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Last Updated on June 25, 2023
Journaling has helped me tremendously in my journey with mental health and depression and I have confidence that it can do wonders for you too!
What makes journaling so effective for depression? Well, I find that it’s the best coping tool for getting to the root of your thoughts, emotions, and problems. While many coping tools can act as a means of distraction, journaling is about tackling your thoughts head-on and discovering how you can manage them.
The journal prompts for depression in this post will give you a good starting point for better understanding your depression, reflecting on your triggers, and working through your thoughts and emotions.
This post is all about journal prompts for depression
Journal Prompts for Depression
- What is something that makes you feel insecure, inferior, or shameful?
- What can you do to work toward accepting yourself and showing yourself compassion in spite of your insecurities?
- What are 5 of your most important values?
- What can you do to live in alignment with your values?
- How are you feeling today? What triggered the thoughts and emotions you’re currently experiencing?
- Are you struggling with regret or grief about anything or anyone in your life? Express this in detail.
- What are your main stressors that seem to keep recurring in your life?
- What self care activities do you currently do?
- What self care activities would you like to start doing?
- Do you have any dreams or future goals? Discuss them.
- If you’re struggling to recognize your dreams or goals, what steps can you take toward finding them?
- What is something you can do for yourself to practice more self love?
- What is something you can do to show kindness to others?
- What 3 positive affirmations can you speak to yourself daily that would be most impactful?
- What have you learned from your mental health journey so far?
- Do you think your mental health struggles make you stronger? Why or why not?
- What is the number one most challenging obstacle you’re facing?
- How can you overcome your most challenging obstacle?
- Who can you turn to for support? How do these people respond when you come to them?
- Discuss a difficult point in your life that you managed to overcome.
- What did you achieve this week? (Remember, ANY small win counts.)
- What is your happiest memory?
- What is your saddest memory? Do you think it still impacts you today?
- What was your biggest setback (setbacks don’t mean failures!) so far and how did you push past it?
- Which self-soothing activities can you start implementing on days where you’re struggling?
Enjoy journaling for your mental health?
If you wish you had guided journal prompts conveniently bundled just for you to help with tough thoughts and emotions, you’ve got to check out my printable mental health journal!
It’s jam-packed with 33 pages of writing prompts and mental activities for understanding your emotions, overcoming unhelpful behaviors, and reframing negative thoughts. A super useful tool for working through depression.
- Do you think your depression holds you back in life? Let out any and all emotions associated with this.
- Name a comfort song, show, or movie that helps you.
- What does your body do for you that you’re grateful for?
- Describe, in detail, 3 things you really appreciate about yourself.
- What are 3 triggers that make your depression worse? Which coping strategies help each of these?
- What do you wish more people understood about you?
- Name something you’re looking forward to this week, this month, this season, and this year.
- How does self care make you feel?
- Which things are holding you back from your goals? How can you overcome these things?
- How would you rate your current mental health on a scale of 1-10? What are the reasons for this rating?
- What is something you’ve learned from your depression that you otherwise wouldn’t have learned?
- What was your most meaningful friendship like? How did it impact you?
- Who inspires you and what qualities does this person have?
- What is something that never fails to make you happy?
- What can you do to help yourself relax?
Journaling is super useful for depression, but you’ll find the most benefit if you pair it with therapy. Talking to an online therapist can really help you out. It’s helped me tremendously with my depression! I always recommend Online Therapy because it’s a comprehensive, effective online therapy toolkit at an affordable monthly cost. Get 20% off your first month with the link below!
- What is something you need to forgive yourself for and how can you do that?
- What have been the highs and lows of the past month? How have you responded to each?
- Do you have any hobbies that help keep you going? If not, which hobbies would you like to get into? (100 hobby ideas here!)
- How can you make more time for yourself? What would making time for yourself entail?
- What makes you feel most fulfilled?
Is journaling good for depression?
Yes, journaling is an incredible tool to utilize in your toolbox when coping with depression. It increases self awareness of dark thoughts and emotions, which helps you unpack them and ultimately learn how to deal with them.
And don’t just take my word for it. Research shows that journaling therapy is effective in reducing the symptoms of depression when used alongside professional talk therapy. Journaling gives you the chance to address your thoughts and emotions directly, which is exactly what these journal prompts for depression are for!
Benefits of journaling for depression
I know I always feel at least a little bit better after a journaling session! It acts as a huge release for me whenever I use journal prompts for depression. Aside from that, journaling for depression also has benefits like:
- Improved mood
- Self awareness
- The chance to explore your emotions
- Self discovery
- Serves as an outlet
- Learn your triggers and patterns
- Helps you arrive at solutions
How to start journaling for depression
The good news is that there’s no right or wrong way to start journaling for depression. You can give these journal prompts for depression a try, or you can even do a brain dump and see where your thoughts lead you.
You can start with a blank notebook or even check out guided journals if you need a little help getting started. I have a printable mental health journal perfect for this purpose, with prompts and exercises conveniently put together for you already!
The best advice is to just start. Journaling can be challenging on low-energy days, but I find that pushing myself to journal on those days is when I reap the most benefit and feel my best after!
What do you write in a mental health journal?
There are so many things you can include in a journal for mental health! These journal prompts for depression are a good place to start. But I suggest trying a variety of prompts for other topics, too. Try these journal prompts for self growth or these journal prompts for self love.
You can also add:
- Uplifting quotes or positive affirmations
- List of go-to coping skills or self soothing activities
- Notes from therapy
- Things you’ve learned so far in your mental health journey
- Entries where you brain dump (AKA letting your thoughts flow with no prompt)
This post was all about journal prompts for depression.
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