37 Journal Writing Topics for Your Daily Journal

Discover our guide with the best journal writing topics to beat writer’s block and improve your writing skills.

Journaling can be a powerful tool to pursue self-discovery, record and process difficult emotions, or track what they do daily to remember later important events. Journaling is a common activity in middle school and high school, but it can also benefit adults, as we explain in our guide: how to write a journal.

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 more profound, more reflective entries? Good news! Many journal prompts for adults can help. But if you need some specific ideas for writing about in a journal, the prompts below boost your creativity so you can enjoy a positive journaling experience.

Contents

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, or someone you met in high school or college.

Once you name the person, write about why they are your best friend. Consider how they compliment 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?

What was your favorite toy?
Writing about childhood memories is a great way to beat writer’s block

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, 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 creative prompt requires a little self-reflection, but it is a fun and less serious journal topic idea, too. It allows you 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 could change. If you discover this is something you could change, consider writing out some steps to take.

On the one hand, this journal idea allows you to explore a fantasy where you can change something that is not changeable about your life. On the other hand, it can give you a chance to reflect on a change you can make, which 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 middle school years, and discuss 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?

How has social media influenced who you are?
Journal writing is an excellent creative outlet that builds writing skills

If you are on social media, it is influencing you as a person. It may impact 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. 

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 it’s something you love because of a memory. Maybe it was a movie you often watched as a family as 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 keep 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 journal your daily routine for several days, 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 focus 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 reflective 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 allows you 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 can take on now. Think through your options and 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 revisit the list later and add to it or remove it if your ideas change.

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

What is your favorite place, food or book?
Journal writing can provide an opportunity for self-reflection and mindfulness

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 your favorite to create a 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 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, encourage this practice, and even offer prompts for writing about things in a journal. To learn about our recombination, read our Day One App review.

21. Who Do You Aspire To Be?

Write about your aspirations in life. Think about who you’d like to be regarding how you treat others. Perhaps you’d like to be confident, outgoing, kind, funny, sophisticated, and charming. Discuss the person you would like to become in ten years and describe your ideal impression that you’d like to leave when you meet someone.

22. Who Inspires You in Life?

Discuss the people who inspire you in life. This could be a teacher, family member, celebrity, or friend. Discuss why you admire them and how they inspire you. This could include how they treat others, their professional achievements, or their lifestyle. Make sure to discuss the details of why you are inspired to be more like them and include how you will take steps to become more alike.

23. Who Are Your Biggest Career Role Models?

Discuss your role models in life in terms of your career. If you are an aspiring politician, there may be presidents or politicians you look up to, like Barack Obama or President Joe Biden. Discuss what you would like to achieve in your career and who has already paved the way for you to follow. Make sure to include interesting details like your favorite subject in school or your current job or the first step you will take to achieve your goals.

24. What Is Your Favorite Thing About Your Hometown?

Writing about familiar places is an excellent way to understand the writing flow. For this prompt, write about your hometown and describe your favorite things. You could write about your favorite spot to have lunch, the friends and family who live there, or an interesting fact about the town’s history.

25. What Do You Do To Relax?

We all need to have things to keep us calm and relaxed; discuss your favorite way to relax and how you do it in this prompt. Perhaps you read a book, take a bath or go for a long walk. However you choose to relax, describe it with this prompt as if you’re selling it to the reader and encouraging them to try it too.

26. What Are Your Hobbies?

In this prompt, you can write about all your favorite hobbies. If you’re an avid reader, marathon runner, or crafter, describe your hobbies and why you love them. Include interesting information like techniques you’ve learned to improve your skills, why you started it and what inspired you to begin.

27. If You Could Be an Animal, Which One Would You Be?

This prompt is a common interview question, but it’s also a great journal prompt that offers a chance for self-reflection. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your greatest personality traits by comparing yourself to animals with similar traits. For example, you might be a Lion if you are confident and calm. 

28. Where Would You Live if You Could Live Anywhere in the World?

Imagine being free to live anywhere in the world; where would you pick? Write about this in your journal and describe why you’d love to live there. Perhaps you’d love to live in Paris to have fresh croissants every morning or maybe Italy to explore the Roman ruins on the weekend. Wherever you choose, describe in detail why you’ve picked it.

29. What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?

Everyone has one thing they want to do before they die. For some people, it’s skydiving; for others, it’s traveling to Europe and exploring the world. Whatever your activity is, describe it using this journal prompt. If you haven’t yet chosen an activity, use this as an opportunity to think about one thing you’d like to do (or see) before you die.

30. Who Would You Trade Places With for a Day?

Use this journal prompt to discuss who you would trade places with for a day if you had the chance. Maybe you’d like to trade places with your favorite celebrity or an astronaut currently living on the Space Station. Whatever piques your interest, describe why you’d like to trade places and what you’d like to experience for a day.

31. Describe Your Favorite Memory From Childhood

Childhood is a time full of magic and wonder; it often makes memories from this time in our life feel magical. We all have a favorite memory from when we were young. It could be a trip to the beach or spending time with grandparents over the Christmas break. When writing this prompt, choose a memory close to your heart and describe what you remember and why you cherish this memory 

32. Discuss Your Favorite Band and Explain Why You Like Them So Much

Music is medicine for the soul, so we all have a favorite band. In this prompt, discuss your favorite band. Include their genre, most famous songs, band members, and more! If you’ve ever seen them perform live, include this memory when describing why you love them so much.

33. Describe What Your Final Meal on Earth Would Be

It’s a common icebreaker question when meeting new people or attending an interview, so using this prompt can serve you well both creatively and professionally. Describe your final meal on Earth if you could only pick one starter, main course, and dessert. Nothing is off the table when writing this. Pick and choose from anywhere in the world to create your dream menu.

34. Describe Your Favorite TV Show

Discuss your favorite TV show in detail in the style of a review. Use this prompt to discuss your favorite characters, the storyline and why you love this TV show. To make this prompt fun, give the show a rating out of five and discuss aspects like the editing style, camera work and casting.

35. How Would Other People Describe You?

Self-reflection is an excellent journaling exercise. Asking yourself how others see you offers a chance to look at yourself from the views of others. It’s important to consider how others perceive you and ensure you come across as the person you want to be. Use this prompt as an opportunity to self-reflect and be kind to yourself.

36. What Is Your Oldest Memory?

Think about your oldest memory and describe it in as much detail as possible. Perhaps you remember being a toddler and falling over, or your first memory is of attending a wedding as a young child. Describe the memory in as much detail as possible and spend time using descriptive language to set the scene.

37. When Did You Last Go On Vacation, and What Did You Do?

Use this quick journal prompt to get into the flow of writing and beat writer’s block. Write about where you went on vacation, what you did while visiting, and how it felt to be on vacation. You can include details about the travel, accommodation and any restaurants or coffee shops you visited.

Looking for more? Check out our guide on how to beat writer’s block!

Author

  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.