The Benefits of Journaling

Have you always been interested in the idea of journaling, but haven’t got around to it? If you need a reason to start, there are many benefits to doing so.

It’s Valentine’s Day! In the celebration of love, take some time to show yourself a little love by giving journaling a try.

Journaling is the act of putting the pen to page as a regular practice. Journals can be creative and personal, or both. They can be a way of working through issues, clearing your head, and help you connect to creative ideas.

There are many benefits to starting a journal. Here are just a few of the reasons to begin the daily practice of writing.

  • Clarify your thoughts and feelings. In doing so you gain valuable self-knowledge.
  • Numerous health benefits. Research shows journaling reduces stress, anxiety and depression, as well as having been linked to strengthening immune cells, reducing symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • It improves cognitive functioning.
  • Enhances your sense of well-being.
  • Improves your memory.
  • Gives you a place to work on your goals.
  • Sparks creativity in your writing process.

How to Start a Journal

Here are a few tips to establish a daily routine.

  1. Purchase a notebook you like and a pen that you enjoy writing with.
  2. Schedule time to write in your journal. The recommended time to journal each day is 20 minutes.
  3. Understand what you would like to write about and your reason behind starting a journal. Do you want to develop a regular writing practice to work on your skills as a writer? Then you may want to read Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way” and follow her process on morning pages. If you’re working to improve your state of mind or foster self-care, try starting a gratitude journal or let out your thoughts with a brain dump. Do you want to get more clarity on your life goals or, patterns of behaviour? You may want to start by setting some goals or just writing about your day so you can go back to review and identify consistent trends in your life. Need to purge some emotions? Then just allow yourself to write about how you are feeling. If you need help getting started, there are a number of writing prompts that can be found here.
  4. Dive in and write. Don’t judge your writing. Typos don’t matter, just start. This experience is just for you.

Whatever your reason for starting a journal, there are many benefits to starting one. You might just discover you have a talent for words in the process!

Have a lot on your mind? We understand during challenging times our mental wellness can be impacted. We encourage anyone experiencing severe stress, anxiety or depression to seek local counseling support programs and services provided by the province.

  • Visit for tools and tips to manage your mental health through COVID-19 or call the Healthline at 811 for support services in your area.
  • If your employee health plan includes access to an Employee and Family Assistance program (EFAP), remember that these services and resources are available to you, whenever and wherever you need it.
  • Stronger Minds by MindBeacon is a free digital program available for all Canadians. Check out this resource to browse through day-to-day guidance from MindBeacon’s team of clinical psychologists and access to videos, quick reads and resilience-building activities.