6 Ways Journaling Improves Your Mental Health

journaling prompts, journaling for mental health. how to start journaling, where to buy a gratitude journal, journaling for mental health worksheets journaling for mental health pdf journaling prompts for mental health pdf journaling for mental health ideas journaling for mental health app journaling for mental health beginners benefits of journaling for mental health pdf online journaling for mental health how journaling helps mental health benefits of journaling mental health

Sharing is caring!

You have probably heard the advice to keep a journal in order to improve your mental health numerous times before, but somehow you have never started doing it. Or perhaps you started, but the habit did not stick.

Journaling involves writing down your innermost thoughts and feelings in a notebook, phone note app, or on your computer to understand them more clearly. It is not an easy habit to perfect, and it requires a lot of commitment and work. 

In recent years, journaling has become quite popular, especially as a self-care strategy. But is journaling worth all the hype? Does journaling really work?

Unfortunately, many people go into it with high expectations after hearing others confess how journaling changed their lives. They then get disappointed and give up if they don’t get their desired results within a few days.

Journaling is not a one-day or one-week activity. To reap the numerous mental health benefits of journaling, you have to do it consistently, for instance, writing every day or 3-4 times a week. Read on to find out how journaling improves your mental health and how to journal effectively.

* 10 Ways to Cope When Everything Feels Heavy and Overwhelming
* 30 Depression Quotes That Hit Hard and Help You Feel Less Alone
* 5 Reasons Why It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

6 Ways Journaling Improves Your Mental Health

  1. It is an opportunity to express your feelings

The world today pressures people to hold in their emotions to spare others the discomfort of having to deal with them which can be harmful to you.

Instead of becoming stressed, bottling up your emotions, or dealing with them in destructive ways, such as through emotional eating and being aggressive, you can choose to keep a journal to process your feelings instead.

Expressive writing is therapeutic. Journaling improves your mental health by allowing you to express your feelings, release pent-up emotions, and vent your frustrations without fear of judgment.

As you write in your journal, you can sort out your feelings and work through them, thus reducing anxiety and stress. Your thoughts become more structured and clear, and you can come up with a solution for your problems or make better decisions.

Journaling is a healthy way to deal with stressful emotions and take control of them instead of them controlling you.

You Might Also Like: 10 Habits You Should Adopt to Protect Your Mental Health

  1. It helps you identify your triggers and monitor them

If you have poor mental health and are unsure what makes you feel the way you do, one of the benefits of writing in a journal every day is that it can help with self-reflection.

Through journaling, you can identify your triggers and understand yourself better.

Track the circumstances that result in your negative feelings and self-talk day by day to discover what causes your mental health issues.

For instance, you might notice that you feel stressed or have negative thoughts every time you log into social media platforms.

Other examples could be that you feel anxious every time you watch the news, when you have a social function to attend, or have to do a presentation.

By learning what triggers you, you can better control your exposure to such things or events.

  1. It is useful in decluttering your mind

Are you feeling overwhelmed and stressed by all your responsibilities?

When multitasking or when you have too many things to do, it can feel like there are too many tabs open in your brain, and you can’t focus on any one thing. This then makes you more stressed or anxious about not being able to complete your duties.

Reduce the burden on your brain by writing all your to-dos down. One of the mental health benefits of journaling is that writing will help you declutter your mind allowing you to organize your thoughts and prioritize tasks in order of urgency and importance.

You Might Also Like: 10 Signs You Need to Take a Mental Health Day(and how to spend it)

  1. It improves your memory

After a traumatizing event, your brain might block out some things from your mind to protect itself and dissociate from the situation.

However, suppressing your feelings can negatively affect you as they might resurface later with a vengeance.

Journaling improves your mental health as it helps you keep a record of your feelings as you are experiencing them. You can always go back to what you wrote to remember what you were feeling when explaining your symptoms to a therapist. 

Also, there is a link between short-term memory loss and depression, anxiety, and stress.

You tend to be more forgetful when experiencing either of these and thus, journaling can help you remember details that you could have forgotten.

You Might Also Like: 17 Ways to Keep Your Brain Young

  1. Reduces brooding and rumination

Have you been having non-stop obsessive thoughts and memories about an event you went through? 

Studies indicate that expressive writing can help you reduce the frequency of rumination and brooding over past events if you have depression. You can break the cycle of negative thoughts and get them out of your system by writing in a journal. 

However, this can also make things worse, and thus you have to be careful.

If you find yourself repeatedly writing about the same thing without any shift in your perspective of the event, journaling is not helping to stop your rumination. Instead, it could be intensifying your depression by making you relive the event all over again, and you might need professional help to deal with ruminating thoughts.

For journaling to improve your mental health and be effective in reducing rumination, you should try to think about the positive side of things while writing.

 For example, you can include the lessons learned from the negative experience, your growth, what you are grateful for, affirmations, and your hopes for the future.

You Might Also Like: Is It Depression or Just Laziness? How to Know the Difference

  1. Journaling makes it easier to ask for help

This is another indirect way that journaling improves your mental health. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, there are some private thoughts you don’t feel comfortable sharing with anyone.

However, as you grow more accustomed to writing about your feelings and understanding them, it becomes easier for you to talk about them too.

You can easily recognize that you have a problem, and if you can’t solve it yourself, you will be comfortable being vulnerable and talking to a trusted friend or professional about it.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the practice of journaling improves your mental health. There is no limit to the number of words to write and what to journal about.

Depending on your feelings and what you are going through, you can write as little as only one sentence or as many pages as you need. There is also no right way or vocabulary to use when journaling.

Write about your feelings in any way you see fit, using the words that help you fully express yourself. However, the ideal time for journaling is either in the morning before you start the day or at night before bed to reflect on the events that happened that day.

Hopefully, the above 6 mental health benefits of journaling have convinced you why you should keep a journal and the many ways journaling improves your mental health.

Do you keep a journal? Does it help you deal with mental health issues? Are there any other mental health benefits you get from journaling?

Did you enjoy this post? Please share it.
Let’s connect: Twitter . Pinterest . Facebook . Instagram . TikTok . VK

Read more articles from Aisles of Life here.


  1. I have started keeping a journal from the start of the year and it has helped me tremendously, i cant imagine life without it now. Do you have a routine that you stick to for your journaling?

    1. Yeah, though if I go into details about it it might become another blog post in the comment section, so I’ll try to keep it short🙂😂
      I started journaling since the pandemic started to cope with my anxiety and stress about the situation and have been doing it ever since and it really helps. I try to stick to writing at the same time every night before going to bed. As you might have seen from my blog posts, I like long-form content and so depending on how the day has been or how I’m feeling at the time, I might end up writing an entire page or two just to get everything out. The next step, I note down what I’m grateful for, what I learnt, and the role what I did that day plays in attaining my overall goals. If I somehow don’t feel satisfied with the way I spent my day, I write down what I could have done better then make a plan on how to go about it. The whole process takes 15-20 minutes. And that’s about it. It helps calm my mind when I feel anxious enabling me to sleep better.

      What is your journaling routine?

      Oh and your post on recovering from depression is what reminded me I had wanted to write a post on journaling. I could include a link to it somewhere in the post, if you are okay with that.❤

      1. Haha thank you for sharing, it’s so interesting to hear how people use it differently. Personally I prefer mornings but I also like to take some time for reflection at the end of the day as you mentioned. Can really help in making us better than we were yesterday. I also try to look back on each month and see any changes in ways I’m feeling. I think doing it everyday can seem like a long time for people if they are just starting out but it’s so valuable and you get to learn so much about yourself. That would be fantastic thank you Sheri ❤️

        1. Thank you for sharing your routine. I agree journaling everyday can seem like too much for someone who is just starting out before they get used to it. It is recommended they start small.

          And I have linked to your post. It could help someone. Thank you❤️

  2. Decluttering your mind is so amazing. Journaling helped me figure out why I was upset or sad about something. In the end, I was able to change my negative feelings about something by realizing the situation wasn’t as bad as I thought.

  3. Excellent blog post. I think rumination is one of the easiest traps that people can fall under, and journaling can really help in stopping this! Thanks for sharing and feel free to read some of my recent blogs!

    1. I completely agree. If done the right way, journaling can give can be an excellent way to get rid of repetitive negative thoughts. Thank you for reading and commenting. Will check out your blogs❤

  4. Yes i love journalling too! Another thing I love in my journal is habit trackers so I can see my habits and which ones I need to keep doing! Great post! <3

    1. Great to hear you love journaling too, Zainab! I agree it can help to build better habits. Thank you for reading and commenting❤

Leave a Comment