This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you sign up or purchase products or services mentioned. Read the full disclosure here.
Last Updated on July 1, 2023
If you’re just starting out with journaling, guided journal prompts are your best friend! Instead of staring at your journal feeling stumped on what to write about, you can follow these journal prompts for beginners for the ultimate inspiration.
Journal prompts are meant to guide you with a specific theme in mind, depending on what you want to gain out of a journaling session.
For example, if you want to build confidence and self-compassion, self love journal prompts are great for that. If you want to reflect on your personality and learn more about yourself, self discovery journal prompts will do the trick!
But maybe you’re completely brand new to journaling and don’t even know where to start! Don’t fret, you’ve come to the right place.
Ready to begin your journaling practice? Let’s dive right into these journal prompts for beginners!
70+ Creative Journal Prompts for Beginners
If you’re sitting there wondering, “what are some good journal prompts?” I’ve got you covered! These journal prompt examples are exactly what any beginner needs to get into the groove of journaling. Need writing prompts that are beginner friendly? Want to get some good bullet journal ideas for beginners? This will be your guide!
Fun Journal Prompts for Beginners
1. What people, places, or things make you the happiest?
Think about everyone, everywhere, and everything that makes you feel truly content with life. This could be the closest people in your support system, your comfort place, or even your childhood stuffed animal. Describe why these things are so awesome to you!
2. What is the biggest thing you’re looking forward to?
Got an exciting event coming up? About to reach an awesome goal or milestone in your life? Think about what sparks your enthusiasm these days.
3. If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be? How would being there make you feel?
This could be your favorite vacation spot, or even being with someone you miss. Reflect on the feelings you’d experience if you got to be there right now.
4. What is your happiest memory from the past week, month, or year?
If your week has been a bit of a dud, that’s okay! Reflect on any experience from the last month or year that makes you smile.
5. What did you read, watch, or hear about this month that inspired you?
Maybe it was a podcast, an interesting blog post, or someone on YouTube that made you feel motivated and excited!
6. What is your favorite childhood memory and what makes it so special?
Spending time with family, going to Disneyland for the first time, making your first friend…anything that gives you warm and fuzzy nostalgia!
7. What was your favorite year in school and what made it so memorable?
I’m going to bet that maybe it’s not any grade in middle school, lol! Think about a year where you had a really kind teacher, a fun friend group, or classes you enjoyed.
8. What were some of the best highlights from your favorite trip you’ve ever taken?
Think about family vacations, your first time traveling as an adult, road trips, or even just little day trips to nearby places. What activities, foods, or other fun things made it memorable?
9. What is your favorite food and what memories are associated with that food?
Maybe you can remember how amazing that first bite was the first time you tried your favorite food! Food can also remind us of birthdays, special events, and times we shared the meal with loved ones.
10. What were you laughing about the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Think about the last time a friend made you laugh so hard your abs hurt! Or maybe you found a hilarious Tik Tok that cracks you up every time.
11. What are three of your favorite ways to spend your free time?
Whether it’s alone, with your besties, partaking in a hobby, relaxing and doing absolutely nothing…there are no wrong answers!
12. What can you add to your life to bring yourself more joy?
Ask yourself: are you making time for play and fun? Are you giving yourself permission to let loose and be silly?
13. What sparks your creativity? In what ways are you creative?
Even if you swear you’re not a very creative person, we all have a creative side hiding somewhere! You might come up with creative business ideas, put together pretty birthday cards, write, dance, paint, sing…the list goes on!
14. What is something that always makes you smile?
Is there something (or someone) in your life that never fails to put a smile on your face? Think about something you can always count on to spark joy in your life!
15. What is your favorite family tradition and why?
Maybe you did something really fun and memorable in childhood with your family. Or maybe not! In which case, think about what family traditional you might like to start one day.
16. Do you have any hobbies? Why do you enjoy them?
If it’s been a while since you dabbled in your hobbies, or you’re not sure what you like anymore, remind yourself of the things you used to be active with and the value they added to your life.
17. What hobby would you like to get into?
Hey, sometimes adult life gets busy and we forget about hobbies! Happens to the best of us! But hobbies are important to live a fulfilled, happy, rich life. Which hobbies have you always wanted to try? Plan for how you can get started.
18. What is your favorite season and what do you like about it?
Are you a summer girlie? Love a winter wonderland? Enjoy the fresh breeze of the spring? Can’t resist a good pumpkin spice latte in the fall? What makes your favorite season #1 in your mind?
19. What does the perfect weekend look like to you?
Maybe you love to be on the go, exploring and making memories when you can! Or maybe your weekends are your precious “me time” to relax and rejuvenate.
20. If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you move to and why?
Could be your fave state, or even somewhere halfway across the globe! Think about if you prefer a big city, the suburbs, a place with tons of nature, or whatever you love.
21. If you were magically granted 12 extra hours in a day, how would you spend the time?
I’m sure we could all use more hours in the day! How would you make the most of them?
Self-Reflection Journal Prompts for Beginners
22. How did your life look like at this time last year? What were the highs and lows?
A lot can change in a year! Think about your biggest challenges, best accomplishments, happiest memories, your habits, and mindset.
23. What do you need most this week?
Take the time to pause and ask yourself what you need more of this week. This will help you set intentions and recognize where you should be putting your energy.
24. Reflect on some of the recent dreams you’ve had at night.
Do you dream often, or hardly ever? Are you prone to nightmares or stressful dreams, or are you super lucky and have happy dreams?
25. What are three things you’re grateful for right now and why?
This could be absolutely anything. Choose the first three things that come to mind and get detailed about why you’re feeling grateful.
FEATURED JOURNAL: THE GRATITUDE JOURNAL
26. What is something that opened your mind and made you change your perspective about the world?
Have you had an interesting epiphany about something lately? Anything that has forever changed your outlook?
27. If you could change one thing about your present life, what would it be?
Focusing on gratitudes helps your mental health, but it’s fair to acknowledge room for improvement in your life too. Think about what you’d like to change about your career, where you live, something in your daily routine, your mindset, etc.
28. What do you like about the neighborhood, city, state, or country you live in?
What are the best things about your local area, or even your state or country? What are you happy to have access to?
29. What is the best advice you could give someone?
If you could choose just one life-changing piece of advice to share with others, what would it be?
30. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given that shaped you in some way?
On the other side of the coin, what’s the single best piece of advice you’ve received?
31. What big dream or goal are you working toward?
Got any personal or professional goals on your agenda? Take some time to brainstorm and list out your short-term and long-term goals in all areas of your life.
32. What is your process for reaching that goal?
All too often, we write down our goals but we stop short of actually creating a plan! Choose your #1 goal, or a few if you wish, and detail out the specifics on how you’ll stay on track. Here’s a great guide for creating better goals.
33. What are 5 things you want to learn more about? List them and describe why you want to learn more.
Is there anything that fascinates you, but that you know little about? Maybe you just have a general curiosity about something, or you want to gain knowledge to become more skilled in something.
34. Who was your biggest role model growing up?
It doesn’t have to be someone in your immediate family either. It could be a teacher, an older cousin, or even a celebrity that inspired you.
35. What is something worth pursuing even though it’s hard?
Some of the most rewarding things in life require a lot of hard work and perseverance! What have you learned is worth it to pursue in spite of this?
36. How is your relationship like with your family?
Not everyone has a good relationship with their family, and it’s okay to acknowledge that reality if that’s true for you. Has your relationship with your family always been difficult, or has it changed overtime?
37. What does your friend circle look like?
Do you like to keep a tight-knit circle of a couple trusted friends? Or are you a social butterfly with many different friendships?
38. What advice would you give to your high school self?
I don’t know about you, but I was a nervous wreck about all sorts of things in high school. What kind of reassurance do you think your high school self needed?
39. What is something you really want to do but haven’t made the commitment yet?
It could be your dream trip to Europe, buying a car you’ve been looking at forever, becoming a home owner, or even smaller milestones along the way!
40. What is something you’ve overcome that truly felt impossible to overcome at the time?
Sometimes, stressful events feel so insurmountable when we’re actively living through them. What are you proud to have overcome, even when you thought you never would?
41. What is the highlight and lowlight of today?
Zooming back into the smaller picture, how did today go for you?
Self-Discovery Journal Prompts for Beginners
42. How have your interests and passions changed over the last several years?
This is one of the most interesting ways to observe your growth as a person! We are always evolving and it’s natural for our interests to change along with us.
43. Are you more of an introvert or extrovert? How so?
Do you think you’re firmly in one camp or the other? Or are you a mix of the two? Explain.
44. What is your favorite form of movement/exercise and why?
Hopefully you’ve discovered some type of exercise you enjoy! Maybe you like a gentler, lower impact approach like yoga. Or maybe you love to go hard by lifting in the gym!
45. If you could do anything you want without any negative consequences or fear of failure, what would you do?
Sometimes, you’re the only one truly standing in your way. Dig into those fears or feelings of self-doubt. These imposter syndrome journal prompts are perfect for that!
46. What qualities do you seek out in friendships?
What traits do you value most in a friend? Think back to past friendships and what you liked and didn’t like.
47. What is one thing you would change about your personality?
We’re all about practicing self love over here, but kindly identifying areas of improvement in yourself is healthy. Maybe you struggle with a short temper, being impatient, or being super Type A.
48. What do you think is the number one misconception people have about you?
Do people tend to perceive you in a bad light? Maybe they think you’re too loud? Quiet? Impulsive? Why do you think these misconceptions happen?
49. What kind of person would make the perfect soulmate for you?
Take some time to list out all the qualities you’d love to see in a partner. What have you learned about your likes and dislikes based on past relationships? These journal prompts for relationships can help you get real specific on that!
50. What is something you’re good at? What makes you excel at it?
Show some self-love and recognize your strengths! This could be a physical skill, social skill, mental skill, or anything you’re confident about.
51. Do you prefer to have one or two best friends or a group of friends?
I think this is an interesting preference to be aware of. Some people thrive best when surrounded by the energy of several people, others feel more comfortable with 1:1 interaction.
52. Do you have a comfort song or comfort movie? If so, how does it make you feel?
Songs and movies can be super nostalgic. Songs in particular hold so many different memories from different parts of my life. It’s like an opportunity to re-visit the good times!
53. What makes you feel safe?
What comforts you, puts you at ease, or makes you feel like you’re truly secure? It could be a type of environment, a special person, or a gesture someone does for you.
54. What is something you struggle with that others don’t seem to?
As you think about this, break down why you think you struggle compared to others. You might just be hard on yourself, or you may have developed some negative core beliefs that have you convinced you’re incapable. Your mindset can be the thing holding you back!
55. What is something that comes easy to you but doesn’t come so easy to others?
On the flip side, what do you feel like you pick up super easily? It’s important to remember that you are totally crushing it somewhere in your life!
56. If you had to open a business, what kind of business would it be?
Even if you don’t ever plan to open a business and you know it’s not for you, get creative here! What business would you start if you had the chance?
57. What do you want to be remembered for?
Is there something you care deeply about accomplishing in your lifetime? Do you care about being recognized by many, or is it more important to make an impact on the people close to you?
Mental Health Journal Prompts for Beginners
58. How do you feel today?
For starters, how do you really feel? What kinds of thoughts and emotions have been circulating?
59. When you’re feeling anxious, what is something that never fails to calm you down?
Do you have a go-to activity that is self soothing to you? Or, can you brainstorm a few ideas to have on hand the next time you’re feeling anxious?
60. What can you remove from your life to decrease your stress?
When you’re overwhelmed, you get stressed! Is there anything you can possibly take off your plate right now to make things more manageable?
61. What is something you hope gets better?
Is there something, whether it be in your personal life or in the world, that you hope will get better with time? It might be more confidence, more clarity, or even hoping global warming will end.
62. Which self care activities do you enjoy and why?
Do you already have self care activities that you do on the regular to manage your mental health? If you’re stumped, this list of self care activities can be the perfect place to start!
63. What is something that keeps you going when times get a little tough?
It could be a specific mindset, something that distracts you from the stress, or reminding yourself that everything is temporary.
66. Is there a consistent anxiety trigger in your life? Elaborate on it.
For example, job interviews can be a major recurring anxiety trigger for many people with social anxiety. Assess what makes the trigger so triggering. Also describe what you can do to better regulate your emotions and your reaction to the trigger.
67. What is one habit you can start doing today to support your mental health?
What’s something you can actually take action on today that will lead to a happier, calmer, and more balanced head space?
68. What is one habit you can stop doing today that negatively impacts your mental health?
Let’s also plan on an unhelpful habit you can cut today! Bad habits aren’t easy to break, but you can begin the process and think about what will set you up for success.
69. Do you think your ability to manage stress has improved with time? How or how not?
Think back 1, 3, 5, or even 10 years ago. Do you think your stress management skills have gotten better? I’m sure that when you look back on your teenage years, for example, there’s been improvements in several ways!
70. What limiting belief about yourself would you like to release?
Is there a belief you hold about yourself that’s ultimately hindering you from pursuing your dreams? You may have put yourself in a box, limiting yourself from trying something just because you don’t think you can do it.
71. Where in your life can you do less, so that you prevent yourself from burning out?
If you’re giving 110% to every single area of your life, chances are that’s not sustainable. Prioritize the areas that truly need your focus right now. Remember, not everything is urgent.
72. Have you been giving yourself adequate time to rest and tune into your emotions? If not, how can you give yourself this time?
Have you been super busy with basically no downtime for yourself? This is never a place you want to get stuck in! Think about how you can add more time for rest and regeneration. It could mean waking up 30 minutes earlier or putting your phone down an hour before bed.
Not only is journaling a positive form of self expression, but it can help you organize your thoughts and feelings for greater clarity.
There’s also many different approaches you can take to journaling, such as for your mental health, for identifying goals, getting in touch with your creative side, and so much more!
Journaling is powerful for self-reflection, problem-solving, and even increasing self-awareness of your needs. And even as a beginner, you can start to see some of these benefits in your journal practice.
5 Easy Steps to Writing Your First Journal Entry
Writing out that very first journal entry is easier than you think! All you need to get started is…
- A cute, blank journal like this one from Erin Condren or (if you could use a little assistance!) a guided journal like my printable gratitude journal is a great place to start!
- A time of day that works best for you
- The understanding that journaling is most effective when done regularly
- A little inspiration (like the journal prompts for beginners in this post!)
- Simply putting the pen to the paper and get started!
These are just a few things to keep in mind if you have no idea where to start in your journaling. Consider these as you browse through these journal prompts for beginners!
Areas of Journaling You Can Focus On
Journaling for Mental Health and Self Care
Journaling can be used to unpack and process your emotions. Doing so can help ease your anxiety and allow you to get to the root of what may be bothering you. It can also help you discover what you really need most.
For example, if you’re overwhelmed and burnt out, this will likely reflect in your writing when expressing your emotions.
From there, you can recognize that this is a problem for you and identify the steps you need to take to alleviate it. Maybe you realize your job is too demanding, or you haven’t been getting the support you need from family and friends.
Journaling for mental health and self care not only helps you with problem-solving, but it can also be a much-needed release for stress and anxiety.
Journaling for Creativity
Journaling can also be a powerful creative outlet for beginners! If it feels overwhelming to dive into things like mental health at first, you can always start slow with more positive journaling activities, like ones geared toward creativity.
Some ideas include designing pretty pages, doodling, bullet journaling, adding color, or anything your heart desires, really!
You can also use your journal to jot down creative ideas, such as fun projects to start, crafts to try, business ideas, and more.
I love writing down different blog post ideas and product ideas in my journal! When the creative mood strikes, it really helps to take notes on where your brain is at!
Journaling for Manifesting
Don’t let manifesting intimidate you! At its core, manifesting involves goal setting, planning your future, and instilling belief in yourself and your capabilities. You’ve likely already done some of these things, so manifesting isn’t so foreign after all!
When you manifest something you want to achieve, you become aware of your goals and what it takes to reach them. I have a guide on the way I use my journal to manifest and it’s a fairly simple process. It lets me plan out a goal to the very last detail as I envision myself achieving the goal.
Manifesting in this way gives me a positive mindset and confidence in what I’m pursuing!
These are just a few things you can choose to focus on when beginning your journaling practice, but you can also keep it simple. I suggest starting with the journal prompts for beginners in this post first, just to get used to journaling in an easy and fun way.
Once you get the hang of it, you can consider diving into a specific focus!
Simple Tips for Journaling for Beginners
Before you give these journal prompts for beginners a try, keep the following in mind:
- Let your thoughts flow – when you’re first starting out, don’t worry about how you sound when you write. No need to overthink your sentence structure, just let your thoughts flow! The goal is to make journaling as least intimidating as possible
- Journaling is a tool, but one tool of many – what I mean by this is that if your goal is to improve your mental health or self care, it’s important to ALSO be seeking help in a variety of ways, including therapy. (Online Therapy is the best program I trust!!)
- Journaling DOES get easier – My journaling sessions have gotten more productive and beneficial for me as time goes on. Why? Because I know how to make the most of it. I know which types of writing exercises work for me and which don’t. I know that when I’m short on time, it’s better for me to do a quick brain dump. When I have time to spare, I use specific prompts. You will learn what works for you too!
- Journaling might feel tedious, but the feeling afterward is worth it – getting started is always the hardest part! With anything, am I right? But just as you might feel amazing after a workout, you’ll feel amazing after putting in the work with journaling too. My mind feels clearer, I feel like I released what I needed to, and I learned more about myself.
How to Use Journal Prompts for Beginners
There’s a few different ways you can approach these journal prompts for beginners to work them into your daily routine, like:
- Answering just one prompt a day, working your way through the list in numerical order
- Choosing a number at random and responding to the prompt from that number on the list
- Pick the prompts that are most relevant to your life at the moment. For example, if you have a specific obstacle to overcome, you may want to choose the prompts that will help you face that obstacle.
- Choose a few go-to prompts to respond to each time you journal. For example, each morning I write down three things I’m grateful for, my intention for the day, and my top three goals for the day.
How Do You Start a Journal as a Beginner?
Journaling doesn’t need to be a daunting chore! Just take it slow and don’t feel like you need to commit to a daily routine of journaling right away.
Even just journaling once a week can provide immense benefit to you. Allow it to fit into your schedule. Mornings too hectic? Try opening your journal at night before you go to sleep! Maybe Sunday nights are good for you, before you start your week.
Here are some of my favorite tips for starting a journal as a beginner:
- Buy a journal that fits your needs – Do you want a blank notebook that you can write your own prompts in? Or would you prefer a guided journal like the Five Minute Journal? Think about what you want out of your journal.
- Try a printable journal – printable journals are awesome because you can access them instantly instead of waiting for them to arrive at your door! They’re also a more affordable option than your typical store-bought journal. I have a printable mental health journal and printable gratitude journal you might like!
- Set reminders – in your phone or calendar to journal at the same time each week to make it a habit
- Pair it with other self care activities – try meditating after your journaling practice to clear your mind. This is a great way to let go of any final thoughts and sit peacefully with yourself after journaling.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself – if you skip a day or week, that is okay! Just get back up and try again! Journaling is supposed to be a form of stress relief, not a job or chore.
Benefits of Using Journal Prompts
Journaling is super beneficial for your mental health, personal growth, organization, and even productivity! Here are some specific benefits of using journal prompts for beginners:
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Assists in emotion regulation
- Helps you organize your thoughts and declutter your mind
- Increases self-awareness
- Helps you learn more about yourself and your needs
- Allows you to process your thoughts
- Clears your mind to give you greater productivity throughout the day
Different Types of Personal Journals
Different journals will be geared toward different goals, and there’s actually so many different varieties out there! It is so much more than the “dear diary” memories you may have had from childhood.
Journaling in this day and age is so much more than that, and here are some common types of personal journals you can try as a beginner:
- Gratitude journal (I have a printable gratitude journal right here)
- DIY bullet journal
- The Five Minute Journal
- Fitness journal
- Food journal
- Manifestation journal
- Travel journal
- Mental health journal (I have a printable mental health journal here!)
- Art journal
- Reading journal
- Goal journal (I have a printable goal setting planner right here)
Final Thoughts on Journal Prompts for Beginners
Up to this point, you might have thought journaling was only for a certain type of person. But because journaling can accomplish so many different goals, whether that be creative expression, organizing your thoughts, or improving self care, it’s so versatile that it’s for EVERYONE!
And we all gotta start somewhere! So I put together these journal prompts for beginners to ease you into a first-time journal practice. No matter what your ultimate motivation for journaling is, you can start right here and figure things out as you go.
Feel free to journal in any way that you want, about anything that you want, and your possibilities will be endless.
Psst…want to make journaling a habit? Grab my (free!) daily self care check in below for quick and easy self care prompts each morning and night!
Let me know in the comments: