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35 Thought-provoking journal prompts to help you reflect and recharge

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Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, and Marie Curie all did it. Barack Obama and Oprah do it, and both have said it’s been a critical part of their success. The magical practice in question? Journaling. 

It’s no wonder that everyone from great world leaders, scientists, and artists, past and present, have relied on writing down their thoughts. Keeping a journal happens to be one of the most effective and easiest forms of self-care. And thankfully, it doesn’t cost anything to do. Science backs up the benefits of writing in a journal, too. The practice can not only improve mindfulness and give you an outlet for your thoughts, worries, and dreams; it can also improve self-confidence, support a stronger immune system, and help combat anxiety. One 2018 study suggests that writing about positive experiences for just 15 minutes a day three times a week may help ease feelings of anxiety and stress and boost resilience.

With all of that in mind, it’s clear that focusing on your mental, in addition to your physical, well-being goes hand-in-hand with weight care. That’s why we encourage Found members to keep a journal. When you take time to reflect on yourself and your mindset, it can go a long way toward practicing self-compassion as you work toward achieving your wellness goals. Journaling is that rare type of self-care you can do anytime, anywhere. You don’t need anything except yourself and somewhere to jot down your thoughts—whether a pen and paper, a phone, or a computer. 

Contrary to popular belief, you really don’t have to set aside a ton of time to do it. All you need is 5 or 10 minutes (though sometimes, once you start journaling, those thoughts and words just keep flowing). To make it a habit you’re more likely to stick to, try tacking your journal session onto another established habit in your day or week, such as journaling right when you wake up, while you have tea or coffee in the morning, after your lunch break, or when you get home from work every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. 

There’s nothing to it. Just start writing! Remember, journaling isn’t about writing something perfect—there’s no audience. What you write is just for you, and it’s not about what comes out on the page. It’s more about taking time to pause, reflect, and reconnect with yourself, and giving your mind a little extra space.  

Of course, there are always those days where it’s tough to stare down a blank page, even for seasoned journalers. That’s why we put together a bunch of prompts and questions to ask yourself to get started. Happy journaling!

  1. What are three ordinary things that bring joy into your life?

  2. What would you benefit from letting go of right now?

  3. What are five things that inspire or motivate you at the moment?

  4. What’s one boundary you’re working on setting? How can you truly set and honor that boundary?

  5. What positive changes have you made in your life over the past year?

  6. What are you most grateful for today? Why?

  7. What’s one thing you’re looking forward to right now?

  8. Where do you want to be in five years? What three things can you do to work toward that goal?

  9. What’s one thing that made you smile today? 

  10. What personal values are most important to you (loyalty, honesty, etc.) and why? 

  11. Fill in the blank: My life would be much less fulfilled without ________. Why? 

  12. Describe three things in your vicinity that you feel gratitude toward (e.g. a pet, an area of your home you love, etc.) 

  13. Fill in the blank: I always feel good when I ________ every day. Why? 

  14. What are three things you’d like others to know about you, that they may not know already?

  15. What difficult thoughts or emotions have been coming up for you this week?

  16. What are your top three strengths? How do they positively impact those around you? 

  17. Fill in the blank: The one thing that always puts me in a bad mood is ________. What strategies can you use to acknowledge, process, and release those negative feelings? 

  18. Who’s one person you’re genuinely grateful for today? Why?

  19. What are you most afraid of today? Have your fears evolved over time? How so? 

  20. Write about a time where you felt truly happy or content. 

  21. Describe an obstacle that’s in the way of your contentment. Can you come up with two potential solutions to overcome that obstacle? 

  22. What area of your life are you happiest with right now? Why? 

  23. What’s one thing you can do today to make time for yourself? 

  24. If you could do anything you want for an entire day, what would you do? 

  25. Describe a challenging situation you’ve gone through recently. Did you learn anything or discover something about yourself from it? 

  26. Name five things that you’re good at. 

  27. Describe a time when you felt really proud of yourself. 

  28. What has been keeping you awake at night lately? 

  29. Write a thank you letter to someone who really matters to you right now.

  30. How do you want to spend your free time today (or tomorrow)? 

  31. What did you love to do most as a child? 

  32. What do you want to do more of in your life?

  33. What do you want to do less of in your life?

  34. Name five things your past self would love about your current self. 

  35. List three things you can start doing today to show yourself more love.

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