20 Journal Prompts To Help Your Mental Health

20 journal prompts to help your mental health.

For most of my life, my notebooks and journals have always been a safe space for me to release my innermost thoughts and feelings, without holding back.

I’ve found that when I’ve stopped journaling, it’s often because there were emotions and feelings that I didn’t want to deal with. I would suppress how I felt in hopes that it would go away, or somehow improve if I ignored it altogether. 

But when we don’t allow ourselves to process and dig deep into our feelings, we’ll only end up suppressing them even more. I think a lot of the time, we don’t even realize how harmful it can be to our mental health when we ignore our feelings rather than deal with them–because all it inevitably does is put our problems off even longer. Check out how journaling can improve your mental health, what the best practices are to make it a habit, along with helpful prompts:

How Journaling Helps Improve Your Mental Health 

Journaling has numerous mental health benefits, including gaining clarity and perspective into our feelings, cultivating mindfulness, and boosting our overall health and well-being. It helps us dive deep and identify the areas of our lives that need improving, while providing an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve been through and where we’re heading.

Being in the creative realm since I was younger, I was naturally drawn to the benefits of journaling. It became something that I had to do every day, or my day wasn’t complete without it. However, in the couple of years that I stopped journaling altogether, I knew that it was hurting me more than it was benefiting my mental health. 

A lot of the time, we don’t even know what thoughts we have or the deep-rooted emotions we feel until we release them. Journaling can help improve our mental health by sorting through our emotions and breaking down any barriers to help gain more self-awareness of our true feelings.

Journaling Quote

The Best Practices For Journaling For Your Mental Health 

One of the best parts about journaling is there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to getting started.

When I was younger, I’d fill notebook after notebook with random thoughts, hopes, and desires. But as I got older, I started having designated journals for certain topics and things I wanted to write about. 

One of the journals I use now is strictly for free writing: where I write any and everything that comes to mind without giving it a second thought. I love this type of journaling because it allows you to express yourself without overthinking your emotions or thoughts. 

There are so many feelings that we might not even realize we’re burying or compartmentalizing until we allow ourselves to express it all. Free writing provides a space to do just that, without holding back or hiding how you feel.

Other types of journals include:

  • Five-minute journaling: where you spend five minutes reflecting on gratitude and highlighting your day. Five-minute journaling is helpful when you feel pressed for time because it gives you a quick outlet to reflect on the day.
  • Bullet journaling: where you list habits that you want to incorporate into your life (exercising, meal prepping, financial goals, starting new habits, etc.). Bullet journaling is beneficial when there are different categories in your life that need organizing and sorting. It helps you identify what you’ve accomplished, and what you plan to accomplish in the future.
  • Journal Prompts: where you reflect on a list of prompts that help you dig deeper into insights on how you’re thinking and feeling. Journal prompts are helpful when you aren’t sure what to write about, but know that you need to release your emotions and feelings.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to journal, but the best practice of journaling is to find what type of journaling fits your needs. You might also find that it’s helpful to have a variety of journals depending on what you need to release. Especially if you’re looking for helpful ways to sort and organize different areas of your life.

How To Make Journaling A Habit 

The hardest part about starting any new type of habit is getting started.

When I first started getting into the routine of journaling every day, I would typically do it at night when I was winding down at the end of the day. It was easier to sort through my thoughts and reflect, plus it was when I found I had the most quiet time. 

Incorporating journaling into your daily routine begins with simply starting. Whether you only have five minutes in the morning or at night, have a midday break when you need to sort through your thoughts, or only do it once a week: whenever and however you journal is completely up to you. 

20 Best Journal Prompts To Help Your Mental Health 

If you’re looking for a space to examine your heavy thoughts and feelings while learning how to process through them, check out these 20 journal prompts to help your mental health:

  1. How would I describe the current state of my mental health? What emotions do I want to work through?
  2. What is a recent goal I accomplished? How did I feel after accomplishing it?
  3. What is something in particular that’s been on my mind? Am I currently holding onto any negative feelings?
  4. How do I incorporate self-care into my routine? Are there any habits I could add that would make me feel more grounded when it comes to self-care?
  5. What are my intentions this week/month? What can I start doing today that would help me tomorrow?
  6. Reflect on a lesson learned from a past mistake. Is there anything I need to still forgive myself for?
  7. If someone were to ask me what I’m most passionate about, my initial response would be…
  8. How do I handle stress? How can I improve my reaction to it?
  9. What are my core values? Which one do I stick by the most?
  10. What are some boundaries I can set to protect my mental health?
  11. How do I practice mindfulness in my life?
  12. What is a fear I’m trying to overcome? What steps can I take to move past it?
  13. What is something I can work on that will help increase my confidence?
  14. How do I handle change? Do I lean into it or shy away from it?
  15. What is something that I need to let go of, so I can move forward?
  16. Has anything made me feel overwhelmed lately? What triggered those feelings, and how did I overcome it?
  17. What are some of my dreams and aspirations for the future?
  18. Reflect on a personal strength that helped me in a difficult time.
  19. What are three positive things about myself that I know to be true?
  20. How can I reframe my mindset to always see the positive, rather than the negative?

20 journal prompts to help your mental health.

Learning what journal method is best for you might be a trial and error process. It isn’t always easy expressing your innermost thoughts and emotions, but it’s always better to release them rather than hold onto them. Your mental health matters, and is so important to take care of—even if it’s releasing how you feel one word at a time.

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