Journal Prompts for Adults: 8 Ways to Get Started

In this article, we explain how journal prompts for adults can help you in eight different areas of your life.

Journaling offers many benefits. It improves brain function, helps with depression, and works as a coping mechanism. For many, journaling offers the same benefits as meditation to help improve mood and outlook.

Journal writing prompts for adults help to start your process in journaling. The prompts can be designed for specific reasons, such as gratitude. Journal prompts might also be a variety of mental exercises that you can use to provoke creative writing or introspection.

The writing prompts are useful because it gives you a direction to focus your writing. For many adults, journaling is difficult to begin. If you’re not sure how to write a journal or what you should write about, journal prompts can help you get started. Many regular journal writers use prompts to help them focus.

1. Journaling Prompts for Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is an important concept for emotional clarity and one that few people master. The truth is that most people think that they’re self-aware. But the majority of people are not.

Self-awareness is more than just assessing ourselves or our environment. In order to truly understand your character, motives, and how the world sees you, you need to look at yourself honestly. Most people stop looking when it becomes uncomfortable unless they’re guided.

Journaling prompts can help you dig into your own internal journey in a way that develops self-awareness. This is important because being self-aware also helps you to build happier and more productive relationships. A self-aware person is able to monitor and improve their own life situations.

Example prompts:

The next time this happens I will…

When I feel X, I will Y

This reminds of when…

2. Journal Prompts for Mindfulness

Mindfulness is similar to self-awareness. Where self-awareness deals with the larger issues of who you are morally and spiritually. Mindfulness is your ability to be present in your current emotional state. Mindfulness lets you acknowledge how you feel in the moment.

Journaling for mindfulness is a wonderful mental health exercise. You can use bullet journaling, which means using a list form that doesn’t need advanced prose. You might work from a template. 

Template journals are excellent to help get you started. They might be found on social media, through your favorite writing site, or you can purchase them through Amazon. Look for one that resonates with your personality and purpose.

Example prompts:

Right now, I’m feeling…

This could be the last time I…

The first time I….

3. Writing Prompts for Creatives

Writing prompts aren’t just for journaling. It’s a great exercise for writers and artists. It helps to get the juices flowing and can help you develop new ideas.

Even when you’re not using your writing prompts for your creative profession, it can help improve your communication skills and writing. Fiction writers often use writing prompts to start stories. Many short story contests use writing prompts.

A lot of bloggers have used writing prompts for blogging on Wordpress and other venues. Remember, blogging is really journaling. It’s another form of keeping a journal, and it can serve the same purposes, whether you have your blog private or public.

Example prompts:

My hero is…

My darkest teacher is…

I remember when…

Still need help? Read our guide to conquering writer’s block.

4. Journaling Prompts for Well-Being

Journaling prompts can take a number of different forms. It’s a wide-open field. For fiction writing, the prompts might be based on genre or theme or color, or a specific word. The fun for fiction is in using the prompt but creating entirely original work.

Other prompts might serve a purpose for personal growth. You might have a year-long journal that starts with your new year’s resolutions. the prompts might include anything from straight journal entry options to prompt lists.

Your journaling prompts should speak to your own purpose. If you want to improve your mental or emotional well-being, your prompts should be based on self-awareness or geared to help improve your mood. You might just one prompts that helps you develop a bucket list or daily journal.

The is no wrong way in journaling. It can take on whatever form helps you and motivates you to create. Whether it’s talking about your favorite book or writing about your dream life, building a journaling habit is the key.

Example prompt:

This morning, I’m grateful for…

Yesterday, these three great things happened…

5. Journal Prompts for Self Discovery

When you approach journaling with openness, it can lead to great self-discovery. The scary part for many people is having their innermost thoughts down on paper. Someone might see it.

True self-discovery is raw and embarrassing. It’s scary. 

Remember that you can keep your journal completely private. No one ever needs to read it. To truly use your journal in a way that helps you emotionally organize your thoughts and inner feelings, you really do need to be completely honest on the page. Because often that’s the first time you’ll confront your true thoughts.

Example prompt:

Today, I learnt…

One day, I will…

Next year, I plan to…

Read our guide: How to Write a Journal.

6. Journal Prompts for Creative Writing

Journaling is a common assignment for creative writing courses. It’s also a habit that many professional writers keep throughout their lives. This can take the form of notebooks or individual journals to accompany work projects.

Many creative writers keep journals to work out their prose. They also keep journals that have nothing to do with their writing and everything to do with their lives. They might be lists of things around the house or simply things they enjoy.

Journaling is an excellent way to improve writing ability. As with anything, you improve with practice. Journaling gives you better control of your writing, and emotions.

Example prompt

Write a stream of consciousness based on your protagonist.

Write about meeting a personal hero.

Write about a villain from your past.

7. Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Care

You can use journaling as a quiet time just for you. This is important for every person. To really be able to totally look into their own thoughts and concentrate on self.

Most of our lives are about other people. Parents think about their children. Couples think about their spouses. Grown children are preoccupied with elderly parents.

Our lives run in a cycle where we rarely have time to devote just to ourselves. Use your journal to honor you. To really give yourself a few minutes in a day to just concentrate on what you’re feeling and what is important to you.

Example prompts:

I am angry about…

I am happy about…

I am ready to accept…

Read our guide to self-care for writers.

8. Journal Prompts for Your Early Morning Pages

A lot of people use journaling to keep morning pages. Morning pages might be the way that you start your day. It could be a list to organize what you need to do.

For many people, morning pages are more about centering their emotions or meditating. You might write a gratitude journal each morning. So your prompt would be to write a set number of things that you’re grateful for in your life.

You might also use your morning pages to plan goals or get rid of negative feelings. 

Example prompt:

Write about whatever is on your mind when you wake up.

The Final Word on Journal Prompts for Adults

Journal prompts offer adults a great way to open up their journaling experience. It offers a guided approach to their journaling. If you want to learn more, check out our guide with over 101 writing prompts.

FAQs on Journal Prompts for Adults

Can journal prompt books help develop a journaling habit?

Journals that are created to prompt you on each entry can be an excellent way to get in the journaling habit. There are different exercises and most of these pre-printed journals have their own theme. Some help develop gratitude or self-awareness. Whatever you’re working on internally, there’s a journal that can help you develop it.

Can journaling improve your writing?

Writing is a skill that you can improve with regular practice. Though you might approach your journal with less attention to grammar or style, the act of writing on a regular basis will help you improve your writing skills to a certain degree.

Does journaling help you emotionally or spiritually?

The answer to both questions depends on your commitment to journaling. You won’t gain mindfulness or introspection simply from the act of writing on a page. But you will gain these tools if you approach journaling mindfully to help cultivate an emotionally and spiritually balanced life. Journaling can be an excellent tool to help you make sense of the world.