Why Should I Journal: 16 Reasons Why Journaling Can Benefit You

There are many reasons why keeping a journal can be beneficial, both physically and mentally!

From providing an outlet for expression and increasing self-awareness to helping with anxiety and stress relief, writing down our thoughts, feelings, and experiences can have powerful effects on our well-being.

In this article, we will explore why journaling is so important, uncovering the evidence-based research behind the practice as well as highlighting personal stories from people who find great value in keeping one day by day. We'll also discuss tips on how to get started with journaling if you're feeling overwhelmed or stuck on what to write about.

Whatever your motivations are for starting this journey, you'll be sure to find something that resonates among these simple yet powerful reasons why you should keep a journal today!

 Creative entrepreneur writing in her journal

What Is Journaling

If you're interested in mindfulness and personal development, then you've probably heard about journaling. Journaling is a powerful tool that can help you reflect on your thoughts and emotions, gain clarity about your life, and develop a deeper understanding of yourself.

But what is journaling, exactly? In its simplest form, journaling is the act of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a notebook or journal. It can take many different forms, from stream-of-consciousness writing to more structured prompts or exercises.

So why is journaling such a valuable practice?

Well, for starters, it can help you gain perspective on your life. When you write down your thoughts and feelings, you can see them more clearly and objectively, which can help you make sense of them and find solutions to any problems you're facing.

Journaling can also be a form of self-care. Taking the time to write down your thoughts and feelings can be a calming and centred practice, especially if you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

In fact, many people find that journaling can help them reduce anxiety, improve their mood, and boost their overall well-being.

Different ways to approach journaling

There are many different ways to approach journaling, depending on your goals and preferences.

Some people like to write in a journal every day, while others prefer to do it once a week or whenever they feel inspired. You can write about anything that's on your mind, from your goals and dreams to your fears and challenges. You can also use prompts or exercises to guide your writing, such as gratitude lists, goal setting, or self-reflection questions.

The most important thing is to find a journaling practise that works for you and feels sustainable. It's okay to experiment with different approaches and see what resonates with you. The more you practise journaling, the more you'll discover about yourself and your inner world.

So if you're looking for a way to deepen your mindfulness practise and cultivate greater self-awareness, give journaling a try! It's a simple yet powerful tool that can help you connect with yourself and live a more intentional, fulfilling life.

Now, we'll dig deeper into the concept of journaling by looking at the reasons why it can benefit you.

Stressed creative entrepreneur writing in his journal 

16 Reasons Why Journaling Can Benefit You

Journaling may offer various benefits for individuals. Here are some of the reasons why journaling can be beneficial in your daily lives:

Improve Your Mental Health

Journaling can have a significant impact on your mental health. There are just a few benefits of journaling that can improve your mental health.

Whether you're dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, or simply looking to cultivate greater self-awareness and positive emotions, regular journaling practice can be a valuable tool in your toolkit.

1. Provides an outlet for stress and anxiety

When you're feeling mentally exhausted, it can be challenging to sort through your thoughts and emotions. You may feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to manage your difficult feelings.

This is where journaling comes in. By writing down your thoughts and emotions, you give yourself an outlet for your stress and anxiety. You create a safe space to express yourself without fear of judgement or criticism.

Journaling can be a cathartic experience, as you can gain emotional benefits from it. It can help you release pent-up emotions and process difficult experiences.

When you write about your stressors or anxiety triggers, you may find that they feel less overwhelming. You may gain clarity and perspective on the situation, which can help you manage your emotions more effectively.

There are many different ways to approach journaling for stress and anxiety. Some people prefer to write freely and openly about whatever is on their minds, while others prefer to use prompts or structured journaling exercises. You may also want to experiment with different types of journaling, such as gratitude journaling or goal-setting journaling, to see what works best for you.

Ultimately, the key to using journaling as an outlet for stress and anxiety is to make it a regular practice.

Set aside time each day or week to write down your thoughts and emotions. Make it a part of your self-care routine, just like exercise or meditation. With time and consistency, you may find that journaling becomes a powerful tool for managing your stress and anxiety and cultivating greater peace and clarity in your everyday life.

2. Increases awareness of feelings, thoughts, and behaviours

Journaling is known to promote self-awareness by allowing individuals to reflect on their emotions, thoughts, and actions.

Through writing down your experiences and reflecting on them, you may start to notice patterns or triggers that affect your mood or actions.

For example, if you're struggling with a particular issue at work or in a relationship, journaling about it can help you identify patterns in your feelings and behaviours. You may notice that you always feel anxious or defensive in certain situations, or that you tend to react impulsively without thinking things through.

This increased awareness can be powerful. It can help you make more conscious choices about how you respond to different situations and people.

You may start to see opportunities for growth and change that you hadn't noticed before.

3. A tool to work through difficult emotions in a constructive way

Another reason why journaling can benefit you is that it can be a valuable tool for working through difficult emotions in a constructive way. When you're feeling upset, angry, or frustrated, it can be tempting to lash out or suppress your emotions.

But neither of these approaches is healthy or effective in the long run.

By journaling about your difficult emotions, you give yourself a safe space to explore and process them. You can write about the situation that triggered your emotions, how you're feeling about it, and what you want to do next.

Journaling can help you gain perspective on the situation and come up with more constructive ways to cope with your emotions. It can also help you identify any patterns or triggers that may be contributing to your emotional distress.

Female creative founder writing in her journal 

Achieve Goals

Writing in a journal can help you reach your goals. Writing goals and tracking progress creates accountability and motivation.

Start by setting specific, measurable goals for yourself. Write them down in your journal and break them into smaller, actionable steps. Through journaling, you can track your progress and celebrate your successes along the way. You can also reflect on any obstacles or challenges you encountered and brainstorm ways to overcome them.

By regularly journaling about your goals, you stay focused and motivated, and you may find yourself achieving more than you thought possible.

4. Develops self-discipline and strengthens motivation

Through consistent journaling, commitment fuels the development of self-discipline, an essential tool towards unlocking the doors to personal growth and success!

Making a habit of journaling regularly can be challenging at first, but as you continue to practice, it becomes easier to stick to the routine.

Regularly allocating time for journal writing showcases a sense of self-control that can positively impact various aspects of one's life.

You may find yourself more motivated to pursue other personal or professional goals because you've already established the habit of standing up for yourself through journaling.

5. Keeps you focused on the task ahead

Journaling can help keep you focused and motivated by providing a space to plan out your tasks and goals.

It can be a great way to clarify your goals and break them down into actionable steps. When you write down what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there, you make your goals more concrete and achievable. You also create a roadmap for yourself, which can help you stay on track when things get challenging.

In addition to helping you clarify your goals, journaling can also help you stay mindful and present in the moment. When you write about your experiences and observations, you become more aware of what's happening around you.

This can help you stay focused on the task at hand rather than getting distracted by other things. It can help you prioritise tasks and identify any distractions or obstacles that may be preventing you from staying focused.

Pairing journaling with productivity tools such as OCCO London's Priority Pad can enhance effectiveness by prioritising and determining which tasks to focus on in a specific order.

6. Makes it easier to track progress towards your goals

With journaling, you have the ultimate roadmap to conquer your goals and make your dreams a reality!

By creating achievable tasks based on your goals, you can effectively utilise journaling to track and celebrate each significant milestone.

For example, in your weekly activity, you can set specific goals and tasks for the week. At the end of each day or week, you can reflect on what you accomplished and what still needs work. This allows you to track your progress towards your larger goals and make adjustments as needed.

The OCCO London Weekly Planner Pad can aid in proactively organising one's weekly tasks and goals across all areas of life, and it can be employed in conjunction with a personal journal.

Tracking progress in a journal also provides a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Seeing how far you've come can inspire you to keep pushing forward towards your goals.

Writing about your goals on a regular basis can help you pinpoint areas where you need improvement. Adjusting and taking corrective action will help get you back on track.

Creative entrepreneur writing in his journal in a cafe

Record Memories

The pages of your journal aren't just for scribbles and notes; they hold the key to preserving your most precious memories and experiences.

By writing about your day-to-day activities, thoughts, and feelings, you create a record of your life that you can look back on in the future.

Recording memories through journaling allows you to reflect on past experiences and learn from them. It can also be a way to relive happy moments and cherish them again.

7. Documenting important moments, events, and experiences

Capture every important experience and moment of your entire life through the art of journaling. Document them all, from memories to events, so you can relive them whenever you want.

For example, you may want to write about a special trip you took or an important event like your wedding day. These are memories that you'll want to remember and cherish, and journaling allows you to capture them in detail.

In addition, journaling can help you process and make sense of difficult or traumatic experiences. It can be a way to express your emotions and thoughts in a safe and private space, allowing you to work through them at your own pace.

8. A timeline for tracking changes in your life over time

Journaling can also serve as a timeline of your personal growth and development over time.

By documenting your thoughts, experiences, and emotions throughout different stages of your life, you create a visual representation of how you've changed and evolved.

This can be especially helpful if you're going through a period of transition or change, such as starting a new job, moving to a new city, or ending a relationship. Looking back on your journal entries from that time can help you see how far you've come and provide insight into what worked and what didn't.

Creative lady  journalling

Enhance Creativity and Self-Awareness

The act of journaling can be effective in improving creativity and self-awareness. Writing without criticism or restriction can access your creative thoughts and enable you to discover novel concepts.

For example, you can use journaling to brainstorm new projects or ideas, write poetry or stories, or simply explore your innermost thoughts and feelings.

Journaling can also help you become more self-aware by allowing you to reflect on your emotions, behaviours, and thought patterns. By identifying patterns in your writing, you can gain insight into areas of your life that may need improvement or attention.

9. Allows space for reflection, daydreaming, and exploring ideas

Unleash the power of introspection with journaling—a private sanctuary for self-reflection that illuminates your innermost thoughts and perceptions, unravelling the mysteries of your mind and the world beyond.

By taking time to reflect on your experiences, you can develop new insights and perspectives that may not have been apparent at first glance. This can help you gain clarity about your goals and aspirations, as well as identify areas of your life that may need attention.

It can also be a space for daydreaming and exploring new ideas. By allowing yourself to write freely without judgement or criticism, you may discover new interests or passions that you never knew existed.

10. Unblocks writer's block or creative blocks by giving ideas more space to expand

Writer's block or creative blocks are common challenges for anyone who engages in writing or any form of creative expression.

Journaling can be an effective tool to overcome these obstacles by providing a safe and non-judgmental space to explore and develop ideas.

When you're struggling with writer's block, it can be helpful to write about your frustrations or negative feelings about being stuck. This can help you identify the root cause of your block and develop strategies to overcome it.

What's more, it provides an opportunity to explore and expand ideas without the constraints of perfection or criticism. Through free writing, one may uncover fresh insights and viewpoints that can stimulate creativity.

11. Develop self-awareness about your behaviour, personality or likes/dislikes & weaknesses

The practise of journaling can assist in developing self-awareness on various levels, ranging from behaviour and personality traits to preferences and weaknesses.

By regularly reflecting on your experiences and emotions in your journal, you may start to notice patterns in your behaviour that you were previously unaware of.

For example, you may discover that you tend to avoid conflict or that you have a tendency to procrastinate.

This self-awareness can allow you to make conscious efforts to change certain behaviours or habits that may not be serving you well. It can also help you better understand your own values and priorities, which can inform important decisions in your life.

12. Improves problem-solving skills

Unleash your inner problem-solving mastermind with the power of journaling!

Writing about a particular challenge or issue can be the key to unlocking a world of solutions. By deconstructing it into bite-sized pieces and examining it from all angles, you'll be amazed at what insights you can uncover.

Through this process of reflection, you may come up with new insights or solutions that were not immediately apparent before. Writing about your thought process as you work through a problem can also help you clarify your thinking and identify any biases or assumptions that may be hindering your progress.

Creative entrepreneur writing in his journal

Strengthen Relationships

Journaling can serve as an effective means of enhancing relationships, be they with friends, family, or romantic partners.

By reflecting on your interactions and experiences with others in your journal, you may gain new insights into your own behaviour or communication style that could be impacting your relationships.

You can also use journaling to express gratitude towards the people in your life, which can help foster feelings of love, appreciation, and connection.

13. Ensure a deeper understanding of people’s intentions, emotions and motivations

Through the art of journaling, the doors to a deeper understanding of those around you swing wide open, revealing their intricate intentions, tumultuous emotions, and fiery motivations.

Unlock a whole new world of understanding by carefully observing the behaviour of those around you and jotting down insights. By doing so, you'll be amazed at the fresh perspectives you gain on their actions and attitudes.

For example, if you're having trouble understanding why a friend or colleague acted in a certain way, journaling about the situation can help you identify possible reasons and gain empathy for their perspective.

This increased understanding can lead to more meaningful and fulfilling relationships, as well as improved communication and conflict-resolution skills.

14. Improves communication when writing things down instead of saying them aloud

Journaling can also improve your communication skills by providing a safe space to express your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or interruption.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to articulate our thoughts and emotions in conversation, especially if we're feeling overwhelmed or vulnerable. Writing things down can help us organise our ideas and express ourselves more clearly and effectively.

Additionally, writing in a journal can also help you practice active listening and empathy towards others. By reflecting on conversations or conflicts after they occur, you can identify areas where you may have misunderstood the other person's perspective or failed to communicate your own thoughts and feelings effectively.

15. Helps develop empathy towards others

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Journaling can be a powerful tool for developing empathy for others.

Keeping a journal and reflecting on personal emotions and experiences can lead to a heightened understanding of vulnerability when facing challenges. This increased self-awareness can help you better relate to others who are going through similar experiences.

Moreover, journaling about your interactions with others can help you see things from their perspective and gain empathy for their struggles and challenges.

This can improve your relationships and communication with others, as well as make you a more compassionate and understanding person overall.

16. Ability to connect past experiences with the present context ​

Writing in a journal can link your past and present experiences. Thinking about past experiences and emotions can help you better understand their impact on your current thoughts, feelings, and actions.

For example, if you experienced a traumatic event as a child that still affects you today, journaling about it can help you understand how it has shaped your beliefs and behaviours. This newfound understanding can lead to personal growth and healing.

In addition, journaling about past successes and accomplishments can boost your self-esteem and motivation, reminding you of your strengths and abilities.

Overall, journaling can be a valuable tool for personal growth, self-reflection, and improving relationships with others. Whether you choose to write daily

Now that you have a clear understanding of the 16 ways journaling can benefit you, let's cover the topic of how to actually journal.

Creative lady journalling sat on her bed

10 Easy Steps To Writing Your Journal

Journaling can be an easy process. We will cover the steps for writing a journal in a brief and concise way. Here are the 10 easy steps to start writing your journal:

1. Choose your journal

Decide on the type of journal you want to use. There are many different options, from a traditional paper notebook to a digital app. Choose something that feels comfortable and accessible to you.

Take a look at the Morning Mindset Journal. It will help boost your productivity with an easy-to-use morning routine that sets you up for the day. Whether you want to grow a creative business or achieve ambitious goals, this journal will support you every step of the way.

2. Set aside time

Make time in your schedule for journaling. Whether it's a few minutes in the morning or before bed, having a regular time set aside can help make journaling a habit.

3. Find a quiet space

Choose a quiet, comfortable space to write where you won't be interrupted. The more space and clarity you have when thinking the better.

4. Get comfortable

Take a few deep breaths, stretch, and get comfortable in your writing space.

5. Reflect

Take a moment to reflect on your day or on any topics that come to mind. Think about what you want to write about.

6. Start writing

Begin with a simple sentence or phrase and let your thoughts flow. Write as much or as little as you want.

7. Be honest

Don't worry about grammar or spelling. Write honestly and openly, without judgment. This practice is for you, and only you!

8. Write regularly

Make journaling a regular habit. Try to write every day or at least a few times a week.

9. Review your writing

Take time to review your writing from time to time. Reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and progress.

10. Enjoy the process

Remember that journaling is a personal, introspective process. Enjoy the journey of self-discovery and growth that comes from journaling.

Through the implementation of these basic procedures, you can initiate the appreciation of the multiple advantages that derive from journaling. These may encompass heightened cognitive lucidity, decreased tension, and intensified self-knowledge.

With all we have covered, you are probably now thinking, "What are the best journals to use?" To save you the hassle of searching around, we have picked out the top 5 for your convenience.

Entrepreneur thinking whilst writing in his journal 

Top 3 Must-Have Journal Products

These are the top 5 journal products that may be worth considering for your journaling needs:

1. OCCO London's Morning Mindset Journal

First on the list is The Morning Mindset Journal which is designed to help creative people start their day with intention and purpose.

This morning journal is designed to help you focus on the positive aspects of life, practise gratitude, and remind yourself of your vision and purpose.

The journal includes daily prompts that encourage you to meditate, move your body, reflect on what you are grateful for, set affirmations for the day, and plan out your goals. It also includes inspiring coaching questions to help you create deeper connections with yourself and your goals.

With this journal, you can start each day with a positive mindset and be ready to take on whatever life throws at you.

Top benefits:

  • Offers a positive mindset
  • Increased focus and clarity
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Higher productivity
  • Improved mental health

Brand: OCCO London

Number of months of use: 3 months of journaling

Colours available: Black and White

Dated or undated pages: 110 gsm ivory pages

Size: A5 Hardback Journal

Layflat: 100% Lay Flat Binding

Vegan friendly: cotton-based vegan cover

Recyclable: Biodegradable

FSC-certified paper: FSC-certified paper

Price: £35


2. The Five-Minute Journal from Intelligent Change

This journal allows you to take at least 5 minutes each day to enjoy your life. The 5 Minute Journal for Women and Men is designed specifically for positive manifestation and increased confidence as you go about your day.

You may start your day with gratitude and conclude it with in-depth reflection using our wellness diary. This optimism journal contains enough pages to last six months. It includes weekly tasks, gratitude, daily highlights, inspiring quotes, daily affirmations, and self-reflection exercises.

This journal represents the pinnacle of excellence. They are available in a variety of colours to match your personal style. Each personal diary is handcrafted from recyclable, environmentally produced paper and has a natural linen fabric cover.

Top Benefits:

  • Cultivates gratitude and mindfulness
  • Increases self-awareness and personal growth
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Improves mood and happiness

Brand: Intelligent Change

Colour: Earth Green

Cover material: Linen

Binding: Unknown Binding

Item Dimensions: 22.1 x 13 x 2 cm

Price: £30


3. The Gratitude Journal from Daily Empowerment

This Gratitude Journal will be your faithful companion on your journey to becoming a better and more fulfilled person. It is filled with powerful affirmations and inspiring statements that will keep you engaged, on track with your spiritual journey, and connected to your divine energy.

You'll be able to capture your thankfulness on each page by practising gratitude, which will fill your heart with a sense of abundance and set you up for a good day.

This diary will also assist you in beginning your day with a positive goal that will keep you focused on what is most important to you, and ending it with meaningful reflection on the present day.

Top Benefits:

  • Better focus and more clarity of mind
  • Healthier self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Heighten awareness of your own being
  • A greater sense of fulfilment and more.

Language: English

Colour: Unknown

Pages: 181 pages

Item Dimensions: 15 x 1 x 22 cm

Price: £9.99

These are our picks of the top three journals that can benefit you in various ways. Whether it's cultivating gratitude, increasing self-awareness, or simply starting your day with a positive mindset, these journals can help you achieve your goals and improve your mental health.

Choose the one that resonates with you and start journaling today!

Maybe you are still seeking additional information after gaining some useful knowledge about journaling. In the frequently asked questions section below, we have gathered several of the most commonly asked questions to this end.

Creative lady with glasses sat on her journalling

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions asked about journaling:

How can writing down my thoughts improve my mental health?

Journaling is a powerful tool that can help you manage your emotional health, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your overall mental health. When you write down your thoughts and feelings, you gain greater insight into yourself and the issues that may be causing you distress.

Writing in a journal allows you to express yourself without fear of judgment or criticism from others, which can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with social anxiety or have difficulty expressing themselves verbally.

Additionally, journaling can help you identify patterns in your thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing to your mental health struggles. By recognising these patterns, you can work to change them and develop healthier habits.

Overall, journaling is a simple yet effective way to improve your mental health and well-being.

How often should I write in a journal?

There is no set rule for how often you should write in a journal, as it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and goals.

Some people find it helpful to write every day as a way to process their thoughts and emotions, while others may only write once a week or even less frequently.

If you are new to journaling, it may be beneficial to start with a set schedule, such as writing for 10 minutes every morning or evening, and then adjusting as needed. The important thing is to be consistent and make journaling a regular part of your routine.

What kinds of topics may I want to include in my journal?

When it comes to journaling, there are no rules about what topics you should or shouldn't write about. The beauty of journaling is that it's a personal and private space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings, so feel free to write about anything that comes to mind.

That being said, here are some common topics that many people find helpful to write about in their journals:

1. Gratitude: Write down things that you are thankful for each day.

2. Reflections: Reflect on your day or a specific event and what you learned from it.

3. Goals: Write down your short-term and long-term goals and how you plan to achieve them.

4. Emotions: Explore your emotions and try to identify their root causes of them.

5. Self-care: Write about ways you can take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.

6. Relationships: Reflect on your relationships with others and how they impact you.

7. Creativity: Write about any creative ideas or projects you have in mind.

Remember, these are just suggestions, and you should write about whatever feels most relevant and helpful to you.

What are some ways journaling can help me stay organized?

What are some ways journaling can help me stay organized?

Journaling can be a powerful tool for staying organised and on top of your daily tasks and responsibilities. Here are some ways that journaling can help:

1. To-do lists: Writing out a daily or weekly to-do list in your journal can help you prioritise your tasks and keep track of what needs to be done.

2. Goal tracking: By writing down your short-term and long-term goals in your journal, you can track your progress and stay motivated to achieve them.

3. Scheduling: Use your journal to plan out your schedule for the day or week, including appointments, meetings, and other commitments.

4. Idea generation: Jotting down ideas for projects or tasks in your journal can help you stay organised and remember important details and deadlines.

5. Brainstorming: If you're feeling overwhelmed or stuck on a particular task, journaling can help you brainstorm and come up with new ideas and solutions.

Overall, journaling is a versatile tool that can benefit your mental health, personal growth, and organisation. By making it a regular habit in your life, you can reap the many rewards of this simple yet powerful practice.

How does expressing myself through writing help me grow as an individual?

How does expressing myself through writing help me grow as an individual?

Expressing yourself through writing can be a powerful tool for personal growth and self-discovery. Here are some ways that journaling can help you grow as an individual:

Self-awareness: Writing about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences can help you become more self-aware and gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

Emotional regulation: By exploring and processing your emotions through writing, you can learn to regulate them more effectively and manage stress and anxiety.

Problem-solving: Journaling can help you work through problems or challenges in your life by allowing you to explore different perspectives and come up with creative solutions.

Creativity: Writing can also stimulate your creativity and imagination, allowing you to think outside the box and explore new ideas and possibilities.

Honesty: Journaling can be a safe space for you to be completely honest with yourself, which can help you build self-trust and authenticity.

Reflection: Reflecting on your experiences and growth through writing can help you see patterns in your behaviour or thinking and make positive changes.

Gratitude: Writing about what you are grateful for can help you cultivate a more positive outlook and appreciate the good things in your life.

In general, expressing yourself through writing can be an empowering and transformative experience that helps you grow as an individual. By making journaling a regular habit, you can unlock new insights and perspectives that can enrich your life in countless ways.

Creative male writing in his journal 


From improving your mental clarity to aiding cost-effective organization, so many benefits come from engaging in the practise of journaling—and these are just some of the reasons why you should journal!

By giving yourself the chance to express your emotions, brainstorm ideas, and set meaningful goals, you gain access to unparalleled insight on how to best plan out your future and develop lasting resolutions for personal issues or challenges if any exist!

As long as you find a writing medium that works for you and make jotting down thoughts a regular part of your lifestyle, chances are that it will lead to fantastic growth opportunities throughout your life journey!

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family, and do not forget to leave your feedback in the comment section.

OCCO London is always here to help individuals like you find the best products to support your journaling journey.

Happy journaling!


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