The Benefits of Journaling for Mental Health | How to Start Journaling

Hey guys!!

Ok, so if you are someone looking into all things self-care and self development I’m POSITIVE that you are tired of seeing the word ‘journaling’ everywhere you look!! So what’s this all about this journaling thing?

The truth is that many studies have been made about the beneficial factors of journaling so if you are looking into ways to improve your life and the way you view yourself you must learn about journaling.

For me Journaling is the second most important step in self-care because the first step is acknowledging the fact that you need it, and since you’re here I believe you’ve already done that. Congrats!!

BTW!! Are you a fan of journal prompts? I prepared a PDF with 19 journal prompts for when you are feeling stuck. Just keep reading!

What is Journaling

As you go about your everyday life, journaling allows you to document your thoughts and feelings. It’s a deeply personal experience that can take many forms; a journal enables you to be honest and carefree about yourself

Keeping a journal is a personal choice, there aren’t any rules to follow! There are no wrong or right ways to go about it! Don’t worry if your handwriting isn’t magazine worthy or if your journal entries aren’t picture perfect. Depending on your mood, there are days when your journal will look like a diary entry, and other days when it will look like a list of things you want to accomplish. 

That’s ok!!

Writing down your emotions can help you cope with anxiety and sadness, especially when you’re feeling down. You can also gain meaningful insights, grow, and become more self-aware through it.

Your journaling style, whether there are spelling mistakes or whether the entries aren’t pleasing to read, should not be dictated by what others might think. Take that pressure out of your head…remember, your journal is for your eyes only. As a result, journals are very useful for self-improvement.


Benefits of Journaling | Why to Start a Journal in the First Place

  1. Improves mental health
  2. Strengthens immune system
  3. Gives you a place to slow your mind and see other points of view.
  4. Reduces stress and anxiety
  5. Helps you set and accomplish your goals
  6. Improves memory retention
  7. Improves your mood
  8. Reduces symptoms of depression
  9. Boosts self-esteem
  10. Helps you discover your true voice

I could go on endlessly about the benefits of journaling, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to find your ‘Why’. Why do you want to start Journaling today?


Types of Journals

There are way too many different styles of journaling for me to list them all here!


  • Guided Journals
  • The Blank Notebook Journal
  • Mental Health Journaling
  • The Dream Journal
  • Art/Artistic Journal
  • Bullet Journal
  • Gratitude Journal
  • Travel Journal
  • Pregnancy Journal
  • Brainstorming Journals

Remember your ‘Why?’…Here’s one reason for why knowing your ‘Why’ is so important! Having a clear understanding of why you want to start a journal is key to choosing which style of journaling fits your needs.


How to Start Journaling

Starting a Journal can be a bit confusing and overwhelming in the beginning… I got your back!

Here are 7 tips to give you a push start.

  1. Answer your ‘Why?’ and ‘What?’
    • Why should I keep a Journal?
    • Why do I want to keep a journal?
    • What do I wish to accomplish with it?

2. Choose the Journaling technique that suits your needs

Remember the different Journaling styles I listed above? While keeping in mind what you answered on step 1 look for the journaling style that matches your journaling goals.

3. Schedule your Journaling time, create a routine

When should I Journal?

You can start by setting aside 5 to 10 minutes each day, and just write something…anything.

Try and do it at a specific time, by doing so it would be easier to create a routine and make it a habit.

4. Get creative and write about whatever comes to mind

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your Journal! Draw, make a song, make a list of your goals, make a list of things you are grateful of…the sky’s the limit.

5. Feeling stuck? Use Journal Prompts or a Guided Journal

There are days when the 5 minutes will pass and you will still have a blank page. To avoid that, journal  prompts are a great solution! Click here to try these 19 therapy journal prompts for those days when you’re feeling blocked.

Another good way to get started are Guided Journals. If you are starting out with the journaling process, a Guided Journal may be a good option for you!

        1. Keep realistic expectations
        2. Don’t stress about what others might think


Guided Journals | What Are they?

Usually when we think about journaling we imagine this beautiful blank notebook for us to write our hearts out… but the truth is that it’s not that simple. Sometimes staring at a blank page can be quite overwhelming.

That is why I always recommend using a guided journal to start your journaling process. Most guided journals revolve around a particular theme, and each reflection page includes specific prompts and spaces for you to reflect on. My Journal is a great example of a guided journal!

3 Benefits of Guided Journals:

  • Makes journaling easier for beginners.
  • They can provide topics or questions that you may not have thought of on your own.
  • There is usually a specific schedule for completing guided journals, such as daily, weekly, or even monthly. This helps you stay on track and builds consistency in your journaling practice.

Learn more about My Journal here! Also, check out the demonstration videos below.


How make it a Habit?

Making journaling a daily habit requires self-discipline, not just learning how to do it. Nonetheless, nobody ever claimed that good habits can be built overnight. You have to really commit to it! You can start by taking just 5 to 10 minutes of your day and dedicate them to journaling.

It is scientifically proven that it takes around 2 months for a new behavior to become automatic. So try this:

  1. Get a calendar so you can mark each day…I’m very forgetful so this helped me make sure I never missed a day.
  2. Set an alarm for the same time every day to sit and write.
  3. If you are using a guided journal, you can try doing a page a day…something like that.

The important thing is to have self-discipline and really commit.


Other Tips for Journaling

What worked for me:

  • Started by using a guided journal.
  • After I felt more comfortable and had already made it a habit  I started to work with a blank page journal, but I still used prompts to help me with things I wouldn’t have thought of myself. I literally wrote about everything in just one journal.
  • Now I have specific journals for specific themes. I have one for goal setting and  tracking, another for gratitude, and one for the daily stuff (things that happened during the day that I believe are important for me to remember.) This is what worked for me, journaling is about learning what works for you. Do I write every single day in all three of them…no! Sometimes I just write in one of them; the important thing is to always write!
  • Oh…just in case anyone needs it… Yes, you should write the date every day that you write. 


Supplies for Journaling

Now, you could have a thousand supplies for journaling, but these are the ones that I consider most important to start!

  • Guided Journal or Journaling notebook
  • Pen for writing, drawing…for doing all the things that you want to do
  • Colored Pens, highlighters, markers, pencils…
  • White-out
  • Rulers
  • Fun stickers

On the other hand, you could also do your journaling digitally…I created a few demonstration videos for you guys! Just watch below.


Journaling Notebooks


Demonstration Videos 


Well guys this is it! I hope this was useful for all of you! If there is any particular subject you guys would like for me to talk about, let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,


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    Midnight Reflection does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.


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