What to Journal About: 35 Things To Journal About

what to journal about


Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts, reflect on your experiences, and explore your emotions. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know what to write about. Whether you’re new to journaling or have been doing it for years, coming up with topics can be a challenge. The question most beginners ask is : what to journal about?  Fortunately, there are many different writing prompts and ideas that can help get your creative juices flowing.

One way to approach journaling is to focus on a specific theme or topic. For example, you might choose to write about your goals, your relationships, your daily routines, or your personal values. Alternatively, you could use a writing prompt to jumpstart your writing. Writing prompts are short phrases or questions that are designed to inspire you and get you thinking. They can be anything from “What are you grateful for today?” to “Describe a place that makes you feel calm.”


Getting Started with Journaling

Journaling is a great way to express oneself and keep track of personal growth. It can help one understand and work through emotions, gain insights, and develop self-awareness. Here are some tips to get started with journaling.


Choosing Your Journal

The first step in starting a journal is choosing a journal that suits one’s needs. There are many types of journals available, including lined, unlined, and guided journals. One can choose a journal that is aesthetically pleasing or one that is functional. It is important to choose a journal that one feels comfortable with and that will inspire them to write.


Establishing a Writing Routine

Establishing a writing routine is essential to making journaling a habit. It is recommended to set aside a specific time of day to write, such as in the morning or before bed. One can also write in their journal during breaks or when they have free time. It is important to make journaling a priority and to be consistent with it.


Privacy Considerations

Privacy is an important consideration when journaling. One can choose to keep their journal private or share it with others. If one chooses to keep their journal private, they can store it in a secure location or use a password-protected digital journal. If one chooses to share their journal, they can do so with a trusted friend or family member. It is important to respect one’s privacy and only share what they feel comfortable with.


35 Things to journal about

Things to journal about

Journaling can cover a vast array of topics depending on your interests, goals, and needs. Here are 35 things you can journal about, each with a brief explanation:

  • Gratitude: Write about things you’re thankful for to cultivate a positive mindset.
  • Achievements: Record your successes and milestones to boost confidence.
  • Daily Reflections: Summarize your day’s events and your reactions to them.
  • Emotions: Explore your feelings to understand and process them better.
  • Dreams: Keep track of your dreams and consider what they might mean.
  • Goals: Set short-term and long-term goals and plan steps to achieve them.
  • Challenges: Write about obstacles you face and brainstorm solutions.
  • Creative Ideas: Jot down spontaneous ideas for future reference.
  • Inspirational Quotes: Collect quotes that motivate or resonate with you.
  • Books/Movies: Reflect on the books you read or movies you watch and their impact on you.
  • Health & Fitness: Track your exercise, diet, and how you feel physically.
  • Mental Health: Monitor your mental health and any patterns you notice.
  • Mindfulness: Practice being present by describing your current moment in detail.
  • Travel: Document your travels, experiences, and the cultures you encounter.
  • Friendships: Consider the state of your friendships and how they affect you.
  • Work/Career: Assess your professional life and aspirations.
  • Hobbies: Write about your hobbies and what joy they bring you.
  • Time Management: Reflect on how you manage your time and how you might improve.
  • Learning & Education: Keep track of what you’re learning and how you’re growing intellectually.
  • Relationships: Explore your romantic and family relationships and your feelings about them.
  • Self-Care: Plan and reflect on your self-care practices.
  • Decision Making: Contemplate decisions you’re facing and possible outcomes.
  • Fears: Confront your fears by writing about them openly.
  • Happiness: Note what makes you happy and how you can incorporate more joy into your life.
  • Life Changes: Document significant life changes and your adaptation to them.
  • Personal Beliefs: Examine your beliefs and values and how they guide you.
  • Stress: Identify sources of stress in your life and how you cope with them.
  • Successes and Failures: Reflect on what you’ve learned from both your successes and failures.
  • Creativity: Use your journal to doodle, write poems, or short stories.
  • Letters to Yourself: Write letters to your past, present, or future self.
  • Bucket List: List experiences or achievements you hope to have or accomplish.
  • Forgiveness: Write about forgiveness, whether it’s forgiving yourself or others.
  • Regrets: Consider past regrets and how you can move forward.
  • Wisdom: Share wisdom you’ve gained from personal experiences.
  • Dream Life: Describe your ideal life in detail, including where you live, what you do, and who you’re with.
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Journaling Techniques

Manifestation Journal

There are several techniques that one can use to journal effectively. Here are some of the most popular techniques:


Morning Pages

Morning Pages is a technique where one writes down their thoughts and feelings first thing in the morning. This technique is a great way to clear one’s mind and start the day with a fresh perspective. It involves writing three pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing every day.


Therapeutic Journaling

Therapeutic journaling is a technique that involves writing about one’s emotions and feelings. This technique is used to help individuals cope with difficult emotions and situations. Therapeutic journaling can help individuals gain clarity and insight into their thoughts and feelings. It can also help individuals identify patterns of behavior and emotions that they may want to change.


Journal Writing Prompts

Journal writing prompts are a great way to get started with journaling. They provide a jumping-off point for individuals who may be unsure of what to write about. Journal writing prompts can be used to explore a variety of topics, such as gratitude, self-reflection, and personal growth.


Journaling is a great way to gain insight into one’s thoughts and feelings. It can be used to promote self-reflection, personal growth, and emotional regulation. By using the techniques mentioned above, individuals can make the most out of their journaling experience.


Benefits of Journaling

Benefits of Journaling

Journaling is a practice that has been around for centuries. It involves writing down one’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a notebook or diary. Journaling has numerous benefits, including enhancing creativity, tracking personal growth, and improving mental health.


Mental Health Advantages

Journaling has been shown to have significant mental health benefits. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Writing down one’s thoughts and feelings can provide a sense of relief and help individuals process their emotions. Journaling can improve one’s mood and increase feelings of happiness and well-being.


Enhancing Creativity

Journaling can also enhance creativity. Writers often use journaling as a tool to generate new ideas and explore different writing styles. By jotting down thoughts and ideas, writers can develop their writing skills and find inspiration for new projects.


Tracking Personal Growth

Journaling can also be used as a tool to track personal growth. By writing down goals, aspirations, and achievements, individuals can see how far they have come and identify areas for improvement. Journaling can also help individuals reflect on past experiences and learn from their mistakes.

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Journaling has numerous benefits for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Advances in medicine have shown that journaling can improve mental health, enhance creativity, and track personal growth. By making journaling a regular practice, individuals can reap the rewards of this simple yet powerful tool.


Journaling for Specific Interests

Developing a Journaling Practice

Journaling is an excellent way to document and reflect on specific interests, such as travel, nature, and health. By keeping a journal that focuses on a particular interest, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and emotions related to that interest.


Travel Journaling

Travel journaling is an excellent way to document and reflect on one’s travels. It can include anything from a simple list of places visited to detailed descriptions of sights, sounds, and experiences. To make the most of travel journaling, individuals should consider including photographs, sketches, and other mementos in their journals. By doing so, they can create a rich and vivid record of their travels that they can look back on for years to come.


Nature and Outdoor Journals

Nature and outdoor journals are a great way to document and reflect on one’s experiences in the great outdoors. These journals can include everything from detailed descriptions of hikes and camping trips to sketches of plants and animals. To make the most of nature and outdoor journaling, individuals should consider including information about the weather, terrain, and other environmental factors that may have influenced their experiences.


Health and Fitness Logs

Health and fitness logs are an excellent way to document and reflect on one’s progress towards fitness and wellness goals. These journals can include everything from daily food logs to exercise routines and measurements of progress. By keeping a health and fitness journal, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their bodies and the factors that contribute to their overall health and well-being.


Journaling is an excellent way to document and reflect on specific interests. By keeping a journal that focuses on a particular interest, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and emotions related to that interest. Whether it’s travel, nature, or health, there are many ways to use journaling to explore and reflect on one’s interests.


Creative Prompts and Ideas

Journaling can be a great way to spark creativity and explore new ideas. Here are some creative prompts and ideas to help inspire your journal entries:

  • Object-based prompts: Choose an object and write about it. Describe its physical characteristics, its history, and its significance to you. For example, you could write about a robot and explore its potential uses, its design, and its impact on society.
  • Emotion-based prompts: Write about your emotions and how they affect your life. You could write about a time when you felt particularly happy, sad, angry, or anxious, and explore the reasons behind those emotions.
  • Memory-based prompts: Write about a specific memory from your past. Describe the people, places, and events involved, and reflect on how that memory has shaped who you are today. For example, you could write about a time when you drank orange juice with someone special and explore how that experience impacted your relationship.
  • Search-based prompts: Choose a topic that interests you and conduct a search to learn more about it. Write about what you learned, your thoughts and opinions on the topic, and how it relates to your life. For example, you could write about the benefits and drawbacks of technology and explore how it has impacted society.
  • Article-based prompts: Read an article that interests you and write about your thoughts and opinions on the topic. Summarize the article, analyze its arguments, and explore how it relates to your life. For example, you could read an article about the benefits of journaling and explore how it has impacted your own life.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Psychological Benefits of Journaling

How can one reflect on personal growth in journal entries?

Reflecting on personal growth in journal entries can help one track their progress and identify areas for improvement. To reflect on personal growth, one can start by writing about their goals and aspirations. They can then write about their progress towards achieving those goals and any obstacles they encountered. It’s also important to reflect on what they have learned from their experiences and how they can apply those lessons in the future.


What are some creative prompts to inspire daily journaling?

There are many creative prompts that can inspire daily journaling. One can write about their favorite memories, their dreams and aspirations, or their daily routines. They can also write about their fears and how they plan to overcome them. Another idea is to write about a current event or a topic that interests them. Finally, they can also try writing in different formats, such as poetry or short stories, to add variety to their journaling routine.


In what ways can journaling improve mental health?

Journaling can improve mental health in many ways. It can provide a safe space to express and process emotions, and help one gain a better understanding of their thoughts and feelings. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety by providing a way to release negative emotions. Journaling can help improve memory and increase self-awareness, which can lead to improved decision-making and problem-solving skills.


What are effective techniques for journaling at the end of the day?

Journaling at the end of the day can be an effective way to reflect on the events of the day and unwind before bed. One technique is to write a brief summary of the day’s events, including any significant accomplishments or challenges. Another technique is to focus on gratitude and write down three things that they are thankful for from the day. They can also reflect on any lessons learned or ways they can improve for the next day.


How can one incorporate gratitude and positivity into their journal routine?

Incorporating gratitude and positivity into a journal routine can help improve overall mental health and well-being. One way to do this is to start each entry by writing down three things they are grateful for. They can also write about positive experiences from the day and how those experiences made them feel. Finally, they can focus on positive affirmations and write down positive thoughts and beliefs about themselves.


What are some unique ideas for recording daily experiences in a journal?

There are many unique ideas for recording daily experiences in a journal. One idea is to create a visual journal by incorporating drawings or collages into entries. Another idea is to write down a daily mantra or intention and reflect on how it impacted their day.


One can also create a “gratitude jar” by writing down positive experiences on small pieces of paper and storing them in a jar to read later. Finally, one can try writing in a different location or at a different time of day to add variety to their journaling routine.



  • 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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