When is the last time you wrote something just for you? Something tangible, on an actual piece of paper, for your eyes only? Something that required critical thought and self-exploration?
In a world of constant texting, tweeting, emailing, and digitally "engaging," there's a good chance the answer is "a really long time ago." But doing so can serve you well — study after study after study suggests that self-expressive writing in a journal can help reduce intrusive ideas that bring you down, help you ditch toxic habits, relieve stress and anxiety, and help you cultivate the life you want to live.
But, of course, getting started putting a pen to paper is easier said than done. To help inspire your writing, you can grab a blank notebook and try using journal prompts (here are 75 to get you started), or you can turn to a guided journal for even more of an instructional experience.
Here, some of the best guided journals — all approved or recommended by mental health professionals — with boundless pages of prompts to dive into the depths of yourself.
Zen As F*ck
It's no secret why Zen as F*ck is ranked as an Amazon best-seller and sold in stores across all corners of the globe. It's touted as the ideal method for mindfulness for when you simply don't want to deal with the phony rainbows and butterflies crap.
"Zen as F*ck flips toxic positivity on its head," says author Monica Sweeney. "So much of what we see in the world of 'inspiration' demands people to cheer the f*ck up without giving them the space for acknowledgement. Zen as F*ck is a guided journal that has an upbeat attitude, but it gives the writer room to breathe and feel catharsis in a fun and irreverent way."
This guided journal is packed with profanity for a no-bullsh*t brightener to your day. Each page is teeming with toxicity-tanking prompts that get all the stuff in your head out onto paper. It promises to get you "sparkling like the f*cking gem you are" by guiding you to "rise, shine and kick ass." (Related: How to Make Time for Self-Care When You Have None)
Sensual Self, by sexuality doula and sex educator Ev'yan Whitney, is a self-paced journal with more than 150 pages of prompts to help you define sensuality for yourself. If seeking reconnection with your pleasure is on your agenda, this is the guided journal for you.
The journal helps you navigate your inner sense of self with ample room to explore and express your private pleasures and deep desires. Each piece of paper provides a safe space to check in with your mind and body, as well as navigate self-acceptance and self-care.
Questions span everything from "In what ways do you keep your sensuality hidden?" to "What does an enthusiastic 'yes!' feel like in your body?" (Related: How to Start a Sex Journal — and Why You Should)
A Year of Zen
"A Year of Zen is a 52-week guided journal that helps writers reflect on time passed," says Boris Mackey, an addiction therapist as well as the editor-in-chief and community outreach manager at Rehab 4 Addiction.
The journal, carefully curated by zen priest and teacher Bonnie Myotai Treace, offers thought-provoking prompts — even including some drawing exercises — to get your creative juices flowing. You have the space to fill each page with self-exploration and reflection each week of the year.
"Within my line of work, my colleagues and I continue to recommend and teach clients about the importance of journaling for mental health," says Mackey. "Guided journals are very useful as they provide prompts and pre-filled pages for those who may struggle with a blank notebook. These prompts can get you thinking and allow you to develop a journaling routine that boosts your mental wellbeing." (See: Why Journaling Is the Morning Routine I Could Never Give Up)
Prompts range topics from "reverence" to "being a curious being" to "evening threshold," diving into the depths of the self with prompts like, "Catch yourself at sundown, light fading from the sky. What does the arrival of night trigger or bring up for you?"
My Wellness Journal
Papier's My Wellness Journal should be your daily check-in ritual. If you can create space for yourself each day, you can hold space for everything else life will inevitably throw your way. (More of a digital person? Check out these apps for goal-tracking.)
"Papier's My Wellness Journal provides up to 12 weeks to journal with daily check-in space and pages for habit tracking and note-taking," says Mackey.
Whatever your resolution or upcoming goals, you can use this journal to track your habits, meals, water intake, sleep schedule, and more. If that kind of tracking doesn't feel good to you, instead just focus on what it is that makes you feel grateful and well each day, and celebrate the small wins along the road to your bigger goals. (See: How a Bullet Journal Can Help You Reach Your Goals)
The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal
"The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal can be useful for those who find it hard to dedicate time to journaling," explains Mackey. And he isn't alone in loving this guided journal: "It's ideal for busy people," says Barbara Santini, a psychologist and sex and relationship advisor. "It helps you break patterns of negative thoughts and redirects the mind to think about positive things only in life."
Beyond busy people, Megan Lee, a licensed clinical social worker and cofounder and therapist at Solutions Therapy LLC, says that The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal is also a great resource for anyone experiencing depression, anxiety, difficulty with a life transition, PTSD, and other mental health conditions.
"[It's] focused on gratitude with daily prompts for morning and evening that include reflection on things you're grateful for, creating affirmations for yourself and plans/highlights of your day," she explains. "Implementing daily gratitude journaling can help shift you into a more positive mindset—focusing on the good things happening in our lives can help us see that there even is good in the first place sometimes…It can help recenter you into the present, build self-esteem, diminish negative self-talk and more."
Lee has used the journal herself, which is why she is confident in recommending it to her clients. She appreciates the daily inspirational quotes and "easy-to-understand and -implement" prompts. (FTR, a bunch of celebs swear by five-minute gratitude journaling, too, including Riverdale's Madelaine Petsch and Camila Mendes.)
Q & A A Day Journal
"The idea behind journaling is reflection, and this one gives plenty of that by allowing people to reflect on larger periods of their life," says Brittany Ferri, Ph.D., medical advisor at Medical Solutions BCN who holds a doctorate in integrative mental health.
While she admits that some people may find this five-year chunk overwhelming, she adds that, if you're using it the right way (i.e. focusing on the now and not dwelling too much on the past), she considers it quite the tool.
And she's not the only expert who swears by it: "This journal has been in my possession for roughly five years," says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D. "I didn't fill out all of it... but it brought back many memories and demonstrated my progress. This is the journal for you if you enjoy reminiscing and writing. That's what the Q&A A Day Journal shows you for five years. After you finish the journal, turn to today's date and answer the question at the top. You'll observe how your responses alter or don't change when you revisit the daily questions over time."
Sewn Moments of Gratitude
Sewn Moments of Gratitude is a recommendation from Jewell Singletary, founder of Gratitude Griot LLC, which offers a trauma-informed approach to alleviating stress through yoga, meditation, and therapeutic arts, including art journaling.
"I have been journaling for nearly three decades," says Singletary. "The practice has helped me to creatively express myself, develop emotional intelligence, and alleviate my anxiety."
Journaling also helps her students practice being present, she adds. And Sewn Moments of Gratitude is a go-to for them. The journal is full of prompts strategically strung together in a way that leaves your eyes and heart open to the good that engulfs you — once you're willing and wanting to witness it. (More here: Journaling Apps for 'Writing Down' Your Thoughts)
Let That Sh*t Go
Let That Sh*t Go, also by Monica Sweeney, is another Amazon best-seller with tens of thousands of rave reviews. The expert-recommended guided journal is the perfect place to literally let it all out.
"Just like the name suggests, this journal helps you let go of the things troubling your mind," says Santini. "This little vulgar journal is ideal for getting rid of your daily frustrations."
Santini says that the book's doodles and prompts are equal-parts hilarious and helpful. They range from "positive procrastination" to "gag to giggles" lists that help you flush out your frustrations and rewrite your own narrative.
The No-Worries Workbook
Worrying is like praying for what you don't want. Yet, it's all too common to worry in anticipation — and arguably, manifestation — of your fears. Nip your worries in the bud with a book that becomes your bud — The No-Worries Workbook.
"This book looks different to all people," says Santini. "It comes with 124 activities, prompts, and lists that can help you manage whatever is disturbing your mind. The activities can help you de-stress and encourage you to become more grateful in life. It teaches you the habit of focusing on positive matters only, making you worry less." (See: Why You Can Definitely Benefit from a Worry Journal)
Me-est Me Journal
Me-est Me is female-founded and LGBTQ-owned, and the journal is made in Southern California. It's an 88-page guided workbook filled with journal prompts and exercises that intend to help reconnect you with yourself.
"Doing inner work can be tough, so I wanted to create a more accessible way to answer some hard questions," says author Shana Rehwald. "The pages throughout the workbook are devoted to reflecting, gathering and exploring, while also giving you pages to play around with and pause."
Rehwald created the journal after going through a major life transition of her own — divorce.
"Since now we're all going through it [COVID], I decided to create a journal using the tools that helped me reconnect with myself after a major life transition in hopes that it might help others, too," she adds.
What is the purpose of a guided journal? ›
Instead of writing about whatever comes to mind, a guided journal typically includes entries with a prompt or prompts to write about a particular aspect of your life, such as health, spirituality, mental wellness, or even planning a trip.What makes a good guided journal? ›
What makes a good guided journal? A good guided journal really comes down to one thing: creative prompts that help you self-reflect or get your thoughts out on a paper. There are many types of guided journals, from manifestation journals to fitness journals, so what's best depends on what you're looking for.Are guided journals helpful? ›
A guided journal helps take the stress out of deciding what to write. Journaling is a beneficial way to check in with your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and guided journals that include prompts can make the process even easier.How can journals improve mental health? ›
- Try to write every day. Set aside a few minutes every day to write. ...
- Make it easy. Keep a pen and paper handy at all times. ...
- Write or draw whatever feels right. Your journal doesn't need to follow any certain structure. ...
- Use your journal as you see fit. You don't have to share your journal with anyone.
What should you put in a gratitude journal? Magavi advises her patients to list things they are thankful for physically, emotionally, and spiritually every morning and evening. “I also recommend individuals to think about and write down the things and people they are thankful for in their life,” she says.What is the purpose of journal in assessment? ›
In addition to the teacher assessing student learning and feelings, the journal is a tool students can use to communicate with the teacher and self-evaluate their learning progress. Students are able to ask teachers questions in the journal about specific skills that they may be too shy to ask in class.How do therapists use journaling? ›
Therapeutic journaling can be done by keeping a regular journal to write about events that bring up anger, grief, anxiety, or joy that occur in daily life. It can also be used more therapeutically to deal with specific upsetting, stressful, or traumatic life events.What is the highest ranked journal? ›
The answer is yes. A 2018 research study found that people who journaled had a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety. That's because the process of writing can release pent-up feelings and negative thoughts, which helps to quiet the mind.What are the advantages of using a specific journal? ›
Special journals handle specific transactions such as cash receipts or sales. The use of special journals significantly reduces the time required to record transactions and post them to the ledgers.
What is a manifestation journal? ›
A manifestation journal is a book with blank pages that invites you to write down your dreams, goals, and desires. It's a manifestation technique, like the law of attraction, that can help you stay focused and motivated even if it doesn't actually "make" things happen.How journaling can change your life? ›
Journaling Accelerates Your Ability To Manifest Your Goals
Review and hone your life vision and big picture goals. As you read and re-write your goals daily, they'll become forged into your subconscious mind. Eventually, your dreams and vision will consume your inner world and quickly become your physical reality.
- You can write, type, draw or even talk about your thoughts and feelings.
- Be open and honest.
- Consider writing about an upsetting emotional experience, especially if it is something you haven't talked about before.
Pick a random photo, and write about why you're grateful for that memory. Write about something you're looking forward to. Write about something in your life that you have now that you didn't have a year ago. Reflect on a time you made a mistake and what you learned.How do you manifest with a gratitude journal? ›
How I Use a Gratitude Journal to Manifest & Stay Focused - YouTubeWhat is a happiness journal? ›
A happiness journal is a record of the things that make you happy every day, it is like a list of things that made you happy today or yesterday or day before yesterday.Why does my therapist want me to journal? ›
Seeing your thoughts broken down into words or images builds clarity of thought and forces your brain to make structural sense to them (Ackerman, 2020). Journaling allows you to shift perspectives.Can journaling replace therapy? ›
While a journal cannot replace a therapist, it can be therapeutic. What a journal can do is help you to notice patterns in your behaviour and emotional responses. It's an opportunity to reflect on your experiences, feelings, thoughts and behaviour.Does journaling release dopamine? ›
7. Journaling release dopamine. According to Alice Flaherty, a neuroscientist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, journal writing and blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to stimulants like music, running and looking at art.What is the most popular type of journal? ›
Design: While ruled line journals are probably the most common type, there are also dotted journals, unlined, squares, and others. While you can add drawings and to-do lists to any journal or notebook, unlined paper is easier to draw on.
Which type of journal is best for beginners? ›
- The Art Journal.
- The Dream Journal.
- The Reading Journal.
- The Gratitude Journal.
- The Letter Journal.
- The One-Line-A-Day Journal.
- The Catharsis Journal.
- The Progress Journal.
Tier 1. High category (3.5-4) Peer-reviewed publications in one of the following: • Journal with Impact factor that falls in the top 25 percentile ranking based on the impact. factor within the subject, discipline, or sub-disciplinary category (refer to APPENDIX.What are top 5 journals? ›
A single publication in one of the big five—The American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Review of Economic Studies—is sometimes the difference between getting tenure and restarting a career elsewhere.What are 4 star journals? ›
The new guide gives 85 journals (6.1 per cent) a quality rating of 4, meaning that they publish the “most original and best executed research”, compared with 72 (8.7 per cent) in the last edition.What journal has highest impact factor? ›
- CA- A Cancer Journal for Clinicians | 435,4.
- Natural Review Materials | 123,7.
- Quarterly Journal of Economics | 22,7.
- Nature Reviews Genetics | 73,5.
- Cell | 58,7.
- Journal of Political Economy | 12,1.
- New England Journal of Medicine | 66,1.
- Econometrica | 8,1.
Guided journaling simply provides you with with some direction with relation to the writing content (e.g, write about how you feel when X, or write about a time when you felt happy).What are the 10 factors to consider while choosing the right journal for publication? ›
- Scientific Rigor. A key indicator of journal quality is the scientific rigor of the publications published in the journal. ...
- Editorial Quality. ...
- Peer Review Process. ...
- Ethics. ...
- Editorial Board Members. ...
- Journal Reputation/Business Model. ...
- Author Rights and Copyright. ...
- Indexing Status.
Prompts for what you see
- Consider all the colors you can find in nature. ...
- Is there a particular landscape element that you look for on a hike, like a waterfall or a certain type of tree? ...
- If you're camping, how does the campsite look at night?
Tier 1. High category (3.5-4) Peer-reviewed publications in one of the following: • Journal with Impact factor that falls in the top 25 percentile ranking based on the impact. factor within the subject, discipline, or sub-disciplinary category (refer to APPENDIX.How do I use a CBT journal? ›
- Keep three principles in mind as you jot things down in your writing journal: falsifiability, non-judgment, and detail.
- Start by writing down the consequences (C) that you want to reflect on.
- Describe the activating event (A) that caused the consequences (C).
- Challenge the belief.
What is guided free writing? ›
In a guided freewriting exercise, you continue from where a sentence provided by the session facilitator leaves off (examples below). You will probably diverge from the topic, at least for a time, while you acknowledge other preoccupations.What is a mindful journal? ›
A mindfulness journal is a digital or physical journal with specific writing prompts that help guide you to write. The mindfulness journal should be physical in nature. If the journal is digital, you may want to print it out so that you can write on paper.How do I find a suitable journal to publish my work? ›
- Elsevier Journal Finder. ...
- EndNote Match: Find the Best Fit Journals for Your Manuscript. ...
- Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE) ...
- Publish or Flourish Open Access. ...
- Springer Journal Suggester. ...
- Think. ...
- Web of Science Master List.
Not only the good quality journal has better visibility but also greater trust and authenticity of the data published. A good researcher always refers to a good journal for the literature survey. A good journal has a larger effect than others.Which journal should I publish in? ›
If your research is applied, target a journal that publishes applied science; if it is clinical, target a clinical journal; if it is basic research, target a journal that publishes basic research. You may find it easier to browse a list of journals by subject area. The journal's audience.How do you prepare for an AT hike? ›
Consider starting with three to four days of aerobic training per week and, if you have success over the first few weeks, consider adding another day or two of training per week further down the line. A minimum of one full day of rest every week is necessary to allow for mental and physical recovery.How do you prepare for a first time hike? ›
- Plan ahead, and check the weather. ...
- Stay prepared by bringing the essentials. ...
- Make sure you have the proper amount of food and water. ...
- Choose the right shoe/sock combo. ...
- Pack your phone, and make sure it's charged. ...
- Always carry a source of light. ...
- Read up on basic first-aid.
4* Journals of Distinction
Within the business and management field, including economics, there are a small number of grade 4 journals that are recognised world-wide as exemplars of excellence. As the world leading journals in the field, they would be ranked among the highest in terms of impact factor.
Each subject category of journals is divided into four quartiles: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4. Q1 is occupied by the top 25% of journals in the list; Q2 is occupied by journals in the 25 to 50% group; Q3 is occupied by journals in the 50 to 75% group and Q4 is occupied by journals in the 75 to 100% group.Is tier 1 or 3 better? ›
In layman's terms, tier 1 companies are the big guns, and the tier 3 ones are the more modest firms. Over time, companies can move up the tiers if they fit the criteria. Now, let's explore the different tiers a little more. Tier 1 firms are the largest, wealthiest, and most experienced in the industry.