50 Journaling Prompts to Try

50 Journaling Prompts to Try

What a delight: one of the most effective methods for cultivating what matters is free, immediately available, and almost everyone can do it! Yep, we're talking about journaling, a practice that has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. In this blog post, we're talking about the benefits of journaling (and how it can help you cultivate what matters!) and giving you 50 journaling prompts to help you get started today.

What are the benefits of journaling?

Researchers have highlighted many benefits of journaling in recent years, all of which ultimately help you to cultivate what matters (to do those things you've always wanted to do!). Journaling can help you...

  • REDUCE ANXIETY | Your brain can get stuck in loops of worry. Without a way to step off the carousel, your thoughts might take you for an endless, unproductive ride. Writing your fears and worries down on paper helps you view them objectively and begin to move forward.
  • INCREASE SELF-AWARENESS | Journaling, done over time, will help you recognize your patterns of thinking. If they’re positive patterns, you can reinforce them; if they’re negative, you can learn to redirect them and build new mental grooves. Brain dumps can also help you see how your actions connect to your outcomes. Reflection reaps rewards!
  • GET MORE SLEEP | Writing helps to organize your thoughts. When journaling, you can label your emotions, acknowledge what feels hard, and begin to make sense of what's happened to you (whether that's the events of the day, ongoing situations, or past trauma). When you do that, your brain is freed from the stressful job of processing the experience and you'll rest easier.
  • IMPROVE YOUR MOOD | When you combine better sleep habits with the clarifying benefits of journaling, you get a confident and optimistic Cultivator! When your path forward is clear and you feel equipped to take the next best steps, you move through your day feeling refreshed, more able to engage with those around you, and better prepared to accomplish the meaningful and mundane tasks in your day.

Journaling can be one of the most useful and cost-effective tools we have to forge a more emotionally and mentally healthy life. Let's make the most of it!

Blue and gold journal

50 Journaling Prompts to Try Now

Ready to try journaling but not sure where to start? That's understandablebut nothing to worry about. With journaling, you'll likely find that one thought or prompt leads to another, and where you end up might be far from where you expectedbut exactly where you're meant to be.

One more piece of good news: it's not necessary to journal every day, especially if you're trying to work through a specific memory or event. Research suggests even a one-time 15-30 minute session of focused writing can be helpful, and that returning to the same topic day after day can actually lead to unproductive brooding. 

So, consider starting with a weekly journaling habit. At one per week, the 50 journaling prompts below will carry you almost all the way through your first year!

  1. Write the story of your life from birth until now in one page.
  2. What birthdays stand out in your memory? Why?
  3. What do you really love about your body?
  4. Write about the place you feel most at-home, rooted, or centered.
  5. When do you feel most like yourself?
  6. How has your birth order shaped you?
  7. How are you a different grown-up than you thought you would be?
  8. Write about the hardest day of your life.
  9. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  10. Is there something you regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you said it?
  11. What is one of the most consequential decisions you’ve ever made in your life?
  12. Throughout your years in school, which teacher was most influential? Why?
  13. What is one of your sweetest childhood memories?
  14. If you could, would you give advice to your high school self? What would it be?
  15. What is one of the biggest risks, adventures, or challenges you’ve ever taken on?
  16. Write about the traits you inherited from your parents.
  17. What was a season of life that taught you something important? What was the lesson?
  18. Write about a friendship break-up.
  19. Who were you 10 years ago?
  20. Who do you hope to be 10 years from now?
  21. Write about your hometown. How did it shape you?
  22. What was your role within your family growing up? What is it now?
  23. What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
  24. What are you most excited about for the decade ahead?
  25. What is something you know you should give up or remove from your life, but you haven’t yet? Why not?
  26. What do you think will be part of your legacy?
  27. Write down some of your thoughts about aging.
  28. What role has physical beauty played in your life?
  29. What is your definition of success?
  30. What are your favorite simple pleasures?
  31. What is an unhealthy pattern or behavior from your childhood that you're proud to have changed?
  32. How well do your work and life outside of work coexist right now?
  33. What is your favorite way to rest?
  34. What brings you joy on a daily basis?
  35. Where do you feel comparison most heavily in your life?
  36. What roles do you play in your life right now? What is your favorite part about each? The hardest?
  37. What is most important to you right now?
  38. If money was no issue, what job or hours would you work?
  39. What are you afraid of? Why are you afraid of it?
  40. Is there a relationship you particularly admire? What stands out to you about it?
  41. What is one of the best things you offer to your friends?
  42. What books have been most influential for you?
  43. What is a lesson you’ve learned recently?
  44. What's something you're proud of?
  45. What is your favorite part of each day?
  46. Write about a relationship you admire. What draws you to it?
  47. Write about an opinion you've previously held but have now changed.
  48. Write about one of your goals for the next six months. 
  49. What's a past experience that moved you outside your comfort zone?
  50. What is one area of your life you'd like to improve?

P.S. Looking for a beautiful journal to hold your writing? We've got just the thing. You'll love our lined, linen-covered journals. We can't wait to see what you put inside!

Leave a comment

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is Cultivate What Matters' Content Strategist and Writer. With over a decade at Cultivate, Emily loves helping women uncover what matters, set good goals, and live them out with joy. Her free time is spent with her high-school-sweetheart husband and three young kiddos.

Cultivate What Matters Podcast

If you are ready to get unstuck, say goodbye to wasted days, and feel your life adding up to something more—you are in the right place! The Cultivate What Matters Podcast will help you uncover what truly matters in your life and give you the tools to start acting like it today. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed, lacking motivation, or simply looking for a little joy and delight, you'll find exactly what you need right here. We are so excited to walk alongside you!

Goal School

Get access to premium content to help you stay on top of your goals all year long!