216 Journal Prompts for Mental Health

Journaling is a great way to improve your mental health. It allows you to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper so that they are less overwhelming. Journaling is how you can gain insight into your behavior patterns, which may contribute to certain feelings and behaviors.

BlogSelf Development216 Journal Prompts for Mental Health

Journaling is a great way to improve your mental health. It allows you to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper so that they are less overwhelming. Journaling is how you can gain insight into your behavior patterns, which may contribute to certain feelings and behaviors. 

There are no rules about journaling—the only thing that matters is that it works for you. Don't worry about grammar or spelling. The point here is just getting everything out. This way, things don’t build up inside of you until there's no room left for anything else except anxiety and fearfulness over what might happen next.

For example: If a situation triggers an emotional response in you (like being yelled at), writing about that experience could help reveal how you react to triggers and how they affect your mood. You might want to start with a general journal prompt like "Today I felt..." or "What I want from life right now is..." Then move on to more specific prompts we will provide in this guide:

Journaling and mindfulness can be a therapeutic ritual for you 

It helps to practice mindfulness while journaling. These are ways in which you can achieve such a state of mind: 

  • Turn journaling into a ritual 
  • Light some candles
  • Play a calming playlist of music
  • Diffuse oils
  • Go outdoors within nature when you journal 

Whether you’re new to journaling or you’ve become an expert, sometimes you might not know where to begin. In this guide, we’ve gathered 216 journal prompts to help you have a starting point.

Mental Fortitude

Mental fortitude is a tool to help you through life’s never-ending challenges. Marcus Aurelius was a great example of someone who embodied this trait. His book, ‘meditations’ is evidence of this characteristic. You can practice journaling to sharpen this skill and become more tolerant of pain, adversity, and hardships. 

1. “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” -A. A Milne.

2. What is one thing that makes your life better that you may not want to do?

3. What’s your philosophy for life? 

4. Why is it important to forgive?

5. Can you forgive others for the pain they have caused you? Why/why not? 

6. Do you believe in living by faith? What are the benefits? 

7. Do you think you’re a fighter? Why so?

8. What’s your biggest weakness? What have you done to work on it? 

9. What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced and overcome over the past few days, weeks, or months? 

10. How do you deal with hardships? (Do you journal, meditate, pray, or talk to someone you trust?)

11. How have the challenges and adversities you’ve faced molded who you are? 

12. What’s something you changed your mind or opinion about? 

13. Do you easily trust people? Why/Why not 

14. Note five things you’d like to remember during hard and trying times. 

15. What do you regret not doing? Can you still do it, or is it too late? 

16. Name one thing you can do now that you couldn’t do five years ago. 

17. Explain what’s the hardest thing for you. 

18. How do you gain strength from your loved ones? 

19. Do you prefer being in control or simply going with the flow? 

20. What do you usually want in return for helping other people? 

21. Have you ever suffered a significant loss? Explain how. 

22. Are you okay talking about who you are? Why/why not? 

23. Which of your relationships has taught you the most about life? 

24. Would you take risks for what you believe in? 

25. Elaborate on the difference between bravery and courage. 

26. When was the last time you cried? What was the reason? 

27. “Most great people have attained their success one step beyond their greatest failure.” -Napoleon Hill. 

Positive Thinking

A lot can go wrong in life, and when we focus on problems, we take for granted what goes right. Positive thinking is about manifesting the good in your life. These prompts will help you become a more positive thinker. 

28. “A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any other wonder drug.” -Patricia Neal. 

29. What makes you happy and warm inside?

30. Make a list of 3 things that you look forward to in the future 

31. Talk about the most important lesson you’ve learned. 

32. How can you make your everyday life better or more enjoyable? 

33. What qualities of humanity do you appreciate? 

34. What keeps are you going in challenging times? 

35. What is the best thing that happened to you today?

36. Talk about your idea of a perfect day. 

37. If today were your last day to live, what would you do differently? 

38. Who’s your biggest cheerleader? 

39. What’s going well in your life? 

40. What’s one thing or person that made you smile today?

41. What motivates you to get up and try each day? 

42. Note down one thing you like about yourself. 

43. Which people in your life have a positive impact?

44. Think of a person you love. What are two things you admire about them? 

45. Think about the future, and describe the best possible life you could have. 

46. Reflect on something you excel at. How can this help you in your life, career, or studies? 

47. Talk about what your mistakes have taught you. 

48. Are you willing to accept that you’ll fail at some things? 

49. Are you excited about the future? Why? 

50. What is your definition of success? 

51. What daily affirmation do you like saying and why?  

52. What’s a perfect day, and how would you spend it? 

53. How do you spread positivity to the people around you? 

54. “When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control how you respond. That’s where your power is.” -Keith A Turner Sr.

Peace and healing 

External issues sometimes disrupt your peace and cause you pain. Through difficult times you can learn to master the art of peace and allow yourself to heal from past traumas. 

55. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” -Dalai Lama.

56. What brings you inner peace? 

57. Which people or places do you feel provide you peace and happiness? 

58. Do you practice meditation, prayer, or any form of spiritual guidance? 

59. Journal about an event that’s bothersome and that took place recently. How does it make you feel 

60. To me, freedom is___

61. One thing I’m holding onto that I should let go of is___

62. To what extent do the opinions of other individuals affect your personal choices and peace of mind? 

63. What’s your favorite form of self-care? 

64. “Life is constantly changing.” Do you agree with the following statement? Why/why not? 

65. Write about a time when you were upset and hurt someone’s feelings. What made you act that way? Do you think it is justified? 

66. Imagine being calm, centered, and relaxed. What effect does that have on you? 

67. Do you believe that love can exist without peace? Why/why not? 

68. Write a letter to someone who has caused you pain. That could be yourself too. 

69. What would you do differently in the future? 

70. What’s your favorite quote, and why? 

71. What is one thing that brings you joy?

72. Think of a person that you’d like to forgive. Write as though you were talking to them. 

73. Write about why you deserve to be happy and at peace. 

74. What makes you angry, and what happens when you lose control? 

75. Do you think that pain can bring a positive outdone? 

76. Write down what makes you feel calm. 

77. What worries you the most? And what are the consequences of acting on your worries? 

78. What boundaries have you set in relationships to protect yourself? 

79. What are you willing to forgo to gain peace and happiness? 

80. Think of someone you upset, let down, or betrayed. What can you do to make amends? If it’s not possible to fix the issue, are you able to accept that and move on? 

81. “Value your peace more than people’s opinions.” -Rithvik Singh.

Meaning & Purpose

A life well lived is one filled with purpose. Figuring it out takes you looking deep within yourself. These journal prompts can help you add more meaning to your life.

82. “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” -Robert Byrne.

83. Write down two of your short-term goals. 

84. What is a high priority in your life?

85. What’s your reason for waking up each day?

86. How did your experience of birth influence how you view yourself as a woman or man? (For birthing parents)

87. What is something you aren’t doing enough? 

88. What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work/studies? 

89. What would you want to achieve in the following 5 to 10 years?

90. Which is your favorite book? Explain why 

91. What do you want for your children/future children? (No need to respond if you don’t want any.) 

92. Write down three of your values. 

93. The advice I’d give my younger self is___

94. How can you make a difference in other people’s lives? Is it society, family, or friends?

95. What makes you feel some accomplishment when you have achieved your intended goal?

96. What do you think is holding you back from your goals? 

97. Who inspires you to work harder or become better? (This could be family, a friend, a role model, or a famous person.)

98. If there’s one thing you could improve on, what would it be? 

99. What brings meaning to your life? 

100. How can you become more creative? 

101. Are you satisfied with where you are in life? 

102. What do you hope to change as time goes on? 

103. Do your job, career, or studies make you feel fulfilled? 

104. Have you figured out your purpose, goals, or life ambitions? 

105. Do you wish to make more money or have an impact in the world/society? 

106. How far are you from reaching your goals? 

107. What do you look forward to soon? 

108. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” -T.D Jakes.

High Self-Esteem & Confidence

Confidence is a skill that can be cultivated and improved. It allows you to take on anything and maintain healthy relationships. Here are some journal prompts to help you boost your confidence and self-esteem. 

109. “Self-confidence is a superpower. Once you start to believe in yourself, the magic starts happening.” -Unknown. 

110. At what age did you feel most comfortable in your body and why?

111. The accomplishment I’m proud of this year is___

112. Describe the most confident individual you know.

113. When was the last time you celebrated your success or achievement? 

114. If you saw failure as a positive thing, how different would your life be? 

115. If you knew you couldn’t fail, what’s one thing you would do? 

116. My three greatest strengths are___

117. What’s in your control? 

118. Dear future self___

119. What do you like about your character? 

120. Would you be willing to speak to your inner bully? What would you say? 

121. What’s your best inner quality? 

122. How do you feel when making life-changing decisions? 

123. What’s one of your achievements? 

124. What can you do to build more confidence? Is it getting a fresh haircut, working out more, focusing on your spirituality, or buying a new car?

125. What qualities do you admire about yourself?

126. To me, self-love is___

127. Do you love yourself as much as you do others?

128. How high is your self-esteem? Do you create boundaries of how you’d like people to treat you?

129. Describe an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable. 

130. How can you be kinder to yourself regarding where you are in life? 

131. Talk about your role model. Do you have similar qualities to them? 

132. When you second guess yourself, how do you feel? 

133. Do you have clothes that make you feel uncomfortable? If so, are you willing to donate or throw them out?

134. How do you feel when you compare yourself to other people? 

135. What’s one thing about yourself you wish more people knew? 

136. Confidence is not “They will like me. Confidence is, “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”  -Christina Grimmie. 

Emotional Agility 

To be human is to feel emotions. They are an unavoidable part of our makeup. The key is to learn how to manage emotions and react in the best manner possible. After all, feelings come and go, but the impact of our choices and actions during such times lasts. 

137. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” -John Kabat-Zin.

138. How do you feel today? 

139. How do you show yourself and others compassion? 

140. Do you show people more love than you give to yourself? 

141. What do you think about when you are feeling down?

142. Are you open about your true feelings, or do you keep them to yourself? 

143. Share an act of selflessness you did for someone, and explain how it made you feel. 

144. Which three emotions do you feel the most? 

145. Are you an active or passive listener? 

146. Are you easily aggravated by what other people do or say? 

147. I get anxious when___

148. Do you hold grudges or allow yourself to forgive those who have treated you poorly? 

149. How do you deal with pain and negative emotions?

150. Are your coping mechanisms helpful or harmful? 

151. Who do you go to when you require someone to talk to? 

152. What makes you feel at peace? Be it, family, work, taking a vacation, or doing absolutely nothing.

153. What three characteristics do you look for in a partner? 

154. How do you handle breakups or heartbreak? 

155. What are two lessons you’ve learned from past relationships?

156. I know I’m feeling depressed when___ One thing that makes me feel better is___

157. Which parts of your day-to-day life cause you to stress? Are you able to change that? 

158. How do you talk to yourself? Are your thoughts positive or negative?

159. Do you allow yourself to cry when things get overwhelming? Or do you bottle in your feelings and tears?  

160. How is your mental dialogue when things go wrong? Are you kind or hard on yourself? 

161. Are you in control of your anger, sadness, and frustration or do you lash out? 

162. Take note of your advantages. Can you listen well? Do you have a lot of empathy? Spend a minute empowering yourself and reflecting on the areas you excel.

163. “Mindfulness: Allowing an emotion to take hold and pass without acting on it.” -Benedict Carey.

Self Awareness & Reflection

Writing down thoughts and feelings helps you gain insight into yourself. When you look back on your own words from previous entries, you might notice patterns or behaviors which add to your current state of mind (I always feel anxious around people who appear to be "perfect" at everything). This awareness can help you take steps towards improving yourself instead of continuing along with unhealthy behavior patterns simply because they're familiar.

164. “You don’t have to control your thoughts. You have to stop letting them control you.” -Dan Millman.

165. In what ways are you similar or different from your parents? 

166. Describe yourself with five words. 

167. Note one assumption people usually make about you. 

168. Are you introverted or extroverted? What impact does that have on your life? 

169. Do you put yourself or others first in different scenarios? 

170. How often do you use social media, and how much does it affect your mental health? 

171. What are you procrastinating about? How can you get it done? 

172. Which people in your life have made life easier for you and why?

173. Which people made it more difficult for you and why? 

174. Which is your favorite place to visit? 

175. What was your first job? Is it similar to your current one? 

176. What steps can you take to improve your life or situation?

177. Which areas in your life do you need to work on to grow and improve?

178. Did you enjoy work/school? 

179. What would you wish to say to someone you lost? 

180. How do you feel about this day or this moment in time?

181. Do you feel like people judge you a lot? 

182. What’s the most frightening thing you’ve done? How did it turn out? 

183. What did you enjoy doing as a child? 

184. Does money concern you? 

185. Talk about one of your earliest memories. 

186. When you’re feeling bored, what do you do? 

187. Who do you trust the most, and why? 

188. What makes you a unique individual? 

189. At the moment, what words do you feel you need to hear?

190. “Stress, anxiety, and depression are caused when we live to please others.” -Paulo Coelho.


Journaling is a great way to practice gratitude. When you're happy and appreciative, journaling can be an outlet for your feelings. So as not to take the good people and things in your life for granted.

191. “If you aren’t grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more?” -Roy. T. Bennett

192. In your life, what are you most thankful for?

193. What do you appreciate about your family, career, or accomplishments? 

194. How can you show gratitude to your family, co-workers, and society?

195. What aspect of your job, career, or studies do you appreciate? Be it the environment, people, etc. 

196. List four ways in which you can help your neighborhood or community.

197. List two kind deeds you could do for others in the next few days and do them.

198. What five things make you smile, and how do they affect your mood? 

199. Write down some qualities of people you admire. How can you adopt some of them? 

200. Write a short letter of gratitude to your parents. 

201. In what ways can you appreciate your senses more through mindfulness? 

202. Write down some of your favorite things about your city or town. 

203. Think of an individual you can’t tolerate. Write down some of their positive traits. 

204. Write three parts of nature you’re thankful for. 

205. How does doing good for others make you feel better than doing good for yourself? 

206. What makes your friends exceptional? 

207. Think of a person who helped you emotionally. How will you repay them in the future? 

208. Which books have had a significant impact on your life? 

209. How has your society contributed to your growth as an individual? 

210. Big or small, what can you do to give back and help the less fortunate? 

211. Name a movie that makes you appreciate life more. 

212. What important lessons did you learn from some of your biggest mistakes? 

213. What did your parents teach you that made you become a better person? 

214. Create a list of fifteen places you’d like to visit in your lifetime. Try to go to one of them soon. 

215. List ten things that make your life easier. (This could be gadgets, products, etc.)

216. “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love—then make that day count!” -Marcus Aurelius.


Journaling about mental health can be therapeutic. It also makes it easier to identify problems in your life that need fixing. That will impact how well-adjusted you are as an individual.

Try to avoid skipping days or pushing off writing time just because it's not convenient. Just keep writing! If it provides motivation, try setting a daily goal(like writing for 10 minutes), then work towards completing that goal no matter what happens during the day.

A good rule of thumb is to write in your journal every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. If you have trouble making time for this habit, consider setting aside a small portion of your morning routine as a dedicated writing session. Hopefully, this guide will help you strengthen and improve your mental health. Happy Journaling!