70 Inspiring Journaling Ideas + Prompts

By Brittni • Updated on 01/31/2024

Looking for journaling ideas and prompts to get you started? I have you covered with 70 journal prompts, in categories ranging from creativity to contemplation. Enough to keep you going for the entire year. 

work from home desk space with wall hooks and artful items hanging from the peg rails

Have you ever tried journaling before? Or maybe searched through journaling ideas to get you started? For the longest time, I thought it wasn’t for me. But then I started reading more about it and I was like, ‘hmmm maybe I should try this’.

Fast forward to now, and I’m realizing what a valuable tool it can be – like a form of self-care really. 

So, I put together a full year’s worth of journaling prompts designed to help you connect or reconnect with yourself a little bit. If that sounds like something you’re interested in.

There are 52 journal prompts, one for every week of the year. Then, I also included some bonus thought-provoking questions after those first 52 that might help, as well. For a total of 70 journaling ideas to get you started.

So, if you’ve been thinking about getting back into journaling, writing, or just want to take a few minutes tor reflect each week, be sure to bookmark and pin this post for later. There’s a graphic at the bottom of this page with all  the prompts on it too, if that’s easier for you to reference quickly.

minimal wood desk with book / journal opened on top 

Why journal?

There are so many reasons why people get into journaling… Some people start journaling to promote personal growth and personal development or simply to document aspects of their daily life. 

Others may use it as a useful tool for releasing negative emotions or coping through a hard time. 

Journaling might also be used as a path to finding your happy place, as a way to work through a creative project or even discover new creative outlets. A way to combat writer’s block and grind out new ideas.

More examples include…a way to stay in the present moment throughout the day, being as though you’re able to get all your thoughts out onto paper first thing in the morning, and let it all go. 

Aside from working through all the things I just mentioned, there are more benefits to journaling…

Benefits of journaling

I did a little research on just how beneficial journaling really is (for all the skeptics out there) and what I found was really surprising! I had no clue just how good a journaling practice could be for you. Not just emotionally, but physically too.

A lot of what I found was tied to improving mental health. Did you know journaling can actually help manage anxiety, in some cases, by decreasing stress? Journaling can also improve mindfulness, communication, and even cope with depression.

It also provides an outlet for self-love and positive affirmations. When you’re journaling about your best traits and forced to see yourself in a loving way, that only promotes a more positive and loving view of yourself. Right?

Here are a few more quick benefits that I’ve found through my research…

  • helps prioritize important tasks
  • boosts memory and mood
  • improve physical health – like reducing blood pressure levels and boosting your immune system
  • strengthens your expressiveness
  • achieve goals
  • boosts creativity

Find more benefits of journaling for mental health and beyond on Positive Psychology (a resource I’ve found pretty helpful for determine journaling benefits beyond the obvious ones)

earthy minimal workspace with wood desk and hanging home decor accessories

How to Journal

1. Ease into things.

You don’t have to commit to sitting down every day of the week to write for hours each day. In fact, you don’t even have to commit to writing a few minutes each day.

Start small. I started with just once a week for 5 minutes. And then, as time went on, I added more days into my routine. I still don’t journal everyday though. And I think that’s fine.

2. Get a journal you LOVE!

Find a cute journal / writer’s notebook that you want to keep out on the nightstand, on your desk, or wherever you choose to have your journaling time. 

Use it as an excuse to buy a new journal if you want. Or use what you already have – you could even DIY your own – like these DIY notebooks I made a while back.

Different Types of Journals

  • blank pages
  • paper journal
  • digital journal
  • photo journals
  • daily log
  • art journals
  • food journals
  • mind maps
  • vision board 
  • bullet journals

3. Schedule a time (and a space).

This is really important. If you’re anything like me, you have to plan time alone or you won’t get it at all.

So the best way to combat that? Plan plan plan! Maybe its a few minutes in the morning, while everyone else is still asleep. Or a few minutes at night, after putting the kids to bed.

Also, think about where you want to journal. Where feels the most comfortable? Where can you let yourself write freely? Is it in bed before you turn the lights out? Or maybe it’s at the coffee shop in the morning.

4. Do what feels right.

To avoid endlessly staring at a blank page, free yourself from any rules. When it comes to a journaling habit, you get to make your own rules.

Use prompts and journal topics, or simply write how you’re feeling each morning or night. Write in a bullet journal, a regular notebook, on your computer or even your phone.

Listen to what you need and know what you want out of the journaling experience. Do you want to get the creative juices flowing with creative writing prompts? Work through difficult emotions? Use it as a way to gain fresh perspective on one or many aspects of your life? Or simply provide safe space for your most personal thoughts, hopes, dreams…and fears as well.

5. Don’t edit yourself.

One of the most important aspects of any type of journaling, imo, is learning not to edit your thought. These entries are meant solely for you and no one else. 

Different Types of Journaling

  • Morning Pages
  • Bullet Journaling
  • Diary Style Journaling
  • Art Journaling 
  • Gratitude journaling
  • Food Journaling
  • Reflective journaling
  • and many more

I won’t go into all the different types, but one that I did want to mention briefly, in part because its something I’m interested in, is morning pages.

What’s the difference between using different journal prompts and doing morning pages?

The phrase ‘morning pages’ refers to a stream of consciousness way of writing, created by author of The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron. You take the time each morning to write 3 pages of anything and everything that crosses your mind. Read more about morning pages on Cameron’s website.

I like this way of writing / journaling / whatever you want to call it. Sometimes I’ll do morning pages and sometimes I’ll use journal prompts. Morning pages are completely open-ended, whereas the prompts guide you in a more specific direction.

list of journal prompts written out in question form

70 Great Journal Prompts for the Year

Ready to get started? If you find following prompts and journaling ideas helpful, here’s one for each week of the year.

Some of them are fun and easy and some of them will make you reassess things. The goal in all of it is to encourage growth one small journal entry at a time. Here we go…

1. Write about a small change you made that created a big impact in your life.

2. Write about a time you felt most understood.

3. What is something you’re extremely proud of?

4. What is your happiest memory?

5. What do you love most about yourself?

6. What is your favorite season? Why is it your favorite?

7. What form of weather identifies you in this moment and why?

8. How have you changed in the past year?

9. Write a letter to your younger self.

10 Describe the perfect day off from start to finish.

11. What does self-care look like for you?

12. Who are the people in your life that inspire you most?

13. Write about a time you took a risk and were happy with the outcome.

14. Write about a time you stood up for yourself, or for someone else.

15. What is your vision for your like in 10 years?

16. What is inspiring you right now?

17. Write an apology letter to someone you’ve hurt (this can be a letter to yourself)

18. Sit in silence with your eyes closed for 1 full minute. What did you think of?

19. What are you learning right now?

20. What is your definition of home? Where do you feel most at home?

21. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?

22. How would you spend a day alone?

23. What is a positive affirmation you need to hear right now?

24. What fictional character do you relate most to and why?

25. Write about a time you felt proud of yourself.

26. Which birthday was your favorite?

27. What makes you feel strong?

28. What am I grateful for today? 

29. What beliefs do you have about yourself that hold you back?

30. Write about a time saw the fruits of your labor.

31. How do you think others describe you? How do you want to be described?

32. What song or album best represents you right now?

33. Write a haiku about yourself in this moment.

34. What new habits (or you can call it a healthy habit) do you want to pick up?

35. Write about a time you felt the most yourself.

36. Write a letter to your future self.

37. What is something you never want to forget?

38. What is a new thing you want to try?

39. What is a song that you know all the lyrics to?

40. Do you believe in fate?

41. Write about something you noticed today that you wish everyone could.

42. Write about your surroundings. What do you notice that you hadn’t noticed before?

43. How do you want your life to look this time next year?

44. What is the most magical time of the year for you and why?

45. Write about what life would be like without cell phones.

46. Write about something new you’ve learned about yourself recently.

47. Write about how your favorite outfit makes you feel.

48. What is something you’d never change about your life?

49. What is a skill you’ve always wanted to learn?

50. What do you admire most about a family member (partner, parent, child, or sibling)?

51. Go on a quiet 5 minute walk and write about the things you thought about or noticed.

52. What is the most important possession you have?

More Examples of Journal Prompts you Might Like

53. Can you think of a funny story that someone told you or you told someone else? 

54. Name a time that you had to make a difficult decision and how that decision impacted your life.

55. If you could take a time machine to your middle school self, what would you them the younger version of you that you’d want them to know?

56. Describe the last time you cried. And then describe the last time you laughed really hard.

57. Why is your favorite color your favorite color? How does it make you feel? What does it evoke when you see it?

58. If you had alter egos what characteristics would they possess?

59. Write a short story (10 sentences or less) of your life so far. And if there is room, what you hope for it to be in the future.

60. What is your biggest challenge or hurdle of the year thus far? And what is one thing you can do right now to work towards overcoming it?

61. Do you have a favorite joke? Would told it to you and where were you when you heard it?

62. What do you think your best friend would say is their favorite thing about you?

63. List the top 5 things on your bucket list. And next to each one, write a goal for a date you hope to complete each one by.

64. The thing I love most about my body is ____. And why?

65. Describe one fear that is holding you back from your current personal goals and/or professional goals.

66. What creative activity can you carve out 15 minutes for today to help uplift your mood?

67. Write about a childhood memory that still impacts you to this day (can be positive or negative)?

68. Name one thing you did yesterday that brought you joy.

69. What can you do today to bring yourself joy in a different way?

70. Is there anything you could have done differently today?

minimal modern desk with journals and a vintage chair

Okay! That’s it for journaling talk today. If you liked these journaling ideas or have your own to add, I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.

Think you’ll take a little time each week to go through one of these? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

1 comment | Click here to reply

This resource is an excellent reference!

Jennie Wyman
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