I’ve always liked the idea of journalling and writing my thoughts down, and blogging was always my favourite way to do that. 2018 was the year I didn’t publish a single blog post, but it was also the year I got into journalling to help with my mental health, and a lot of the things I wrote down in the last 12 months are not things I felt comfortable to share on the internet.
I’d highly recommend journalling if you are struggling with things in your life, even if it just gives you the nudge to get some extra support to get through whatever life is throwing at you. Using journals with prompts is great as you are given questions to answer and ideas for things to write about.
There are so, so many options out there though, so which journal to choose?! I’ve got three journals to share with you that I’d highly recommend to anyone starting out with journalling.
Happy: The Journal
Happy: The Journal by Fearne Cotton is the companion to Fearne’s book Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect. I picked it up on a whim at the end of 2017, and the idea of letting go of perfect was exactly what I needed at the time. I started using it in earnest on 1st January 2018, and it really helped me let go of some of the things that were making me unhappy. Happy: The Journal is presented as a daily journal, with each day containing a little snippet of writing, often with prompts or little tasks to help you get out of your comfort zone and try to figure out who you are. Then there is a space for you to write, whether this be the response to the prompts or your daily thoughts or journalling, it’s your choice.
This is for You: A Creative Toolkit for Better Self Care
I was offered a copy of This is for You: A Creative Toolkit for Better Self Care by Ellen Bard for review, and as I’d enjoyed using Happy: The Journal, I gladly accepted. The email arrived in my inbox at a time when I was working 7 day weeks in my new job and I wasn’t doing too well at looking after myself, so a book to help with better self care sounded great. This is for You is written by Ellen Bard who is a psychologist with 17 years of experience, and the 100 exercises contained in the book are science and evidence based. In other words… they work! Unlike Happy: The Journal, This is for You is not set up as a daily journal, but more a toolkit of practical exercises to help us reframe our priorities and take better care of ourselves. This is for You is perfect to dip into as and when you have a few minutes rather than feeling like you have to commit to daily journalling.
Lastly, I wanted to include Mindful Journaling by Tara Ward – this is a little book I picked up for super cheap (about £3) in my local B&M store. This is like a hybrid of Happy: The Journal and This is for You, in that it contains journalling prompts but is again not a daily journal. I admit, I was drawn to the little dolphin on the cover, but popped it straight into my basket after flipping through it. The prompts in this one are much more in depth than in Happy: The Journal, and the book really focuses on mindfulness and being in the moment. An impulse purchase that was definitely worth it.