21 Journaling Prompts and Ideas

Need journaling prompts? I hear ya!

Picture this: you’re curled up in your favorite spot at home. You have a hot cup o’ joe, a pretty leather journal, and some sparkly pens (optional, but so fun).

Now… what are you writing about? Are you on a roll, pouring out your feelings? Or are you staring at the blank page?

We know that journaling has a ton of great benefits (including clarity, personal understanding, and increased intuition), but it can be tough to get the creative ball rolling without journaling prompts.

Sometimes our mind is so cluttered and loud that you don’t know where to start.

Other times it’s just cricket quiet (wouldn’t it be nice for it to be that way when you’re trying to go to sleep?).

Regardless of the reason you’re hitting that white page wall, meet your new friend… journaling prompts!

journaling prompts and ideas to get you in touch with your higher self

21 Journaling Prompts and Ideas

These juicy journaling prompts not only get your pen a-flyin’, they also set you down a path you may not have taken if left to your own devices.

So, next time you’re fresh out of words, try one (or five) of these thought provoking journaling prompts and exercises:

1. Uplift your mood journaling exercise

Think of a time when you felt immensely grateful. It could be when that car missed you by an inch, when your family unexpectedly stopped by for Thanksgiving and there was ONE turkey big enough left at the store, or, when said family packed it up and headed back home (no judgement during journal time!).

It could be something very simple like a stay-in game night with your partner where you really connected for the first time in awhile.

Tip: Detail out how you felt, how your mood shifted, and how that feeling stayed with you in the days following. In other words – relieve the yummy feelings and emotions.

Journaling Prompt: I felt immensely grateful when ____________________________.

2. Write about your favorite TV or movie character

Chances are, you identify with this character in some way, so dig into that! (bonus: these journaling prompts are SUPER fun!)

  • What do you like about them?
  • Do you identify with this character? If so, in what way?
  • What scares you about them?
  • Does it bother you that you identify with this character? If so, why?
  • Did one of their quotes make a big impact on you?

Prompt: My favorite movie character of all time is _____________ because _____________.

3. Imagine talking to a loved one who passed away

If your loved one came in and sat right next to you in your cozy spot, what would you tell them?

How would you fill them in on your life now? What aspects would you highlight?

Have you used something they taught you in your day-to-day life? A motto of philosophy maybe?

Be extensive with this journaling prompt. Imagine an entire conversation with your loved one. Write it all out in detail.

Journaling Prompts: If I could spent an afternoon with ______________, I’d tell him all about ________________.

4. When you need emotional strength exercise

This is NOT intended to bring you down, so stick with me! Think about how terrible that day was… Maybe you spilled your coffee on your new shirt and then ripped your pants bending down to pick up the cup.

Maybe a person in the car behind you ran into your new car as she was putting on lipstick. Or, your flash drive got fried the day before a huge presentation.

Now, think of how you overcame that day.

Detail out how you handled the seemingly impossible in that moment. Relish in your inner strength and notice how you came out to bat even though the day felt ruined. You’re AWESOME.

Journaling Prompts: I was so ________ (stressed out/upset/overwhelmed) when ________. But I overcame it by _______________________.

5. Journaling idea to inspire creativity

Remember that imagination we used to use as kids? A box was a huge clubhouse with sky bridges; a paper towel roll was a telescope window to another world; a straw and yarn was a designer necklace!

Take a trip back inside your imagination and redecorate a room in your home with your imagination. Nothing is off limits!

Would you have a loft space for painting or sewing? A conservatory? Bright yellow walls? A shag carpet (I know they were dirty but weren’t they so much fun to walk on?)? Let your imagination take you away!

Journaling idea:  Describe your dream bedroom – in detail. What color are the walls? How many windows are there? Can you see the ocean? What color is the bedding? How big is the room? Does a cabana boy feed you grapes in the morning? You get the idea!

6. Color therapy journaling idea

Again, stick with me, this is really cool.

Think about your favorite color. This could be your aura color for a cool twist, or just your favorite color.

How does it make you feel when you see it? Where is it represented in your house? Where would you put it if you could (silly HOA rules, a purple door is totally classy)?

Now, write about HOW it makes you FEEL and why. Really dig in. Does the color aqua calm you because it reminds you of the sea? Does red make you feel alive and vibrant?

You never know what you’ll learn about yourself (and your aura) when you use color as a journaling prompt!

Prompt: My favorite color is ________. When I see it, it makes me feel (luxurious/relaxed/free) ________. Wearing this color makes me feel __________________ (example: powerful) because _____ (color) represents  ________________. When I see the color _____, it reminds me of ________ (the ocean, a big historic home, hot summer days as a kid at grandma’s house, etc.), which makes me feel _____________.

7. Plan your perfect getaway

This journaling prompt will help you manifest and unleash your creativity!

If you could go anywhere in the Universe (not limited to Earth!), where would you go and why? Who would you take with you? What kinds of activities would you do? How peaceful would you feel with all those you love around you?

Or maybe, how peaceful would you feel on a solo retreat?!

Would you breathe in the mountain air or the sea breeze?

Journaling prompt: If money and time were no object, my dream getaway would be to _________. I would take ___________ with me and we would ____________. (Go on to describe the getaway in detail – how will you get there? Train? Plane? Boat? Where will you stay? For how long? A week? Forever?)

8. Journaling exercise to use after meditation

This idea is wonderful when you are already in a peaceful, relaxed state, such as after meditation! It will help to keep the good vibes rolling and raise your vibration (which also helps you manifest joy into your life!).

Write about something filled with sentiment and how it makes you feel to look at it! How often do you pull it out and look at it? Is it worn with use and memories?

For example: My most prized physical possession is my yellow sapphire ring. I had been wanting this ring for YEARS and had it pinned to my vision board for a long time. I promised myself that when I met a certain goal, I would celebrate by purchasing this ring.

I wear it every day and it reminds me that I am capable of doing great things and achieving my goals :)

9. Remember a moment when you laughed so hard you couldn’t catch your breath

We’ve all been there… laughing so hard that we are crying!

Grab onto that amazing feeling after you get a good laugh! What happened? Why was it SO funny? Who was with you? Did they think it was as funny as you did?

Prompt: The time I laughed so hard was when _______________________________.

10. Journaling idea for brave souls!

It takes a brave soul to do this because it forces you to see things from a new perspective.

Think about a fight you had with a partner… and then take their side. I know, this does not sound fun (they were totally wrong, right?). But it’s really eye opening!

How might they have been feeling? Why did they have the point of view they had? Was it their upbringing? Or did they not have all the facts? Were you open to their ideas? How might things have played out differently if the roles were reversed?

Pro Tip: This is an especially AWESOME journaling idea to try if you are going through a spiritual awakening or trying to live a more compassionate, spiritual life.

11. Rewrite history – seriously

This is a fun journaling idea and can be done in tons of different ways. Go back in time. Maybe to when your parents were children, or when your grandparents were children!

Put yourself in your mom’s/grandma’s shoes and write about how different things were back then. Imagine you are that other person. What is your average day like (remember, they didn’t have Google!)?

Now explore deeper. If you had lived during that time, do you think you would be the same person that you are today? Write it all out. What would you miss if you lived in that time? Would you be with someone like your current partner?

Tip: You can also pick a famous historical figure to do this journaling exercise, which is super fun!

Journaling Prompts: If I was _________ living in the year _____, this is what my typical day would look like (start with what happens first thing in the morning and write out the entire day until bed. When you’re done, reflect on your writing and notice if any “themes” stand out between your current life and this imaginary life.)

12. Open your throat chakra journaling idea

Did you know that if your throat chakra is blocked you may have trouble speaking your mind? That means that it will be harder for you to feel happy because you won’t be living in your truth. (Big Aha moment, I know!)

So what you’re going to do is write a letter.

This could be a real letter or a letter that will never leave your journal. Is there something you want to tell someone but have never found the words to? Do you feel like you need to explain something? Is there something you need to get off your chest?

As you write, imagine your throat chakra opening up and joy flowing through your body!

Simple journaling prompt: Dear _____, _______________

13. Pick one thing to change in this world

If you could only change one thing about this world, what would it be? Would you make sure all kids had loving parents? End hunger? End hate? Do away with natural disasters? Fix hurting countries?

Journaling Prompts: If I could change one thing about the world it would be _________ because __________. (Then go on to write how this would improve the world.)

14. Journal about… anyone!

Get inside someone’s head. A parent, a spouse, a celebrity – anyone!

What is their favorite color? Who are their favorite singers? What kinds of things keep them up at night? What are they worried about? How do they feel when they’re around you? What makes them the happiest? Put yourself in their shoes!

Journaling idea: If you’re journaling about a celebrity, write out what your perfect day together would be like!

15. Journaling for self-care

You and I both know that we could all be taking better care of ourselves, right?

Figure out 5 ways you can start taking better care of yourself. This could mean eating better, working out more, meditating, or getting to bed earlier.

Write out one small step that you will take starting tomorrow and HOW you will feel when you’ve accomplished it!

Journaling prompts: Tomorrow, I promise that I will __________ for myself. When I’m done __________ I am going to feel _____________________.

16. Write out a big list of things that make you feel better when everything sucks

Sometimes, no matter how spiritually aware we are, a day will just suck.

Make a list of all the things that make you feel on top of your game. Is it that second cup of coffee? Your favorite travel mug? Your favorite pair of ballet flats? Petting your cat? Binge watching Project Runway? Coloring in a Steampunk coloring book?

Idea: Make sure you have at least 20 things on your list. This way, you’ll be armed with some positive, uplifting ideas on the days where you want to crawl under the covers with a pint of ice cream (or hey, that might be one of the things on your list! :)

Journaling Prompt: The things I still love and make me feel happy when everything sucks are: _________________

17. Imagine your perfect day

I know you’ve probably heard of this journaling prompt before, but that’s because it’s awesome!

Imagine your perfect day. Take a deep breath and picture exactly what your perfect day would look like. How does the day start? Who is with you? What do you have for breakfast? Where do you go from there? Nothing is off limits here!

Prompt: My perfect day would be______________________.

18. Journal about a life changing event

I’ve been a Dancing with the Stars fan forever. My favorite episode each year is when the stars have to pick a memorable day from their lives and create a dance around it. We’re going to do that too, but with writing.

Remember one moment that impacted you for the rest of your life. Detail it out as much as you can. Maybe it was the birth of your first child, or maybe it was a life-changing conversation with your grandpa.

Who do you think would benefit from reliving that moment with you? Do you think everyone needs to have a moment like this?

Prompt: The event that changed my life was ___________. (Describe how life was before and after, how it changed you, and what you learned from it.)

19. Saying “NO”/Take back your power journaling idea

Think back to a time when you should have said NO.

Have you ever gone against your gut and then paid for it? I know I have… Remembering those times not only helps sharpen our intuition, it reinforces how important it is to tune in to ourselves.

Empowerment tip: Write out how things would have been different if you would have said NO. No, I cannot help out with the PTA this year! Sorry, I can’t babysit Suzy!

Or… write how your life will look and feel once you say NO!

Prompt: This is what my life could look like when I take back my power and start saying no ____________.

20. Life lessons/Wisdom Journaling exercise

Recall the best piece of advice you were ever given. Who gave it to you? Did it resonate with you at the time, or did you need to mature before you fully understood it?

I remember talking to my grandpa when I was a kid… I listened so hard because I knew when I got older all his advice would make more sense than it did then. And I was right!

Journaling exercise: Think about one wonderful piece of advice that you were given in life. How did that advice affect your life? What have you learned about yourself from following (or not following) this wisdom?

21. Cathartic release journaling exercise

If you are looking for a powerful journaling idea, this is it!

Sit in a quiet place and reflect into your heart. Now, address one thought or thing you’ve been avoiding.

You know the one… I know the one… and it’s okay. Maybe there’s an unresolved issue with an old friend, or an email from a co-worker that’s been weighing on you all weekend. Maybe there’s an elephant in the room between you and your partner.

Your journal is a safe space to explore your feelings, cry, and allow yourself to pour out any emotions that you feel.

You don’t have to address it in the real world yet, but address it in your journal. How do you really feel about it? What would you say if you could?

Journaling Prompts and Ideas Pro Tips

  • Don’t be a perfectionist! spelling errors, sloppy handwriting, and grammar mistakes are a-okay in this space (this is something I majorly struggled with, but once you accept it it’s so liberating).
  • Figure out your best and most creative time of day… then make that your journal time.
  • Don’t make it a chore. Some days even the best prompt won’t make the words flow. That’s FINE… don’t force it. Look at your list of “Things to do when Everything Sucks” from tip #16 instead :)
  • Set your intention before putting pen to paper. What do you want to get out of your journal session today? Is there something pressing on your mind?
  • Your journaling prompts are going to be much more fun if you have pens that you LOVE writing with and a journal or notebook that speaks to your soul!

Read Next: How to Get Started Journaling

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