20 Journal Writing Topics for Your Daily Journal

Explore 20 journal writing topics that can help you start a healthy journaling habit.

Journaling can be a powerful tool to allow people to pursue self-discovery, record, and process difficult emotions, or track what they do daily so that they can remember later important events. Journaling is a common activity in middle school and high school, but it can also benefit adults.

If you want to begin journaling regularly, staring at an empty notebook page, or your best journal, may feel intimidating. It’s often hard to know what to write about beyond what you did yesterday and are planning on today.

How can you write deeper, more reflective entries? Good news! Many journal prompts for adults can help. But if you need some specific ideas for things to write about in a journal, are prompts below boost your creativity so you can enjoy a positive journaling experience.

Journal Writing Topics for Your Daily Journal

1. When Are You Happiest?

What makes you the happiest? While you might first think this is something big, for most people, the answer to this journal writing prompt is simple. Are you the most content at home curled up with a good book or spending time in nature?

As you contemplate what scenario makes you happiest, write a journal entry about this, exploring what the scenario is and why it makes you happy. You will find that there’s enough information for a well-rounded journal entry.

2. Who Is Your Best Friend?

A best friend is someone who makes us a little bit of who we are as a person, so writing about your best friend is a great journal idea. Your best friend may be a family member, neighbor, someone from work or church, someone you met in high school or college, or a good friend life sent you in another way.

Once you name the person, write about why they are your best friend. Consider how they complement you and how you feel when you are with them. You can also discuss how you met and grew your friendship as you build your journal entry.

3. What Is Your Culture, and How Does It Make You Feel?

Everyone has a cultural background. Even if you haven’t thought about what yours is, you have one. Take some time to reflect on your culture and how it defines you, and then write about it.

You may have to think a little about the question for this journal topic, especially if you are part of the cultural majority in your community. Still, as you consider who you are, you should be able to find some ideas about what your culture is.

4. What Was Your Favorite Toy?

Journal Writing Topics: What was your favorite toy?

Did you have a favorite toy when you were a child? What was it, and why did you love it? Write a journal about this toy and how it was a major part of your childhood.

This topic gives you the chance to think back to your childhood and pull a positive memory from it. You can discuss not only the toy and why you loved it, but also a core memory that comes from your time spent with that toy. Remember, too, that it could be something you didn’t have for very long, but loved very much when you had it.

5. What Is Your Favorite Type of Self-Care?

Self-care is a buzzword today but it can be an important part of your overall mental health. What is the best approach to self-care for you? Because this is such a personal topic, you’ll have quite a bit you could write about for this prompt.

For instance, is self-care spending an evening in a warm bath, or is it investing in your mental health through an appointment with a therapist? After defining what self-care looks like for you, you can also look at why it works so well for you, personally. This prompt is useful if you’re looking for deep things to write about in a journal. How do you feel after spending time with this form of self-care? For more, read our guide to self-care for writers.

6. What Does Your Perfect Day Look Like?

Describe your perfect day. Who do you spend it with? Where do you go? What activities do you engage in?

Remember, with this journal idea, you don’t have to limit yourself with budgets or geographic restrictions. Your perfect day can be anywhere you want it to be, as long as you feel inspired by it. So take some time to reflect on what you truly enjoy doing, who you would enjoy doing it with, and what that would look like all wrapped up into a day.

7. What Superpower Would You Choose, and Why?

Take some time to imagine what life would look like if you had a superpower. What power would you choose, if you could? Discuss this, then consider why you would want that power, and what you would do with it.

This is a creative prompt that requires a little bit of self-reflection, but it is a fun and less serious journal topic idea, too. It gives you the chance to think about a fantasy world where you could have a superpower, then express your creativity in your journal about what you would do with that power.

8. What Would You Change About Yourself or Your Life?

Here is another journal prompt that is a little self-reflective in nature. Describe what you would change about yourself if you had the opportunity, or what life circumstances you’d change if you could. If you discover this is something you could change, consider writing out some steps to take to change it.

On one hand, this journal idea gives you the chance to explore a fantasy where you can change something about your life that is not changeable. On the other hand, it can give you the chance to reflect on a change you actually can make, and that might fuel your desire to make the change.

9. What’s the Worst Thing that Happened to You In Middle School?

For many people, middle school is a challenging time in life. The hormonal changes, friendship struggles, questions of identity, and more challenging academics make life challenging. Consider your own middle school years, and discuss a time when you faced an embarrassing or challenging situation.

Write about this event and how you felt at the time. Use vivid details to capture the feelings and emotions you faced. Then, discuss the life lessons you have learned from that scenario that help you as an adult. Remember, though middle school events seem life-altering to a junior high student, they often teach us about character and people, and those lessons help us as adults.

10. How Has Social Media Influenced Who You Are?

Journal Writing Topics: How has social media influenced who you are?
Reflect on social media’s role in your life, and then write a journal entry about how it impacts you

If you are on social media, it is influencing you as a person. It may be impacting your choice of clothing, friends, or activities. Some of these can be good things, but some can be negative.

Reflect on social media’s role in your life, and then write a journal entry about how it impacts you. What have you changed about yourself because of social media? Are these good or bad changes? Would you behave differently if you did not have social media in your life? Answer these questions in a thought-provoking journal entry.

11. What Is Your Favorite Movie?

Do you have a favorite movie? Talk about what you love about that movie and why it has become your favorite. Is there a character you particularly connect with, or do you just enjoy the plot?

As you reflect on your favorite movie, you may find that it’s something you love because of a memory. Maybe it was a movie you often watched as a family when you were a child, or perhaps it is a central memory to your favorite sleepover memory. Add these thoughts to your journal entry as you write.

12. What Is Your Daily Routine?

If you are keeping a bullet journal, consider using it to analyze and optimize your daily routine. After making your bullet journal list outlining your daily routine, use it to see if there are ways you can optimize your time.

This type of journal entry can be a good way to self-reflect. If you keep a journal of your daily routine for several days in a row, you can see how you use your time and where you waste some of it. This activity can help you find ways to make your day more productive and efficient.

13. What Are You Thankful For?

If you struggle with mental health concerns, gratitude journaling can help you find a happy place inside yourself. Make a habit of adding a gratitude journal post to your weekly or monthly journaling habit.

You will be surprised at how quickly your mindset shifts when you start focusing on gratitude. Even if life is challenging, this journal entry will help you start thinking more positively.

14. What Do People Misunderstand About You?

Are there things about you that people usually misunderstand? Maybe it’s a personality trait that people mistake for a weakness, or maybe it’s the thought that you are an introvert when, in fact, you are an extrovert.

Look at your life and think about these things. Are there things people mistake about you? If so, write about them. As topics to journal about go, writing about how people perceive you is a nice type of introspective practice.

15. Visually Represent Your Best Character Quality

Art journaling lets you explore your journal entries with art instead of words. Think about your best character quality, and then draw a doodle or sketch that depicts it.

Sometimes, transforming your daily journal into art instead of writing can help you interpret your life events from a different lens. Consider switching from art to writing regularly to get a different perspective on your journal.

16. If You Got a Sudden Windfall, What Would You Do?

Imagine that you won the lottery or got an inheritance from a long-lost great uncle. What would you do with the money? This journal entry is fun because it gives you the chance to think about your life creatively without the confines of your normal budget requirements.

You don’t have to be selfish, either. Maybe there’s a charity project you’ve always wanted to tackle that you could have the freedom to take on now. Think through your options, and then describe how you’d spend the money.

17. What Is on Your Bucket List?

Journaling can be fun if you pick some random things to write about in a journal. For example, do you have a bucket list of items you want to do someday? Use your journal to write it down. This gives you a chance to explore some creative ideas and lets you have a place to write down these ideas to transform them into goals.

Having your bucket list recorded in this way will give you some goals to aspire to. You can always re-visit the list later and add to it or take away from it if your ideas change.

18. What Is Your Favorite Place, Food or Book?

Journal Writing Topics: What is your favorite place/food/book?
Writing about a favorite book is a easy to learn type of prompt

If you’re looking for things to write about in a journal, pick an everyday item, like your favorite food or your favorite place, and journal about it. Why is it your favorite? How does it make you feel?

This particular creative writing prompt has quite a bit of possibility because you can change the favorite to create a brand-new prompt. Any time you are getting writer’s block about your journal, think about a favorite you could write on and get back to your writing. For help with this prompt, check out our list of the best books and audiobooks.

19. Write Some Positive Affirmations That Apply to Your Life

Positive affirmations can help transform your thinking from negative to positive, but they can be hard to think of when you are in the moment. Consider writing some in your journal that you can refer to when you are having a difficult day.

This particular activity will be highly personal because the positive affirmations that make the most sense to you will differ from those that make sense to someone else. Take time to think through what would be a positive statement in your life, and record it in your journal.

20. What Is Your Best Character Trait?

Most people are good at finding fault with themselves, but can you find a positive thing about yourself? Think about your best character trait, and then write about it.

Why did you choose this trait? What about it are you proud of? How does it help you be a better or stronger person? You can build your self-awareness and self-esteem simultaneously with this journal writing prompt.

Finally, if you want to take journaling more seriously, we recommend using a dedicated app. It’ll save you time and encourage this practice and even offers prompts for things to write about in a journal. To learn about our recombination, read our Day One App review.

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