Journaling is an amazing tool for mental health, wellbeing, and productivity. The journal has been in use for thousands of years. Much of the earth’s history comes from early journal entries. This article will share 30 journal prompts for anxiety and depression.
In addition to record keeping, journaling is a great way to work on personal development. It helps us to clear our minds, problem solve and work through our emotions.
I have always had a journal since my preteen years, sometimes I write in it every single day religiously, sometimes I don’t touch it for a year. When my dad passed away last April, I dusted off my trusty journal and used it to help channel my grief. I was able to recount memories, identify emotions and dedicate 5-10 minutes each day to writing.
Not only was this is a great practice for my grief but, journaling has been a huge part of my self-care routine. It has been instrumental in reducing my anxiety and depression.
I try to write in my journal every single day. On days I forget or don’t have time I’m mindful of not beating myself up about it.
Facts about Anxiety and Depression:
Anxiety and Depression are among the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Over 18% of the population suffers from Anxiety disorders. Depression is the worldwide leading cause of disability.
Many people go untreated for these disorders. I went undiagnosed for years, and I used tools like journaling to help me reduce and manage my anxiety and depression.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. These tips are written as a tool to help anxiety and depression. They are in no way a cure, therapy or a guarantee. Please consult your doctor or a therapist if you have any questions regarding mental health, anxiety or depression.
Journaling can be great for your mental health because it:
- Problem Solves
- Helps you work through and track your emotions
- Reduces Stress
- Works as a Coping Mechanism
- Boosts your Mood
- Enhances your sense of self
- Improves your writing skills
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For More Information on the benefits of journaling for your mental health check out:
- The Benefits of Journaling for Stress Management- Very Well Mind
- 83 Benefits of Journaling for Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Management– The Positive Psychology Program
- Journaling and Mental Health– Mentalhelp.net
How to Journal for Anxiety:
- Add journaling to your daily routine- Practice journaling regularly to better track your emotions and moods. Daily journaling is a great way to release anxiety, as it allows you to put your worries to paper in small portions, rather than all at once or when things get bad.
- Make your journal easy access- It’s much easier to make journaling part of your routine if you keep it handy. Keep a journal and pen in your bag or on your nightstand. You can even keep a note on your phone to journal on the go. Increasing your access to your journal will help you more readily get your thoughts out.
- Your journal is for you- Write whatever you want or need to in your journal. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or to read like a Hemingway novel. Your journal is for you only, so try not to put too many rules or restrictions on the way you journal. Don’t get hung up on spelling errors, crossing things out or skipped pages.
- Re-read your journal- And review your past emotions, experiences, memories, and moods.
- Date your entries- This allows you to better track and outlines your emotional timeline. Dating your entries helps to improve reflection and identify patterns.
- Be Honest- Your journal is just for you and the writing inside will reflect that. Go slow and process the emotions and entries that are harder for you to write. Being honest with yourself will improve the benefits of your journaling journey.
Three Journals You’ll Love-
- Blue Leather Moleskin Journal –High Quality, and I love the back pocket for loose papers and trinkets like concert tickets.
- Bright Purple Lined Journal- Inexpensive and available in many awesome colors.
- Personalizable Leather Journal– A journal this beautiful is sure to encourage you to write as often as possible. You can even add your name to the front cover!
How to Use Mental Health Journal Prompts:
Mental Health Journal Prompts are amazing for helping to get your ideas and creativity flowing. They also act as therapeutic guidelines to tackle targeted emotions or stress points in our lives. Copy them into your journal and get started, one at a time.
Suffering from anxiety and depression for many years has made me very self-aware, and sometimes I can get stuck inside my own head. Journal prompts take me outside of that and allow me to better express myself in a different way.
Try not to stress over your journal-
Writing prompts will help get you started, but don’t feel pressure to write 15 pages or complete every single prompt. You don’t even have to stay on topic! Anxiety and Depression are not linear and your journaled thoughts don’t need to be either.
Start with writing for just 5-10 minutes in a sitting. Setting a timer can help a lot. Or if you feel like 5-10 minutes isn’t a good measure try to write 2 pages.
Do what resonates with you.
Mental Health Journal Prompts for Depression and Anxiety-
These journal prompts for anxiety and depression are to help you get started. They aren’t in any particular order. So, feel free to pick and choose!
15 Journal Prompts For Depression and Anxiety To Get You Started-
- Today, I am thankful for…..
- My favorite accomplishment it….
- I am anxious when….
- I felt sad when….
- What is one thing I wish I could change…
- My happiest memory is…
- What’s been bugging me lately?
- Make a list of 15 things you love about yourself…
- My favorite body part is…
- One way I could love myself more is….
- My Childhood hero was ________ and I am similar to them in these ways _______.
- What is your best quality?
- Write a letter to one of your parents. (You do not have to give it to them.)
- Make a list of 10 quotes that inspire you
- Make a list of 20 things you are grateful for.
15 More Journal Prompts for Anxiety and Depression-
Dig a little deeper with this list of more detailed journal prompts for anxiety and depression.
- What is one way your depression or anxiety has held you back this week? What could you do to change that?
- Write yourself a letter forgiving you for something that has happened in your past.
- Create a Brainstorm list of activities to reduce your stress and anxiety. Make a plan to add at least 3 activities to your schedule this week.
- Write a letter to your younger self. What advice can you give them to better navigate their mental health?
- The last time I felt this way, I…
- What is one thing you wish you had said no to? Why didn’t you? What impact did it have on your experience?
- Write a review about your favorite book or movie and why it resonates with you so deeply.
- Make a schedule for your perfect day. Take one of these things and do it sometime this week.
- What is something I need to let go of? Why am I holding onto it?
- Describe your ideal bedroom. The way it looks, the smell, the feel of the sheets, comfort, and overall atmosphere there.
- What does self-care mean to you? How do practice this in your daily life?
- Write down three things that cause you anxiety. Brainstorm 1-2 ways you can combat these triggers when they come up.
- What are 3 things about yourself you wish others knew? How could you share these things with others more?
- Choose an Inspiration word for the week. What does it mean to you? And how can you live your life this week with that word in mind?
- Make a list of 17 accomplishments you’ve made that you are proud of.
Other Journaling Tools:
Another Great Tool when journaling for depression and anxiety, is utilizing an Anxiety Tracker to help you stay aware of your triggers and moods. This can help reduce your stress and anxiety. This Anxiety Management Bundle by Shinesheets includes; An Anxiety Journal, Worry Workbook, and Anxiety and Sleep Trackers.
At the Start of 2019, I started using trackers to track sleep, moods, healthy habits and more. Which has been a practice in self-care, mindfulness, and
Check Out Our Related Articles for more help:
In addition to journaling, there are other great techniques to improve your mental health. Self-Care, practicing mindfulness, CBD Oil, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising are all great tools for your mental health too.
- 10 Fun Journal Prompts for Summer
- Self Care: The Revolutionary Tool
- CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression
- 12 Ways to Cope with Depression
Kelsey Albert says
Wow, I like the idea of writing a note to your parents…letting your thoughts out in a journal like that is so refreshing!
That’s one of my favorites! It can be hard to do, but sometimes you just need to get it out and LET IT GO (as queen Elsa would say!) lol.
Becky Ginther says
I think this will be very useful. My anxiety and depression has been bad lately, but I find that writing usually helps. Sometimes I just don’t know where to start.
I sometimes have a hard time starting too! Sometimes just setting a timer for 5 minus and writing “I don’t want to journal today” is how I get started. lol. I’m sorry that your anxiety and depression has been so bad. This pandemic has definitely increased my anxiety a lot. I’m hoping that your anxiety and depression eases soon. Sending you so much love and light!
I’ve saved your prompts to my Pinterest board so that I can access it later on. I’ve been meaning to pick up journaling again – I was so good at it when 2020 began, and when the virus hit, things just kinda fizzled out. But it would probably be so helpful for me now. So I appreciate this!
Hi Stephanie! I am so glad that these journal prompts stood out to you. They’re definitely me go to’s when I have a hard time journaling. I also, haven’t been great since at doing it consistently since the pandemic started either. I’ll have to get back to it too! 🙂
Caylee Connelly says
Wow, this is such a timely message for me. I just started journaling with a devotional as my prompt and a scripture to meditate on but these will really help me to dig deeper into my thoughts and to get them out on paper. I’m saving this and can’t wait to see how helpful they are. Thank you for sharing this!
Thank you Caylee! I am so happy that you found this list helpful. I hope it integrates easily in with your current devotional and scripture practice. These are all awesome self-care practices! Way to go!
Laura Allen says
Okay, I needed this! I have been trying to journal, but it’s so hard lately, because i feel like i have to know what I’m going to write, if that makes sense… haha but I love that you added try not to stress about your journal. I’ve been having terrrrrrible anxiety and depression lately, so i definitely need to get back to writing! Thank you, I’m going to use some of these prompts!
I’m so sorry that your anxiety and depression have been so bad lately! This season of life is adding a lot of stress to everyone’s lives. When it comes to journaling (and life in general) I often struggle with focus. So it can be difficult to sit down and just start! Sometimes I set a timer and just begin. I will even write “I really don’t feel like journaling today…” And see where that takes me. Let me know which prompts you like best when you begin writing again!
Charlotte Birchall says
This is a great post. I have always wanted to journal but never thought it would help with mental health issues.
Journaling is actually super helpful for mental health issues. Many CBT therapists recommend it for their patients because it is so helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions! I’ve been journaling for years! XO-Summer
Is the Anxiety Bundle still available for purchase?
Absolutely Lori! You can find it here: Anti-Anxiety Bundle
Tia Redman says
These prompts are awesome! I’m someone who is working on publishing a self-help journal. May I ask how you were able to come up with these perfect prompts?
Hello Tia- I did a lot of research on CBT journal prompts. I also looked at a list of prompts/topics that I had written about in my journal over the years and chose the ones I had found the most helpful. My favorite journal prompt ever is “Write yourself a love letter.” It has never failed to be a beacon of sunshine in dark times 🙂
Patience Beamer says
The 30 Amazing Journal Prompts for Anxiety and Depression article
is one of the best I have ever read!
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click here says
Thank you! Which journal prompt was your favorite?