Writing and journaling in particular have always been incredibly cathartic to me. When the thoughts in your mind begin dancing a little too clumsily, when your heart becomes overwhelmed by all that it bears, there is solace to be found in the empty pages of a notebook. An undeniable sense of relief washes over when clumsy thoughts turn into words, when one’s heart becomes disengaged. After I’ve written down my worries, joys, ideas, wishes, memories… I often feel renewed.
Writing gives us the power to let go of all that weighs us down and celebrate all that keeps us afloat. It enables each of us to tell our own unique story, to practice creativity, and most importantly, express ourselves. Over the years, I’ve come to find different journaling styles that inspire various forms of self-expression. Here are a few that are particularly helpful:
1. 52 Lists for Happiness
This journal contains 52 pages (one for each week of the year) and presents the challenge to create a list of things that spark joy within you. The journal is divided into four themes: “reflect,” “acknowledge,” “invest,” and “transform.”
These themes allow the writer to recall cherished memories and discover how to create a happier life, both today and tomorrow.
From general lists such as, “List Everything You Feel Passionate About” to more specific ones like, “List Ten Ways to Get Excited in the Next Ten Minutes,” this weekly journal inspires a fruitful life.
2. Morning Pages
Morning Pages are a wonderful form of self-expression, especially for those in need of creative inspiration. This journaling style was developed by Julia Cameron, a celebrated author, artist, playwright, and overall creative soul. She defines Morning Pages as the “bedrock tool of creative recovery” and has contributed to the reawakening of creativity among millions who have joined her movement, The Artist’s Way.
What are Morning Pages? They are three full pages of stream of consciousness writing. First thing in the morning, jot down every random thought you have – this writing has no obligation to make sense. Cameron states, “there is no wrong way to do Morning Pages – they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing,’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind.”
3. One Line a Day
“One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book” is the perfect journaling option for those who are short on time and/or like to write but may find it daunting. This journal challenges you to write one line a day as to keep a record of your day-to-day memories. What a beautiful and simple way to look back on special moments!
4. Visual Journaling
Visual journaling is often used as a form of art therapy and is known to reduce stress. Creative possibilities are endless with this journaling style. From cutting and pasting inspiring images to doodling or painting, this type of journaling presents the opportunity to visually represent one’s thoughts and feelings.
Imagery can also be accompanied by written captions or meaningful quotes.
5. Five Minute Journal
The Five-Minute Journal was designed to highlight positivity and gratitude. At the beginning of each day, you are asked to list three things that would make your day great. At the end of the day, there is a space to list three amazing things that happened that day. This journal provides a simple way to express gratitude and in turn, gain a more optimistic mindset which often leads to a more intentional lifestyle.
“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsmith
What is your favourite type of journaling? Share in the comments – we would love to hear how you express yourself!