Sometimes, we have no idea what to write in our journal. This is where journal prompts come in handy. When you are not sure what to write about, scan the list of journal writing prompts to see which one resonates with you at that time. It will differ from day-to-day. That is what is so great about journaling. Do what works for you at that moment.
The following journal questions are divided into categories however the categories overlap in some cases. Many of the journal topics relate to a few of the groups so scan all categories if you need more journal entry ideas.
Morning Journal Prompts
- What could make today perfect?
- What would you like to achieve today?
- What could you do today to bring you closer to your goals?
- List three things you would love to accomplish today?
- Is there something you are afraid of today?
Daily Journal Prompts
- How would you describe your day? Why?
- What surprised you the most today?
- What surprised you the most lately?
- What are you looking forward to?
- Who do you most admire?
- My favorite thing to do on a Sunday
- What accomplishment of yours are you most proud of?
- Which person in your life has had the most influence on who you are today. Why?
- Is there something that you wanted to tell someone but haven’t? What is it? Why don’t you tell them?
- If I could give myself some advice 20 years ago what would it be.
- Describe an unforgettable moment in your life. Why is it unforgettable?
- Who do you admire most? Why?
- Name 5 things you are grateful for. How do they make you feel?
- What is your best childhood memory?
- What is your worst childhood memory?
- If you could change one thing in your past, what would it be?
- If you could be anyone, who would you like to be? Why?
- If you could travel anywhere, where would you like to go?
- What is your favorite school memory?
- Where is the most interesting place you have ever been to?
- How would you describe a perfect vacation?
- Describe something you wish someone had told you earlier.
- What do you appreciate about your parents?
- Who are the people in your live that make you feel loved. When you are finished journaling why not reach out to them and let them know how you feel?
- Describe 5 to 10 places you enjoyed visiting.
- What could you do to make the world a better place?
- Write a bucket list of 15 things you would like to do one day.
- If you can spend one day with anyone in the world, who would it be? Why?
- If you could live anywhere for one year where would it be? Why?
- Do you remember any of your dreams? Describe them?
- What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
- What is the worst advice anyone has ever given you?
- What are the things that you would love people to do for you or say to you.
- How would you like people to describe you.
- Describe your soul mate (if you are lucky enough to have one then describe the person and if not then describe what they would be like).
- Is there anything you feel guilty about? Would you like to be forgiven? How could you be forgiven? If possible, put this on your to-do list or better yet, do it right now.
- The scariest moment of my life was…’
- Five things I couldn’t go without. Why?
- The most disappointed I have even been.
- What qualities in other people annoy you?
- What qualities to you admire in other people?
- I felt luckiest when…
- The three most important things in a relationship.
- What could you do to help other people?
- How would you like other people to help you?
- Is there anything that happened in your past that changed the way you are today?
- What do you like about your body?
- What are the things in your life that you take for granted?
- What is something you need to forgive yourself for?
Journal Prompts for Self Discovery
- Describe yourself.
- Where do you feel the happiest?
- What calms you?
- What would you change about yourself?
- What would you change about your life?
- Nobody knows that I . . .
- What are you good at?
- What is your biggest mistake? What can you learn from it?
- I feel awkward when…
- What are you passionate about?
- What motivates you?
- When last did you step out of your comfort zone? How did it feel? What was the outcome?
- What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
- What are some ways you could better connect with people?
- What would your dream life be like?
- What is your best quality?
- What could you do to live a more fulfilling life?
- If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
- Which of your qualities do you think you should work on improving?
- If you could be better at something, what would you like it to be? How can you improve?
- What is the most courageous thing you have done?
- What is the best decision you ever made?
- What is the worst decision you ever made?
- What is the worst thing you have ever done? What would you do if you had a second chance?
- When Life Gives You Lemons what do you do?
Journal Prompts for Anxiety
- Describe a time when you felt happy. What were you doing?
- What does my body feel like right now?
- What triggered the anxiety?
- Is there anything you could have done to avoid the situation that triggered the anxiety?
- What relaxes you?
- How can you do more activities that relax you every day?
- What do I wish I could change?
- List 5 qualities that I like about myself
- List 5 things that I want to forgive myself for
- Write a letter to whoever caused your anxiety (don’t necessarily send it).
- Are there people who do not respect your boundaries? What can you do about it?
- What was the nicest thing that someone did for you?
- When was the last time you felt anxiety? How did things work out?
- What is your biggest worry? Can you do something about it?
Self Love Journal Prompts
Here are some journal prompts for self-love:
- What do you love about life?
- What do you like about yourself?
- Describe your best qualities?
- Describe the things you like about your body.
- What makes you a good friend?
- What makes you a good partner / what would make you a good partner (if you are not in a relationship)?
- Why do you think self care is important? How does it make you feel?
- How can you make self-care a bigger priority?
- What makes you smile? List as many things as possible.
- What makes you happy? List as many things as possible.
- What would you like to say no to?
- What would you like to say yes to?
- What calms you? How can you incorporate this more into your daily life?
- Make a list of 20 things that make you smile.
- What can you do to improve your physical wellbeing?
Personal Growth Journal Prompts
- What is something that you want to do but haven’t done for any reason? How can you overcome the obstacles?
- What are the biggest obstacles standing in the way of you reaching your goals (kids, business, personal, health, fitness, romantic, relationships, friendships)?
- Describe a situation where something bad happened but it turned out to be a good thing.
- What is your default way of looking at things in life? How do you react to a crisis or a challenge?
- Is there something you do because it has become a habit or you are expected to do? If you could do whatever you want, what would you do?
- What are the habits you would like to change? Do you want to make the effort to change them? See our free habit tracker printables.
- What are three things you would love to accomplish next month?
- What are three things you would love to accomplish next year?
- What are three things you would love to accomplish in the next five years?
- What would you like to change about your life? How can you change it?
- Has anyone caused you pain? How? Could you forgive them?
- What can I do to make my life better?
- What can I do to improve my relationship with those who matter?
- Describe a challenge you have overcome.
- List some of the things you typically procrastinate on. Do you want to work on this? What could you do about this?
- Is there anything you wanted to do but didn’t for fear of failure? Do you regret it? Can you still try?
- What can you do to change your attitude into more positive thinking?
- Describe a negative experience or emotion from your childhood. What happened and how did you feel? What would you do about it if you could go back in time?
- Describe a time you stepped out of your comfort zone. How did it work out for you? Did it help you in any way?
- How was your self image changed over the years?
- Make a life bucket list.
- In order to reach our goals we often have to leave our comfort zones. Write about a new experience of a new way of doing things that would be a positive step in the right direction. What are the risks? What are the potential benefits? What is holding you back? How could you overcome the obstacles?
Fun Journal Prompts
- If you were president, what would you do?
- What would you love to invent?
- If you had a lot of money, what would you do?
- If you could change anything about the world what would it be and why?
- Write a letter to yourself in 20 years.
- The 3 things I couldn’t live without are…
- Write a letter to your past self.
- Write a letter to your future self.
Positive Journal Prompts
Reframing is a process whereby we alter our perceptions of negative situations into positive ones. This relieves stress and creates a more positive outlook without even making any changes to your situation. This process is very important to become a more positive person.
- Write about a situation that bothers you. Replace the words “must” or “have to” to with “am lucky to” or “an opportunity to”. Show gratitude for the little things that you can find in any situation.
- Look through your journal and find an entry with negative self-talk. Examine the truth and accuracy (or lack thereof) of what you wrote. Are the things you wrote about yourself true? Are there other ways to interpret the same set of events? Challenge every negative thought and see if you can adopt thoughts that fit your situation but reflect a more positive outlook.
- Think about a difficult situation that is bothering you or find an old journal entry where you wrote about a problem you encountered. Could you see this situation as a challenge versus a threat? Look for the ‘gift’ in the situation. Examine your journal entry in a way that still fits the facts of your situation, but that is less negative and more optimistic and positive.
You can use reframing as often as possible. It can help you overcome stress and anxiety and change the way you look at your life and feel about it.
See 55 gratitude journal prompts
Gratitude Journal Prompts
See 55 gratitude journal prompts
Journal Prompts for Control Freaks or Those Who Need to Control Things
- How does it make you feel when life takes an unexpected turn? Why do you feel like this?
- Is it important to you to have an efficient routine and have things go according to plan. If so, why? What would happen if things don’t go according to plan?
- Do you have extremely high standards for yourself and others? Although this can be advantageous at times, do you find that this causes problems for you sometimes?
- Do people often let you down? How do you react when they do? Do you ever overreact? How would you like to react?
- Describe how you felt as a child. Were things unpredictable? Did you feel like you had very little control over your life? Do you ever try to overcompensate by tightly controlling your own life today? Is it really necessary?
- Do you catastrophize or imagine the worst will happen if things don’t go the way you want/expect? Is this really true? Could things actually improve from unexpected changes?
- Do you ever get stuck in all-or-nothing thinking? Give a few examples and discuss how they have affected you.
- When things don’t go as planned, does this cause fear? Describe your fears. Are they rational or are you catastrophizing? Are you stuck in all-or-nothing thinking?
- Do you every let your emotions cloud your thoughts. Describe a situation where this happened. How could you have avoided it?
- Describe your biggest fear. How likely is this to happen? What evidence do you have that it could happen? How does assuming the worst hurt you?
- Do you find yourself focusing on the negatives and not placing enough focus on the positives?
- When you are in a relationship, do you find yourself criticizing your partner more often than you complement? How does/did this affect the relationship? How could you change this?
- Can you be demanding and critical with people? How does this affect your relationships? How could you change this?
- How does control and certainty make you feel? How do you feel when you lose either?
- Do you have trouble relaxing? Why? What could you do to change this?
- Has anyone every told you something that you didn’t like to hear and you overreacted. How should you have reacted?
- Sometimes unexpected change can seem frightening at first and then it turns out that it actually improved your life. Describe a situation where this happened.
- We cannot control the majority of things in life and trying to control them doesn’t necessarily make our lives better. In fact, being controlling can create new problems such as stress and strained relationships. Has this ever happened to you? Describe what happened and how trying to control things actually made the situation worse.
- Has anyone ever told you that you are bossy, critical, and judgmental of others? Do you think you are? Would you like to change this? If so, what could you do to change?
- Do you see only one right way to do something or one way to be successful? Is there only really one way?
- Do you prefer to do it yourself than delegate? Why? How can you learn to delegate?
- None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes sometimes. Is there anyone in your life who disappointed you? Did they behave this way to hurt you or could there have been another reason? Can you forgive them?
- When you think about all the things that are out of your control and all the things that can go wrong – do you feel scared or anxious?
- Relentlessly demanding perfection from yourself increases physical and emotional stress. You might even experience common symptoms of stress such as neck or back pain, sleeping problems, headaches, etc. Does this ever happen to you? What would you tell a friend if they felt this way?
- There are many ways that people use to relieve stress and achieve peace of mind such as yoga, meditation, exercise, massage, etc. Would you like to try any of these techniques? How can you make this a part of your daily routine?
- Notice your controlling behaviors and write a few lines about each one of them.
- List a few potential situations where your inner control freak is likely to surface. Describe an alternate response.
- In order to accept things that are out of our control, we need to stop pushing situations to be something they aren’t. Instead, we have to surrender to what’s out of our control and allow things to be as they are without forcing them to change to suit us. Describe one thing that is out of your control and you need to accept.
- Describe an unexpected change that you encountered. Could it be positive in the long run – even if it doesn’t feel that way when it first happened?
- Think back to an unexpected change that you encountered where you could not control the situation. You could however, control your response. How did you respond. How should you have responded?
- Copy the Serenity Prayer in your journal. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” How does it make you feel to read or write it?
Do you have any more ideas for things to write in a journal? Feel free to leave a comment below.
What is a writing prompt?
A writing prompt is a question or an idea that provides an idea or starting point for a journal entry. It is helpful when you are not sure what to write about or have writers block.
How do you use the journal prompts?
Write the topic or question at the top of the page and then journal freely. Write whatever comes to your mind.