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Depression is hard. There will be days when getting out of bed feels impossible, and journaling can help you get through your toughest days. Today I want to share 30 journal prompts for depression for when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or mental health professional. These journal prompts are intended for entertainment purposes only, and not as a cure for depression. Always talk to your doctor first if you have concerns about your mental health.
Can Journaling Help Your Depression?
I’ve had my fair share of depression, and my journals have been with me through it all. My journal is my first port of call for when I’m celebrating a win over my depression, and also for when I’m feeling my absolute worst.
Journaling won’t cure your depression, but it may ease your symptoms. Getting everything out onto paper is a great way to work through your feelings and put everything into perspective. It won’t improve your current situation, but it can take some of the weight off your shoulders.
Related: How to Start a Journal for Beginners
Why are Journal Prompts Useful for Depression?
You don’t need to use journal prompts to get the benefits of journaling, and I for one usually just pick up my journal and start writing whatever comes to mind.
But there may be days where you find the idea of open ended journaling overwhelming, and that’s where journal prompts come in. You don’t have to think about what you’re writing, and you don’t have to think about why you’re writing it. All you have to do is pick up a pen, and answer one of these questions.
Here are 30 Journal Prompts for Depression
- How are you doing today? Do you feel any better or worse than usual?
- Write a list of 10 tiny things you’re grateful for. Like the way the grass smells after it’s rained, or the feeling of the breeze when you’re driving with the windows open.
- What’s the hardest thing you’ve overcome?
- Write a letter to someone that hurt you. Don’t be afraid to let your emotions show.
- Make a list of ways you can practise self care when your mental health is at its worst. Make sure they’re not too ambitious – only you know what you can manage when your depression hits rock bottom.
- Write about all the happy memories you can think of, from childhood up until today.
- Don’t write anything. Just doodle or scribble.
- Write a list of tasks you find difficult. You can refer back to this list when you’re feeling strong enough to attempt one of your hardest chores.
- Identify 5 things that you love. They can be anything you want – people, food, songs, or movies for example.
- Write yourself a list of positive affirmations to tell yourself on your worst days.
- Write down one thing you’ve achieved today, and three things you’ve achieved this week.
- Create a list of things you will do over the next year. Be ambitious, but make sure everything is achievable.
- Write a list of everyone who’s supported you over the years, and nice things you could do for each of these people. Make sure to include yourself in this list.
- What would you say to a younger version of yourself? Were you struggling? Is there anything you could say to help?
- What are your 5 best traits?
- What’s your biggest achievement so far in life?
- Envision your dream life. It can be as elaborate as you like. Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel?
- Listen to your favourite song or album. Try not to think about anything – immerse yourself in the music and doodle as you listen.
- Reflect on how you’ve grown over the past 5 years. Has your depression played a role in your personal growth?
- What’s the last thing that made you smile?
- Has your depression held you back from achieving anything? If so – write a letter to yourself to let you know that’s okay.
- Is there anything you have to look forward to? And if not – is there anything nice that you can plan for yourself?
- Create a playlist of your best feel-good songs. You might want to include songs you associate with good times, or songs from your favourite musicals.
- Write about something that’s making you angry or upset.
- Can you identify any of your negative thought patterns? Can you think of where these recurring thoughts might have come from?
- Have you met any kind strangers that you still remember to this day?
- Forgive yourself for all your past mistakes.
- Write a love letter to yourself. Don’t worry if you need to fake it for now.
- Reflect on a time that you’ve helped someone.
- Can you identify any habits that negatively impact your mental health?
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I’d love to know if you’ve found any of these journal prompts for depression helpful – let me know in the comments! If you’ve enjoyed this post, then please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter so you never miss a post on The Violet Journal.