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50 Journal Prompts for Self Discovery

Keeping a journal. It’s something that helps us work through emotions, understand ourselves more deeply, and allows the flow of ideas. If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that life can be wildly unpredictable. Often, we’re affected by circumstances in ways that aren’t immediately made clear to us, and that can take quite a bit of unpacking and understanding to wrap our heads around. I find that journaling is one of the best ways that we can dive into our subconscious and get to the root of matters.

There are so many science-backed benefits to keeping a journal, but what I want to focus on here are various prompts that will help you dive into your mind, understand your deepest desires and needs, and help to learn more about yourself as part of any healing journey you may be on.

Personally, as much as I absolutely love journaling and looking back on my past thoughts, I struggle with doing it daily. That said, there is nothing like a good journal prompt to get me back on track!

The Writing Process

We all have our own writing processes, but I have a tried-and-true method of working through journal prompts that I hope you’ll find inspiring.

To start, I pick a prompt. Then, I set a timer for exactly twelve minutes (this is the length of time I picked up from my writing class). Next, I free-write, completely uninhibited for that whole time. While you’re writing, don’t censor yourself, make excuses for yourself, and don’t succumb to any qualifiers (ie, this isn’t very good, etc.). Don’t worry about mechanics or grammar. Just write.


I have to admit, oftentimes I don’t journal because of my state of mind. I feel too high-strung or busy to make an effort to put pen to paper. Of course, these are the moments when I need free-writing the most, but if you’re feeling this way too then I recommend a quick meditation.

Even just five minutes of silent sitting and breathing can clear your mental pathways for journaling.

And now, without much further ado, here are 50 journaling prompts for self-discovery:

Lifestyle Design Prompts

  1. What does your dream day look like? Who is there with you? Where are you? What are you doing? Describe in detail.
  2. Where do you see yourself in five years? Describe your family life, work-life, relationships, and spiritual path.
  3. Describe a limiting belief that has been holding you back from your desires.
  4. What are three goals that you wish to achieve by the end of the year?
  5. What does success mean to you? How would you know you’ve achieved it?
  6. Describe your ideal Sunday routine.
  7. What are your five favorite qualities about yourself? Describe them.
  8. What is one thing in your life you need to release or let go of?
  9. Write a letter to your past self. Tell younger you how far you’ve come.
  10. What’s your favorite way to move your body?

Gratitude Journaling Prompts

  1. What’s your favorite memory?
  2. Name one good thing that happened to you today.
  3. What are the top qualities in people you admire?
  4. What are three things you could do to brighten someone’s day?
  5. What are your biggest accomplishments?
  6. Describe something beautiful in the room with you.
  7. Name something you’re currently struggling with. What about that struggle makes you grateful?
  8. Name a basic need that has been met in your life.
  9. Write about a time a friend helped you in some way.
  10. Who is someone you’ve never met that you are grateful for?

Journal Prompts for Anxiety

  1. If failure wasn’t an option, what would you do?
  2. What is your biggest insecurity? Describe what life would be like if you let that go.
  3. Make a list of things you can do when you feel anxious. Keep the list easily available.
  4. What are your anxiety triggers?
  5. What are the main activities that keep you calm?
  6. Think of a time when you failed at something. What did you learn?
  7. What is a risk you took that made you feel proud of yourself?
  8. What is your favorite body part?
  9. Write a review of your favorite TV show or movie. Why does it resonate with you?
  10. What does self-care mean to you?

Journal Prompts for Inspiration

  1. Write about something you learned this week.
  2. What piece of home technology are you most grateful for?
  3. What are three of your favorite creativity methods?
  4. Write a letter to your future self.
  5. What would you do if money wasn’t an object?
  6. As a child, what were you interested in?
  7. Is art your life or part of your life?
  8. What are 5 things that keep you going?
  9. What kind of world do you want to live in?
  10. What does it mean to be fulfilled?

Creative Writing Prompts

  1. Begin a short story with a quote from your favorite song.
  2. Write a story in the second person.
  3. Write about having writer’s block.
  4. Write about waking up in the morning.
  5. What is at the end of a rainbow?
  6. Who was/is your favorite teacher?
  7. Describe how you think your grandparents met.
  8. Write about a time you felt uncomfortable.
  9. “If I knew then what I know now”…
  10. If you could time travel, where would you go?

That’s it for my 50 journal prompts for self-discovery! Journaling truly is a great way to feel inspired, work through emotions, and discover more about yourself. Let us know your favorite journaling habits in the comments!