New to Journaling? Start With This Five-Minute Journal for Beginners

The Five-Minute Journal and Papier Wellness Journal make mindfulness easy

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 Start With This Five-Minute Journal for Beginners

Amazon

Journaling—the simple process of reflecting on your day and preparing for the next one—is a practice that many mental health professionals recommend to patients, thanks to its wide variety of benefits. While it may seem simple, it can help with stress, anxiety, and depression.

“When we are going through something challenging in our lives, our emotions may be running quite high,” explains Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, PhD, PLLC, psychologist and media advisor at Hope for Depression Research Foundation. “Often, people spend a lot of time ruminating about their emotions and can end up feeling overwhelmed. Journaling can help us release these overwhelming emotions by writing them out.”

If you’ve been looking to add this highly-touted mental health practice to your daily routine, try one of our favorite picks for beginners. Whether you’re interested in planning your day, having daily journal prompts for self-reflection, or just a blank page to let out your thoughts, there’s a journal for you.

Intelligent Change The Five-Minute Journal

Intelligent Change The Five Minute Journal

Amazon

Available at Amazon

If you’re short on time but want to make journaling a habit, the Five Minute Journal promises to help you build a mindfulness practice in just a few minutes a day—as its name suggests. Each entry is just one page, split into morning and evening reflection questions. Each entry has spots for three things that would make the day great, three of the day’s highlights, and areas for gratitude and what you learned. This pick makes it easy to dedicate time each day to self-reflection and getting your thoughts out without making it feel overwhelming.

Lira de la Rosa notes that starting small, like with the Five-Minute Journal’s short time commitment, is one of the best ways to make journaling a habit. “You want to start slowly to ease into the process and give yourself opportunities for this to become a healthy habit,” he says.

Papier Wellness Journal

Papier Wellness Journal

Papier

Available at Papier

Showing up to a blank page is one of the hardest parts of picking up journaling, but the Papier Wellness Journal offers plenty of journaling ideas, so you’re never at a loss for what to reflect on. The journal is also designed to be used twice daily—morning and evening—if you’re worried about keeping up with a new habit. You can start the day with an intention and a note about your sleep the night before. Throughout the day, you can also check in with your daily activity and log your meals (if you’ve been meaning to get around to eating healthier in the New Year but need some accountability) and self-care.

You can finish off the evening before bed with reflections on what went well and a space for general thoughts and feelings. If you’re interested in spending more time on gratitude, Papier offers a gratitude journal with challenges and prompts to keep yourself grounded in the little moments.

The Wellness Journal is a do-it-all journal in a beautiful package with more than 100 designs. Plus, Papier offers free engraving on any journal—perfect for a gift or even just a way to take your new journaling habit a little more seriously.

BestSelf Self Journal

BestSelf Self Journal

Amazon

Available at Amazon

If journaling for goal setting and productivity is more your speed, the BestSelf Self Journal lets you do everything from schedule your entire day in half-hour increments to note your mood and something you’re grateful for at the top of the day. The right side of the journal is bullet-style, with plenty of space for reflection.

One of users’ most-loved features of the journal is its habit tracker. Adopting (and keeping up with) new habits can be hard, but physically seeing your commitment is an easier motivator. The Self Journal has space for up to 18 habits. Fill out your habit tracker to help you stay on top of goals like hitting your step count or eating at home.

“If you are working on something, you can use journaling to keep yourself on track,” says Lira de la Rosa. “When trying to meet certain goals, we may get stuck or find it difficult to stay on task.”

The Self Journal lasts 13 weeks and lets you note three goals you have for that period, which you can break into subgoals. It offers weekly check-ins for each goal to keep you on track or re-evaluate anything that might be difficult.

Peter Pauper Press Celestial Journal

Peter Pauper Press Celestial Journal

Amazon

Available at Amazon

If you have trouble keeping a journal, buying one that makes you want to pick it up daily might help. Peter Pauper Press’ line of journals features beautifully-engraved covers and gilded pages that you’ll be excited to get your hands on for your daily mindfulness practice.

While this pick doesn’t have any specific journaling ideas, it does offer plenty of space to get creative and let your thoughts out for the day however you choose.

Inside Then Out Better Every Day Journal

Inside Then Out Better Every Day Journal

Aweinspired

Available at Aweinspired

A TikTok favorite, the Better Every Day Journal challenges you to be just that—better every day. With 365 growth-oriented journal prompts like “What are some aspects of your life that you need to slow down?” and “What did you learn about yourself this year?,” you’ll never have to struggle to find something to write.

Paperage Dotted Notebook

Paperage Dotted Notebook

Amazon

Available at Amazon

Fans of bullet journaling love this method for its streamlined appeal and customization; you can organize your thoughts in any way and keep track of goals, ideas, and daily schedules with a mix of sticky notes or even different pen colors.

The Paperage Dotted Notebook offers a lay-flat design with a sturdy hardcover for easy journaling no matter what surface you have to write on. The pages feature thick 100 GSM paper, so you don’t have to worry about your writing bleeding through to the next page.

How to Start (and Keep) a Journal

The best way to start keeping a journal is to think about what type of writing might work best for you; your journal can include anything from prompts—like some of the journals we’ve featured—to blank space to let out your thoughts, depending on your preference.

Lira de la Rosa also suggests thinking about why you’re journaling in the first place. “These reasons can always be reminders of your intention and can help you get back on track if you have difficulty making journaling a habit,” he says.

You might have difficulty getting started with a blank page, but remember that your journal is for your eyes only and a safe space to get out what’s on your mind.

“Know that when you first start journaling, it may feel awkward,” says Lira de la Rosa. “It can feel uncomfortable if you are not used to writing about yourself, your thoughts, emotions, and experiences.”

While starting a journal can be difficult at first, the most important part is your intention to begin doing it, says Lira de la Rosa. He also notes that while it’s easy to overcommit yourself to something new and exciting, you shouldn’t overextend yourself or worry when you don’t have much to write about when you start. “Know that we sometimes set unrealistic goals and expectations for ourselves when we start something new,” he says. “So, if you want to journal every day of the week for 5 minutes, it may be more realistic to commit to journaling once a week for 5 minutes.”

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it takes time to make a habit, but journaling is a habit worth keeping.

1 Source
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  1. University of Rochester Medical Center. Journaling for mental health.