Mental Health · Personal Development · Self-Love

Beginner Hacks to Journalling

By Jessica Grant

“Dear Diary,

      You’ll never guess what happened to me today! I was in class and [insert crush’s name here]…”

My journal doesn’t look much like that these days, but I’m sure a number of us have an old one just like that stuffed away in a box somewhere. Our 14 yr old selves had it right. Journalling is an opportunity to freely let our thoughts flow, and if you’ve worked with one of our coaches, you’ve probably heard us mention picking up a pen and paper on more than one occasion. Here’s why.

Journalling can help you:

  1. Process Emotions – writing allows you to channel into how you are feeling. A times, we may mistake one emotion for another and this can help give you clarity on what it is you are actually feeling!
  2. Sort Through Thoughts – Formulating words on paper we can begin to understand ourselves better and get things clear in our mind. By simply writing out a list, you can organize your thoughts and start tackling one thing at a time.
  3. Recognize and Let Go of Old Patterns and Situations – Often times the same things will keep happening over and over. This is because we have created a thought pattern associated with a specific situation. Only when we are able to see these patterns can we heal them.

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Not sure where to start? Let’s get your inspiration flowing.

Step One: Get Your Hands on a Journal That Speaks to You

Raise a hand if you love stationary and pens!

It hopefully won’t be talking to you in the aisle (unless you live in the wizarding world of Harry Potter) but it should speak to your soul. The goosebumps you feel along your spine or the pull you receive from your stomach, that’s your intuition trying to get your attention. Let it guide you.

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Maybe you’ve even received a journal you already love as a gift this Christmas. If not, take some time and browse your local bookstore. Choose one with a cheesy inspirational quote, colourful pictures or just a plain ole notebook.

Step Two: Let Your Pen Loose

There are many different methods to journaling and it may seem a bit strange at first but there is no right or wrong way to write. Put pen to paper and let the words flow:

  • Did your partner make you angry? Instead of reacting take a pause and let yourself see the situation clearly. Explain how you felt, what made you (or them) upset and different ways to address the situation.
  • Did something wonderful happen – cherish that moment!
  • Dealing with some crazy emotions – We all go through times of high stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. This is when I’ve turned to journaling the most and have had the most success in letting go.

Just get it out!

Here are My 4 Fav Journalling Strategies:

1. Question Yo’self!

Try some of these as journalling prompts:

  • Who am I?
  • What are my goals? Today, tomorrow, 5 years from now.
  • What do I want to accomplish in life? Write up a bucket list!
  • How do I want to show up everyday?
  • Who do I want to be one year from now?
  • What does my perfect day look like?

2. Free Your Writing

This is a great way to tap into your intuition and let it guide you.

Love would eat her vegetables to make sure her bod was getting all of the marvelous micronutrients it needs over the holidays.But love would never say no to a buttertart.-13

One way to free write is by composing an angry letter. Start by addressing it to the person who made you mad and don’t stop writing until that emotion has shifted inside of you. Often times anger becomes compassion and we see the situation from the others perspective.

Once you’ve written your angry letter – Get rid of that negative juju. Rip it up, bury it, burn it.

3. Unleash Your Inner List Junkie

I love lists! Don’t you? Try some of these:

  • 10 things that scare me
  • 20 things I love about myself
  • 30 new things I want to try
  • 40 things I am grateful for

4. Craft a Convo

I use this method the most. This technique is a conversation where you write both sides of the story.

  • Is there a situation that got you fired up? Write out what went down and how you felt during and after it happened.
  • Feeling hurt by a friend? Craft that angry letter and maybe you’ll start to understand it in a different way.
  • Something you want to tell your past self? Lessons you’ve learned and experiences you’ve had. Maybe you didn’t need to be so hard on that 14 yr old self.

Dialoguing out your sitch might help you come to a more objective perspective.

A Final Tip: Have Fun With It

This is a creative expression of YOU!

  • Doodle in the margins (who doesn’t love doing this?!).
  • Grab your fav set of markers and colour the pages.
  • Write daily affirmations and intentions. What do you want to affirm for yourself today? How do you wish to show up in this world? Write you intentions and reflect back at the end of the day.
    • “I am powerful”
    • “Today is an amazing day”
    • “I am present in every moment”
    • “My body is strong and I am beautiful”

Anything goes!

Just remember, that this is a process and your journal will change day to day. Allow yourself grace and understanding in whatever may arrive on the page.


If you liked this blog and want more guidance building your dream life in 2017, check out our Dream Life Design program! It starts Jan 17 with coaches Rana and Brittney, and there are limited spots available! Find out more now!

Photos by: Emma Love Photography

Related Articles:

One Way to Use A Journal to Change Your Life

3 Goal Setting Strategies That Changed My Life

Gratitude Gainz: The One Practice That Will Change Your Life

2 thoughts on “Beginner Hacks to Journalling

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