How to start journaling



I mentioned in this post how journaling has become an important part of managing my mental health. I've had a few questions and thought I would make a dedicated post about how to get started. If you haven't noticed, I love a list. So here is another list of my top tips on how to get journaling.


There are no rules!

Journaling is for your benefit and no one else's so do what you need to do to feel that benefit. Sometimes I write in lists (surprise surprise), sometimes I do a habit tracker or bullet journal, sometimes I just blurt out my thoughts with no rhyme or reason. You do you.



Use prompts when it all feels like too much.

I recently found a list of journaling prompts I had written in an old journal when I was really struggling mentally. I have found them to be super helpful again when I just don't feel like I know where to start. You can find journaling prompts all over the interwebs but here are the ones I have been using lately. They're pretty simple and I am sure there are others out there that include more need to think and reflect but here are the ones I use. Choose the one that speaks to you most on any given day.

  • What I need to say is...

  • I think everything would be better is...

  • If I could change anything it would be...

  • The things I don't like are...

  • I worry about...

  • I feel most at peace when...

  • People think I am...

  • I think I should...

  • What I need is...

  • The best thing about today was...

  • I am most excited about...

  • I felt most happy today when...

  • Three things I can't live without are...

A journal doesn't have to just be for writing.

Maybe the best thing I started doing when I was at my lowest point was watercolour and drawing. It gave me an outlet when I couldn't even come up with one word to write. I recently found my old journals and it was so amazing to see my mood change through these drawings and paintings over time. I am no where near a good artist but I enjoy doing it and, remember, this is only for me and my benefit. I also found I got a lot out of my journals when I used them to write lists of what I have spoken to my doctors or allied health professionals about, made a schedule, wrote poems... honestly the list is endless of things you can use your journal for so experiment and see what sticks and feels right.



There are no rules!

Okay, okay, I know I'm repeating myself but this is so important to understand! One of the main reasons I never gave journaling a go was because I was so scared I was going to somehow mess it up and look stupid to all the journaling professionals out there. If you only take one thing from this post please let it be this - You can not mess up journaling.


So grab a journal (or piece of paper if that's all you have) and get started, however that looks for you, and please let me know how it has gone for you, I would love to hear from you.


Lots of love,


Maddy x




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