106 Journal Prompts to Beat Depression & Rewrite Your Story

Feeling stuck in a fog of thoughts? You’re not alone. Many turn to journaling as a beacon through the haze of depression. But, let’s be honest, starting can be the hardest part. That’s where journal prompts come in – your secret weapon to unlocking the words that are just waiting to pour out.

In this article, you’ll discover prompts that do more than scratch the surface. They’re designed to dive deep, offering a path to explore your inner world and maybe, just maybe, find a glimmer of clarity. Stick around, because you’re about to embark on a journey that could transform the blank pages of your journal into a map of self-discovery.

Benefits of Journaling for Depression

When depression weighs heavy on your shoulders, journaling can become your unexpected friend and ally. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is like having an intimate conversation with yourself, one that honors your experiences without judgment. It’s proven to help reduce stress, manage anxiety, and cope with depression.

Journaling shines a spotlight on your inner turmoil and creates a safe space for emotional release. Think of it as a personal tool kit that helps you navigate the stormy seas of depression, giving you a sense of control and empowerment. Reflecting on paper helps you spot patterns in your thoughts and behaviors, making it easier to identify triggers and wrestling them down on your path to well-being.

If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are some prompts designed to coax out those hard-to-reach thoughts:

  • Today I feel ____, because ____
  • I am strongest when ____
  • One thing that’s good about today is ____
  • A situation I handled well recently was ____, and that makes me feel ____
  • I felt proud of myself when ____
  • The person who always brings a smile to my face is ____, because ____
  • Something I’m looking forward to is ____
  • I feel peaceful when ____
  • If my body could talk, it would say ____
  • The emotions I find most difficult to cope with are ____
  • When I’m kind to myself, I ____
  • My favorite place to find solace is ____
  • A song that resonates with my current mood is ____, because ____
  • Three things I’m grateful for today are ____
  • If I could give my younger self some advice, it would be ____
  • The best part of my morning is ____
  • A goal I’m working toward is ____, and it’s important because ____
  • A comforting memory I often think about is ____
  • The kindest thing someone did for me recently was ____, and it made me feel ____
  • I am hopeful about ____, even though ____

With each prompt, you’ll unearth valuable insights about yourself and how depression affects your life. It’s like peeling back layers to reveal the core of your resilience. Plus, it’s an excellent way to celebrate small triumphs and keep a record of your progress.

How Journal Prompts Can Help

When you’re feeling down, it’s not always easy to express what’s churning inside. Here’s where journal prompts become your gentle nudge towards self-expression. Journal prompts are specific questions or starters that aim to guide your thoughts, helping you dive deeper into your emotions. They’re like a conversation starter, but for your journal and your inner self.

Imagine having a caring friend who asks just the right questions - that’s what a good journal prompt does. It encourages you to explore and unravel your feelings in a safe space. Through this exploration, you can uncover not only the roots of your troubles but also the seeds of solutions that lie within you. And here at Wholesome, we’re all about nurturing those seeds of self-understanding and growth.

Self-awareness is the first step toward healing, and prompts give you the chance to look into the mirror of your thoughts. By engaging with these prompts regularly, you can:

  • Track changes in your mood and mindset over time
  • Discover patterns in your thoughts and behaviors
  • Cultivate a practice of daily reflection and gratitude
  • Set goals for your emotional and mental well-being

Here are 20 Wholesome journal prompts designed to guide you through the fog:

  1. What made you smile today?
  2. Describe a challenge you overcame recently.
  3. What’s one fear you’d like to conquer?
  4. Name three things you’re grateful for right now.
  5. Write about a time you felt proud of yourself.
  6. Who is someone that inspires you and why?
  7. Reflect on a lesson you learned this week.
  8. What’s a self-care activity that makes you feel better?
  9. Jot down your favorite quote and what it means to you.
  10. Describe a place where you feel most at peace.
  11. Acknowledge something you did well today.
  12. What steps can you take to forgive yourself for a mistake?
  13. Write a letter to your future self.
  14. What’re your feelings right now and what may have triggered them?
  15. Create a list of things you love about yourself.
  16. How do you want to feel tomorrow, and what can help you feel that way?
  17. Discuss a dream you hope to achieve.
  18. When do you feel most connected to yourself?
  19. Recall a memory that makes you happy.

Getting Started: Setting the Mood

Diving into your journal can be as comforting as a warm cup of tea on a chilly evening. Before you pick up your pen, it’s crucial to create an environment that feels safe and nurturing for you. Maybe that means lighting a candle with a scent that soothes your soul or playing a playlist of your favorite calm tunes in the background. Crafting this atmosphere is not just about being comfortable; it’s about telling your mind, “Hey, it’s okay to open up.“

As a Wholesome journal companion, you’ve made a stellar choice. Our guided journals are designed to gently walk you through the valleys and peaks of your emotions. Remember, there’s no “right“ way to journal. It’s your space to sprinkle your thoughts and feelings as freely as autumn leaves tumble from the trees.

Let’s fire up those journaling engines with prompts that touch on the heart of what you’re experiencing and cast a little light into the corners of your mind. Here’s a list of thought-provoking prompts to guide your path toward self-reflection and healing:

  • What’s a small victory that you achieved today?
  • Describe a challenge you’re currently facing and what it’s teaching you.
  • List five things you’re grateful for this week.
  • Reflect on a time you overcame a difficult situation. What did you learn about yourself?
  • Write a letter to your depression. What would you want to say?
  • What are three strengths you possess that can help you through tough times?
  • Imagine your best day. What does it look like?
  • If your mood was a weather forecast, what would it be today?
  • Who are the people that support you? Describe how they make you feel.
  • What’s one self-care act you can commit to doing for yourself this week?
  • Create a mood playlist. Which songs would you add and why?
  • What’s a fear you want to let go of? Write about how it would feel to be free of it.
  • Capture a moment you felt at peace. What brought you that tranquility?
  • What advice would you give your younger self about handling tough days?
  • Write down a mantra or affirmation that uplifts you.
  • Describe your safe space—real or imaginary. What makes it feel secure?
  • What is something new you’d like to try, and what’s holding you back?
  • Identify a thought that’s been causing you anxiety. How can you challenge it?

Prompt #1: Exploring Your Emotions

Tapping into your emotions can often feel like navigating a maze where each turn brings a new, unexpected twist. Let’s turn that maze into a map with journaling as your compass. You’re not alone on this journey; Wholesome’s guided journals are here to provide a nurturing beacon of light.

Dive deep into the sea of your feelings with these prompts. Before you start, remember to give yourself permission to feel without judgment. Your journal is your safe space.

  • What emotion took center stage in your life today?
  • Describe a moment this week when you felt truly understood.
  • What’s been weighing on your heart lately?
  • Whose smile warms you up from inside and why?
  • If your mood was a weather forecast, what would it be?
  • Capture a time you felt inner peace. What sparked it?
  • Which emotion do you find the hardest to express?
  • What’s a fear that’s been holding you back?
  • Recall a dream that left an impact on you.
  • Note down a song that resonates with your current feelings.
  • Sketch or write about a place where you feel safe.
  • Is there a memory that keeps resurfacing? Why do you think that is?
  • Write a letter to your younger self. What would you want to say?
  • Think about something you’re looking forward to.
  • Jot down a quote that speaks to your soul.
  • Reflect on a book or movie character you connect with.
  • What’s one thing you wish others knew about you?
  • Describe a challenge you overcame recently.
  • List five things you’re grateful for right now.
  • Write about a time you helped someone and how it made you feel.

These prompts are designed to be your guideposts, illuminating the pathway towards understanding your emotional landscape. While exploring, you might uncover hidden gems of insight that can help you foster growth and self-compassion. Keep an open heart and mind as you journey through your thoughts, using these prompts as stepping stones to deeper self-awareness.

Prompt #2: Reflecting on Your Triggers

Diving deep into what sets off your emotional whirlwinds isn’t always a walk in the park, but it’s a vital step on your healing journey. Triggers can sneak up on you, turning an okay day into a tough one. Your Wholesome journal is the perfect sidekick for this adventure, providing a cozy corner for those a-ha moments.

When you pinpoint your triggers, you’re taking back control. You’ll start to notice patterns, understand your reactions, and feel more prepared when those triggers pop up. Remember, it’s not about avoiding feelings; it’s about understanding and greeting them like old friends.

Here are 20 prompts to help you reflect on your triggers and decode your emotional responses:

  • When was the last time you felt unexpectedly upset, and what do you think caused it?
  • Describe a situation that always seems to bring you down. Why do you think it affects you so much?
  • What comments or actions by others have made you feel sensitive or defensive?
  • Think about a time when you felt angry or frustrated. What were the circumstances?
  • Can you identify a pattern in the emotions you feel after interacting with certain people?
  • What are some places or environments that make you feel uneasy or anxious?
  • Reflect on a recent conflict and what emotions it triggered in you.
  • What topics or discussions tend to make you feel uncomfortable?
  • Is there a particular time of day or week when you’re more susceptible to feeling down?
  • Recall a change or event that disrupted your emotional equilibrium. How did you react?
  • Think about a movie, book, or song that triggered strong emotions. What was it about that piece that affected you?
  • Are there specific seasons or weather conditions that influence your mood?
  • Describe a sensory experience (a smell, taste, sound) that brings about emotional memories.
  • Can you identify any social situations that repeatedly cause you stress or anxiety?
  • Reflect on a personal failure or disappointment. What did you feel, and what thoughts did it bring up?
  • Consider any habits or routines you have. Do any of them trigger a negative emotional response?
  • Have you ever been taken aback by your emotional reaction to something minor?
  • What sort of news or social media content tends to sour your mood?
  • Recall a time when you felt judged or misunderstood. What was the trigger?

Prompt #3: Identifying Negative Thought Patterns

Diving into the web of your thoughts can be daunting, but with the right prompts, you’ll uncover the not-so-great patterns that might be holding you back. Negative thought patterns can sneak up and throw a shadow over your day without you even noticing. That’s why it’s super important to spot these pesky patterns and understand how they affect your mood and actions.

Let’s jump in with some Wholesome prompts designed to shine a light on those thoughts and twist them into something more uplifting and positive. Ready to flex those journaling muscles? Here we go:

  1. What’s a recurring negative thought you often find yourself having?
  2. How do you feel physically when you’re caught in negative thinking?
  3. Write about a time your negative thoughts turned out to be unfounded.
  4. What’s the most common negative thought that pops up in your mind?
  5. How does this thought make you act towards others and yourself?
  6. Imagine your best friend had this thought. What would you tell them?
  7. Can you pinpoint a situation that triggers this negative thought?
  8. What evidence is there to support this negative thought? Is it factual?
  9. List three positive counterarguments to this recurring negative thought.
  10. Reflect on what your day might be like without this thought.
  11. What activities or hobbies help distract you from negative thinking?
  12. Consider the worst-case scenario of believing this thought. Now, how likely is it?
  13. Think about the root of this negative thought. When did it start?
  14. Write down how you could challenge this thought next time it appears.
  15. How might your life change if you let go of this negative thought pattern?
  16. Is there a pattern to when and where these negative thoughts usually occur?
  17. Reflect on what you could learn from these negative thoughts.
  18. What’s one small step you could take to shift this pattern?
  19. Draft a letter to yourself offering compassion for these thoughts.
  20. Consider who you would be if this thought didn’t define you.

Prompt #4: Finding Moments of Gratitude

Let’s switch gears and sprinkle some positivity into your journaling routine with gratitude. It’s no secret that acknowledging the good stuff can have a huge impact on your mental health. So, roll up your sleeves, it’s time to dive deep into the pockets of your life where even the smallest treasures shine bright. Remember, it’s the little things that often bring the most joy!

Gratitude journaling is more than just a feel-good activity. It physically alters your brain’s chemistry, reinforcing positive neural pathways. Picture gratitude as your mental health’s best bud, rooting for you on those cloudy days. When you’re ready, crack open your Wholesome journal and let’s unearth the golden nuggets of your day-to-day life. Here are some prompts to get your gratitude gears grinding:

  • What’s one thing that made you smile today?
  • Who is someone you’re thankful for and why?
  • Reflect on a time someone assisted you when you didn’t expect it.
  • Jot down three things about your home/environment that you appreciate.
  • Think of a personal skill that helped you solve a problem recently.
  • Note a tough situation that taught you a valuable lesson.
  • Describe the best part of your morning routine.
  • Recall a moment this week when you felt peace.
  • Write about a book or movie you’re grateful for its influence on you.
  • What’s one kindness you received or witnessed today?
  • List a friend who always has your back and why their support means so much.
  • Name a teacher or mentor who’s made a difference in your life.
  • Identify something you often overlook but genuinely treasure.
  • Express gratitude for your health and body, no matter where you are on your wellness journey.
  • Acknowledge an aspect of nature that recently wowed you.
  • Remember a piece of advice that stuck with you over time.
  • Highlight a particular tradition or routine that brings you comfort.
  • Think back to an unexpected good turn in your day.
  • Praise yourself for a personal accomplishment, however small.
  • Recognize a hard decision you made that’s had positive outcomes.

Prompt #5: Writing Letters to Your Depression

Taking pen to paper, you’re about to embark on a transformative journey with Wholesome journals—writing letters to your depression. It might sound a bit unusual, but trust this process. When you dialogue with your depression, you’re not just scribbling words; you’re confronting feelings, discovering insights, and reclaiming power.

Imagine depression as a separate entity that you can communicate with. This exercise allows you to express pain, frustrations, and, yes, even gratitude. Gratitude towards what you might ask? Well, for the strength you’ve mustered, the lessons learned, and the growth experienced.

As you begin, picture the depression sitting across from you. It’s no longer an ominous shadow but something you can see and address directly. Here are 20 powerful journal prompts to kickstart your letter-writing adventure:

  • What moments make me stronger than you, depression?
  • Can you list the lessons I’ve learned even while wrestling with you?
  • What challenges have I overcome despite your presence?
  • How have you changed my perspective on what really matters?
  • In what ways have I grown emotionally because of this battle?
  • What dreams will I pursue no matter how hard you try to hold me back?
  • How has my empathy for others been enhanced due to this experience?
  • What tiny victories can I celebrate today over you?
  • In what ways am I practicing self-care to keep you at bay?
  • Can you describe the support system I have in place that lifts me even on dark days?
  • What new strategies or therapies have I discovered to cope with you?
  • When was a moment where I felt joy, despite your whispers?
  • How have I learned to ask for help because of you?
  • What am I doing daily to nurture my mental wellness now?
  • Can you acknowledge the bravery it takes to face life with you on my shoulders?
  • What future memories am I excited to create once you’re less prominent in my life?
  • How will I celebrate the milestones of recovery along the way?
  • What aspects of my life remain untouched and beautiful despite your chaos?
  • What friendships have been forged or strengthened in the fire of this struggle?
  • How has my journey with depression inspired others or myself?

Prompt #6: Reimagining Your Narrative

As you journey through the valleys of your emotions with your trusty Wholesome journal, let’s pivot to a powerful tactic: reimagining your narrative. This isn’t just about rewriting your story—it’s about embracing the author within you to script a tale of triumph and self-discovery.

Imagine your life as a best-selling novel. You’re the protagonist, the hero, the one calling the shots. It’s time to flip the script! Reflecting on your past and present through writing can help you envision a future where you’re in control. Who knows, you might just uncover a plot twist that changes everything.

Check out these prompts that encourage you to take the reins and steer your narrative towards a horizon of hope:

  • What title would you give to your life story?
  • Describe a scene from your past where you felt invincible.
  • Write about a moment you made a choice that changed your path.
  • How would you portray your struggle with depression as a character in your story?
  • Pen down the strengths and superpowers that make you unique.
  • What’s the grand adventure you aspire to embark on?
  • Envision an alternate reality where your dreams are your reality; what does it look like?
  • Craft a dialogue between you and your future self.
  • If your life had a theme song, what would it be and why?
  • Create a chapter in your book about overcoming your latest challenge.
  • Imagine a world where your depression doesn’t define you; detail the first day in this new life.
  • What advice would your main character (you) give to someone else in a similar situation?
  • Draft the happy ending you’re working towards.
  • Illustrate a setback in your journey and how you turned it into a comeback.
  • Envision a letter from a loved one praising your courage and resilience.
  • Compose a list of affirmations that your protagonist clings to in moments of doubt.
  • Describe a turning point in your life and how it led to personal growth.
  • Chronicle the valuable lessons from each chapter of your life.
  • Write a pivotal scene where you conquer a significant fear.
  • Picture the allies, mentors, and sidekicks that join you on your quest.
  • Detail the moment you realized you were more powerful than your depression.


Embracing the power of journaling can be a transformative step in your journey through depression. By using the prompts provided, you’ve gained a resource that encourages introspection and offers a path to reframe your narrative. Remember, you’re the author of your own story and with each word you pen, you’re taking back control. Let your journal be a safe space where hope can flourish and where you are free to imagine a life beyond depression’s shadow. Your story isn’t over; it’s just waiting for you to write the next chapter. Keep the Wholesome journal close as you continue to explore your inner world and discover the strength that lies within your words.

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