20 Must-Try Journal Prompts for Easing Anxiety & Depression

Feeling like you’re riding an emotional rollercoaster lately? You’re not alone. Anxiety and depression can make you feel like you’re stuck in a loop of stress and low moods. But what if you could find a simple, soothing escape that’s as close as your notebook?

Enter the world of journaling—a safe haven where your thoughts can roam free. We’re about to dive into some creative and therapeutic journal prompts designed to ease your mind and lighten your spirit. Stick around; you might just discover the key to unlocking a more peaceful you.

Benefits of Journaling for Anxiety & Depression

Embarking on a journaling journey offers a powerful outlet for those battling anxiety and depression. It’s like unlocking a safe space where your thoughts and feelings can flow freely, without judgment or fear. Journaling acts as a personal therapist, always available to listen and help you navigate through your inner turmoil.

As you engage with your journal, you’re employing a form of expressive writing that’s shown to reduce stress and improve mood. Here’s how it works — when you transfer your experiences from mind to paper, you’re actually dissecting the emotional weight they carry. This process helps you clarify your thoughts, recognize patterns in your behavior, and identify triggers that may be exacerbating your anxiety and depression.

Another cherry on top? Journaling boosts your cognitive functions by engaging the analytical and rational part of your brain. This means that as you write about your worries, you’re likely to stumble upon solutions and coping mechanisms that you come up with! You’re effectively honing your problem-solving skills just by letting your pen dance across the page.

To get you started, we’ve curated a list of 20 Wholesome Journal Prompts to gently nudge you towards healing and self-discovery:

  • Today, I felt anxious or depressed when...
  • What are five things I’m grateful for, and why?
  • I feel calmest when...
  • What are the biggest stressors in my life currently, and how can I manage them?
  • A situation I handled well today was...
  • How do my anxiety and depression affect my daily life?
  • I feel happiest when...
  • A worry I can let go of is...
  • How can I be kinder to myself?
  • What are three strengths I have?
  • Describe a place where you feel peaceful and safe.
  • Write about a past situation where you overcame a challenge.
  • I felt proud of myself when...
  • My favorite self-care activities include...
  • What brings me joy?
  • How have I grown this week/month/year?
  • Today’s mantra for overcoming anxieties is...
  • I’d like to forgive myself for...
  • A goal I’m working towards is...
  • Three ways I can spread positivity are...

How Journaling Can Help Manage Anxiety & Depression

You’ve probably heard that writing down your feelings can act like a stress reliever, giving a sense of release from the clutches of anxiety and depression. Journaling does more than that: it allows you to track patterns and triggers in your mood, providing valuable insights into your mental health landscape.

When you’re overwhelmed with anxious thoughts or depressive states, it’s easy to get lost in the chaos. However, by jotting down your experiences, you ground those abstract concerns into concrete words. This reflection is like holding a mirror up to your psyche. It highlights your emotional loops, and just by acknowledging them, you’re taking the first step towards managing your mental health.

In moments when anxiety and depression loom over you, journaling offers a structured way to dissect the fog. It acts as a compass to navigate your emotional storms. Through targeted prompts, you’ll challenge internal narratives and shift your perspective towards healing. Your journal becomes a safe haven where seeds of self-compassion can flourish.

Starting a journal for the first time might feel daunting, so we at Wholesome have curated a set of prompts to ease you into the practice. They’re designed to tackle those tough questions and shed light on the brighter aspects of your life. These prompts encourage self-exploration, inviting clarity and calm.

  • What are three things you’re grateful for today?
  • Describe your perfect safe space. What does it look like?
  • Write a letter to your anxiety or depression. What would you say?
  • What are five strengths that you possess?
  • How did you overcome a recent challenge?
  • List all the people who support and encourage you.
  • What’s a fear you’d like to let go of?
  • Write about a time when you felt truly happy.
  • What’s something you can forgive yourself for?
  • How does your dream day start and end?
  • Identify a thought that’s been bothering you and reframe it.
  • Create a list of activities that make you feel peaceful.
  • When do you feel most connected to yourself?
  • What qualities do you admire in others that you also have?
  • Describe a situation where you showed courage.
  • Who are your role models and what qualities do they have?
  • What would you say to someone who feels like you do right now?
  • Write about something you’re looking forward to.
  • Think of a place where you feel completely relaxed. What makes it so special?

Getting Started with Journaling for Anxiety & Depression

Kickstarting your journaling journey might feel a bit daunting at first, but it’s like chatting with a friend who’s there just to listen—no judgment, only support. Your Wholesome guided journals are designed to be your safe space, where you can spill your thoughts and feelings openly.

To dive in, all you need is a pen, your Wholesome journal, and a dose of honesty. Carve out a quiet corner and pick a time of day when you can be alone with your thoughts. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to journal. Your entries might be messy or meandering, and that’s perfectly okay! What’s important is that you’re taking this courageous step toward self-awareness and healing.

Here’s a list of 20 journal prompts to help you navigate through the fog of anxiety and depression. These prompts are designed to gently guide your exploration and offer a starting point for your reflection:

  • What are three things you’re grateful for today?
  • Describe how you feel right now in three words.
  • When do you feel most at peace?
  • What’s a challenge you overcame this week?
  • Write about a time you felt proud of yourself.
  • What are your personal strengths and how have they helped you?
  • List five things that make you incredibly happy.
  • What is something you wish others knew about your struggle with anxiety or depression?
  • Reflect on an anxious thought and reframe it positively.
  • What does your ideal day look like and how can you take a step toward that?
  • Describe a place where you feel safe and calm.
  • What activities help you unwind and relax?
  • When do you feel most connected to yourself?
  • What’s a goal you’re working toward?
  • Write about a compliment you received that made you feel good.
  • Who are the people that support you and how do they do it?
  • Pen down a letter to your future self.
  • What’s something that’s worrying you and how can you address it?
  • Reflect on a recent dream and its possible meanings.
  • Journal about the progress you’ve made in managing your mental health.

Journal Prompts for Dealing with Anxiety

Anxiety can feel like a relentless wave crashing down on you, but remember, you’re the surfer who’s more than capable of riding the tide. Your Wholesome guided journal is your board, sturdy and reliable, as you navigate the ebb and flow of your thoughts and emotions.

Starting a journaling routine can seem daunting, but with the right prompts, you’ll soon be pouring your heart out onto the pages like a pro. These prompts are your stepping stones to self-awareness and peace of mind. Dive in, discover patterns in your anxiety, and start the conversation with yourself.

Take a deep breath, grab your pen, and explore these thoughtfully crafted prompts that Wholesome has put together just for you:

  • Today’s top three anxieties are... How do they make me feel physically?
  • The last time I felt incredibly calm, I was...
  • If my anxiety could speak, it would say...
  • I’m most at peace when I...
  • Five things I can touch right now are...
  • A situation I’m dreading is... What’s the worst that could happen?
  • For each worry, can I come up with a positive ’What if’?
  • What are five sounds I can hear at this moment?
  • Describe a place where you feel completely safe.
  • List all the things I accomplished today, no matter how small.
  • I feel anxious when... because...
  • Who is someone I can share my worries with?
  • The most soothing words I can hear right now are...
  • What did I do today that was a small victory over my anxiety?
  • If my anxiety vanished for a day, I would...
  • Recall a worry that never materialized. How can I apply this perspective to current worries?
  • I know I’m strong because I’ve survived my anxiety before by...
  • Imagine your future self sans anxiety. What advice would they give you?
  • When does my anxiety feel manageable, and what am I doing during those times?
  • My favorite way to distract myself from anxiety is...

These prompts are the keys to unlocking a more serene mind. They’re not just questions; they’re a pathway to understanding your anxiety on a deeper level. Reflect on them, ponder your responses, and watch as you grow more in tune with your inner world. Every entry you make is a step towards reclaiming your calm in the face of anxiety’s chaos.

Journal Prompts for Coping with Depression

Creating space for self-reflection can be a beacon of hope when you’re navigating through depression. Your feelings are valid, and journaling can be a refreshing way to tap into your inner world. Let’s get those thoughts out of your head and onto the pages of your Wholesome guided journal, where compassion meets paper.

When depression clouds your sky, using journal prompts tailored to help lift the fog can be a game changer. Start with these prompts and remember, there’s no right or wrong way to respond. Just let your pen flow.

Embrace Your Inner Reflection with these Journal Prompts:

  • What’s a simple joy you experienced today?
  • How does your depression affect your daily life?
  • List five qualities you love about yourself.
  • Recall a time you overcame a difficult challenge.
  • Describe how you feel in this moment without judgment.
  • What’s something you’re looking forward to?
  • Write about a place where you feel safe and calm.
  • Who are the people that make you feel supported?
  • What does your ideal day look like?
  • Note three things you’re grateful for today.
  • Identify a thought that’s been troubling you and reframe it positively.
  • When do you feel most energized?
  • Draw a picture of how you’re feeling.
  • What’s a goal you can set for tomorrow?
  • Acknowledge a recent accomplishment, no matter how small.
  • How can you show yourself kindness today?
  • Write a letter to your future self.
  • What’s a habit that makes you feel good?
  • Reflect on a happy memory.
  • Explore what self-care means to you.

Each prompt offers a different pathway to exploring your emotions and fostering self-compassion. As you tackle these prompts in your Wholesome journal, you’re taking important steps towards healing and understanding yourself more deeply. The act of writing can reveal new perspectives and lead to transformative insights, making each day a little brighter.

Using Gratitude Journaling to Combat Anxiety & Depression

When you’re caught in the tangle of anxiety or the shadow of depression, gratitude journaling might just be the ray of sunshine you need. This isn’t just fluff – science backs up the mood-boosting benefits of focusing on the good stuff. By tuning into the positive moments, no matter how small, you’ll start to shift your perspective and find more balance during your day.

You might think it’s all about saying thanks for those big, life-changing moments. But gratitude is also about savoring the tiny victories and the comfort of everyday normalcies. Think about the warmth of your favorite sweater, that perfect cup of coffee, or the smile from a stranger – yeah, it’s about appreciating those bits too!

Now for the fun part – let’s dive into journal prompts to sprinkle a little joy into your life and fend off those pesky negative thoughts. Whip out your Wholesome guided journal, and gear up for a journey to a more grateful you.

  • What’s the best thing that happened today?
  • Who made you smile recently and why?
  • Name three small ways you can make someone’s day brighter.
  • Reflect on a time you overcame a difficult situation.
  • List five things about your city or town that you’re thankful for.
  • Who is someone that’s been a positive influence in your life?
  • What skill or talent are you grateful for?
  • Write about a memory that brings you joy.
  • What book or movie has made a significant impact on you?
  • Capture the essence of your current favorite song and why it resonates.
  • What’s an aspect of your health or body that you appreciate?
  • Describe a unique trait or characteristic you’re thankful for.
  • What was a delicious meal or treat you had recently?
  • Think about your morning routine. What part sets a positive tone for your day?
  • Is there a tradition or ritual that you’re grateful for?
  • Write about a pet or animal that brightens your day.
  • Share the last compliment you received and how it felt.
  • Picture your favorite spot in nature. What makes it special?
  • Recount an unexpected, pleasant surprise from last week.
  • Reflect on an accomplishment or milestone you’ve reached.

Reflection and Self-Discovery through Journaling

Embarking on a voyage of self-reflection is a transformative experience. Through the simple act of transferring thoughts from your bustling mind onto paper, you engage in an intimate dance with your inner self. Journaling cultivates a space for you to listen—truly listen—to what’s stirring in your heart.

Imagine peeling back the layers of your day-to-day existence to uncover the raw emotions and experiences that shape you. You’re not just scribbling words; you’re mapping the contours of your soul. As you delve into this practice, you’ll discover patterns previously camouflaged among life’s busyness. You’re the cartographer of your own emotional landscape, and each entry is a step toward unearthing treasures of Self-Understanding.

Wholesome knows the power of a good prompt to kickstart your journaling journey. Here’s a handpicked collection to nudge you into the realms of mindfulness:

  • What’s the silver lining in a recent struggle I’ve faced?
  • Which activities make me lose track of time, and why?
  • What are three things I’m looking forward to this week?
  • Who has been my greatest teacher in life, and what lesson did they impart?
  • In what moments do I feel most like myself?
  • How did I cope with a recent challenge, and what did it teach me?
  • Describe a fear I overcame and how I felt afterwards.
  • What are the top five emotions I felt today, and what prompted them?
  • If my younger self met me today, what would make them proud?
  • What’s a goal I’ve accomplished that once seemed impossible?
  • Reflect on a time I felt at peace. What created that serenity?
  • How does my inner critic speak to me, and how can I respond with compassion?
  • When do I feel most connected with others, and what brings about that connection?
  • Which personal qualities am I most grateful for, and why?
  • What’s a dream I’ve let go of, and do I want to revisit it?
  • Think of someone who loves me unconditionally. What have I learned from them?
  • When I’m sad, what are some comforting truths I can remind myself of?
  • Share a recent act of kindness, either given or received.
  • How have my challenges made me stronger or more empathetic?

Daily Journaling for Anxiety & Depression

Navigating the ups and downs of anxiety and depression can feel like a rollercoaster. Wholesome’s guided journals are designed to be your personal co-pilot, helping you find your calm during the storm. With daily journaling, you get to pour out your feelings, connect with your inner strength, and track your triumphs and setbacks.

Journal prompts can act like keys, opening doors to new insights about your experiences with anxiety and depression. They’re there to gently guide you through self-discovery, healing, and personal growth. We’ve got you covered with a bevy of prompts to kickstart your daily journaling habit. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to journal; it’s your space to be raw and real with your feelings.

Let’s get your pen dancing across the page with these 20 Journal Prompts for Anxiety & Depression:

  • What are three things you’re grateful for today, and why?
  • How did anxiety or depression manifest for you today?
  • Write about a time you overcame a difficult emotion.
  • What’s one thing you wish others understood about your experience with anxiety/depression?
  • Describe a place where you feel safe and calm. What makes it special?
  • Jot down a list of activities that make you feel relaxed.
  • Reflect on how your anxiety or depression has shaped you.
  • Who is someone that makes you feel supported and loved?
  • What’s a recent accomplishment, no matter how small, that made you proud?
  • Write out a letter to your anxiety or depression.
  • What are some strengths you possess that others might not see?
  • Think of a challenging situation and explore alternative outcomes.
  • Create a self-care checklist for the upcoming week.
  • What are some boundaries you’d like to set for your well-being?
  • Identify and unpack a trigger that affected you today.
  • How can you show yourself compassion on tougher days?
  • What’s one thing you can do tomorrow to nurture your mental health?
  • How do your anxiety or depression influence your perception of the world?
  • Reflect on a moment today where you felt at peace.
  • Craft a mantra that you can turn to when you need a boost.

Incorporating Creative Writing in Your Journaling Practice

Tapping into your creative side can be a game changer for your mental health. When words flow freely without the pressure of being perfect, you’ll find new avenues of expression and healing. Creative writing in your journal isn’t about crafting the next bestselling novel; it’s about unraveling the tangled thoughts that lurk in the corners of your mind.

By peppering your pages with imaginative writing or playful poetry, you’re giving yourself permission to explore feelings without judgment. Think of your journal as a safe space where characters, dialogues, and fantasy worlds lend their voice to your inner emotions.

If you’re new to this, fret not. Wholesome is here to sprinkle a dash of inspiration. Here are 20 journal prompts to guide your creative exploration:

  1. Write a letter to your anxiety as if it were a person. What do you want to say?
  2. Imagine your depression as a dark cloud. Now, creatively describe how you’d dissipate it.
  3. Compose a poem about finding peace in the midst of chaos.
  4. Create a story where the protagonist overcomes an obstacle similar to yours.
  5. Sketch a conversation between you and your future, happier self.
  6. Design a fictional character who embodies self-compassion. Introduce them to your world.
  7. Weave a tale where each emotion is a different color. What does your palette look like today?
  8. Pen a song about the symphony of life, including the highs and lows.
  9. Picture a day where everything goes right. Narrate it in vivid detail.
  10. Write about a small victory in your life as an epic triumph.
  11. Script a dialogue with a wise figure offering you advice on self-care.
  12. Detail an encounter with a kind stranger who gifts you a message of hope.
  13. Describe your perfect safe space, real or imaginary.
  14. Envision a magic potion that calms your mind. What are its ingredients?
  15. Craft a story where you conquer a fear. How do you feel after?
  16. Illustrate a day spent in your favorite book or movie. What changes in this setting?
  17. Draft an encouraging letter to someone else battling anxiety or depression.
  18. Spin a yarn where you’re the hero in a quest for mental wellness.
  19. Jot down 3 things you’d do if today were a worry-free day.


Embracing journaling as part of your journey through anxiety and depression can be transformative. With the right prompts, you’ll find yourself engaging in a practice that not only tracks your emotions but also fosters self-discovery and growth. Remember, the prompts are there to serve as a starting point—feel free to dive deeper and let your creativity flow. Whether it’s through a heartfelt letter to your anxiety or a poem about finding serenity, these exercises are a step towards a more peaceful and self-compassionate you. So grab your journal and start exploring your inner world—one prompt at a time.

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