Journaling Through The Good, Bad, & Ugly


Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just another run-of-the-mill stressed out human, journaling can be extremely beneficial. With countless methods of keeping these daily logs, you’re bound to find one that works for you.

What is Journaling?

You’ve most likely journaled one way or another throughout your life. Journaling can be keeping a diary, writing one of those letters to someone you never send, or even scribbling down a pros and cons chart.

The best part of journaling is that you can tailor it to a method that works best for you. Overall, the process of writing is meant to slow us down in our thoughts. It allows us to observe our feelings without judgement, slowly sorting through their meaning and origin.


The Different Methods

You can use one of the common methods of journaling or make up one completely unique! Here are some of the most popular ways that people utilize this practice:

  • Bullet
    • If you find yourself struggling to manage time and keep commitments, bullet journaling could be your solution. This method consists of laying out a plan to organize everything from your workouts to your greatest aspirations. Read more here.
  • Gratitude
    • We often struggle realizing how incredibly fortunate we are. In order to release stress and change your perspective, try writing a few things each day you’re grateful for.
  • Travel
    • Pictures capture visual memories, but words capture emotion like nothing else. Keep a daily log of all of your adventures for post-travel reminiscing.
  • Emotional Release
    • Emotional overwhelm is real. The next time you feel like you simply cannot take anymore stress, sadness, or whatever plagues you, write about it. Just begin with how you feel and stop when you feel better. Sounds too good to be true, I know, but trust me it works every time.
  • Dream
    • If you believe in the significance of our dreams, then try out a dream journal. This method really requires discipline as we often forget our dreams as the day goes on. Therefore, ensure you jot down your dreams immediately upon waking.
  • Art / Visual
    • For the artistically-inclined, an art journal serves as a therapeutic outlet.  Chronicle your days, feelings, and struggles through images or illustrations.


Something about a pen and paper soothes like nothing else. Journaling has many scientifically proven benefits that rival that of other stress-release activities such as yoga and meditation.

According to Very Well Mind journaling..

  • Decreases asthma and arthritis symptoms
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Counteracts stress

Personally, I can attest to most of these benefits. Journaling has been a lifesaver for me. It helps me process heavy, complicated emotions while also helping my gratitude thrive. Beginning really is the hardest part.

How to Begin

Buy a journal, (shop the post). Grab a pen. Write. Pretty simple and yet the part we struggle most with.

An important point that encouraged me to remain somewhat consistent with journaling is the fact that no one has to see it. Don’t let your perfectionist side get the best of you. These words, pictures, or schedules exist only for your benefit. That’s it.

So, take it all out on the pages. Witness tangible results as you let the your journal hold emotional weight you were never sure you’d release. Exist in an increasingly free and gratuitous state. Just start writing.

Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

Also published on Medium.