So, you’ve read about the benefits of journaling and you want to get started but don’t know where to start. The following journaling ideas will help you find the best things to journal about for your specific needs.
What to write in a journal?
Journaling is a fantastic way to reflect, express yourself, and track your personal growth. You might have decided that you want to start journaling but are not sure where you want to start.
There are many things to write in a journal. Below you will find some ideas with free printable journal templates for many of them.
30 Journaling Ideas
Here are some things to journal about to get you started:
- Gratitude journal: Write down three things you are grateful for each day and reflect on why they are meaningful to you. See our free printable gratitude journal.
- Daily affirmations: Write positive affirmations about yourself, your abilities, and your goals. Repeat them daily to boost self-confidence. See our free affirmation journal.
- Mindfulness journal: Record your observations and experiences during moments of mindfulness or meditation. Reflect on the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that arise.
- Bucket list journal: Create a list of things you want to do, places you want to visit, or experiences you want to have. Document your progress as you check items off the list. See bucket list.
- Dream journal: Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. Analyze recurring themes and symbols, and explore their possible meanings. See our free dream journal template.
- Travel journal: Document your adventures, sights, and experiences while traveling. Include photos, sketches, and anecdotes to preserve memories.
- Self-reflection prompts: Use thought-provoking questions to reflect on your emotions, values, and life choices. For example: “What are my biggest strengths and how can I use them more effectively?” See journal prompts.
- Book/movie review journal: Write reviews of books you read or movies you watch. Summarize the plot, characters, and your thoughts on the themes or messages conveyed. See reading journal
- Personal growth tracker: Set goals in various areas of your life, such as health, relationships, career, and personal development. Track your progress and note any obstacles or lessons learned. See goal planner.
- Inspirational quotes: Collect inspiring quotes that resonate with you. Write about how they relate to your life or how you can apply their wisdom.
- Brain dump journaling: Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and write without censoring or editing. Let your thoughts flow freely onto the pages. It can help clear your mind and gain clarity. See brain dump.
- Morning pages: Morning Pages refer to the practice of writing three pages of stream-of-consciousness thoughts every morning as a therapeutic and creative exercise to clear the mind and boost productivity. See morning pages.
- Problem-solving journal: Write about a challenge or problem you’re facing. Brainstorm possible solutions and evaluate their pros and cons. Track your progress and lessons learned along the way.
- Daily journal: Simply write about your day, including significant events, interactions, thoughts, and feelings. It can serve as a personal record and help you identify patterns or areas of improvement. See daily journal template.
- Future self journaling: Write letters to your future self, expressing your aspirations, dreams, and intentions. Revisit them after a designated period to see how much you’ve grown and accomplished.
- Emotion exploration: Choose a specific emotion and explore it in depth. Write about its triggers, physical sensations, and how it impacts your thoughts and behaviors. You can move on to a new emotion when you feel ready and explore as many emotions as possible in your journal.
- Nature journal: Observe and document the natural world around you. Describe plants, animals, weather patterns, or any other elements of nature that capture your attention.
- “What If” scenarios: Explore imaginative scenarios and write about them. For example, “What if I could time travel?” or “What if I had a superpower?” Let your creativity run wild.
- Letters to yourself: Write a letter to your past self, your future self, or even your present self. Reflect on lessons learned, offer advice, or express your hopes and dreams.
- Favorite quotes journal: Collect your favorite quotes from books, movies, or inspirational figures. Write about why these quotes resonate with you and how they relate to your life.
- Artistic expression: Use your journal as a canvas for drawings, doodles, collages, or any other form of visual expression that reflects your mood or emotions.
- Monthly challenges: Set monthly challenges for yourself and document your progress. It could be trying new activities, facing fears, or stepping out of your comfort zone. See 30 day challenges.
- Reflections on current events: Write about important social, political, or cultural events happening around the world. Express your thoughts, concerns, or hopes for the future.
- Memory lane: Recall significant memories from your childhood, teenage years, or recent past. Write about the details, emotions, and lessons associated with those memories.
- Relationship journal: Explore and analyze your relationships with family members, friends, or romantic partners. Write about communication, challenges, and ways to strengthen these connections. See relationship journal.
- Health and wellness journal: Track your physical and mental well-being. Write about your exercise routines, healthy recipes, self-care practices, or challenges you face in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. See self love and wellness journal.
- Personal values exploration: Reflect on your core values and how they guide your decisions and actions. Write about why these values are important to you and how you embody them.
- Creative writing prompts: Use creative writing prompts to spark your imagination and storytelling skills. Write short stories, poems, or fictional character descriptions.
- Lessons from role models: Identify individuals you admire and write about the qualities or achievements that inspire you. Explore how you can incorporate those qualities into your own life.
- Dream destination journal: Imagine your ideal travel destination and create a journal entry as if you were already there. Describe the sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences you would encounter.
- Reflections on personal challenges: Write about the biggest challenges you’ve faced in life and how you overcame them. Reflect on the lessons learned, personal growth, and resilience developed.
The purpose of journaling is personal expression and self-discovery, so feel free to adapt these ideas to suit your preferences and needs.