How to Journal + Journal Prompt Ideas

by | Dec 12, 2022 | Adulting, Anxiety, Counseling, Highly Sensitive People (HSP), Perfectionism, Stress, Teen therapy

How to Journal + Journal Prompt Ideas

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Journaling can be a helpful way to understand your emotions and has many benefits for your mental health. Research has found that journaling can significantly decrease mental distress and anxiety. If you find yourself having repetitive and negative thoughts, journaling can alleviate these emotions and thought cycles. 

But, it isn’t always easy getting started with journaling. Many people have found that it’s more difficult to figure out what to journal about, not necessarily the action of doing it.

If this sounds like you, here are a few lists of journal prompts that may help you come up with ideas. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety, perfectionism, new beginnings, or just interested in finding something to write about, there is something here for you! 


Journal Prompts for Beginners: 

If you are new to journaling, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the idea of starting. But, it doesn’t have to be! Getting into the habit of journaling can help keep track of your mood, stress, life events, and more. It can also be a great outlet for stress, pent-up thoughts, and emotions.

If you’re someone who wants to get into journaling but doesn’t know how to start, try setting a weekly goal for yourself. This can help you maintain the action and also can create a habit out of it! Here are some prompts for you to start with: 

  • What am I looking forward to? 
  • What is giving me the most stress in life? 
  • I feel most at peace when I’m _____.
  • Where would I rather be now and why? 
  • What makes me feel the safest? 
  • How do I think other people perceive me? Is this mindset helpful or hurtful? 
  • What makes me feel powerful? 
  • Who is someone I should forgive? Why? 
  • What would a day look like in my “dream life”? 

Journal Prompts for the Perfectionist

Perfectionists are no strangers to self-criticism and fear. Journaling can be a great outlet to process those fears and emotions. It can be a way to understand where your self-criticism is coming from and how it impacts your daily life.

Through this, perfectionists can have a better understanding of what is weighing on them and how to approach it. Here are some prompts that may help you with perfectionism: 

  • What do I sacrifice due to perfectionism?  
  • Are my expectations realistic and practical? If so, how? 
  • How does it make me feel when I chase perfectionism? 
  • What do I think my inner perfectionist is afraid of? 
  • When I was a child, what happened when I made a mistake or didn’t meet expectations? How does this impact the way I view these situations now? 
  • What led me to become a perfectionist? 

Journal Prompts for Anxiety: 

People who suffer from anxiety are familiar with overwhelming fear, thoughts, and stress. Journaling can be a helpful way to relieve that stress and prioritize your thoughts and feelings.

Through writing things down, you can have a better sense of what is bothering you and how it impacts your daily life. Being able to put thoughts to paper can help you work through anxious feelings. Here are some prompts for when you are feeling anxious: 

  • What are the two things that scare me the most and why? 
  • Is my anxiety trying to tell me something? If so, what is it? 
  • If you find that you have a cycle of questions or thoughts, write them down. Now try to answer them. 
  • What is something that I’m holding onto and should let go of? 
  • Picture your happy place. Describe what it is and how it makes you feel. 
  • What lessons have anxiety taught me? 

Journal Prompts for New Beginnings: 

When life changes happen, it can be easy to become confused and overwhelmed with the idea of something new starting. Journaling can be a helpful way to recognize how you are truly feeling about a new beginning. Whether it’s excitement, anxiety, or dread, these emotions are common with starting something new.

If you’re someone who’s looking to have a better awareness during this new stage, here are some journal prompts that may be helpful! 

  • What are some common emotions that come up for me as I start this new beginning? 
  • When facing a new beginning, how do I deal with fear? 
  • Do I have new resolutions for the new beginning to help with a fresh start? 
  • What part of my life needs a new perspective? How would this help me? 
  • How can I make this new chapter of my life better than the previous one? 
  • What have I learned about myself in the past that can help me at this moment?

Journal Prompts for New Relationships: 

When starting a new relationship, many emotions start to come up. Whether it’s excitement, fear, joy, or being confused –it’s all completely normal. Through journaling, you can have a better understanding of not only how you view this new relationship, but also yourself.

This can be a great way to recognize what you want to change, what you’re happy with, and what you hope for. Here are some journal prompts that may be helpful when starting a new relationship. 

  • Make a list of the qualities you believe are part of good communication. How can you use these in your new relationship? 
  • What is the most important thing that will help support this relationship? 
  • In past arguments with a loved one, how did I feel? Is there anything I would change in my behavior during them? 
  • What makes this new relationship feel special? 
  • What are my top 5 fears related to dating? 
  • What things do I love about my relationship? Is there anything I would change? 
  • Take a moment and check in with your feelings. How do you feel when you’re around this person? Do you feel that you are safe, secure, and heard


Journaling can be a helpful outlet for your emotions and thoughts in a safe space. Whether you have a bookshelf of journals or just bought your first one, it can be hard sometimes to find things to write about. Journaling about what you’re dealing with takes the guessing out of it. Through the action of writing, you can relieve some of the stress you have been carrying. If you’re looking into getting started, check out this journal

To discuss how therapy could help you during this season of your life, please contact me or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.


Anwar, B. (2022, May 5). The power of journaling for mental health. Talkspace. https://www.talkspace.com/blog/journaling-for-mental-health/ 

Migala, J. (2021, February 11). Ready to start a journal? 6 tips from therapists to get started. The Healthy. https://www.thehealthy.com/mental-health/how-to-start-a-journal-tips-from-therapists/ 

Gottman, J. (2021, February 3). The 3 phases of Love. The Gottman Institute. https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-3-phases-of-love/

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