughts and feelings. It can lead to greater peace of mind .

“I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn,” wrote Anne Frank, who kept a now-famous account of her daily life and dreams for the future while in hiding during the Holocaust.

A journal also offers a safe space to express difficult emotions, making it easier to work through distressing thoughts that you might struggle to share out loud.

Are you interested in giving journaling a try? Do you feel a bit stuck when it comes to getting started? Try the 64 prompts below to kick-start your creativity and write your way toward well-being.

How to use journal prompts

You can certainly learn more about yourself by reviewing what you do each day, but journaling often goes beyond keeping a log of daily events.

Journal prompts offer specific themes and topics to reflect on, which can be helpful when you:

Some prompts can even help you collect your thoughts on a recent conflict with a friend or partner. For example, writing about specific relationship challenges can help you get more clarity on your emotional needs and how to make sure they’re met.

Journaling generally proves most helpful when you do it regularly, though you don’t necessarily need to write every single day. If you’re short on time, you might aim for 3 days each week and pick one prompt to write about each day.

Evidence-backed benefits of journaling

In a small 2020 study , mothers of children with emotional or behavioral concerns wrote in a journal three times a week for 6 weeks. The results suggest that keeping a journal led to more optimism and gratitude , both of which can boost well-being.

A 2018 study suggests that writing about positive experiences for just 15 minutes a day three times a week may help ease feelings of anxiety and stress and boost resilience.

Research from 2002 suggests that when your writing focuses on exploring and making sense of what happened, writing about a traumatic or stressful experience can help you heal and recover. Although expressing your emotions also has value, writing only about distressing emotions may not offer the same benefits.

Journal prompts for self-discovery and self-reflection

We’ve organized these prompts into categories that focus on relationships, emotions, how you feel about work, and more.

Love and relationships

Having strong, supportive relationships can help improve overall well-being, protect against mental health concerns like depression , and boost resilience , which refers to your ability to weather life’s many challenges.

Writing about relationships with loved ones provides the opportunity to:

Consider giving these prompts a try:

Work and career

If you work full-time, you spend the majority of your waking hours on the job. That makes your career a pretty significant part of your life.

Having a fulfilling job can promote a sense of purpose and satisfaction with life. On the other hand, having a job that demands too much of you or fails to utilize your unique talents can wear you down and lead to burnout.

Taking some time to explore your current career can help highlight what you enjoy about your job and when it might be time to pursue a change.

Here are some prompts to consider:


Exploring your values, opinions, and personality traits in writing can teach you more about who you are as a person.

This in-depth reflection can strengthen not just the relationship you have with yourself, but also the connections you build with others.

Some ideas to explore include:

Uncomfortable emotions

Journaling can help you express and begin to navigate difficult and painful emotions. That’s part of what makes it such a valuable exercise.

Burying unwanted emotions and thoughts can seem helpful at first. Pushing those feelings away means you avoid the pain and discomfort they cause, right?

Not always. In reality, avoiding emotional distress can intensify it . That pain lies dormant below the surface of your everyday thoughts until you can’t keep it back any longer. When it finally comes bubbling up, it may feel more overwhelming than it did originally.

These prompts can help you explore and process challenging emotions productively:

Note: If writing about painful emotions makes you feel even worse, there’s no need to push yourself. It may help to establish a regular journaling habit before you turn to more challenging topics.

Living your best life

Writing about the little things that add meaning to daily life makes it easier to notice just how much they boost your mood and overall well-being.

Recognizing what you enjoy most about life reminds you to keep making time for those things. It can also promote feelings of gratitude and contentment, as exploring what you love about life can help you realize that you may already have much of what you desire.

Here are some prompts to try:

Personal growth and life goals

Getting in touch with who you are now doesn’t just help you recognize key strengths and values. It can also help unlock a deeper understanding of who you want to become and what you want from life.

As long as you live, you can continue to pursue change and growth.

Try these prompts to explore your dreams and outline potential paths toward change:

Feeling stuck?

If you’ve never kept a journal before, writing on a regular basis might feel a bit challenging. Even with prompts to help prime your thoughts, you might find it tough to get started.

The best way to start is to pick up your pen and start scribbling away. Your journal is just for you, so there’s no need to worry about your handwriting, grammar, or spelling. The important part of journaling is getting your thoughts onto the page.

Some people find that it helps to start with a “stream of consciousness” approach. This means writing down whatever comes to mind on a topic, exactly as it pops into your thoughts, without stopping to worry about punctuation or complete sentences.

A few more tips to help you find your flow include:

Journaling can help ease stress and uncertainty and teach you more about yourself and what you want from life.

That said, writing may not always feel fun or easy. It’s normal to experience a little discomfort when writing about painful emotions and frustrating experiences. But venting this distress can often lead to healing and growth.

When your writing continues to bring up distressing feelings or memories, a therapist can offer guidance with exploring these emotions and experiences in more depth.

Last medically reviewed on April 19, 2021

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Journal Buddies Jill | January 6, 2023 January 6, 2023 | Journal Prompts & Writing Ideas

35 Inspiring Topics for Journal Writing

Journal Keeping Ideas and Topics to Spark Your Creative Juices and to Write About—   This excellent set of 35 topics for journal writing is designed to serve anyone from age 12 and up into adulthood—which means it’s suitable for use in your middle school, high-school, or post-secondary classroom, or simply for your own personal use. Take a look now and enjoy!

Journal Writing For Age 12 and Up

Make Journal Writing a Fun Habit & New Skill for a Better Life

Journaling is a powerful and effective tool for people of all ages. It’s the new diary keeping and is loaded with benefits.

This is why…

Whether you’re using it to therapeutically uncover your deepest, true feelings about a given topic or simply as a way to practice and become a better writer, its value and benefits cannot be overstated. (Here you will discover 6 Benefits of Journal writing and 35 more prompts .)

And our list of new ideas can help you. (This is especially true if you find blank pages a challenge to overcome.)

You see…

Positive Affirmations or Addressing a Difficult Situation, Our Prompts Will Guide and Support You

Touching on serious topics like heroes, friendship, and fears, and lighter fare like meaningful gifts, alter egos, and celebrity crushes, there’s truly something here for everyone—and truly limitless lessons to be learned.

Use these topics for journal writing to prompt your own reflection or to help your class uncover new truths about themselves—and enjoy the rich gifts and secrets you unlock as you discover the great joy of journaling. 

Ok, without further ado, grab your notebook or writing device because here are those topics for journal writing prompts for writers of all ages!

Topics for Journal Writing: 35 Absolutely Fabulous Ideas for You!

This all new set of 35 topics for journal writing is designed to serve anyone from age 12 and up into adulthood - suitable for use in your middle school, high school, or post-secondary classroom, or simply for your own personal use.

I hope you enjoyed this awesome list of journal prompts and found some inspiration from this list of journal writing prompt ideas.

List of 15 MORE Journal Questions

Just in case you need more inspiration, here are more ideas from our Journal Question of the Day list). Enjoy!

BONUS List of Favorites

Now, if you need even more inspiration, check out these time-tested favorite journal questions and list of things to write about. They are simple ideas that nearly every writer can answer without much effort. Plus, they are an excellent way to get those creative juices flowing for writers of all skill levels.

Turn this list on its head and write about your least favorite instead.

Whether you have written one journal entry or 100 journal entries, creating a journaling habit through the practice of daily writing can have a positive impact on your life. Make regular journaling a part of your morning routine (or evening). We know you’ll be glad you did!

More Journaling Resources

Writing about Thoughts, Emotions, and More Throughout the Whole Year

Journal writing as part of a daily routine is a wonderful way for writers of all ages to explore their creativity, improve their mental health, gain new insights, encourage personal growth and self-discovery, document accomplishments, or just have fun.

So… Make an important promise to yourself right now that you will find a way to journal on a regular basis in a way that thrills you. I assure you, your life will change for the better by doing so.

That means setting no boundaries and letting your inner creativity bloom.

From describing your perfect day or the worst thing that ever happened to you to your biggest challenges or your favorite vacation, your journal is a safe place for self-reflection and can help banish negative thoughts and bad habits.

A new journal and a pen or pencil are all you need and now is the best time to get started!

Until next time, write on…

If you enjoyed these Topics for Journal Writing, please share them on social media via Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest. I appreciate it!

Sincerely, Jill journalbuddies.com creator and curator

Topics for Journal Writing

Tap to See Prompts Topics to Write About 9 Journaling Themes with Bonus Prompts Personal Journal Ideas + Bonus Printable (kids) Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7-8 Grade 9-12 All Ages ------------End of Om Added --------- Tags Adult Writing Prompts , journal , journal prompt , journal prompts , journal topics , journaling , journaling ideas , joy of journaling , prompt , teen , Teen Journal , topics , topics for journal writing , Topics for Writing , tween , tween journal , write , writer , writing div#postbottom { margin-top: 12px; } Featured Posts

Spring Writing Prompts

Writing Exercises and Prompts for Journaling, Prose, Poetry and Memoirs

These Writing Exercises are a collection of prompts originally published in The Journal Newsletter . The prompts include journaling prompts, prose prompts, poetry prompts, free writing prompts, and memoir prompts.

Or jump to the complete list of exercises you would like to see:

The exercises are updated each month, after the newsletter is published.

Unless otherwise specified, all prompts Copyright © by Susan Michael and David Michael.

Your Visual Journal

Journaling + Sketchnotes + Bullet Journal Ideas

Illustration of woman in bed journaling

301+ Journal Prompts for Freedom and Insight

Last updated on April 24th, 2022 • Journal Prompts

writing exercises journals

Journal prompts are like a “cheat code” for shifting your perspective and sparking your imagination. Spend some time with your notebook engaging with a journal prompt, and you’ll find yourself breaking out of tired patterns, inspired by new points of view. 

And the best part?

Using a prompt produces way better journaling than just sitting in front of a blank page, trying to figure out what to write.

Do you love questions that bring your ideas to life, expand your emotional intelligence, uncover hidden dreams, and reignite your passion?

Then you’re going to love this post.

We’ll provide a huge list of journaling prompts for use in different contexts. Specifically, we’ll cover:

** Free Bonus: Click here to download all 301+ journal prompts in one handy PDF. **

Journal prompts are questions or first lines that serve as a guide for what to write on a blank page. Of course, you can always pick up a pen and start writing on your own, but a journaling prompt can help you think in new ways.

By giving you a path to follow as you write, journal prompts encourage you to examine parts of your experience that you may not have looked at before. They help to clarify how you think and feel about things, allowing you to find a fresh perspective. 

Clear as dishwater?

Let’s look at an example. Consider this journal prompt, and some potential scenarios it might speak to:

Who helped you this week that you would like to thank and why?  

Taking time to write out the who and the what will change your emotional space. You’ll begin to feel grateful—which, in positive psychology research, is consistently proven to produce greater happiness.

Inspiring, right?

Here’s why:

We spend a lot of our life on autopilot. 

It’s actually a helpful feature of the human mind. Your brain focuses on actions that are new, but automates the “known,” to be more efficient with its resources. This is the reason we can wash dishes and plan a presentation at the same time. It’s the reason why we decide where we are going to sit the first time we walk into a class, and continue to choose that same seat for the rest of the semester. It’s the reason we can get in a car and drive—without going through the driver’s ed checklist of fastening the seat belt, adjusting the mirror, and putting our hands “at 10 and 2,” the way we did when we first learned to drive.

But while autopilot is a helpful feature in terms of resource conservation, it can keep us in a reactive mode, rather than a proactive mode. 

Our automated actions are based on decisions and circumstances of the past—which aren’t necessarily aligned with what we want in our future.  

But we won’t know unless we take the time to think it through. 

Enter the magic of journaling with a prompt: a prompt can push us to examine things we don’t usually consider. 

Which takes us off autopilot. 

The benefit? 

We bring more intention to our decisions. We stop reacting, and start choosing. 

Are you looking for a way to live more intentionally? 

Do you want to stop feeling like you are living your life on a hamster wheel, and take back some control? 

Then ask yourself better questions—and record your answers to them—so you can find clarity on what you want, what you think, and how you feel. Using a journal prompt could be the key to doing just that.

Categories for our 301+ journal prompts

We’ve organized our journaling prompts into 11 different categories. Each section begins with a bit of explanation about how each type of prompt works. 

This is a really long list, so feel free to use these handy jump links to take you where you want to go.

Prompts for gratitude and optimism

Prompts for self-discovery, journal prompts for anxiety, journal prompts for depression, journal prompts for therapy, journal prompts for self-love, journal prompts for clarity of action, mindfulness journal prompts, writing your personal history , bullet journal collection ideas, prompts just for kids, how to use a journal jar, go ahead and tell me. what did i miss.

Or, you can click the link below and just download all the journal prompts in PDF format.

heart with light coming out of it for the section on journal prompts for gratitude and optimism image by Cathy Hutchison

Let’s do a little experiment.

Suppose you’ve had a really crappy day. Truly, truly terrible. 

It can start to feel like nothing is good in your life. The weight of your day will color every thought you have for the rest of the evening. 

But let’s say that, as a discipline, you sit down at your desk, pull out your notebook, and answer some journaling prompts on gratitude. 

Soon, you will have pages of evidence of the good in your life that will counter the terrible stuff, and begin to bring balance—and maybe, just maybe, tip the scales in favor of a bit of optimism.

Here is a list of journaling prompts for gratitude: 

heart with colors pouring out of it for journaling for self discovery image by Cathy Hutchison

Want to find a new internal spark? 

There is something about asking yourself about what you want and how you feel that can renew your motivation in the most surprising of ways.

It’s ideal to schedule self-discovery prompts around milestones, like birthdays or the beginning of a year. It’s also powerful to create a plan to engage with them on a recurring schedule (monthly or quarterly works well). 

Here’s a list of journal prompts for self-discovery, so when you pull out your journal to write, you’ll have inspiring things to explore about yourself. 

heart with barbed wire and vines entangling it with a pair of wirecutters cutting it away to represent journaling for anxiety. Image by Cathy Hutchison

Like it or not, fear is a core human emotion. 

And the media knows it! Every day we are bombarded with a steady stream of reasons to be afraid. 

Our brains are wired to pay attention when something feels frightening. Even when we are perfectly safe, the threat of “what might happen” makes it hard to shut that anxious response off. (The “fight or flight or freeze” response is hard-wired into us.) 

Journaling about your anxiety can give your mind a place to pour out that mental chatter so that it feels heard . Once you acknowledge that an anxious thought or feeling exists, your mind feels safe enough to stop screaming at you to pay attention. 

Sitting with a notebook and honoring what you are worried about by writing it down can be oddly calming.

These 6 powerful journaling prompts can help calm your mind by addressing different types of anxiety. Find the one that resonates most with your experience, and try it now:  

For example: breathing deeply, going for a run, sitting on the couch to snuggle a pet.

For example: “…and then I’ll be laid off, and then I won’t be able to  find a job, and then I’ll be homeless and have to dig in the trash for food… ”

Then, write what would probably really happen.

For example: “…and then I would reach out to people I know for ideas on what my opportunities are, and, if needed, I would move back in with my family for a short time while I look for a new job.”

Below it, draw a line down the center of the page.

On one side, write the heading: “cannot change.” On the other side, write: “can change.”

Take everything that is prompting anxiety for you in this moment, and put it into one of those categories. (Note: Most of the time the only thing you can change is yourself. Most of the “cannot change” list will be about others.)

For example: “ Edith says I’m going to fail at my presentation tomorrow. She says it is going to be boring and lame and no one will be interested in what I have to say.”

Writing your inner dialog out from a third-party perspective creates separation. It changes your vantage point, so you can see your thoughts more objectively. 

Now write back to your inner critic.

For example: “ Oh Edith, I know you are afraid for me. Come here. Let me give you a hug. We are going to be okay.”

Giving your inner critic a persona allows you to question it. You don’t have to accept what it says as truth. 

Pull out a piece of paper and write down every open loop your brain keeps pinging you with. Scatter them popcorn-style across your page. If you are like most people, you will probably end up with a weird mix of the essential and the trivial—from all different areas of your life. Write fast, then pause to see what comes into your brain next. (Your brain is going to be so happy that you’re doing this, it will flood your thoughts with all the things.)

Now, use a highlighter to color-code similar things—items that can be addressed together. Block out time on your calendar to schedule when you are going to deal with each collection of color-coded items. Once a task’s completion is scheduled, your brain can start to relax. (You’ll find even more relief if you take care of at least one piece of “popcorn” on the page immediately.)

Heart on a dark background Image to represent journaling for depression. Image by Cathy Hutchison

Depression is a serious mental state—characterized by feelings of sadness, withdrawal from connection, and a lack of interest in daily life. 

If you are currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Hopeline Network: 1-800-784-2433. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also has a hotline to help you find resources to treat and manage depression: call 1-800-662-HELP.

Journaling is not a cure for depression, but it does have benefits for people who are depressed. Depression creates a fog around who we are, what we think, and how we feel. Journaling can empower you to regain clarity.

Here are some journal prompts that may help:

Two hearts touching on bright background to represent journaling for therapy. Image by Cathy Hutchison

Great therapists ask great questions. 

They draw out what  you are really thinking and how you are feeling with their queries. And while there is no substitute for someone trained in this art, this process of querying and answering yourself can be a very therapeutic process. 

Here are some prompts for using your journal as a complement to therapy: 

Hand drawn love note with x's and o's to represent journal prompts for self love Image by Cathy Hutchison

No matter how amazing we are, our self-talk can be downright mean. 

Phrases we would NEVER say to a friend spin around in our own minds like ninja throwing stars. What’s worse: we can become so immersed in these thought patterns that we never notice how they’re doing damage to our beautiful souls, over and over again.  

Journaling for self-love is a fierce shield of defense against this roaring inner voice. It retrains our minds and heals our hearts. 

Here are some journaling prompts that can foster self-love: 

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we just don’t know what to do. We have to make a decision—a hard choice—and it feels overwhelming. 

When you are in that tough space, your journal can be an incredible ally. 

There are questions we can ask ourselves before we take action that can clarify what we really want and make the path for our choices clear. 

Here are some journaling prompts to try when you need clarity of action: 

Red heart with white flower on watercolor background to represent mindfulness journal prompts.  Image by Cathy Hutchison

The heart of mindfulness is about directing your attention—typically in the present moment. While journaling can be a great mindfulness practice, there are specific prompts that can help bring awareness to your current experience. 

Here are some journaling prompts for mindfulness:

Heart with words on it "I said" She said "He said" to represent journaling your personal background. Image by Cathy Hutchison

Journaling your personal history allows you to capture personal and family stories in a way that makes your journal become a legacy. Your family can read the stories to learn about themselves and where they come from. 

Personal history journals can be digital, but they can also be handwritten, with pictures pasted in to give them an heirloom feel.

Whether you decide to go with pen and paper or create a digital journal, these journal prompts can give shape and inspiration to yourpersonal history journal: 

Image of open journal with heart scribbled on it Image by Cathy Hutchison

People who use the Bullet Journal Method will be familiar with the term “collections.” A collection is a topical page in your journal that covers a specific category. This is usually a log, tracker, or list of some kind. 

Since a Bullet Journal is supposed to be simple, you don’t want to track everything—only the things that matter to you—but sometimes looking through a list of things that others are logging can help you decide what collection pages to include in your own journal. 

Here are some journal prompts for Bullet Journal collections:

Partially drawn heart with a crayon to represent journal prompts for kids. Image by Cathy Hutchison

Thirty-something Chase was home for the weekend and going through a box of memorabilia when he came across a journal given to him by his third-grade teacher. Each Monday, she’d given the class a journal prompt, and asked them to write their thoughts. 

As Chase sat in the living room reading each entry (written in decidedly third-grade handwriting) out loud, his whole family was filled with both laughter and nostalgia as they listened to his elementary school perspective on his life. 

You can create this same kind of record for a kid you love as well—and you don’t have to wait until they are thirty to find the answers endearing and hilarious. Either give them a prompt and have them write the answer, or ask the question and record the answers yourself

Here are 30 prompts to discover a child’s perspective: 

Hand drawn image of a journal jar Image by Cathy Hutchison

We’ve explored a lot of different types of journal prompts, but what if you’re not sure what topic you want to write about?

Or maybe you saw a question in one of these lists that scared you a little, or made you uneasy. You know it would do you some good to sit with that question, but you’re not quite sure you have the courage, and need a way to trick yourself into it.

A journal jar is the perfect solution in both of these scenarios. (It’s also a great way to cultivate a spirit of adventure!)

No, it’s not a jar that you write on (although you could). A journal jar is simply a container filled with little scraps of paper that have journal prompts written (or printed) on them. It can be as simple as a plain mason jar full of handwritten ideas, or—if you know that buying or making a pretty jar and using beautifully pre-printed or hand-crafted slips of paper for your prompts will propel you to use it—you can make it as fancy as you like. (Check out some of the journal jars on Etsy for inspiration.)

** Free Bonus: Click here to download all 301+ journal prompts in one handy PDF. ** P.S. The prompts in the PDF are intentionally spaced to make them easy to cut out and put them in your journal jar.

Simply place your journal prompts in the jar, and make it a practice to pull one out every day. The only rule is that you have to use the prompt—whatever’s on that piece of paper is what you’ll write about that day.

If you’re going for a scrapbook feel, you can paste the prompt into your journal and add some simple illustrations to pretty up each entry. You can also save the prompts to use again when your jar is empty, or discard them in favor of choosing new ones later.

We’ve given you 301+ journal prompts to get you started, but there are so many more out there.

Yes, this is an enormous list—but everyone journals for different reasons. It’s important to find and use prompts that are aligned with the kind of journaling you most want to do. 

Do you have a prompt not already listed here that you love? Please share it in the comments. I’d love to hear what inspires you to write in your journal!

writing exercises journals

Reader Interactions

writing exercises journals

06/06/2021 at 4:04 PM

My goodness Cathy, you’ve been working really hard to find all those prompts. What a great collection. And really useful too.

writing exercises journals

06/06/2021 at 8:26 PM

Amazing ideas. Thank you for your hard work and staying obedient to your Higher power

writing exercises journals

07/22/2021 at 7:17 AM

Amazing Thank you very much for your hard work

writing exercises journals

12/12/2022 at 7:16 AM

Thank you so much! From a new journalist.

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02/21/2023 at 12:22 AM

I love journal prompts that encourage freedom and insight. This one is no exception! I’m looking forward to trying out some of the ideas.

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Cathy helps people banish overwhelm, boost creativity 🎨 and reconnect with their ♥️ through visual journaling. 🖌 Get the free Quickstart guide 📗 here

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Journaling Prompts | Wit & Delight

There is no better way to understand the way you think and what’s going through your head than to journal. The problem I’ve found is that the act of journaling is so open-ended that when it is most beneficial for me to do it, I avoid it. Sound familiar? If this is one of the roadblocks you face when it comes to journaling, this post is here to help. I want to take the guesswork out of how you can journal effectively, without the impending paralysis that sometimes results from an open-ended prompt.  P.S. If you’re in the market for a new journal, you can find the W&D ruled linen journal available online here !

My first tip? Start by writing “Morning Pages.”

Whether you are new to journaling or are just here to get some new prompts to try, consider doing a “mental download” first using the “Morning Pages” method. (“Morning Pages” is a writing practice developed by author Julia Cameron . Wit & Delight contributor Ellen Koneck wrote a helpful post about this topic, which you can read here .) It’s a great way to get your mental gears greased and clean out any fragments of unfinished tasks, things to remember, or notes to self. It’s also really effective in priming the pump per se when it comes to getting the most out of more targeted journaling sessions.

Next, dive into journaling prompts.

Once you’ve done around ten minutes of subconscious, nonlinear writing, I suggest moving on to journaling prompts. I keep a list handy that I can refer to and take inventory of what I’m up against that day or in that moment. If I’m feeling anxious , I know which list to focus on.

Sometimes we journal to connect with ourselves; other times we journal to find perspective in moments that feel out of control. Given the bizarre times we’re living in and the spread of COVID-19, journaling is becoming an incredibly handy tool for this worrier . 

When done correctly, journaling can be calming and clearing for your mind. It can help in releasing pent-up feelings and everyday stress. It can help you let go of negative thoughts while exploring your experiences with anxiety in a safe way.

The truth is, writing your thoughts down in a journal can positively impact your anxiety on a holistic level. When done correctly, journaling can be calming and clearing for your mind. It can help in releasing pent-up feelings and everyday stress. It can help you let go of negative thoughts while exploring your experiences with anxiety in a safe way.

When we get in the habit of writing about our struggles AND our successes, we begin to see enhanced self-awareness while also teaching ourselves about our triggers. Below you’ll find some of my favorite journaling prompts that have worked wonders for me.

Journaling Prompts for Self-Discovery:

Journaling Prompts for Managing Emotions:

Journaling Prompts for Anxiety and Depression

If you aren’t convinced, research shows journaling can greatly improve your overall well-being. Now grab a notebook, some tea (or whiskey?), and let the words fly.

writing exercises journals

Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_ .

BY Kate Arends - March 16, 2020

Like what you see? Share Wit & Delight with a friend: 

thanks for the 101. ive always thought having a journal would be a good idea to just release all my thoughts but ive never really known how to begin you know?

stay safe!! https://dorky-and-weird.blogspot.com/ Beijinhos Jessy

I completely know what you mean, Jessica! The blank page is sometimes the hardest part of journaling. I hope these prompts are helpful. Take care!

I love this. I’ve been a journaler for as long as I can remember, but sometimes I even get fed up with MYSELF because the journal quickly becomes a stream of consciousness. I’ve wondered if it’s effective aside from just getting things out of my head. So I love the idea of the prompts so my journaling can be more productive.

I’m so glad this resonated, Ashley! I definitely hear what you’re saying. I think getting our thoughts down on paper is always, always worthwhile, but sometimes it is nice to be able to have a more focused, productive journaling session. Wishing you well!

Wow I had never heard of morning pages, AND a used copy of “The Artists Way” is sitting on my bookshelf. Can’t wait to try my hand at them tomorrow morning!

Thanks for commenting, Dylan! It sounds like it’s meant to be. I hope you find the process helpful!

I hate to say it, but 2-1, 1-3, 2-3, 3-3 and 4-3 are the only questions I can answer or even partially answer. The rest elicit an “I have no idea” response. Maybe journaling just isn’t for me after all.

This is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

So glad it resonated with you!

I’ve been writing in a journal since I was 7 years old. I struggle to find things to write about sometimes, so thank you for the prompts!

I hope you find them helpful!!

At first writing a journal felt so hard but im getting the hook of it gradually, thank you

Fantastic blog Kate I used your prompts for my group therapy -thanks for all you do

So good to hear, thanks for your comment!

I’ve always been a peron who struggled with anexity and the feeling of losing something and it really made me try journaling because someone told me its like tallking to a person but its hidden to where only you know about what you wrote that is until you decide to share your story and change the world from it but it really made me realise that I can be a better person by letting my feelings go and I just wanna say thank you for the prompts they helped a bunch.

I’m so glad you found them helpful!

No offense you can find this prompt and questions many places not to unique see these things a lot.

Thank you so much for such insightful journal prompts. I run a discord server for me and my friends where we all have our own private channel to journal our emotions and insecurities, but also to help us grow and heal..these will be really helpful 🙂

I’m so glad to hear these will be helpful for you!

Good article. You really should credit Julia Cameron on the morning pages tip though.

Thank you for pointing this out! I’ve added this credit within the post.

Read you posting and the comments and wondering if I am doing things wrong. First, am 75 and have done some journal writing on and off for years. Keep “dropping” out of it and starting over. Making a conscious effort now to write down feelings, ideas (daily) and past life experiences. Am I too late in doing this? Just seeking another opinion. Thanks.

It’s never too late! I think journaling can be so helpful, even if only done on occasion.

I WILL be becoming a journaler. I only want to do this for my mental health and letting out my feelings. Sometimes I feel like I can’t control my anxiety and depression. I feel like this would be a very good way to let out my emotions and control my anxiety.

Thank you for sharing! Journaling is an amazing way to help with that.

That nice blog sir. Your posts always inspired me. Please post more useful articles. keep sharing them – https://ijsret.com/2022/10/0https://ijsret.com/2022/10/07/publish-paper-in-a-journal/7/publish-paper-in-a-journal/

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119 Journal Prompts for Your Journal Jar

journal prompts

There are a myriad of benefits to journaling, and everyone should consider keeping a journal.

However, one of the obstacles that people face when they want to pick up the practice of journaling is that they don’t know what to write about. In this post you’ll discover 119 journal prompts to help you get started in keeping a journal, or as additional inspiration for dedicated journalers.

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Below you’ll find 119 journal prompts for your journal jar.

Sunday Scribblings

Sunday Scribblings is a site that posts a writing prompt every Saturday. The idea is that on Sunday you create a piece of writing inspired by the prompt, post it on your blog, and leave a comment on the “Sunday Scribblings” site letting them know that you’ve participated. These can also be used as journal prompts.

Here are some of their prompts:

Create Lists

You can create lists of many things, such as the following:

As a bonus, here’s an infographic with 60 lists to make when you need to lift your mood (you can download a PDF with these 60 list ideas at the end of this blog post).

lists to make


Do you have anything you would like to confess (even if it’s just to the pages of your journal)?

Use Quotes as Journal Prompts

Look at the following quotes and write whatever comes to mind when you read them:

The Most . . .

Visual Journaling Prompts

Three Things

100 Things I Love

You’re going to make lists that will add up to 100 things you love.  Make sure you give an explanation for each of the things you add to your list.  For example, don’t just list your favorite restaurants, write down what you enjoy about each one (the warm bread they serve before the meal, the waiter who always remembers your favorite dish, the whimsical decor, and so on).

Express Your Emotions

Rituals and Traditions

Ask “If” Questions

These prompts were inspired by the book If… (Questions For The Game of Life) .

Memories From Your Childhood

Thinking of the Week That Just Ended

Write a Letter

Landmark Events

The Sky’s the Limit

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An Ode To Your Uniqueness

Dream Triggers

Use your journaling sessions to think about your ideal life. Ask yourself dream triggers, such as the following:

You’ll find 1000 dream triggers, covering 10 different life areas, here .

Memory Triggers

My eBook, “Create Your Life Story” , contains 444 memory prompts, covering several life areas, to help you get started recording your memories and writing your life story. They can also be used as journaling prompts.

Here are three of the prompts that you’ll find inside:


Keeping a journal is a great tool for changing your life for the better . In addition,  keeping prompts in a journal jar will make journaling easier. The prompts above are a great place to start.

As promised above, here’s the PDF with the 60 lists to make when you need a mood lift. Download it, print it, and put it somewhere you can grab it when you feel like making lists. Just fill in your name and email in the form below.

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Awesome. I Love this! I also had an idea as I read through some of these prompts that I think I’m going to use some of them to do a “get to know you better” game with my siblings. As we are getting older and are now spread so far apart there is so much I’d love to know in a deeper way about them. The easier things I know, but I’d like to ask things from like “The Sky’s the Limit” along with a few other deeper questions.

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Hi, I’m 14 and my teacher said we needed to find some journal prompts. I stumbled upon this website and thought I’d say that I would be using it a lot for myself. I love to write and journal!!! It’s my passion and one day my future job. So thanks for making this website 🙂

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Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!

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Marelisa, thank you for this wonderful list!! I’m guest posting about journals at Or So She Says on Monday (February 11) and I’m linking to your list! Hope you don’t mind. Thanks again and have a great day!

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Hi Brooke: It would be great if you linked to my post, thank you.

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it was wonderful reading your journal prompts. thanks a lot. The post really assisted me

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Excellent list of prompts. I appreciate all the hard work that went into this.

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Thanks for your hard work! I’m modifying some of these for my classroom journals.

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Excellent work. kudos.

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Been into keeping a journal since I was 21 in 1987 and found that I am sometimes still in the mood to write even after I’ve already updated my journal with what’s going at the present moment in my life. I think this is a great way to expand those journal horizons, so to speak. Although I’ve probably mentioned most of these things in my journals over the years, it’s nice to have a consolidated and organized theme I can follow such as this. Thanks!

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This site is really awesome. I was just thinking that I wanted to make a list of journal prompts so I googled journal prompts and found this. Now I have a whole bunch of great things to write about. THANKS!

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The Women I Love and Admire Journal

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Writer's Prompt Journal - Creative Writing Warm Up Workbook - Writers Block Exercises: Creative writers story prompts journal (lined) - 2 pages per prompt (Writer's Prompt Journals) Paperback – June 17, 2021

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The perfect cure for that terror of the dreaded blank page. If you are productivity-minded and have set yourself the goal of writing only two pages of prose a day to grow your creative writing talents, then this book is for you (or an excellent gift) . Use as frequently or infrequently as required to get the creative juices flowing. Give yourself permission to write rubbish prose.

Use this as a warm up exercise book to just start getting words on the page and your creative endeavours will truly benefit as a result! This book contains a variety of short prompts, each with two lined pages for your creative writing journalling.

The intention is not to create amazing fiction, but to ‘ break the ice ’ when it comes to writer’s block and start getting words on the page.

Prompts are designed to push your imagination. Examples include:

Title your piece once it is complete.

Some prompts will ask you to ‘include’ something - this can be part of the plot, setting or just a part of the dialogue, as long as that element finds its way into the piece somewhere. This will help the imagination do the mental gymnastics. 8.5 x 11in on good quality paper

The sooner you start, the better!

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