Regular journaling is a powerful tool for mental health and can be used anytime to break through the barriers of built-up trauma. If you are committed to self-growth as I am, writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences should be indispensable to a night or morning routine. Filling out a few journal prompts for mental health is one of the best coping mechanisms to process difficult emotions while providing an outlet for self-expression and greater emotional wellness.

If you’ve landed here, I want you to get started on this healing journey as soon as possible. So here’s a compilation of 25 journaling prompts designed to encourage self-reflection on past traumatic events. These questions are meant to provide insight into yourself, embrace the present moment and help you better understand how past traumas of your younger self may still impact your life today.

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mental health journal prompts for those who don't know what to write

The spiritual guide to good fortune has ready-to-fill-in weekly reflection prompts. You can check it out on Amazon

The Benefits Of Journaling

Journaling in one’s day-to-day life has many benefits for one’s mental health and can help a person understand themselves, get past their traumas, deal with anxiety, and come to terms with the essence of who they are. An individual can gain internal clarity and self-awareness through regular journaling practice while simultaneously processing their emotions.

Noting down thoughts and feelings in a mental health journal can help organize chaotic inner landscapes into clear messages that allow the mind to make sense of raw data it may otherwise keep hidden from conscious recognition. In turn, this provides an opportunity to put in the effort to spend time with yourself and heal.

Additionally, your journaling prompts can turn trauma into stories of growth. This encourages self-compassion and better coping skills while empowering your future self to regain control over what once seemed out of reach.

Journal prompts for mental health can create a safe space and is a basic form of self-love and reflection for those seeking personal growth and transformation along life’s journey.

Read more: The 10 Best Crystals for Self Love to Manifest Confidence

what can i write in a journal to improve mental illness

What Can I Write In A Journal To Improve Mental Health?

When confused about what route to follow for journaling to improve mental health or cope with a mental illness, essential themes describe taking back control, self-compassion, developing better coping skills, empowerment, self-observation, and understanding oneself.

Other prompts can include discussing fears, the positive aspects of life, what you are grateful for, lessons learned, and how to use them going forward.

The Spiritual Guide has ready-to-fill therapeutic prompts for a full year. You can check it out on Amazon

My Favorite Journal Prompts For Mental Health

Here are some critical mental health journal prompts and common themes to write about that guide an individual towards essential questions that can help to further their self-discovery and bring perspective and help reflect on their experiences:

  1. How have I shown myself compassion and kindness recently?

This prompt is an excellent tool for improving mental health; understanding our needs and wants through journaling can help us better regulate our emotions in difficult situations.

  1. What do I need most right now to feel mentally healthy? 

Identifying what is necessary to feel mentally healthy and noting down those needs can help bring a direction that can be followed. It helps to remind oneself of the positive steps to aid one’s well-being further and better understand our desires.

  1. What does self-care look like for me?

Self-care is essential for our mental health. Noting down on paper what it looks like to us can help us identify and emulate a feeling of self-worth and teach ourselves how to look after ourselves better in times of need.

Read more: Self-Care Planner: My Top 5 Picks to Boost Your Wellness State

  1. When have I been brave this week?

On a less-than-perfect day, noting down examples of when we have been brave helps bring more self-confidence, hope, and trust in our abilities and reminds us of how far we have come despite the difficulty.

  1. What am I grateful for in my life today?

Gratitude journaling helps connect with life’s positive aspects and our inner self. Keeping a list of what we are grateful for (whether the same day or in the past month) is known to help reduce anxiety.

Talking about things we are thankful for in our journal also reminds us that no matter how dark the situation seems, there are always good moments worth appreciating.

  1. What is the one thing that makes me feel safe?

Talking about what makes us feel safe helps to remind us of moments when we can return to our sense of security and comfort zone. It also emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships with ourselves so that we may continually come back home to what we describe as our inner strengths.

The spiritual guide contains morning acknowledgment and evening gratitude prompts that can make a huge difference in your daily journaling practice. See more here.

The spiritual guide contains morning acknowledgment and evening gratitude prompts that can make a huge difference in your daily journaling practice. Check the paperback version on Amazon

  1. What song do I relate to the most? How does it help?

Noting down which song we related to the most can help us reflect on, uncover deeper emotions, and provide perspective on how music affects us. It can also create a sense of joy and comfort after a bad day, soothe hurt sentiments, and allow for more self-expression when words seem hard to come by.

  1. What do I fear, and how does it reflect my physical state?

One difficult journaling prompt is understanding fear and how essential overcoming it is for growth and better mental health. In noting what we are afraid of, we can begin to recognize their power on our body and behavior and uncover patterns stemming from those feelings.

  1. What has made me happy in the past week?

It can be easy to forget the good experiences in life when feeling overwhelmed or down. Writing down what made us happy in the past week can help us remember and appreciate these moments more fully in the present and future. It can also be helpful to highlight our growth, successes, relationships that matter, and any other details that bring joy into our lives.

  1. Who am I when I’m not afraid of being judged or criticized?

Fear and insecurities can sometimes hold us back from being our true selves. Reflecting on who we are when we let go of these worries helps us think about inner freedom and understand ourselves more fully.

Read more: Fearful Avoidant Attachment: 7 Signs of Craving & Fearing Love

  1. What would it look like to forgive me or someone else?

Forgiveness can be difficult but can also be essential for healing and growth. Taking the time to journal and describe how forgiveness might look helps us become more aware of our thoughts surrounding it and how to approach it in everyday life.

have you started journaling your happiest memory?

  1. What are my strengths, and what can I build on further?

When we write our strengths and how we can build on them further, we are helping ourselves bring a sense of empowerment into our lives and recognize our capabilities.

  1. What was the most meaningful connection I made today (living or nonliving)?

Journaling meaningful connections made throughout the day can help us add perspective to the beauty of our relationships with loved ones and help us identify how exquisite life can be, even in its most mundane moments.

  1. Write down a list of things you’re good at

Creating a list of things we are good at is an important reminder that success comes in many forms and shapes, even if some skills may seem small. It also helps to build on confidence and appreciate our capabilities.

  1. What thoughts add to my depression? What positive thoughts should I replace them with?

When depression creeps in, it’s important to identify the negative thoughts and beliefs that add to this feeling. Noting down these thoughts can help us practice being more aware of them and then replace them with positive affirmations.

Read more: The 45 Top Manifestation Affirmations to Attract Abundance

  1. What TV character’s personality would I want to embody?

With their strong convictions, strength, and tenacity, TV characters frequently motivate and inspire us. A sense of self-assurance and belief in our potential arises when we define the persona we want to resemble.

  1. What was the most rewarding part of my day?

Writing down the most rewarding experience of a day might help us feel better when we feel anxious and add more joy and appreciation to our daily lives. Even when things appear difficult, it may allow us to realize our potential and how far we have come.

  1. What was the most favorite part of my day?

Focusing on our favorite memory of the day boosts our serotonin levels, which helps increase feelings of happiness and well-being. It also helps us gain perspective on how far we have come and gain a sense of hope.

  1. What is the one thing I must let go of, even if I don’t want to?

This is one of the important journal prompts for mental health and personal growth. Noting down the one thing that needs to be let go can help us identify what holds us back and become aware of how this affects our physicality and mental health.

Read more: How to Let Go of Someone you Almost Had? (The Best Strategies)

  1. Which part of my day was the most stressful?

By talking about our stress, we may better understand what causes it and become more conscious of our mental health. Making a note of the specifics of our anxious sentiments at any given time might help reveal trends in our behavior, allowing us to ponder and discover solutions.

  1. What do I feel guilty about? What would change my feelings about it?

Noting down our guilty feelings can help us uncover the root of this emotion and become aware of how it affects our day-to-day lives. It can also help us discover ways to dissolve and reframe these feelings, empowering us in our healing process.

  1. What do I wish I could change right now?

When it comes to comprehending our current circumstances and what we would like to change, this journal prompt might aid in bringing forth a feeling of clarity. Making a list of our desires and aspirations can provide us with direction and inspire us to take action to achieve our goals.

  1. What three things would I keep doing for the rest of my life?

Making a list of the three things we would like to do for the rest of our lives can help us gain more appreciation and connection with what truly matters.

  1. How can I have more fun daily?

This question prompts us to be more mindful of how we can bring more fun into our lives. It can bring ideas and activities to help us destress, relax, and enjoy everyday moments.

  1. When was I last angry, and how did it affect my goals?

We may learn more about our emotions and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves by keeping track of our anger and how it impacts our objectives. It also lets us see things more clearly to control our rage and achieve our objectives.

Final Thoughts

journaling prompts for mental health

Despite being a crucial component of our well-being, mental health is frequently disregarded. As it promotes self-reflection and self-awareness, journaling may be a terrific tool for assisting us toward excellent mental health. These 25 questions are intended to aid in overcoming trauma and better understanding ourselves while fostering a feeling of community.

More on improving mental health:

  1. The 5 Best Crystal Candles for a Calm Self-Healing Ritual
  2. Emotional Permanence Explained & Top Tips on How to Cope
  3. How Hyper-Independence Can Signify Trauma (& 5 Ways To Cope)
  4. Why Do I Get Attached So Easily?” The Main Reasons & 7 Tips
  5. Reactive Abuse & Narcissism: What Is It & How To Deal With It
  6. Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse: The 5 Best Affordable Alternatives