75 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection

Whether you need help starting a daily journaling habit or want something to inspire your writing, these journal prompts will help get you started.

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50+ Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery
Photo: Photo by John Diez from Pexels

One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself, especially during this turbulent time in history, is to take up the practice of journaling. This isn't a "Dear Diary, today I, Pam Beesly, fell in love with Jim in sales," type of thing, but a deep look into yourself, what inspires you, what moves you, what scares you, and how you can grow. Of course, no one is saying you can't start each journal entry with "Dear Diary" or even "Dear Timothée Chalamet," for that matter — but using journal prompts can help you reap the biggest benefits of a regular writing habit.

Journal prompts can be super beneficial for those who are new to journaling or are feeling stuck on how to begin, says Jennifer B. Rhodes, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, intuitive sex and relationship alchemist, and author of Toxic Insecurity: The Path of Relational Spirituality and Our Search for Authentic Love (Buy It, $17, amazon.com). They can also help you discover so much about yourself and in ways you may have never considered before, guiding you to self-reflection, personal growth, mindfulness, and self-awareness.

"Journaling helps you to get out of your logical mind and begin to tap into your emotions which are stored elsewhere in the brain," says Rhodes. "Writing by hand helps to activate the energy of the heart (your arms and hands are extensions of the energy of the heart). When you're grieving, journaling can open the heart back up and help you process emotions, so you don't unconsciously act them out with other people" — namely, in a destructive way.

Although Rhodes suggests making journaling part of your morning routine, not everyone has time for that, and that's no biggie. A 2018 study found that even 15 minutes a day, three days a week of journaling can help with anxiety by giving your brain a healthy and positive boost — no matter what time of day you do it.

That's right; you don't need to sit down with a pen and paper for hours or even every day to score the benefits. "Not journaling for a few days may be actually honoring your intuition," say Rhodes. "No need to be harsh with yourself if it's not daily; self-compassion is important."

Speaking of intuition; you shouldn't feel limited to using just words. Putting whatever you want onto paper — whether that's words or doodles or something else altogether — is cathartic, says Rhodes. In fact, journaling is one of the ways kids can learn to understand their feelings and thoughts, and they're often encouraged to use words and drawings. By doing so, they can deconstruct what's going on inside themselves and positive results can follow, says Jillian Amodio, mental health advocate and certified yoga and mindfulness instructor.

Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery and Reflection

Ready to begin your journaling journey? Here are 75 journal prompts to get you started.

  1. To break patterns that don't benefit me, I will…
  2. I'm irreplaceable and my mark on this Earth is meaningful because…
  3. On days when I'm feeling good, I uplift and inspire those around me by…
  4. I am better today than yesterday, because…
  5. I spend too much time thinking about…`
  6. I'm impressed by how I handled myself when…
  7. I'm adding _____ to my bucket list because…
  8. I feel most loved when
  9. I feel most vulnerable when…
  10. Do I tie my significance to big accomplishments?
  11. I will let go of what weighs me down by…
  12. How to I remain receptive and open to the world around me?
  13. How do I feel about being a work in progress?
  14. To me, regret looks like…
  15. I feel like _____ when I'm my authentic self…
  16. My relationship with honesty looks like…
  17. I'm grateful for those I've encountered on my journey because…
  18. I overcome negative thoughts about…
  19. How does it feel to think of myself as a magnum opus (a great work) that may never be completed?
  20. When my vision for the future changes, do I lean into it or do I fear it?
  21. What did I struggle with the most last week? If I mentored someone with the same problem, what would I tell them?
  22. What fulfills me most is…
  23. Do I feel I'm inspired by others as much as I'm inspire?
  24. The people I've learned the most from are…
  25. Do I show compassion for those who have hurt me?
  26. To me, love looks like…
  27. I know each day is valuable and shouldn't be wasted, and I act on that by...
  28. In 10 words, I am…
  29. In 10 words, I am not…
  30. I will face my fears with grace and courage…
  31. Today, I took time for myself by…
  32. Do I feel my life is to be enjoyed and not rushed through?
  33. I feel overwhelmed when…
  34. I can prioritize my boundaries by…
  35. My favorite part of my body is…
  36. Do I expect more of myself than I know I'm capable of giving on a healthy level?
  37. Do I truly appreciate small pleasures?
  38. I love myself and know my worth, and express that by…
  39. The last dream I had that I remember was…
  40. If my teenage self met me now, they'd think…
  41. I recognize my strengths, which are…
  42. I embrace my weaknesses, which are…
  43. My relationship with self-acceptance looks like…
  44. I forgive myself for…
  45. I forgive others for…
  46. I'm kind to myself by…
  47. To me, self-care looks and feels like…
  48. I never give up because…
  49. I did _____ today to be more mindful of myself and those around me…
  50. Am I versatile in how I approach life and people?
  51. Today, I learned…
  52. I feel in control when…
  53. Am I afraid to ask for help?
  54. Do I feel I get to be creative?
  55. Are there any relationships in my life that aren't rewarding?
  56. Do I trust my intuition?
  57. I define emotional intelligence as…
  58. I welcome the future because…
  59. I'm proud of…
  60. My relationship with trust looks like…
  61. How do I feel about having power?
  62. I was most scared when…
  63. Do I view challenges as enemies or teachers?
  64. Do I feel vulnerability is a weakness or a strength?
  65. A defining moment in my life was when…
  66. I find calmness in…
  67. I feel happiest when…
  68. What is the difference between listening and hearing?
  69. Do I allow myself to fully express my emotions?
  70. Do I know my limits?
  71. What are three things I appreciate most about myself and why?
  72. Do I feel like I can take time for myself without guilt?
  73. I was fully present today when…
  74. Do I truly feel I'm enough?
  75. How do I feel about the fact that I might be too much for some people?
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