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Journaling can be a calming hobby that helps clear your mind and make sense of your feelings. But for many people, it’s not as easy as putting pen to paper. Once you sit down in front of a blank page, you may realize you’re not exactly sure what to write in a journal.
That’s where journaling prompts come in. One of the most practical tips for how to keep a journal (and write in it consistently) is to use journal entry ideas to get you started. Once you have direction, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you fill your pages.
What Are Journaling Prompts?
Journaling prompts are topic ideas that serve as a jumping-off point for your writing. A prompt can be as simple as a single word or photo that you respond to; but often, it’s often an open-ended question about yourself, your feelings, or your experiences.
What Do They Do (and Why Are They Helpful?)
Journal writing can be so open-ended that it becomes overwhelming. With so many options of what to write and no specific direction, you can end up paralyzed by the blank page in front of you. Journal prompts provide a focus for your journaling. They give you an idea to get you started—and often, that’s all you need for the words to begin flowing.
25 Journaling Prompts
Need some journal writing ideas to help you fill your blank pages? Based on what you’re experiencing or feeling, choose one of the 25 journal topics below—from journaling prompts for anxiety to daily journaling prompts—and get writing.
Daily Journal Prompts
Part of learning how to keep a journal is developing a consistent routine. Try responding to these simple journal entry ideas on a daily basis, so you can see how your answers evolve over time.
- What is one failure you experienced today, and what did you learn from it?
- Who made an impact on you today?
- What are three positive things that happened to you today?
- What do you feel especially grateful for today?
- How did you solve a problem today?
Journal Prompts for Kids
For kids, journaling can be a diving board for creativity and expression. While they can react to daily journaling prompts like the ideas above, they can also benefit from prompts that inspire imaginative stories or ideas.
- If you could spend a day doing anything you wanted, what would you do?
- What is your favorite activity or hobby, and why do you love it?
- Who is one person you look up to and why?
- If you could talk to your older self, what would you say?
- If you had a time machine, what point in time would you travel to?
Journal entry ideas can be simple, like a list of things that bring you joy.
Journaling Prompts for Self Discovery
Regular journaling can reveal things about you that you might not otherwise have fully understood. Try these journal entry ideas to learn more about yourself, your goals, and your path in life.
- Describe where you see yourself in six months, one year, and five years.
- How would your best friend describe you?
- If you could have any one thing in the world, what would it be?
- If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do?
- Write your eulogy: How do you want to be remembered?
Journaling Prompts for Depression and Anxiety
Note that if you’re experiencing depression or anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a professional. But in conjunction with therapy or other treatment, journaling can be an effective outlet to express your feelings when you’re in the midst of hard times. And eventually, you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come. Try responding to these journaling prompts for mental health.
- What is a goal you are working toward, and what steps have you taken to achieve that goal?
- Describe a time you helped someone.
- What is one habit you would like to stop and one habit you would like to start?
- Describe a challenging situation you’ve overcome.
- What is one kind thing you can do for yourself today?
Art Journaling Prompts
To respond to art journaling prompts, you may choose to write—but you may also choose to draw, sketch, or paint. Let the topic inspire you!
- What color inspires you most?
- What is your favorite flower and why?
- What is your favorite word? Write it in several different ways.
- What is a song or lyric that inspires you?
- Look out your window. Describe or illustrate what you see.
When you’re not sure what to write, just pick one of these journal topics and write something. These journaling ideas will provide all the direction you need to get started—and soon, the words will begin to flow.
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