200 Journal Prompts That Will Have You Journaling Like A Pro
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Journaling can sometimes be difficult, even if you’ve journaled before, and that’s where journal prompts can provide a little help for your successful journaling.
If you’ve never journaled before, it might seem overwhelming to get started.
There are so many ways to go about it— from daily journaling to sporadic bouts of writing.
Though you might have heard of the benefits of journaling or the ways in which journaling can help support self-care, you might be wondering how exactly one might jump into journaling.
What is Journaling?
Journaling is the act of writing regularly (whether it’s everyday, every week, or a couple times a month) about your internal state and what is going through your mind. It is often a valuable tool for self examination and self-discovery.
There are thousands of ways to journal, and it’s important to find the type of journaling that works best for you.
Some people need only a simple setup to journal, such as an empty sketchbook, while others might prefer to keep a document on their laptop and type out their thoughts.
And people differ in the frequency of journaling that is most comfortable for them. Some journal every day, while others find it works better to journal a few times a month.
Your journal can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you are use it as a place to collect and work through your thoughts.
Why Should I Keep a Journal?
Simply put, a journal allows you a safe space for you to freely express, honestly and unfiltered, your deepest (or silliest or most secret or unusual) thoughts and feelings free from censure and judgement, and/or to record and memorialize your experiences.
A journal can be a tool of personal development, a record or “snapshot” of who you are at a particular place in time, or a memory keeper where you record thoughts, feelings and experiences that you don’t want to forget.
The most compelling benefit to keeping a journal is that you get to choose what your journal will be and how it will best serve you.
Ultimately, you know yourself best and deciding what kind of what kind of journal you use will be most beneficial to you.
Maybe you’re a new parent with precious little time on your hands, but with a need to record all of the new and wonderful (and, let’s be honest, the not-so-wonderful) experiences you’re having.
You might consider keeping a one-sentence-a-day journal.
Or maybe you’re entering a transition period in your life, and you’re trying to determine your next steps.
In this case, you may consider a more full-fledged and lengthy system of daily entries.
Ultimately, journaling is an attractive way to memorialize your thoughts and experiences because there is no wrong way to journal. The choice of how to do it is entirely up to you!
Types of Journaling:
This is the most common kind of journaling and is similar what many of us used to know as “keeping a diary”.
Your journal can be anything from a spiral bound notebook to the most luxurious leather journal you can find.
The most important thing is that you find something that you enjoy writing in and that encourages you to write.
With this type of journaling it can be particularly helpful to use journal writing prompts to fuel your writing to avoid losing steam, and to help your write even when you aren’t feeling particularly creative.
You may feel the impulse to treat yourself to a beautiful journal to start the journey.
Just know that you can use anything from a napkin to your phone or laptop to serve as a journal.
I have personally found that having an actual journal helps make the act of journaling feel more significant, but to you it may make no difference.
Everyone is free to create their own journal experience.
Whatever works for you and gets you writing is just fine.
And the best part is, you can get started right away.
You may have seen beautiful bullet journal spreads online full of color and elaborate calligraphy.
Bullet journaling typically utilizes a journal with dot-grid paper, in which you can easily set up all sorts of page layouts.
This works well if you want to combine your journal with a daily planner or to-do list and have all of these things in one easy convenient place.
This type of journaling is also good for artistic types.
It can be a creative and artistic outlet as well as an emotional one because the dot-grid format allows you to do whatever you want with the pages from list, to plan, to draw, to write.
This type of journaling is one that we find especially significant and worthwhile.
It is an exercise that helps us to focus on the small as well as the large moments in life that bring us joy and allow us to experience life more meaningfully.
In order to keep a gratitude journal, you might keep a notebook by your bed.
Before you go to sleep each night, write one thing from the day that you’re happy about or grateful for.
Your journal entry can be a sentence long or a full page.
Whatever you feel compelled to write that day.
Examples of entries could be “Today I am grateful for the walk that I went on this morning with my dog, and the way the sunlight felt on my face”, or “Even though I was sick today, I was really grateful that my friend brought me soup to help me feel better.”
Mental Health Journaling
If you’re considering journaling as a way to support positive changes in mental health, this type of journaling might be for you.
At its very core, a mental health journal can be as simple as a mood tracker, where you record your emotional state daily and what may have affected it.
It can also be a place to reflect upon anxieties while you are experiencing them.
Mental health journaling can be immensely helpful, especially during times of great distress as it gives you a place to retreat to and allows your thoughts somewhere to go.
If the memory-keeping side of journaling is what you’re interested in, then a travel journal might be right for you.
In order to keep a travel journal, just bring a journal with you when traveling and write in it throughout the trip.
You might decide to write on plane or train rides, while waiting for transportation, or each night to record the day’s experiences before bed.
This kind of journaling is meant to preserve beautiful travel memories, whether it be a road trip or an extravagant international vacation.
A one-line-a-day journal is a great option for those who worry about journaling taking up too much time in their already busy lives.
This type of journaling requires 30-60 seconds of your day.
All you do is write at the end of each day the most important things that happened during the day.
This is another great way of memory keeping and keeping track of how you’re spending your time.
You can also combine any or all of these journal types to fit your unique journaling style.
Why is Journaling Important in Your Self-improvement/Personal Development Journey?
How would you go about getting to know a new friend?
Most likely, through conversation and asking them questions.
Journaling allows you to have an ongoing, open conversation with yourself.
Ultimately, this leads to a better understanding of who you are at your core and what are your true desires and beliefs.
Having a record of them in your journal also allows you to track your personal progress and growth, self-improvement and development.
Journaling allows you to connect with and listen to yourself, which can sometimes prove a difficult task in today’s busy world.
What are the Benefits of Journaling?
Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool that can help you in many aspects of your life. The following are some of the benefits you might experience when you start journaling:
1. Clarity of Vision
One of the most important things that journaling can help you accomplish is to get clear on your vision of what you want for your life.
By examining and discussing your daily life and emotions through journaling, you will gain a better understanding of your experience.
You’ll be able to identify more clearly the parts of your life that you most enjoy and those that you desire to change.
If you’re trying to discover what you really want for your life or what you’re meant to be doing to live in the happiest life possible, journaling and then reflecting upon your experiences can help you to get the answers you seek.
2. Provides a Place to Vent
Journaling can help you through intense and complicated emotions by allowing you to vent.
Have you ever felt like there’s no one to talk to about what’s on your mind?
With a journal, you always have a place to turn to vent and express the emotions that you’re undergoing.
It can be extremely cathartic to write exactly how you feel without the fear of judgement from others.
3. Keeps Memories
One of the most beautiful aspects of journaling is that journals act as memory keepers.
I have been journaling since I was a young child, and being able to look back at the thoughts and experiences I had and see how much I’ve grown can be incredibly rewarding.
The ability to look back at specific moments and experiences that you’ve captured by writing about them can be incredibly enjoyable.
Even if you’re journaling more for personal growth, the ability to track your progress from the thoughts, feelings and experiences you’ve recorded will be extremely satisfying some day.
4. Helps You Be More in Touch with Yourself
Journaling helps us to reflect and to put our sometimes intangible and confusing emotions into a more tangible form— words.
By writing out your thoughts and feelings, you are expressing them to yourself and thus forced to examine and consider your truest desires and emotions.
If you feel out of sync with yourself and have a hard time figuring out why you feel the way you do about certain situations or circumstances, journaling is a great place to start to help you get in touch with yourself.
5. Increases Gratitude
Journaling can help you cultivate gratitude for the small moments in life.
A daily journaling practice will allow you to reflect upon the small everyday occurrences, which is really the substance of our lives, instead of always being preoccupied with the “big picture”.
If you’re particularly interested in honing your ability to feel grateful for the things in your life, starting a daily gratitude journal is a great first step.
6. Improves Mental health
Oftentimes with mental health problems, spiraling thoughts and strong emotions can make it difficult to grasp reality, or to find resolution in turmoil.
Journaling during moments of intense anxiety or sadness can help you clarify your emotions, and gently ease yourself out of the spiraling thought patterns.
When coupled with professional therapy, journaling can be especially beneficial as it will help you to continue the conversation about your mental health between sessions.
Why Should I Journal Often?
Like staying in touch with a friend through frequent messages, frequent journaling allows you to stay in touch with yourself.
The more often you journal, the more often you engage yourself in meaningful conversations about your own life.
Checking in with yourself through journaling can be an significant task resulting in your increased self-awareness, and in cultivating a life you love.
If in the beginning journaling every day is too much of a commitment for you, try starting with every other day or even once a week.
As you adjust to jounaling and make it a habit, you may then want to increase the frequency with which you write.
Including journaling into your routine is a great way to take your self-care practice to the next level.
By setting aside time for yourself each day or each week to journal, you are allowing yourself vital reflective time that can help you understand yourself better, leading to your self-improvement and personal development.
You can try out the following simple daily or weekly journaling practice to get started:
Get out your journal of choice.
Sit down somewhere comfortable and away from any distractions.
If you journal digitally, try using an app to shut off access to everything but your word processor.
Set a timer on your phone or a stopwatch for 5-15 minutes at first, then longer as you grow your practice (if you’re using your phone, you might want to set it to airplane mode so that you don’t get distracted by notifications).
Write the entire time from the moment the timer starts to when the timer ends, even if it’s just to say that you don’t know exactly what to write about, or you simply list what you have done that day.
Feel free to abbreviate and write as fast as you think— you’ll remember what you meant. Don’t worry about going back over or revising, simply be present and write.
You Can Do All Your Journaling with a great new tool, LifeJournal Online.
And you can use this special link to try your first 15 journal entries for FREE.
LifeJournal is an award-winning journaling tool that helps you to write, reflect and review your journal online securely and privately from multiple devices. (And, if you prefer to only use it offline , LifeJournal is also available for Windows right on your laptop or pc.)
LifeJournal is a simple, yet sophisticated journal software, created by long-time journal writers and endorsed by journal therapists, best-selling authors, and academic researchers worldwide.
It offers additional special features and tools such as writing prompts to encourage more frequent writing, add depth and new perspective to your journaling process. It literally brings the activity of journaling into the 21st century!
With the LifeJournal solution you’ll be able to benefit from the combination of both the art and the science of journal writing.
LifeJournal Online will:
- Help you keep record of the accomplishments, training, projects, and goals you make over time.
- Keep track of what you do, your thoughts and feelings, your goals and aspirations,
- Hold you accountable to the milestones you plan to achieve.
- Back-up Journal data saved securely on your local drive.
LifeJournal Online is free for 15 entries, available for all browsers, and available for both windows and mac operating software.
You can start journaling right now by taking advantage of the free trial and see for yourself! Get your free trial of LifeJournal here!
Why Do I Need Journal Prompts?
Especially for beginners, it can sometimes be difficult to come up with what to say in a journal entry.
A blank page can be a little intimidating.
In these cases, journal prompts can help focus and direct your writing and give your brain something to latch onto.
You can follow the same journaling practice as above with any journaling prompt.
Simply write the prompt at the top of the page to give you something to focus on, then write whatever comes to mind related to the prompt.
Why Use Journal Prompts/ How Do Journal Prompts Help?
Even for experienced writers, journal prompts can help you think about and work through things that you might not come to write about on your own.
Prompts can help add variety to your writing subjects, and give you motivation to journal when you are out of ideas.
How Do Journal Prompts Make My Writing More Productive?
Journal prompts can give you the direction you require to get the most out of journaling.
If you ever feel stuck or uninspired, turning to a prompt can be a great way to turn things around and get yourself writing.
There are numerous creative journal prompts available to help you.
If you’re a journaling newbie or find yourself in a journaling rut, we have created 200 journal prompts especially for you in this article.
Journaling on your own can have obvious benefits, but following journal prompts for self-discovery can help you learn a lot about yourself.
Some prompts might trigger you to write about something you haven’t thought about in a long time, or perhaps never considered before.
These prompts can help you out of your own head-space and help you think about what matters most in your life.
Utilizing daily journal prompts is one of the fastest ways to get to know yourself.
Like in the beginning of a relationship when two people ask each other endless questions, journal prompts are a way for you to ask yourself questions or pose situations that cause you to reflect upon your own life and experiences in a positive way.
There are also a number of journal prompts for mental health that can help make your journaling more productive for mental health by focusing your efforts on specific questions.
No matter which type of journaling appeals most to you, the best thing you can do for yourself is to simply start.
Journaling is a beautiful practice of self-care and understanding, and whatever way you choose to journal will provide you with a beneficial clarity and understanding about yourself.
If you find yourself getting stuck, try one of the following journal prompts to kickstart your journaling journey.
200 Journal Prompts to Kickstart Your Journaling
1. I remember when
2. My happiest childhood memory is
3. My saddest memory is
4. I love the smell of
5. Rainbows are
6. I love(d) when my mother
7. My father always
8. I never
9. I’ve always wanted to travel to
10. If I had all the time in the world, I would
11. When I think of being in a plane flying above the clouds I
12. Sometimes I think I will never
13. I believe I will always
14. A day of sunshine and blues skies makes me want to
15. I hope for
16. When I feel uncertain I
17. I always feel safe when
18. “Tenderness” makes me think of
19. I’ve sometimes felt confused by
20. When I feel overwhelmed I
21. There’s nothing that calms me like
22. I have occasionally been intrigued by
23. I have a fondness for
24. I am amused by
25. I feel most satisfied about
26. I feel sympathy for
27. I’ve always been curious about
28. I’m especially eager to
29. I think it’s silly to
30. I am most content when
31. I’m always dreading
32. I’m occasionally bitter about
33. I try not to
34. I’m infatuated with
35. I love to listen to
36. I always look forward to
37. I never wanted
38. I’m often concerned by
39. I feel most loved when
40. I am most calm when
41. I adore
42. My proudest moment was
43. One thing I never talk about is
44. I feel I’m missing out on
45. I feel incapable of
46. I sometimes feel trapped by
47. I think forgiveness is important because
48. I always thought that I would
49. I am most confident about
50. I feel most uplifted when
51. I’ve always wondered
52. I think the color ______ is beautiful because
53. _________ is a life lesson that’s always stuck with me because
54. I’ve always wanted to learn to _____
55. The thing that I do best
56. My best attribute is ________ because
57. I know I shouldn’t, but I’ve always envied people who
58. How do I
59. My heart was crushed when
60. I admire _________ because
61. Today is
62. This week has been
63. I’m looking forward to
64. I can’t wait until
65. I simply love
66. The love of my life is
67. I believe in
68. I know this for sure
69. I have no idea why
70. I am passionate about
71. I want more of
72. I trust
73. I’ve always thought
74. I am most fearful of
75. How can
76. I nearly lost it when
77. What does it really mean to
78. I wish I understood more about
79. I never told
80. When I get angry
81. My biggest regret is
82. I’m so glad
83. What makes me really happy in this moment is
84. I wish my life was more
85. I don’t ever want to ________ again because
86. I wish people today were more
87. I love to read about
88. I would swim across the ocean to
89. I’ve always wondered
90. My biggest accomplishment
91. When I turn 80, I want to look back and
92. I don’t want to ever
93. I don’t like
94. The last time I went walking
95. I love the smell of
96. I love eating
97. The most important thing that’s happened in my lifetime is
98. The most important characteristic to have in difficult times is
99. My best feature is
100. What’s most valuable to me in life is
101. I laughed so hard when
102. I couldn’t believe my eyes the time
103. If I had it to do over again, there are these 3 things I wouldn’t change
104. When I look at my life, I see
105. I wish people understood _______ about me
106. It’s hard for me to
107. It’s easy for me to
108. Ten years ago I could never have
109. When I look at myself in the mirror, I think
110. When I look at my hands, I wonder
111. If I live to be 100, the thing I’ll be most proud of is
112. The best thing I did today was
113. The best thing I’ve ever done for myself was
114. I’m most self-conscious about
115. I love my best friend most for her/his
116. I thank my parents most for
117. I am grateful every day for
118. I am humbled by
119. I want to be more
120. I want to have more
121. I want to do more
122. I want to give more
123. I wish I weren’t so
124. I could ____ all day every day because
125. I wish I had more time to
126. I could be a better friend if I
127. If I could add one year on to my life, I would spend it
128. If I could leave this life with one thing, it would be
129. I would be willing to work for the next five years if at the end of that time I could
130. I am most sorry for
131. I am most uncomfortable talking about
132. I wish I was a better
133. I need to stop
134. I need to begin
135. The most outrageous thing I’ve ever seen was
136. No matter how many times I
137. If I could see into the future
138. If you asked my closest friend, she’d/he’d say I
139. When I’m by myself, I like to
140. If I had one super power I would
141. If I had to live in another country, I’d want to live in _________ because
142. I really love my
143. When I was a kid I would _______. I wish I could do that now because
144. I’ve always been afraid to
145. If televisions and computers had never been invented, I’d be doing _____ instead
146. I’ve never been able to
147. I’ve always wanted to
148. As a kid, I thought I’d grow up and
149. My most precious memory is
150. Whenever I’m sad, I
151. One thing I’ve never worried about is
152. I could be a better person today if I
153. The one thing that guides me is
154. If I had a choice, I would want to be admired for
155. I choose to surround myself with ______ people because
156. I am uncomfortable doing
157. I am a happy person because
158. My main source of inspiration is
159. I need to let go of
160. I need to get rid of
161. I’m much too embarrassed to
162. If push came to shove I would
163. The one thing I might lie about is
164. It hurts my feelings when
165. When I die
166. I would describe myself as
167. The most important thing I’ve ever learned is
168. The opportunity I’m most searching for is
169. If I knew I couldn’t fail, I would
170. People underestimate my ability to
171. For me, the meaning of life is
172. I would work harder if I could
173. The five people I admire most are
174. I’m most proud of myself today for
175. I believe what’s holding me back most is
176. I’m afraid to let people see
177. I love spending time with
178. I want to leave the world better by
179. A word that best describes me is
180. If I could put a message in a bottle and float it out to sea, I would write
181. The first thing on my bucket list is
182. If I were queen for a day, I would
183. I get all mushy about
184. If I could be anyone in the world, I would be
185. My strength comes from
186. __________ makes me lose my mind
187. My knees get all wobbly when
188. I get butterflies in my stomach about
189. I am most confident when
190. This time next year
191. The best gift I could ever have
192. I am most content when
193. I get most excited about
194. I am most motivated to do well when
195. When I look up into the night sky full of stars, I think
196. The best day I ever had was
197. I wonder when I’ll finally
198. It took me a long time to
199. I want to hide under the covers when
200. I am at my very best when
Bonus. I’m beginning to see things differently now because
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Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.