Journal writing is an incredibly effective means of self-discovery.
We’ve included over 70 deep writing prompts in the article below to help you get started journaling or inspire you when you’re stuck.
Select one or several journal prompts below and give yourself time to write an honest, heartfelt answer. Doing so will help you gain deep insight into your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
As a result, you’ll increase your self-awareness and experience a greater presence in your everyday life.
Deep writing prompts
Reflective writing offers a level of self-awareness that can be life-changing.
The practice of exploring one’s innermost thoughts and feelings is known to inspire positive change in those who engage in the practice.
Use the prompts below to take the next step on your journey of self-discovery!
Journal prompts for self-reflection
Ask yourself the following questions if you need to find out more about yourself:
When did you experience the most joy in your life? What factors influenced that feeling?
What behaviors do you use to cope when you feel stressed or anxious?
Where do you think you learned those behaviors, and why do they help? Are they healthy or unhealthy?
What lessons have you learned in the past year shaped your understanding of yourself and the world around you? What happened to you to learn those lessons?
What personal accomplishments evoke a sense of pride in yourself?
If you could speak to yourself from five years ago, what advice or consolation would you offer yourself?
Write about a time when you faced a difficult challenge but overcame it. What personal resources did you use to overcome that challenge?
What was your favorite activity as a child? Painting, singing, drawing, dancing? Do you still engage in that activity today? If not, why not? And if not, could you start again?
How did you envision your life ten years ago? Did that vision come true? How do you feel about that vision now? What is the most surprising, unexpected thing that happened?
What are your favorite memories? What happened? Are there other people there? Who are they?
How do you take care of your physical health? Are you generally healthy, or could you improve in that area?
Write a letter to your teenage self.
What once seemed incredibly important but now holds no such value to you?
What life skills do you possess? How did you develop them? How do they serve you?
What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made, and what did you learn from it?
What is your biggest fear?
If you could change anything from your past, would you? What would it be?
Who is your best friend? Do you have one or several? And what qualifies them as a ‘best friend’?
Where is your favorite place and why?
Describe that moment when you felt proud of yourself.
Sometimes, we are so caught up with the mundane happenings in life that we forget about ourselves. Look deep inside yourself and answer the following questions:
Take a moment to pause and breathe. Notice the sensations in your body. What sensations do you notice? Warmth or cold? Tension or relaxation? High energy or low?
Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you?
List three things you can do today to keep yourself healthy.
What aspects of your family history have shaped you the most?
What behaviors and habits make you feel like your life is going well?
How do you rate the quality of your life right now? Is there anything you can do to improve it?
Think about something you’re passionate about. When you think about it, how do you feel? Where do you feel it? In your face? In your belly? Over your whole body?
What do you do to rest and recharge?
In what ways do you practice self-care?
Do you love yourself? What does self-love mean to you?
What do you think is the meaning or purpose of this stage of your life?
Which areas of your life feel like they’re going well these days?
Which areas of your life do you feel are not going so well these days?
What makes life easier for you?
Describe your daily routine. Start with the first thing you do when you wake up. Be as honest as you can, and don’t judge yourself. Use this prompt to gain an objective view of your time.
What do you do to turn a bad day around?
If you can describe yourself in three words, what are those words? After you choose three descriptive words, elaborate on each.
Life goal prompts
Are you stumped on where you want to be in the future? It’s time to make a mental map of where you’re headed by answering the following questions:
How do you envision your life in five years? Consider career, relationships, and health.
What is your dream job? If you don’t work that job now, what are the steps for you to achieve your dream job?
What are the top five things you’d like to achieve before your age enters a new decade?
What are your career goals? Do you have one primary career goal or several?
Write about your ideal lifestyle. What does it look like? What do you do for a living? And who is in your life?
What changes can you make to your life today that will move you closer to your ideal lifestyle?
What does your ideal romantic relationship look like? Does that reflect your current relationship? If you’re single, is the way you live aligned with your expectations around a relationship?
What would you say is your worst habit?
Think of three unhealthy habits you engage in. What makes you engage in those habits? Is there anything you can do to change your behavior?
Write a letter from you now to your future self. Explain how things are and what you hope has changed for them. Include reminders about the positive aspects of your life today too.
Think about someone whom you respect and admire. What qualities does this person make that make you admire them so much? Can you develop any of those qualities in your own life?
In which ways would you like to grow in the coming year? Write about three simple but effective habits you can adopt to help you grow.
Consider the message you’d like to make with your life. What impact do you want to have on the world? How would you like to be remembered after you die?
If you have a bucket list, which one is the first you’ve achieved and what is the most challenging one you haven’t gotten around to doing yet?
Strength and confidence writing prompts
The following questions may seem like what you can come across during job interviews. But really, these can help you bring back your vibe and find your inner strength:
What are your most extraordinary skills?
For what do people often ask you for help? Why do they ask you?
When a potential employer asks about your strengths in a job interview, what do you usually tell them?
What did you believe were your strengths three years ago? Are they the same, or have they changed?
What skills do you naturally possess that you never had to try too hard to cultivate?
Write about a time when you defended a friend against a bully. Consider school, a social setting, or the workplace.
What do you usually do to cheer yourself up when you feel down?
How do you take care of your mental health?
What makes you feel confident in yourself?
What personal problems have you solved? How did you solve them?
Relationship writing prompts
If you wish to know how you are in a relationship, what you can bring to the table, or what complements your nature, the following questions may help:
What traits and characteristics do you look for in a friend?
What qualities and characteristics deter you from forming a relationship with someone?
What is the most important quality you look for in a romantic partner?
What are your red flags when considering a partner?
Who is your best friend? And why are they your best friend?
Do you miss anyone right now? How does it feel to miss them?
You have to spend an undetermined amount of time on a desert island. You have food and clean water, and you can bring one person with you. If you had to choose one person, who would it be, and why?
What’s the worst breakup you’ve ever had?
Has somebody broken up with you? What was that like?
Have you ever broken up with someone? What was that like?
What valuable lessons have you learned from previous relationships?
What are your red flags – behaviors you believe deter others from forming a relationship with you?
Who gets on your nerves? What is about that person that gets on your nerves? Is there a way you could spend time with that person without becoming so bothered?
Who is your favorite person to spend time with? What about that person makes spending time with them so enjoyable?
How do you feel about being alone? Do you enjoy your own company or always prefer to be around people?
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Do you believe in soulmates?
If you’re currently in a relationship, how would you describe the status of your relationship right now?
Describe a perfect evening with your special someone.
If you’re single, how do you feel about being single? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of single life?
Describe your love life in five words. If you like, elaborate on each word.
The prompts above help you dig deeper into your self-awareness and encourage mindful personal growth.
Remember that you don’t have to answer every question. These prompts are here for inspiration, but if you don’t feel ready to explore a given topic, that’s entirely up to you.