21 Journaling Prompts and Ideas

21 journaling prompts, ideas, and exercises

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). You’ve read how to get started, and you’re ready!

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 many great benefits (including clarity and increased intuition), but it can be tough to get the creative ball rolling without prompts.

Sometimes our mind is so cluttered and loud that we don’t know where to start; other times it’s cricket quiet.

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

21 Journaling Prompts

These juicy journaling prompts not only get your pen 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 left at the store (or when said family packed up and headed back home — no judgement here). Or it could be something simple like a fun stay-in game night with your partner.
  • Next, write out how you felt during that time, and how your mood shifted.
  • Last, take note of how these good feelings and emotions stay with you throughout the day.

Journaling Prompt: I felt immensely grateful when _________________.

2. Write About Your Favorite Character

Have a favorite TV, movie or book character?

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

Ask yourself:

  • What do you like about the character?
  • 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 in Heaven

  • If your loved one came in and sat right next to you, 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 daily life? A motto or philosophy maybe?

Take your time with this journaling prompt, and 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. Journaling Prompt for Emotional Strength

This is not intended to bring you down, so stick with me!

  • Think about how terrible a particular day was… Maybe you spilled coffee on your new shirt, then ripped your pants bending down to pick up the cup. Or your flash drive got fried before a huge presentation.
  • Now, think of how you overcame that day.
  • Detail out how you handled the seemingly impossible in that moment.
  • Feel empowered by your inner strength and notice how you came out to bat even though the day felt ruined.

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? 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? You get the idea!

6. Color Therapy Journaling Prompts

  • Think about your favorite color. How does it make you feel when you see it? Where is this color represented in your life? 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 when you use color as a journaling prompt!

Prompt: My favorite color is ________. When I see it, it makes me feel ________. Wearing this color makes me feel ____________because [color] represents  ________________. When I see the color _____, it reminds me of ________ (the ocean, hot summer days at grandma’s house, etc.), which makes me feel _____________.

7. Journaling Prompts to Manifest Abundance

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

  • If you could go anywhere in the universe, 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 you prefer a solo retreat!)
  • Would you breathe in the mountain air or sea breeze?

Journaling prompt: 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 Enhance Meditation

This idea is good for when you are already in a peaceful state after meditation. It will help raise your vibration even further!

  • Think about a sentimental object you own and how it makes you feel to look at it. Is it worn from use or filled with memories?
  • For example, I recently journaled about a special ring I own. I had been wanting this ring for years, and had pinned it to my vision board a long time ago. I promised myself that when I met a certain goal, I would celebrate by buying it for myself.
  • Now, I wear it every day because it reminds me that I am capable of achieving my goals.

9. Remember a Funny Moment

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

  • Grab onto that amazing feeling during a funny moment.
  • What happened? Why was it so hilarious? 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 eye-opening!
  • How might they have been feeling?
  • Why did they have the point of view that they had? Was it their upbringing? Or were they missing some of the facts?
  • Were you open to their ideas?
  • How might things have played out if the roles were reversed?


This is a good journaling idea to use if you are going through a spiritual awakening!

11. Rewrite History

This is a fun journaling idea and can be done in 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 (or pick a famous historical figure) 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 you are today?
  • What would you miss if you lived in that time?

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 truth? 

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… or feel like you need to explain?
  • Do you need to get something off your chest?
  • As you write, imagine your throat chakra opening up and joy flowing through your body!

13. Pick One Thing to Change

  • If you could 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?

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

14. Journal About Anyone

  • Get inside someone’s head: a parent, spouse, celebrity — anyone!
  • What is their favorite color? Singer?
  • What keeps them up at night or makes them happy? 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 Prompts for Self-Care

  • You and I both know that we could all be taking better care of ourselves, right?
  • Think of five ways you can start taking better care of yourself. This could mean eating better, working out more, meditating, or setting boundaries.
  • Write out one small step that you will take starting tomorrow and HOW you will feel once 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 a List of Things That Make You Feel Better

  • 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 Netflix? Coloring or drawing?
  • Put at least 20 things on your list. This way, you’ll be armed with positive, uplifting ideas on those challenging days.

17. Imagine Your Perfect Day

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

  • 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!

18. Journal About a Life-Changing Event

  • Remember a 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 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’ Journaling Idea

  • Think back to a time when you should have said no, or you went against your gut.
  • Now, write about how things would have been different if you’d said no. No, I cannot help out with the PTA this year! Sorry, I can’t babysit!
  • If you prefer, write about how your life will look and feel once you say NO!

Remembering these times sharpen your intuition and reinforce how important it is to trust your gut.

20. 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?

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

21. Letting-Go 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.

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 Tips

  • Don’t be a perfectionist! Spelling errors, sloppy handwriting, and grammar mistakes are fine in this space (this is something I struggled with, but once you accept it it’s liberating).
  • Figure out your best and most creative time of day, then make it your journal time.
  • Don’t make it a chore. Some days even the best prompt won’t make the words flow. That’s okay, 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?
  • Your journaling time will be more fun if you have pens that you like to write with, and a journal or notebook that speaks to your soul!
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