100+ Journal Prompts for Mental Health

Mental health journaling is a form of expressive writing that can help you manage your mental health symptoms, explore your emotions and thoughts, and cope with stressors and triggers. It can also be used as a tool to promote positive mental health and well-being Research has shown that journaling can have several benefits for mental health, including reducing stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Journaling can help improve self-esteem and coping skills.1 It can also help to improve sleep quality and boost self-esteem. If you’re new to mental health journaling, it can be helpful to start with journal prompts for mental health. Journal prompts can give you a structure for your journal entry and help you to focus on specific topics that you want to explore.

Which mental health conditions can benefit from journaling?

Mental health journaling can be beneficial for a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Journaling can prohibit relapse for people with eating disorders and help to manage symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

Behavioral Activation is a key component of treating depression, and journaling can be a form of behavioral activation. Research has found that people who journal about positive experiences have fewer symptoms of depression than those who don’t journal.

A study published in 2008 found that PTSD symptoms were reduced in participants who wrote about their trauma for 20 minutes, three days in a row. The study found that journaling can help to lessen the intrusive thoughts and avoidance behaviors associated with PTSD.

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What are cognitive distortions?

Cognitive distortions are negative ways of thinking that can contribute to mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Some common cognitive distortions include all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization, and catastrophizing.

Catastrophizing is a cognitive distortion that involves blowing things out of proportion and making mountains out of molehills. It’s often characterized by thinking worst case scenario and assuming the worst will happen. For example, if you’re worried about an upcoming test, you might catastrophize by thinking “I’m going to fail the test and I’ll never get into college.”

All-or-nothing thinking is a cognitive distortion that involves seeing things in black and white. It’s often characterized by thinking in absolutes, such as “always” or “never.

How can I challenge my cognitive distortions?

One way to challenge your cognitive distortions is to journal about them. When you’re experiencing a cognitive distortion, take some time to write about it. For example, if you’re catastrophizing about a situation, try to list out the evidence that supports your thoughts and the evidence that contradicts your thoughts. This can help you to see the situation more objectively and challenge your negative thinking.

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How to get started with mental health journaling

If you’re interested in starting a mental health journal, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it’s important to find a format that works for you. Some people prefer to journal digitally, while others prefer to use a notebook and pen. There is no right or wrong way to journal, so choose a format that you’re comfortable with.

It can also be helpful to set aside some time each day to journal. You don’t need to spend hours journaling, but setting aside even 10-15 minutes can be beneficial. If you’re struggling to find time to journal, try journaling first thing in the morning or right before bed. And finally, don’t forget to be patient with yourself!

7 Mental Health Journal Prompts related to Depression

  1. What are some things that you’re struggling with right now?
  2. What are some things that make you happy?
  3. What are some things that you’re grateful for?
  4. What are some things that trigger your depression?
  5. What are some coping mechanisms that you use to deal
  6. How do you feel when you’re struggling with depression?
  7. What are some things you can do to improve your mental wellbeing?

If you’re struggling with depression, journaling can be a helpful tool. We know that depression can make it difficult to find things to be happy about, but journaling can help you to focus on the positive aspects of your life! In addition, journaling can help you to identify your triggers and develop coping mechanisms to deal with them. Next time you are feeling depressed, feel free to bookmark this page or save it as a PDF and start journaling using the prompts above.

5 Journal prompts for Mental Health related to Grief and Loss

  1. What are you grieving right now?
  2. What are some things that remind you of the person or thing you’re grieving?
  3. How has your grief affected your day-to-day life?
  4. How do you feel when you think about the person or thing you’re grieving?
  5. What are some things you can do to cope with your grief?

5 Prompts to Practice Gratitude

  1. What are you grateful for today?
  2. What was a moment from today that you appreciated?
  3. What are 3 things you’re grateful for from this week?
  4. Who is someone in your life that you’re grateful for?
  5. What are 5 things, big or small, that you’re grateful for from this year?

Why is practicing gratitude important?

Practicing gratitude has been shown to have several benefits for mental health. Gratitude can help reduce stress and anxiety, and can also help boost self-esteem and happiness. Additionally, gratitude can help increase resilience in the face of adversity. This is based on numerous studies, one of them being:

A Study on the Relationship Between Gratitude and Well-Being

In a study published in 2009, researchers found that gratitude was associated with greater levels of well-being. The study looked at four different measures of well-being: life satisfaction, positive affect, negative affect, and physical health. The researchers found that gratitude was significantly associated with all four measures of well-being. This study was conducted by Emmons and Shelton (Researchers in the field of positive psychology.)

7 Prompts for Anger Management Journaling

  • Why do you think you got angry?
  • What were you feeling before you got angry?
  • What happened during the event that made you angry?
  • How did you express your anger?
  • How did you feel after expressing your anger?
  • What could you have done differently to deal with your anger in a more constructive way?
  • What can you do in the future to manage your anger better?

The best way to manage anger is by journaling about it. It’s a way to help you understand your anger, why it might be happening, and how to deal with it more constructively. Anger management involves recognizing your anger triggers, understanding your anger, and finding healthy ways to express it. Journaling can be a helpful tool in all of these areas.

5 Prompts about Fighting and Arguing

  1. Why do you think you got into a fight or argument?
  2. What were you feeling before the fight or argument?
  3. What happened during the event that led to the fight or argument?
  4. How did you express your anger during the fight or argument?
  5. How did you feel after the fight or argument?
  6. What could you have done differently to avoid the fight or argument?
  7. What can you do in the future to manage your anger and conflict better?
  8. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be helpful in managing arguments and fights. CBT can help you to identify and challenge negative thinking patterns, as well as to develop more constructive ways of dealing with conflict.

CBT states that the best way to resolve arguments is to calmly and rationally discuss the issue at hand. This can be difficult to do at the moment, but with practice, it can become easier. If you’re interested in learning more about CBT, there are many resources available online and through mental health professionals.

7 Journal Prompts for Relationships

  1. How did your relationship with your parents/guardians affect your current relationship?
  2. What role does trust play in your relationship?
  3. What are your expectations of a romantic partner?
  4. Do you have any unresolved issues from previous relationships that are affecting your current relationship?
  5. What are your communication patterns in a relationship?
  6. How do you deal with conflict in a relationship?
  7. What are your needs in a relationship?

7 Journal Prompts About Forgiveness

  1. Why do you think it’s important to forgive?
  2. What are some benefits of forgiveness?
  3. What does forgiveness mean to you?
  4. Who do you need to forgive and why?
  5. How has unforgiveness impacted your life?
  6. What are some steps you can take to forgive?
  7. What will happen once you forgive?

7 Journal Prompts About Friendships

  1. How do you define a friend?
  2. What are the qualities you look for in a friend?
  3. How do you know if someone is a true friend?
  4. Why do you think it’s important to have friends?
  5. What role do friends play in your life?
  6. How have your friendships changed over the years?
  7. What has been your most meaningful friendship and why?

7 Therapeutic Mental Health Prompts about Motivation

  1. Define what motivation means to you.
  2. Why do you think it’s important to be motivated?
  3. What are some things that usually motivate you?
  4. What are some things that you’re struggling to be motivated about?
  5. What are the consequences of not being motivated?
  6. How can you tell if you’re feeling motivated?
  7. What are some things you can do to increase your motivation?

5 Mental Health Prompts about Happiness

  1. What is happiness to you?
  2. Why do you think it’s important to be happy?
  3. What are some things that make you happy?
  4. What are some things that you’re struggling to be happy about?
  5. What are the consequences of not being happy?
  6. How can you tell if you’re feeling happy?
  7. What are some things you can do to increase your

7 Journal Prompts About Sadness

  1. What is sadness to you?
  2. Why do you think it’s important to feel sadness?
  3. What are some things that make you sad?
  4. What are some things that you’re struggling to be sad about?
  5. What are the consequences of not being sad?
  6. How can you tell if you’re feeling sad?
  7. What are some things you can do to increase your sadness?

5 Mental Health Prompts about Anxiety recommended by therapists

  1. What is anxiety to you?
  2. Why do you think it’s important to feel anxiety?
  3. What are some things that make you anxious?
  4. What are some things you’re struggling to be anxious about?
  5. What are the consequences of not being anxious?
  6. How can you tell if you’re feeling anxious?
  7. What are some things you can do to increase your anxiety?

A note by Dr. HoganBruen

Dr. HoganBruen is a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders. He says that anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, nervousness, or fear that can range from mild to severe. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can be beneficial in some situations. However, when anxiety becomes excessive, it can lead to an anxiety disorder.” He says there are different types of anxiety disorders, each with its own symptoms. He says that treatment for anxiety disorders usually includes medication, journaling, or therapy.

5 Mental Health Journal Prompts about Goals

  1. Why do you think it’s important to have goals?
  2. What are some things that you want to achieve in your life?
  3. What are some things that you’re struggling to achieve?
  4. What are the consequences of not having goals?
  5. How can you tell if you’re achieving your goals?

Journal Prompts about Love

  1. Define what love is to you.
  2. Why do you think it’s important to feel love?
  3. What are some things that make you feel loved?
  4. What are some things you’re struggling to feel love about?
  5. What are the consequences of not feeling loved?
  6. How can you tell if you’re feeling loved?
  7. Define what “living life to the fullest” means to you.
  8. Why do you think it’s important to live life to the fullest?
  9. Unconditional love is love without any conditions or expectations attached to it. What are your thoughts on unconditional love?
  10. Do you think it’s possible to love someone unconditionally? Why or why not?

15 List of things you can make to use as a mental health journal prompt

1. Make a list of things that make you happy. Include both big and small things.

2. Write about a time when you overcame a challenge. What did you learn from the experience?

3. Write about your experience with anxiety or depression. What are some things that help you cope?

4. Make a list of things you are grateful for. Include both big and small things.

5. Write about a time when you felt proud of yourself. What did you do?

6. Write about a time when you were kind to yourself. What did you do?

7. Write about your experience with self-care. What are some things that help you take care of yourself?

8. Make a list of your strengths. Include both big and small strengths.

9. Write about a time when you used one of your strengths. What was the result?

10. Write about a goal you have for yourself. What steps will you take to achieve it?

11. Write about a time when you felt supported by others. Who was there for you?

12. Make a list of people you can reach out to for support. Include both big and small people.

13. Write about a time when you supported someone else. What did you do?

14. Write about a time when you felt proud of yourself. What did you do?

15. Write about a time when you were kind to yourself. What did you do?

Emotional writing prompts

  1. List 10 things that make you happy. Include both big and small things.
  2. Write about a time when you overcame a challenge. What did you learn from the experience?
  3. What are some things that make you feel happy?
  4. What are some things that make you feel loved?
  5. What are some things that make you feel proud of yourself?

Therapeutic journal prompts about feelings

  1. How do you react when you’re feeling anxious or stressed?
  2. What are some things that help you cope with anxiety?
  3. Why do you think it’s important to feel your emotions?
  4. How do you know when you’re feeling happy?
  5. What are some things that make you feel happy?

How to use writing therapy prompts for Mental Health

When writing prompts you can use a typical mental health journal template that contains the date, time, and location of where you are writing. The template also contains a section for the weather conditions and how you are feeling physically. The prompt will typically be at the top of the page with space below for you to write your response.

Prompt: Today I am grateful for…

Date:

Time:

Location:

Weather:

Physical sensations:

Mood:

Today I am grateful for my health, my family, and for my friends. I am also grateful for ….. because …..

You do not need a prompt generator, we advise you use the prompts we mentioned above as they have been reviewed by our clinical team. In total we list over 200 prompts that can be used as frequently as you like. Remember to use a therapy journal to record your prompts, this can be an App like CareClinic or an actual physical workbook.

How to use CareClinic for Journaling

CareClinic is a great tool to use for journaling because you can access it anywhere, at any time. You can also add as much or as little detail to your entries as you like. Simply open the app and select “Diary” from the check-in screen. Then, select the date you want to journal about and start writing! Remember CareClinic is a clinically studied app that works better than a simple diary for managing your health holistically. The app is built with your utmost security and privacy in mind so you may openly and safely write how you feel without worrying.

journaling for mental health

Why should you try out journaling?

There are many reasons you should try journaling as a way to explore thoughts and feelings surrounding mental health issues. First, journaling can be a great way to track your thoughts and feelings over time. This can help identify patterns or triggers for certain mental health issues. Additionally, journaling can help you to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a safe and private space.

This can be helpful if you are not yet ready to talk about your mental health with others. Finally, journaling can help you process your thoughts and feelings more creatively. This can be helpful if you feel “stuck” in your thoughts or if you are struggling to find the words to describe how you’re feeling.

It is a therapeutic writing exercise that can serve as a form of self-care. It provides an outlet to express what you may be feeling but is unable to say out loud. Writing in a journal can help lessen the intensity of difficult emotions and provide some relief from distressing experiences.

Conclusion

If you are struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to give journaling a try. We hope that the journal prompts above help you explore your thoughts and feelings surrounding mental health issues. Remember, you can always reach out to a trusted friend or family member for support. CareClinic can also be a great resource for tracking your mental health and connecting with a therapist or counselor. You can download it for free by tapping the button below.

 

References

1 “The Effects of Writing About Stressful Experiences on Symptom Reduction in Patients With Asthma or Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Trial.” Pennebaker, James W. and Joshua M. Smyth. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 68, No. 2, Apr., 2000, pp

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