What to Write About in a Journal: 59 Journaling Ideas for 2022
Before you can start filling them, though, you need to let go of the idea that your content should be extra-special or next-level insightful. Some days you’ll drop nuggets of wisdom. Other days, you’ll write content that will embarrass your future self.
Things To Write In Your Journal (For Meaning And Self-Awareness)
Journaling is amazing, but you’ve probably heard this many times already. Journaling has lots of therapeutic benefits, plus it can simply be a lot of fun. So you decided that you want to get started with your journal. The next question is: What do you write in your journal?
Even though there aren’t any rules in journaling, you don’t want to mess it up either. You don’t want to fill an entire journal with thousands of words, only to later find out that you’d rather have written about something else. If you don’t know what to write in your journal, I’ll show you some of the things that have helped most people get started.
By writing these things in your journal, I guarantee that you’ll never regret any of your hard work. Here are 7 ideas to write in your journal that are both fun, meaningful, and make use of the many benefits of journaling.
Why it’s hard to think of what to write in your journal
It might look like my average diary entry amounts to no more than seven sentences, but in fact I spend an inordinate amount of time writing about my day – around forty-five minutes, usually.
If nothing big happened, I’ll reflect on a newspaper article or a report I heard on the radio. I’m not big on weather writing but have no policy against it. Thus when life gets really dull, I’ll just look out the window and describe the color of the sky. That will lead to something else, most often: a bird being mean to another bird or the noise a plane makes.
Theft By Finding by David Sedaris
While this may not directly produce the most insightful journal entry, it does help get my brain moving. Oftentimes, it’s much easier to write down something worthwhile when you already started with something insignificant.
Some goals that you want to achieve could be small—like going to get groceries before Friday—while others could be actual milestones in your life. If you have a big goal that you want to focus on, like graduating from medical school, getting married, having your first child, or buying your first home, try writing about it in detail.
These events are not typically something that happened to you. Rather, they are world events that should never be forgotten. Journal prompts that fit into this category could be things like the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11, the state of current politics, or even the most interesting news item that happened each day. Throughout history, there are a lot of events that you could write about — the key is to write down these events in your journal.
If you have already reached major milestones in your life, you can write journal ideas about those events. It could be a detailed recollection of your wedding day, the feeling you had when your child was born, your experience at a rally that you attended, or another unforgettable event. You can also write about specific events in the lives of others. If you get stuck, you can plan fun activities with your kids (here are 88 ideas) or do something new when you’re bored (and here are 151 ideas for that.)
We all face challenges in our lives on a daily basis. If you encountered a struggle today that was difficult for you, your daily journal is the perfect place to write it down. Describe the struggle that you had to face in detail. What happened? How did you feel? Were you able to meet and overcome the challenge that crossed your path?
61 Journaling Ideas to De-Stress and Feel Happy
1. Make a journal list.
2. A meaningful quote journal idea.
3. Affirmation journaling ideas.
4. Journal about something you’re grateful for.
Gratitude and journaling belong together. Start with one thing you’re grateful for, and either expand on that one thing or add at least two more. Pretty soon you’ll have a mood-boosting gratitude list you will find very uplifting.
5. Create an “I forgive…” journal entry.
No doubt, the words “I forgive” bring a certain person to mind whom you find it difficult to forgive. But for your own sake — so you can move past it — at least journal the words “I forgive ____, and I want only what’s good for him/her,” even if you’re not feeling it.
6. Write in your journal something someone said or did that made you smile.
7. Compliment yourself in your journal.
8. Journal a description of your morning routine.
9. Write down the answer to the question, “What would I love?”
10. Answer this journal question, “What am I thinking?”
11. Journal about a milestone you’ve reached or one you’re working toward.
12. Write in your journal about the perfect day.
This can take place in the present or three years from now. Put a description in your journal of the whole day, from waking up in the morning to going to bed that night. Write down all the important details — the big ideas that make your day perfect.
13. Create an entry with someone who is on your mind (and why).
14. Journal about your vision for the future.
15. Write out your personal vision for this day (your intentions).
16. Journal about the food you’ve eaten and what you will eat today.
17. Write about an important event.
18. Describe a challenge you’re facing — or one you’ve overcome.
19. Write about your solution to a particular problem or challenge.
You probably know solutions to some problems or ways to overcome a particular challenge. Maybe you learned it the hard way. Your journal entry about it could turn into a helpful blog post or even a book.
20. Journal about something you’ve read.
Whether you’re thinking of a memorable passage from a book you’re reading, a blog post or article you’ve read recently, or a magazine headline you saw while standing in a check-out line, write about what sticks in your mind and why it matters to you (if it does).
21. Write about a fear you have and how you choose to respond to it.
22. Begin a journal entry with a prayer.
Whether you have questions you need to be answered, or you’d like help with something, writing about it makes it more likely that you’ll get closer to the answers, blessings, and accomplishments you’re seeking.
23. Write about a “note to self.”
24. Write a letter to someone.
A great journal writing prompt is to write a letter. In your journal you can prepare the message to someone with whom you’re having a dispute, someone you need to reconnect with, or someone you want to share your love for.
25. Write a letter to someone who has passed.
26. Start with a memory (recent or distant).
27. Use an image that sparks an idea for journal writing.
If you’ve ever bought a painting that made you imagine a life that might one day be your own, or if you saw an image in a magazine or on the internet that caught your attention and took you places in your mind, write about that.
28. Journal about a dream you remember.
29. Use a timer for a journal writing sprint.
30. Small daily journal sentence.
Write a single sentence. Then another. Then a third sentence. You can stop then, or you can keep going. Maybe one of those sentences will trigger something. But even if they don’t, you’ve written three sentences, and that’s something.
31. A creative character sketch.
32. Write about something absurd.
33. Write an encouraging personal note to yourself.
Begin like your writing in a diary and write an encouraging note to yourself about the day you’re going to have or about a challenge you’ll be facing today. Be a friend and write the words you need to hear.