Journal Prompts
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110 Journal Prompts to Get Writing for Positivity and Wellbeing

While you may be familiar with the benefits of journaling, you may also experience the common lack of inspiration that follows the attempt to put down words. Journal prompts help you start writing about your day, life, thoughts, affirmations, success, self-discovery, stressors, and other aspects of yourself that you may want to explore.

Why Write a Journal?

Journaling is a practice that dates back to when humans started writing. Over time, journaling has served a wide range of purposes. And mental health professionals associate the practice with health benefits2 that include coping with grief, managing stress, self-affirmation, and even conflict resolution.

There are many reasons why and how we should write in a journal - from simply taking the time to stop and reflect to benefitting our overall well-being. Psychologist Robert A. Neimeyer helps us understand that when we detail our experiences in writing, we can connect events with how they directly affect us1. Thus “fostering a coherent sense of identity.”

Journaling has many benefits.

One paper in the Journal of School Counseling puts it this way: “The intellectual, reflective, and interactive processes of journaling make it a resourceful therapeutic teaching, learning, and counseling tool.”

While therapists have adapted journaling as a valuable tool for assisting patients, we don’t have to restrict journaling to therapy.

Expressive writing helps us process our feelings and structure our stream of consciousness. It helps us better form our ideas and life goals, challenges can help us foster a positive attitude, and so on.

Writing about stressful events may even help with their impact on our mental health and general well-being.

What Should I Write in My Journal?

With the growing popularity of journaling, we can write across a wide variety of subjects. These prompts are basic ideas, statements, or questions that inspire you to write about a journal topic.

In your journal, you can detail the course of your day, save quotes or questions that pique your interest, write a to-do list, note down your plans and daily routines, discuss your negative or positive feelings, and keep a running list of important things you do not want to forget, and so on.

Journaling, for most people, is a personal endeavor. As such, there are no rules. If something comes to mind and you fancy writing about it - go for it. It could be your last dream, a reflection on a conversation gone by, or one coming up.

Related read: If writing isn't your thing, check out our guide to alternatives to journaling.

Journal prompts can help you get started.

However, with all these benefits in mind and so much scope, getting started with journaling may prove to be a challenge. Some people find it difficult to get started when facing a blank page.

The inspiration for writing doesn’t always come easy, so for those days when you need to journal but don’t know how here are 110 ideas and questions that can get you started.

Related: Browse our recommendations of the best eco-friendly journals to find the perfect notebook for you to use with these journaling prompts. Like these? You might also like our morning affirmations to include in your morning routine for a good start to the day.

110 Journal Prompts

Journal Writing
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Journaling prompts for motivation.

It is not uncommon for us to need motivation, and we find that journaling can be instrumental in driving personal growth and achieving goals. The key is to engage your mind with the right thoughts and words. Check out these journal prompts to get started.

  1. What do you want? Where is your passion?
  2. Who do you admire the most, and why?
  3. What music do you listen to, and why?
  4. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Why do you want to change it?
  5. Where would you like to be in five years?
  6. What drives you?
  7. Which steps are you taking to achieve your goals?
  8. What have you done recently that you are proud of?
  9. In what aspects are you lacking? What are your personal strengths? How can you improve?
  10. What is your definition of success?

Journaling for self-discovery

Journaling is helpful when trying to understand oneself. These journal entry ideas can guide you into writing information to help you decipher your personality traits and their various facets.

Self-discovery is a journey. And getting into the habit of journaling regularly can help you establish clarity and perspective as to your values and needs and where you are going in life.

  1. What can you not imagine living without?
  2. What words do you like to live by?
  3. When you are in any kind of pain, what is the kindest thing you can do for yourself?
  4. Make a list of 20 things that make you smile. (or you can dive off and describe some of the things you most appreciate, such as a favorite toy growing up, best friend, favorite food, and so on)
  5. What does unconditional love look like for you?
  6. Is there one thing you wish your friends and family members knew about you?
  7. What do you love about life?
  8. How do you feel about your body?
  9. What makes you insecure?
  10. What color would you say best describes you? Why do you think so?

Journaling entry prompts to kickstart your day.

Morning Journal Prompts
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If you would like to start your day off by writing in your journal, start with one from this list, and work your way through it.

  1. What are you looking forward to?
  2. Outline your plans for the day in as much detail as possible.
  3. Who do you look forward to seeing?
  4. Are there any new things you’d like to try? (you may like to consider your bucket list or set yourself up with a holiday goal)
  5. What have you put in place to ensure the day is a success?
  6. What does the weather tell you? How do you feel about it?
  7. Will you exercise? If yes, what exercises do you plan to try out?
  8. Have you made provisions for unexpected hiccups?
  9. What mindset are you starting the day with? Where do you want to be next year?
  10. Does it feel like it will be a good day? What will bring you the most joy?

Self-affirming journaling prompts

These listed prompts help in starting or inspiring self-affirmation in journaling. They can also help kick you off with diary prompts to engage in self-reflection and self-care.

  1. I am beautiful because…
  2. Something unique about me is…
  3. Whenever I feel inadequate, I remember…
  4. I deserve [insert a privilege you enjoy] because I…
  5. I am making progress, and I know this because…
  6. What do you do to right your wrongs?
  7. I am qualified to handle [insert responsibility] because I…
  8. What do you want to be remembered for?
  9. List down three negative thoughts that come to mind. Rewrite them into positive thoughts.
  10. I deserve to be loved because…

Journaling writing prompts for documenting projects.

Journal writing is also an excellent method to keep track of your projects and processes, monitor progress, and keep track of setbacks. Noting the dates helps keep the project on its preferred timeline, and when done correctly, it ensures that you leave no details out. Check out journaling prompt ideas for documenting projects.

  1. Define the project. Be detailed as to what it entails and why you are embarking on it.
  2. List out clear-cut short and long-term goals for your project.
  3. List out possible setbacks. Discuss how each one can be handled.
  4. Analyze in writing any possible unexpected events/hiccups that may occur.
  5. If necessary, do a budget breakdown.
  6. List out everything needed for your project.
  7. Detail what help is needed for your project, and how you plan to access such help.
  8. Keep a comprehensive description of each step involved in the project from start to completion.
  9. Write about how your project makes you feel.
  10. Evaluate and review your work once completed.

Journaling for anxiety

Journaling as a means to manage anxiety is one method to compartmentalize, organize and address your worry. It is also a way in which you can increase your awareness of the things you can control, and what thoughts require extra effort to quell. The journaling ideas and diary prompts listed below can provide a little guidance on what to write about if you are journaling for anxiety.

  1. Detail five things that made you feel in control.
  2. List down your anxiety triggers.
  3. Describe how you feel at the present moment. What could make you feel this way?
  4. Write ten ways in which you can take better care of yourself.
  5. Have you had any triggering events in the past week? What were they? How did you handle them?
  6. List five anxiety affirmations you know or use regularly.
  7. Recall five positive things that happened to you during the day and write them down. Emphasize how they made you feel.
  8. What are the top five things that inspire confidence in you?
  9. List five things anxiety has taught you.
  10. What does a life free from anxiety look like to you? Include as many details as possible.

Journaling for depression

Depression is becoming increasingly prevalent, and with it have come various methods to cope. Therapists may recommend and even encourage it as it is a healthy coping mechanism. Writing is always an excellent method to release negative emotions that can crop up in life and can help you explore your life story in a different light. The journal writing prompts can help you get started and keep going:

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. List 5 things that have made you smile in the past week.
  3. What childhood dream do you plan to actualize? How would you like to do this?
  4. What do you look forward to the next day?
  5. Write a letter to the most supportive person you know.
  6. How do you get out of depressive episodes?
  7. List five of your short-term goals.
  8. List five things you are grateful for.
  9. What challenges have you faced recently? How did you handle them?

Journal writing prompts for grief

Journaling may be helpful for people managing grief who experience acute and overwhelming symptoms or have not “revealed any consequences” that the professional deems favorable. By journaling, one may not only come to understand their grief but also learn to manage it. Below are some journal prompt ideas to help in expressing grief.

  1. What were they like?
  2. What do I wish I could forget?
  3. The most challenging time of the day is…
  4. Think, then write about your last memory with them.
  5. Write about your first memory with them.
  6. Write about the last time you both laughed together.
  7. What favorite memory of them is most comforting?
  8. What often triggers the most intense feelings of loss in you?
  9. I am ready to feel…
  10. Today, I really miss…

Journaling prompts for combating intrusive thoughts.

It is important to battle intrusive thoughts as they come because these thoughts can quickly become disruptive and limiting. Journaling can help people combat negative thinking. Try out any of the journal prompts below to fend off those negative thoughts in life.

  1. Concisely state the thoughts you have. Why are they negative?
  2. What triggers intrusive thoughts? Is there a pattern?
  3. Are there certain places, events, people, or activities that can make you susceptible to entertaining intrusive thoughts?
  4. Identify ways in which your thoughts can harm/limit you.
  5. Are these thoughts internalized, or are you reacting to your environment?
  6. Do you believe these thoughts? Give detailed reasons for your answer.
  7. What thoughts do you have that directly contrast with your negative intrusive thoughts? Which seems truer to you?
  8. What can letting go of these thoughts open up your mind to?
  9. What positive thoughts can you use to redirect your train of thought? Write them down.
  10. What can you channel your energy into as a distraction from these thoughts?

Journaling prompts for conflict resolution.

Journaling may help when dealing with conflicts. And a related journal entry may help you view the situation objectively and understand your role in promoting or dispelling that conflict. Start with the journal prompt in this list that you can answer easily, and then work your way through it.

  1. Who is this person to you? Describe the nature of your relationship.
  2. What is the reason for the conflict?
  3. How did this disagreement make you feel?
  4. Are there any ways you feel you could have prevented an escalation?
  5. In what ways are you right? Make a list.
  6. In what ways were you wrong? Make a list.
  7. Is a compromise possible? Go into detail.
  8. What happens if the disagreement goes unmanaged? Is this something you can allow?
  9. Do you plan to reach out? State how. Also, detail what you would like to discuss.
  10. If this happens again, I will…

Journal prompts for self-love.

Struggling with self-love can be made more accessible by writing, specifically in ways that inspire love, appreciation, and respect for oneself. Some of these gratitude journal prompts can be helpful.

  1. What makes you happy? Or describe three wishes that might increase your happiness.
  2. When are you your truest self?
  3. What are your strengths? How often do you make use of them?
  4. What five things do you appreciate about your relationships with your loved ones?
  5. What recurring compliments do you receive from others? Do you believe them? Give reasons for your answer.
  6. What can you do to be kinder to yourself? Set time-sensitive goals concerning this.
  7. How are you working on the things you perceive to be weaknesses in you?
  8. Ask a close friend to describe you in three words on paper, and describe yourself in three words on paper. Compare the two and write about your observation. Or ask your teenage self the same question.
  9. How do you think you could let go of the negative perceptions you have of yourself?
  10. How would you feel if you loved and accepted yourself completely? Is this something you’d like to achieve soon? What practical steps do you think you could take to accomplish that?


Journaling is for everyone, and you can use it as needed. We may not always be able to manage or understand our thoughts correctly, but it certainly helps when we write them down. And a writing prompt might be just what we need to start getting pen to paper. Don’t wait for a reason to start your journaling journey.

By journaling, you create a paper trail of your new ideas, growth, and progress over the years. You can look back to evaluate your changes and see what worked and didn’t work for you through your expressions of daily life.

This could also help you build self-awareness, an essential trait to help you successfully navigate daily personal, life, and work challenges.

1Neimeyer, R. A. (Ed.). (2012). Series in death, dying, and bereavement. Techniques of grief therapy: Creative practices for counseling the bereaved. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
2A new reason for keeping a diary. Siri Carpenter, American Psychological Assoication, September 2001, Vol 32, No. 8.

Jen’s a passionate environmentalist and sustainability expert. With a science degree from Babcock University Jen loves applying her research skills to craft editorial that connects with our global changemaker and readership audiences centered around topics including zero waste, sustainability, climate change, and biodiversity.

Elsewhere Jen’s interests include the role that future technology and data have in helping us solve some of the planet’s biggest challenges.

Main photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
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