How To Start A Grief Journal In 5 Easy Steps

Grief Journal


Journaling is a great way to deal with the grief process. In this blog post, we will explore how to start journaling for grief, as well as provide some writing prompts to help you get started. We will also explore the benefits of grief journaling and why you should consider adding this form of self-care to your routine.


What is grief journaling?

Grief journaling is a therapeutic practice that can provide comfort and relief to those who are struggling with psychological and physical burden caused by grief. It involves writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to the loss of a loved one or significant event in a journal.


How to Start Journaling for Grief

It can be challenging to start a journal for grief, especially when feelings are still raw. To get started, consider the following advice:


Select the right journal:

Select a journal that you enjoy using and feel comfortable with. Along with traditional paper journal articles, it could also be an electronic journal like a blog or social media platform.


Allow yourself some time to journal:

It’s essential to schedule time specifically for journaling and maintaining your routine. Set aside some time to write each day or on several occasions per week.


Start with a prompt:

You can start with a prompt to help you get started, such as “What am I feeling right now?” or “What is making me feel overwhelmed?”


Write freely:

Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. Write whatever comes to your mind without worrying about what others may think.


Be honest:

Journaling is a personal and private experience, so be honest with yourself about your feelings, even if they are uncomfortable or painful.


Allow yourself to grieve:

Permit yourself to feel the emotions that surface as you write, even if they are challenging. This includes allowing yourself to grieve.


Focus on self-care:

Remember to take care of yourself while grieving by eating well, getting enough sleep, and, if necessary, seeking support from others.


Use writing prompts:

Grief journal writing prompts can help you express yourself and get your thoughts out of your head. This can help speed the grief process along.


Sample Grief journaling prompts

  1. What has been the most difficult part of my grief journey so far? Why are having intense emotions?
  2. What is something I wish I had said to the person I lost?
  3. What are some positive memories I have of the person I lost?
  4. What is a fear or worry I have related to my grief?
  5. What impact has the loss had on my life? What am I missing?
  6. What is a lesson I have learned from my grief?
  7. What is something I can do to take care of myself during this difficult time?
  8. What can I do today to honor the person I lost?
  9. Who has been a source of support for me during this time? How have they helped me?
  10. What is something that has surprised me about my grief journey?
  11. How has my relationship with myself changed since the loss?
  12. What do I want my legacy to be after I’m gone? Write a personal self narrative story.
  13. What is something I am grateful for even though I’m feeling sad?
  14. What advice would I give to someone else who is grieving?
  15. How has the loss of my loved one put things into perspective for me?
  16. What are some things that make me smile when I’m feeling down?
  17. What does it feel like to be in this moment of grief?
  18. How have I grown as a person since the loss?
  19. Do I feel guilty about anything related to the death of my loved one? If so, why?
  20. What can I do to take care of myself during difficult moments?
  21. How has the process of grieving changed me for the better?
  22. What is something I need to forgive myself for?
  23. What has been the most meaningful thing someone said to me during my grief?
  24. What does it feel like to be alive after such a tragedy?
  25. Has there been anything positive that has come out of this experience?
  26. How do I make sure I’m taking care of my mental health?
  27. What is something that I need to let go of to move forward?
  28. What are some ways I can find peace and joy again?
  29. What do I need right now to feel better?
  30. What have been the most helpful activities or hobbies during my grief journey?
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Sample journal bullet key symbols for grief journal.

  1. ♥ – Love and Appreciation
  2. ? – Questions and Uncertainty
  3. ☁ – Sadness and Loss
  4. ✨ – Hope and Possibilities
  5. ☀︎ – Brightness and Positivity
  6. ⚡ – Energy and Strength
  7. 🔥 – Anger and Frustration
  8. ✍︎ – Creativity and Reflection
  9. 🤍 – Comfort and Support
  10. ⛰ – Challenges and Growth
  11. 🦋 – Transformation and Change
  12. 💛 – Joy and Happiness
  13. 🌈 – Colorful Experiences
  14. ⏰ – Time and Patience
  15. 🌻 – Gratitude and Abundance
  16. 🌱 – New Beginnings and Possibilities
  17. 🐝 – Busyness and Productivity
  18. 🌙 – Peacefulness and Relaxation
  19. 🎨 – Expression and Imagination
  20. 🌊 – Fluidity and Flexibility
  21. ⛱ – Resting and Self-Care


Benefits of journaling for grief

Emotional release

Expressing yourself through writing in a private, safe environment can help you let go of bottled-up emotions.

Grief journal prompts can help improve your emotional health in times of grief. Journaling the grieving process helps you to deal with the emotions of painful memories. These psychological benefits help to gain a new perspective on how to process things.


Clarity and perspective

Organizing your thoughts and gaining perspective on your situation are two things that writing can assist you with. Insights or patterns that you might not have noticed otherwise may also be revealed through a DIY grief journal.

Writing perfectly about your day-to-day life or a difficult event can help you to process and make sense of the situation in a few different ways.



Writing and reflecting on your grief can help you prioritize self-care and give yourself the space and attention you need to heal. Journaling your personal narrative about a difficult situation provides a therapeutic value of self-care. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can bring a sense of comfort, clarity, and understanding to manage grief.


Healing and coping

Journaling about grief can be a way to process your emotions and work through the healing process. It can also provide a sense of control and empowerment during a time when you may feel helpless.

When you journal in your private practice setting, you can be honest and open in your writing without any judgment.


Memory keeping

Writing down fond memories and stories about your loved one can be a way to honor their memory and keep them close.

Writing this comforting memory in your own journal can be a way to keep the positive memories alive. Keeping our loved one’s memory is part of the healing process.


Provides a support system

A grief journal can help you to better understand yourself and your feelings. It can also provide a sense of connection with other support groups who are going through their own negative emotions.

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Sharing your stories with others who understand, relate to, and support you can be a powerful way to process grief. It helps to process confusing emotions, ease grief, and offer self-reflection.


Physical benefits.

A grief journal offers many physical benefits same way as emotional benefits. Writing down your true feelings in a grief journal can reduce physical symptoms of stress, such as headaches and chest pain, and reduce blood pressure.

It can also help to reduce anxiety and depression by providing an outlet to express emotions in journal pages. It can also help you to sleep better and increase concentration, allowing you to stay focused on the task at hand.


Helpful tips for starting grief journal.

  • When you lose control, take a few deep breaths and journal.
  • Write in your own way without judgment or censorship.
  • Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions freely.
  • Remember that putting pen on paper is a form of self-care.
  • Talk to grief experts and support groups when needed.
  • Remember the special memories of your loved one and write them down.
  • Practice gratitude and focus on the good moments.
  • Write down any questions or uncertainties to gain clarity.
  • Remember to take breaks when needed.
  • Stay hopeful and find the courage to go on.
  • Always allow yourself time and space to heal.


Does keeping a journal help with grief?

Grief journaling is a powerful tool in the grieving process. It provides an avenue to express your emotions in a professional tone and a first-person relatable manner. Writing about your feelings and experiences in a grief journal helps you unload the psychological and physical burden of grief. 


There’s no right or wrong way to do it, as the healing process is unique to each person. By confronting painful memories and thoughts through grief journaling, you can better understand and cope with your emotions.


What are the daily journal prompts for grief and loss?

Daily journal prompts for grief, also known as grief journaling prompts, can be highly beneficial. They guide you through your grief journey, helping you explore your emotions in a professional and relatable manner. 


These prompts can include questions like “What am I grateful for today?” or “What memories of my loved one bring me comfort?” Such prompts encourage self-reflection and the expression of feelings, making it easier to navigate the grieving process.


What is the fastest way to get over grief?

There’s no fastest way to get over grief. The grieving process is unique to each individual and cannot be rushed. 


Trying to expedite it may lead to unresolved emotions and prolonged pain. Instead, focus on healthy ways to cope, like seeking support from your support system, engaging in grief journaling, and allowing yourself to grieve at your own pace. Grief is a journey, and healing takes time.


What are 3 strategies for coping with grief?

Three effective strategies for coping with grief include establishing a grief journal, relying on your support system, and seeking professional help if needed. Grief journaling provides an outlet to express your emotions and thoughts. 


Your support system offers emotional assistance, and professional guidance can be valuable in navigating the grieving process. These strategies approached in a professional and relatable manner, can aid in managing grief’s challenges.


What are the 3 C’s of grief?

The 3 C’s of grief are “Catastrophic thinking,” “Comparing,” and “Catastrophizing.” Catastrophic thinking involves imagining the worst possible outcomes, which can heighten anxiety during the grieving process. 

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Comparing yourself to others may lead to self-criticism and unrealistic expectations. Catastrophizing involves exaggerating the impact of grief-related events. To cope with grief professionally and relatable, it’s crucial to recognize and address these tendencies.


What are 5 healthy ways to deal with grief?

Five healthy ways to deal with grief include establishing a grief journal, seeking professional help, engaging in self-care, connecting with a support system, and practicing mindfulness. 


Grief journaling provides an outlet for expressing emotions. Professional help offers guidance when needed. Self-care ensures you prioritize your well-being. 

Connecting with your support system fosters emotional healing, and mindfulness helps you stay present during the grieving process, all done in a professional and relatable manner.


How do I start a grief journal?

Starting a grief journal is a valuable step in the grieving process. Find a quiet space and dedicate time regularly to write professionally and in a relatable manner. 

Begin with simple writing prompts, like “What am I feeling right now?” and “What memories bring me comfort?” 

Let your thoughts flow naturally, without worrying about writing perfectly. This journal will become a crucial tool for processing your emotions and progressing in your grief journey.


What is the healthiest way to overcome grief?

The healthiest way to overcome grief is to embrace it professionally and relatably. Acknowledge your emotions, utilize a grief journal to express them, seek support from your support system, and consider professional help when necessary. 


Grief is a complex process that demands time and self-compassion. There’s no quick fix, and trying to suppress or rush through it can be detrimental to your emotional well-being.


What not to do when dealing with grief?

When dealing with grief, avoid suppressing your emotions, isolating yourself, and relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

Suppressing emotions can hinder the grieving process. Isolation deprives you of a valuable support system. Unhealthy coping mechanisms, like substance abuse, can exacerbate your pain. 

It’s essential to confront grief professionally and in a relatable manner, acknowledging your feelings and seeking support and constructive outlets for expression.


 Final words

Grief journaling can help you in many ways during this difficult time. Writing out your emotions, thoughts, and memories can provide a sense of healing and comfort.

It can give you clarity, perspective, self-care, and an understanding of the grieving process. You may also benefit from physical benefits such as reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep, and increased concentration.


According to the grief institute, 80% of people who regularly journaled reported significant benefits. Developing a grief journaling practice can provide support and remind you of the good memories of your loved one. Writing can be a powerful tool to help you cope with grief, and it’s a valuable part of the self-care process.


So, make time to write down your emotions and take care of yourself in this difficult time. Remember there’s no right or wrong way of processing grief. It’s okay to feel whatever you’re feeling.If you feel stuck, use journal prompts to get started. Writing it down in your daily journal in your private space can help you work through it healthily.



  • Ben

    I'm Ben, a data engineer who adores journaling. My passion for recording life experiences inspired me to develop Otto's Journal, an online diary app. Join me as I blend data and storytelling in the ever-changing tech world, making journaling more accessible and exciting.

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