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Why you should be keeping a journal

... and how to get started

By Skulls And CauldronsPublished about a month ago 5 min read
Top Story - January 2024

When we're younger, we often keep a diary where we talk about our crushes, how annoying our teachers are, our parents, and our dreams. As we get older, many of us stop keeping diaries, and some of us go on to the adult version -- journaling.

A journal is a personal record or diary where individuals can document their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and reflections. It's a private space for self-expression and self-reflection.

The format of a journal can vary, ranging from traditional paper notebooks to digital platforms or apps. Journaling can be a therapeutic practice, providing a private space for self-discovery, stress relief, and emotional processing. It's a flexible tool that individuals can tailor to their specific needs and preferences.

Why Is Journaling Important?

When you have a stressful day, how do you calm down? How do you let go of those feelings that would normally keep you lost in a funk?

You can meditate, do yoga, or start baking ... among other things. But you can also write in a journal. Journaling gives you a chance to vent without needing to bend someone’s ear. It’s a way to release emotions and stress, to work out the feelings you’re experiencing (even joyful ones), and to let go of anger toward life or other people. And, if you want it to be, it's completely private.

When someone frustrates you, approaching them can be dicey. Writing out your feelings lets you get that stuff off your chest without saying the wrong thing to someone’s face It's a chance to process your feelings and decide if a conversation really needs to happen or not. It gives you a chance to rationalize things and a moment to be irrational without consequence (as long as your journal is private).

You’ll also find that keeping a journal allows you to keep track of things that have gone on in your life. It allows you a simpler way to look back and see how far you’ve come. It's a bit of your history written down ... and you may be surprised at how many mundane things you forget after a few days, weeks, or months.

Why Is Journaling Considered an Art?

Writing itself is an art. Fictional writing isn't the only thing considered creative when it comes to writing. Your journal is likely to have a combination of diary writing and creative writing, with some list-making thrown in. Many people doodle in their journals with pens, pencils, or even markers. Some use art for illustration, and there’s also a chance you might start a journal filled with art only. Art offers us a unique way to express our feelings.

Here's a little more about creative writing:

Different Types of Journals

Basic journals: When you write down what you did for the day, your hopes and dreams, or your feelings, you’re doing some basic journaling. Some people compare this to keeping a diary.

Gratitude journals: If you want to bring more things into your life to be grateful for, you need to express gratitude (even when you don’t feel like it). A gratitude journal is a place to keep a daily list of all of the things you’re thankful for, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. An attitude of gratitude can make a difference in your life.

Dream journals: Are you having trouble remembering your dreams? Write down anything you can remember each morning when you wake up, and your dream journal will help you start to remember more of what you dream at night. Keep a dream journal so you can look back at those dreams and see what messages they were sending you.

Wellness journals: There are all sorts of wellness journals. Keep a food journal if you’re watching your diet or trying to find out if you’re affected by food allergies. Keep a fitness journal if you’re trying to get fit and want to keep track of workouts.

Art journals: Art journals are a combination of words and art. Art gives you another way to express your feelings. You can draw, color, and even do collage work in your art journal.

Bullet journals: Bullet journals are like a mixture of a basic journal and an everyday to-do list. This journaling type may take some time to get used to, but it can lead to more efficiency in all aspects of your life.

How to Get a Journal Started

If you’re ready to start a journal, here are the things you’ll need to do to find journaling success.

Pick a medium: There are options when it comes to where to journal. You can do it in a file on your computer, use a cloud storage option like Google Docs, download a journaling app on your tablet or phone, or you can use pen and paper.

If you choose to use a pen and paper, pick a journal that you like looking at. You want a notebook or unique journal that attracts you to it, so you’re more likely to keep up with entries.

You can also do a vocal journal. Record yourself on the phone or a handheld recorder, or make videos.

Know what you want to write: Pick the type of journal you want to focus on. You can have more than one, but combining too many into one may be overwhelming and discourage you from writing in any of them.

Decide on an angle for a general journal, if that’s the route you want to go. For example, will you mostly write about your feelings or will you write about the things you hope and wish for in life? Pick any of the types of journals discussed earlier.

Keeping Your Journal Going

Journaling can be overwhelming at first. You’re adding something more to your daily routine. Set a few minutes aside each day to write in your journal. If you’re keeping a diet or fitness journal, carry it with you since you’ll be updating often (an app journal comes in really handy for this type).

Since your journal is meant for your eyes only, don’t worry about editing and punctuation. Just write what you need to, no matter how it comes out.

Make journaling a habit. Keep your journal near a place where you often sit and relax, so you’re likely to grab it and do some writing in your free time.

Finally, find a way to make it fun. This will attract you back to the pages of your journal. Draw on the pages, make things rhyme, write in different pen colors, and try not to be too serious all the time. Make it part of your self-care routine.

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About the Creator

Skulls And Cauldrons

Skulls & Cauldrons LLC specializes in witchy tools and oddities & curiosities (handmade and curated), spellwork, oracle/psychic readings, paranormal investigation, intuitive life coaching, spiritual counseling, and more.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (13)

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  • JOSIAH NWOKO5 days ago


  • Anna 6 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Janiecarmody9 days ago

    Keeping a journal is your personal time capsule, capturing thoughts, dreams, and growth. Plus, entering Trophies Awards adds a layer of motivation and recognition, celebrating your journey and achievements. It's like crafting a legacy while honoring your present self—truly invaluable! Access helpful content right away:-

  • Shamreena23 days ago

    Well written, congratulations 👏

  • Ha Le Sa26 days ago

    I couldn't stop reading. Your writing was really well done!

  • Naomi Goldabout a month ago

    I couldn’t agree more! Journaling has literally saved my life, and it has made me the prolific writer I am today. I like the way you shared different types of journaling. Congrats on your Top Story. 🥂

  • Babangida Bello Dawudaabout a month ago

    Great article

  • Some excellent insights here, great article

  • Kodahabout a month ago

    ❣️ Congrats on top story! ❣️

  • Janet J. Smithabout a month ago

    love this

  • Naveed about a month ago

    Terrific work! Keep it going—congratulations!

  • Edmondabout a month ago


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