Trauma. Betrayal. Loss.
Mistakes and regrets.
Your past is likely jam-packed with painful events and situations that affect who you are today.
You might have negative behaviors and thought patterns, low self-confidence, low self-esteem, and feelings of low self-worth because of them.
Perhaps you haven’t adequately grieved some of the things you’ve experienced.
You want to overcome it to live a happy, fulfilling life.
You might be surprised to learn how journaling for healing can help.
(Sidebar: You might like our bestselling book. The Mindfulness Journal is your daily guidebook for applying mindfulness to your work, your relationships, or even the most mundane tasks of your day.)
Is Journaling Good for Inner Healing?
Whether dealing with a breakup, a significant life transition, addiction, or abuse, healing is hard. That’s not a secret. Your hurt is real, and your emotions are valid.
Journaling is an effective coping mechanism to help you overcome various overwhelming emotions.
It’s a healthy way to acknowledge, confront, and work through whatever you face.
It allows you to express your thoughts and feelings, interrupt negative thought patterns, and release your pain, sadness, anger, frustration, and other emotions.
Journaling is also a great way to get to know and understand yourself.
Keeping a journal for healing has many benefits. It can help you:
- Increase self-awareness and insight
- Manage depression and anxiety
- Identify your triggers
- Recognize your fears and concerns
- Practice positive self-talk and encouragement
- Boost your mood
- Reduce stress
- Improve your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Solve problems
- Increase resiliency
- Regulate your emotions
How to Begin a Journal for Healing
A regular journaling practice is a therapeutic way to empower yourself and take charge of your emotional health.
It is no silver bullet to fix all your problems in one sitting or overnight. You will experience difficult emotions, so let yourself feel, reflect, and explore.
There aren’t any set rules for journaling.
You should do whatever feels right and works for you. Here are a few tips to start a healing journal.
- Choose your method. Will you use an old-fashioned pen and paper or type it on your computer? You can find a designated journal online, use a composition or notebook, or create a simple Word or Google Doc.
- Set the mood. You might prefer a quiet space where you light candles, play soothing music, and enjoy a cup of coffee. Or maybe blaring Limp Biskit’s Break Stuff while sipping a glass of wine is more your style. You do you.
- Do it regularly. Every day is ideal, but don’t fall prey to all-or-nothing thinking. Do it as often as you can for however long you can.
- Write freely and honestly. Allow the words to flow without overthinking or judging. Vent, swear, write whatever nasty things you want to say. Don’t worry about misspellings, proper grammar, or sentence structure.
- Decide how you will use it. Will you use words, pictures, or both? Will you use healing journal prompts or free flow about whatever is on your mind or heart?
- Explore positive and negative emotions. There are often lessons to be learned from both the good times and the bad. Write about your pain or grief, but be sure to include feelings of joy as well.
- Be patient. Few things worth having in life come easily. Expect to feel down some days. But continue to show up for yourself and keep at it.
65 Mindful Journaling Prompts for Healing
As challenging as it is to work through and release your pain rather than suppress or suffer from it, journaling provides a safe space to clear your mind and mend your wounds.
Journal prompts for emotional healing are especially helpful when you don’t know what to write or feel stuck.
The following can help you deepen your healing.
1. What kind of person do you want to be?
2. What kind of person don’t you want to be?
3. What do you need help with?
4. If you could rewrite an experience from your past, what would it be?
6. What do you need to forgive yourself or others for?
7. What advice would you give to a friend going through your situation?
8. What can you remember to tell yourself on the bad days?
9. In what ways have you healed already?
10. What aspects of your life are most affected by your pain?
11. Make a list of things and people that bring you joy.
12. Make a list of things and people that cause you strife.
13. What can you do today or this week to progress along your healing journey?
14. What feelings or experiences are you avoiding because you’re afraid they’re too difficult to face?
15. What’s your biggest fear about the future?
17. Create five healing affirmations for yourself to repeat during trying moments.
18. What can you do to create more peace and joy in your life?
19. Who or what can you eliminate from your life that brings you down?
20. How can you use your pain to help others?
21. Describe yourself in 100 words or less.
22. Write a letter to your grief explaining how it’s helped and hurt you.
23. List at least three ways you can show yourself grace and compassion during difficult moments.
24. Who do you know and can count on that has gone through something similar?
25. What are some helpful and unhelpful ways you can process your pain?
27. Write a letter to someone who has hurt you. (Don’t send it!)
28. How can you make today better than yesterday?
29. What regret do you have about the way you’ve lived your life?
30. What can you do to look forward?
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31. What do you want to accomplish, and what steps can you take to get there?
32. What stressful situation are you having trouble letting go of?
33. What are your biggest fears, and why?
34. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be and why?
35. List your strengths and weaknesses.
36. Relive a memorable event and describe what was happening in and around you.
37. What effect do your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors have on one another?
39. How have you been feeling lately, and why?
40. Make a list of things you can and can’t control.
41. What makes you feel safe?
42. How does worrying affect your life?
43. What do you wish others knew about you?
44. What do you love about your life?
45. When do you feel most energized?
47. What can you learn about to help you live a more fulfilling life?
48. Write a letter to yourself stating all the words you need to hear.
49. What would you like to say no to?
50. What would you like to say yes to?
51. In what ways can you care for yourself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically?
53. How can you use your past experiences to empower you moving forward?
54. Identify negative thought patterns and ways you can improve them when they occur.
55. Name your role models and how you can incorporate their positive qualities in your life.
56. Write about a painful experience in the third person.
57. What are your core values, and where did they come from?
58. How would it feel to forgive yourself right now for your past mistakes?
59. How would it feel to forgive others right now for their past mistakes?
60. What is missing from your life, and how is it affecting you?
61. What do you feel guilty about and why?
62. What can you do to soothe yourself when difficult emotions arise?
63. How can you be more intentional about healing from your past?
64. What makes you feel disconnected from yourself and others?
65. What makes you feel connected to yourself and others?
You’ve been brought down by your past long enough. Rather than let it hold you back any longer, start journaling today to heal and step into the amazing person you are meant to be.