35 Journaling Prompts To Get Your Whirling Thoughts Out Of Your Head
If you’re here, you know there’s something special about putting a pen to paper and letting thoughts flow freely from the mind to the page. Whether you’re experiencing anxiety or seeking more self-reflection, journaling is a beautiful way to connect with corners of your heart and mind that often go overlooked. But sometimes we can all use a little boost of creative inspiration -- and that’s where journal prompts come in.
We think of journal prompts like friends asking questions that make us think a little deeper (or differently) than we’re used to. And while some writing prompts may resonate with us more depending on our mood, we’re believers that sometimes the simplest question can help us get to know ourselves better.
However, like so many things, getting started and sitting down with a pen in hand can be the hardest part!
Here are our favorite journaling tips to get started:
- Keep your journal handy: Make journaling as EASY as you can for yourself. We recommend putting your journal by your coffee pot or nightstand (somewhere visible) with a pen within reach.
- Don’t worry about where you’re going with your words: Not sure if what you’re writing makes sense? That’s ok! The best part of journaling is that it really doesn’t matter if your writing has a “point” because the process of writing is beneficial in itself.
- Forget about grammar, punctuation, and spelling: Commas and periods are optional!
- Look around: Writing about your surroundings is a nice way to get going and harness yourself to the present moment.
- Add dates: One of the most treasured parts of journaling is seeing how far you’ve grown and witnessing your own personal development over time.
But above all, our #1 journaling tip is: there’s no “right” way to journal! While some love to write outside, others feel more comfortable in their bed. Your best friend may love writing morning pages. For you, it may be a part of a nighttime ritual. Whatever feels good and true to you -- do that.
Plus, journaling has some serious benefits!
Need a little more motivation to get journaling? Here are some of the many benefits of journaling, according to the University of Rochester:
- Boosts our moods
- Helps us manage and cope with depression, stress, and anxiety
- Offers space to prioritize fears and concerns, and also provides room for self-reflection to work through behaviors and thoughts
Now that you’ve got our tips and some journaling benefits up your sleeve, we hope these journaling prompts help you connect with yourself, and give you a few moments of peace and purpose in your day.
Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery
- What is something I’m happy I did recently and why? What is something I wish I did and why didn’t I do it?
- What is holding me back from pursuing something important to me?
- What is flourishing in my life that my younger self would be proud of?
- Have I learned a lesson the hard way? How have I grown since then?
- Where do I have room to grow in my life? What steps can I take to get there in the short term? How about the long term?
- What is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received? Why is it so memorable?
- What does my happy place look like? Smell like? Feel like?
- When was the last time I felt truly out of my comfort zone? How did it feel?
- Who is someone I have lost touch with but wish was still in my life? What are some memories we shared together?
- What is a non-material thing I *really* want in my life? Are there any steps I can take to get closer to having more of “it” in my life?
Journal Prompts for Anxiety
- What’s making me feel anxious right now? What triggered these feelings?
- What are my most frequent anxious thoughts? What thoughts do I wish I had more of?
- Are there any personal needs that I’m neglecting right now? How can I make more room for them?
- When do I feel most disconnected to myself? When do I feel most connected to myself?
- Write down whatever anxious thoughts are in my head for three minutes (or more). After I’m done writing, turn the page, and write down 5 things that make me feel grounded.
Journal Prompts for Self-Love and Gratitude
- Five compliments to myself - go!
- What are 10 things that I’m grateful for? 20? 30?
- Who challenges me to be my most authentic self? BONUS: Consider giving them a call or a text to say “thank you” :)
- If I close my eyes and think about what brings me a sense of light -- what do I see?
- If I was going to write a love letter to my future self, what would I say? (Now, next time I’m having a down day, I’ll have words of love waiting for me!)
Journal Prompts for Connecting with Nature
- Go outside (or look outside) and admire the colors. Notice something new? Write it down!
- How do I honor Mother Earth?
- What does connecting with nature look like for me?
- What’s my favorite sound in nature? Smell? Feeling?
- What’s an outdoor activity or adventure I want to go on one day? Why?
Journal Prompts for Readers
- Why do I read?
- What book often pops into my mind? What about this book sticks with me?
- What fictional character reminds me of myself? Why?
- How did the last book I read impact me?
- What fictional character do I wish was a friend in real life? What is it about this character that speaks to me?
Journal Prompts Just for Fun
- If I could experience someone else’s life for a DAY, who would I choose and why? What about a WEEK?
- Describe a time I felt “butterflies” and nervous in a good way.
- When do I feel most in touch with my inner child?
- If I could do anything tomorrow, what would I do? Where would I go? Who would I spend time with?
- What’s a gift that someone has given me that means a lot to me -- and what is so special about it? What about something I’ve gifted to myself?