Journaling is the act of recording your thoughts and feelings about the situations in your life, and is helpful in safeguarding your mental health. Using a journal regularly can help you recognise events that evoke complicated emotions, identify their causes, and figure out ways to understand or prevent them in the future. You can also use a journal to keep track of the things that you are grateful for everyday, or to monitor your dietary habits and other practices.

Getting started

Choose the type of journal you prefer - you can record your thoughts on paper or digitally. Decide on what you want to record in your journal. You could treat it like a diary where you write down your life events and how they made you feel. You can also use it to plan out your daily events and your monthly budget, or track your moods, exercise, and diet.
Think about how often you want to write in your journal - whether there is a set number of things you want to record each day, or whether this is something you want to base on how you are feeling in the present moment.
Keep in mind that sometimes the hardest part about journaling is getting started. Once you begin and do it regularly, you will cultivate a habit that will help you channel your mind towards understanding how you feel and what affects you. Eventually, this opportunity for reflection will train you to let go of any negativity, and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Simple tips

  • A schedule will always help you get into the habit of journaling. You don’t need to journal everyday if it doesn’t suit you - just make sure you do it regularly enough to reap the benefits of this practice.
  • Don’t force yourself to write in your journal - it should be something that you enjoy doing, and not a chore.
  • Treat your journal as your safe space - keep it private so you can be completely truthful with yourself.
  • Personalise your journal - adding your own twist will give you a sense of ownership over it, which will motivate you to consistently refer to it and maintain the practice.


In general, journaling is a daily practice. However, you can do it every other day or even once a week when first starting out, especially if you aren’t used to keeping a record of things. Over time, you can increase the amount of times you consult your journal per week to an amount of time that suits you.

There is no set format - you can organise your journal however it suits you. For example, you could use one page for each day, separating it into sections depending on what you are tracking. You could use one section to describe an event that upset you and the emotions you experienced, and another to identify solutions to this issue.

Sometimes, we experience emotions that we don’t understand. Many times we bury these feelings, causing negativity to build up - this can lead to anxiety and even depression. Recording your emotions gives you the opportunity to sit with your feelings and reflect on their causes, which will help you identify the things you need to change or accept. Therefore, the next time you experience something similar, you will have a deeper understanding of your emotions and the solutions to any negative feelings will come to you more quickly.