75 Self-Care Journal Prompts to Nourish Your Spirit

Reflecting and getting in touch with who you are and what you need is a gift you can give yourself.

Published February 23, 2024
woman writing in notebook indoors

A little quiet time for yourself is incredibly important, and having a self-care journal is one great way to make that happen. Take some time each day (or week) to sit down and write in your journal. Maybe make yourself a cup of tea to sip while you write. And don't worry — we have plenty of self-care journal prompts to make this an easy task (because stressing over what to say is definitely not what you need).

Self-Care Journal Ideas About Gratitude

Noticing what makes your life wonderful is actually one of the best ways to take care of your mental health, but let's face it: it's not always easy. We get busy with kids, pets, parents, work, and all the adulting, and we lose track of what really brings us joy and peace. These gratitude prompts are all about noticing what delights and comforts you.

  • When did you feel peaceful in the last week?
  • What does joy look like in your life?
  • Look around you right now. What do you see that you love?
  • Describe the best meal you've eaten lately.
  • List ten little things you love that you would put in a care package for yourself to open every day.
  • What is the most beautiful thing you've seen in the last month?
  • What is your favorite way to decompress after a busy day?
  • Who do you trust in your life?
  • Describe a tiny thing that delights you.
  • What is your favorite smell? When was the last time you smelled it?
  • If you could thank someone from your childhood, who would it be? What would you say?
  • What makes your heart feel happiest?
  • Who has improved your day recently?
  • When you take care of yourself really well, what does that look like for you?
  • What does a really great day look like?
  • Pick someone in your life. What does that person love about you?
Quick Tip

Writing in your self-care journal shouldn't feel like a chore. Make it a comforting experience by putting on some quiet instrumental music or making a snack to eat while you write. Make sure you're comfortable and warm enough.

Prompts to Nurture Your Emotional Well-Being

Woman Sitting in her Living Room and Writing a Diary

It's hard being a human. Don't get us wrong — there's plenty to love about it. But if you're like many of us, you also struggle with feeling guilty about what you "should" be doing sometimes or anxious about not being good enough somehow. Treat yourself kindly and write down what you're doing well and what you love about yourself. These prompts can help you get started.

  • If you were writing to yourself as a friend, what would you say you're doing well?
  • What little miracles have you performed lately (you know there are a few)?
  • How can you cut yourself a little more slack when you're feeling down on yourself?
  • If you were a child, what would you need most from the adults in your life? How can you give this to yourself?
  • How can you tell that the people in your life love you?
  • What makes you proud when you think back over the past year?
  • What have you done lately that won't be undone tomorrow?
  • What have you done lately that might be undone tomorrow but also helped others?
  • How do you know you're enough? (You are.)
  • When did you see yourself making a difference in someone's life?
  • Pick a small thing to forgive yourself for. What is it?
  • What is beautiful about you?
  • When you think about something you do well, what's the first thing that comes to mind?
Quick Tip

If you haven't started your self-care journal yet, give some thought to the kind of journal you want to pick. For many people, a paper journal is more meditative, but you might feel more comfortable with a computer or even using a voice memo app on your phone. Your journal doesn't have to look like everyone else's.

Mindfulness Prompts for Your Self-Care Journal

We're busy, and it's hard to stay present in our lives. There's just a lot happening, and most of us spend a lot of time thinking about what we need to do next. These prompts will help you slow down and see the moment you're in right now (or some ordinary moments you've recently experienced).

  • Describe your breakfast, including the taste and texture.
  • What is touching you right now?
  • Close your eyes for a minute and really listen. Then open them and describe everything you hear.
  • Describe your favorite flower in detail. It's okay to look at a picture.
  • Sit in silence with your thoughts for five minutes. What did you think about?
  • How can you be more present in this moment right now?
  • What are your senses telling you?
  • What is the prettiest thing you can see in this moment?
  • Light a candle. Describe exactly what it looks and smells like.
  • Where are your clothes uncomfortable? Where are they comfortable?
  • Pick up an object you love. How does it feel in your hand?
  • How does it feel when you take a deep breath?
  • Bring your journal outside and look around your environment. What are you experiencing that brings you joy?
  • Make a food you love and eat it. Describe the experience.
Quick Tip

Writing isn't the only way to use a journal for self-care. You might also want to draw in your journal or take photos and paste them into it. There are no rules here.

Self-Reflection Journal Prompts to Help in Self-Care

man writing in his journal

Knowing how you feel or think about things can make it easier for you to take care of yourself. Your self-care journal can be an awesome way to become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.

  • What made you smile today? Why did it make you smile?
  • What worries you? How do you relax?
  • When did you last feel deep calm?
  • How would you describe your emotions in this moment?
  • Are you ever dishonest with yourself? Write yourself a letter explaining.
  • When did you learn something the hard way? How did you grow?
  • If you could give your past self three pieces of advice, what would they be?
  • Are there any negative thoughts that repeat in your mind? How can you reframe those?
  • What do you wish you'd known about the world when you were a teenager?
  • What is challenging for you with relationships? How can you help make this easier?
  • If you had three wishes for your emotional health, what would they be?
  • What are you struggling to understand about the world? What would help?
  • What are you afraid of? How can you feel safer?
  • Do you do anything that harms your sense of self? If you do, how can you change that?
  • What do you put off? Why? Is there a way to make it easier to do this thing?
  • When was the last time you felt like your emotional needs were met? How can you bring some of those elements into your life now?
Quick Tip

Think about how you work best when setting up your journaling schedule. If you don't get a lot of uninterrupted time (we're looking at you, moms of little ones), you might want to keep journaling sessions short or do it weekly. Or you might be someone who likes the routine of journaling every evening.

Related: 17 Practical Self-Care Ideas for Parents to Reset

Journal Prompts to Brainstorm Self-Care Ideas

The act of writing in a journal is already a type of self-care, but it's also an opportunity to sit with yourself and recognize what you need. These prompts can help you brainstorm ways to take care of yourself better.

  • Tune into your body. What is it hungry for right now? How can you help it?
  • What is something you've always wanted to learn?
  • What gets in the way when you try to take care of yourself? Is it internal or external? How can you get around it?
  • What's something you can do to make your sleep environment more soothing?
  • When do you feel lonely? What can you set up to support yourself at that time?
  • What is one thing you can drop from your schedule?
  • What is one habit you would like to change? Why?
  • What is one thing you can add to your schedule that you'll enjoy?
  • Have you had enough time with your friends? What could you plan with one of them?
  • What is one favor you could do for yourself that you'll enjoy tomorrow?
  • When was the last time you felt really happy? How can you add one thing from that experience to your life right now?
  • If you were a kid at camp, what would you want to get in a care package? Can you give those things to yourself right now?
  • What was the last great book you read? Can you find more like it from the library or bookstore?
  • What is most important to you in your life right now? How can you prioritize that?
  • What hurts on you right now? How can you soothe it?
  • How could you make the first 15 minutes of your day even better?

Related: 50 Self-Care Quotes You Deserve to Hear

Learn About Yourself by Journaling

Journaling for self-care is one good way to give back to yourself. Let yourself go when it comes to writing and see what you learn about yourself. You might find new self-care hobbies or small life changes you can make to take better care of yourself and make your world a little calmer and brighter.

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75 Self-Care Journal Prompts to Nourish Your Spirit