Self help journal prompts

32 Journal Prompts for Self-Reflection and Self-Care

There’s nothing like cracking open a new journal, grabbing your favorite pen, and sitting down for a writing sesh.

It’s a tried-and-true form of self-care. Research shows that journaling can help you achieve your goals, increase your emotional intelligence, boost your confidence, and even heal from difficult experiences.

But a common challenge people run into when they want to start a journaling habit: What do I write about?

That’s where guided self-reflection prompts and questions can help you out. When you're feeling overwhelmed or do not know what to do, taking a moment to pause and reflect is one way you can ensure you're checking in with your needs and moving forward with your journey.

'Facing your front' is the mantra that emboides this—and it's the mantra behind actor Ncuti Gatwa, star of the Netflix show "Sex Education."

"Don't look right and don't look left, because these are other people's journeys and if you're looking at their journeys, you're going to get lost. So face your front and worry about what you're doing," Gatwa shared in Teen Vogue. "You don't need to compare yourself. Your journey is fine."

Here are 32 of our favorites to help you kick off your next journaling session and reflect on your personal journey. They’re inspired by our Daily Discussion feature in the Shine app—a safe space where you can reflect on a new self-care question daily with a global community of supportive people.

Pick one or a few of these questions, and give yourself permission to free write your answers without any judgment or pressure. The goal: Simply see what you can learn about yourself and the way you take care of yourself.

1. What makes you feel powerful?

2. What makes you feel calm?

3. What makes you feel in control?

4. How do you encourage yourself when you're trying something new?

5. What's a choice you can make this week based on your needs?

6. How do you shift your mindset if it isn't working for you?


How do you recharge?

8. How can you celebrate yourself today?

9. What does your situational best look like today?

10. What helps you slow down and feel more present?

11. What can you do today that you didn’t think you could do a year ago?

12. What's a goal you want to accomplish and why?

13. How do you put yourself first without feeling guilty?

14. How do you practice self-acceptance?

15. How do you stay focused and steer clear of distractions?

16. How do you trust yourself to make big decisions?

17. How do you set boundaries and avoid absorbing someone else's emotions and stress?

18. How do you savor the time you get alone?

19. How do you notice when you're nearing burnout?

20. How do you share your feelings with the people who care about you?

21. How do you swap envy for joy when other people accomplish things?

22. How do you advocate for yourself?

23. How do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?


How do you ask for help or support when you need it?

25. How do you practice self-love and self-kindness?

26. How do you calm your nerves in a difficult situation?

27. How do you make the time you spend with people more intentional?

28. How do you embrace your authentic self, even if it looks different from what others expect?

29. How do you set and protect your boundaries?

30. What new opportunities have come out of challenges you’ve faced?

31. How can you step outside your comfort zone to grow?

32. How do you remind yourself that you're enough?

Read next: 25 Best Journals and Planners for a New Chapter

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142 Self Care Journal Prompts For Self Discovery, Self Love, and Wellbeing

Journaling can be a powerful exercise for personal growth. Whether you are just getting started with journaling, or you are already an avid journaler, journal prompts can be a great tool to use when you just are not sure what to write about. 

These prompts will help you dive deeper into all of the 8 dimensions of wellness, cultivate deeper self -awareness, and help you discover areas where you can learn and grow.  

**If you’re new to journaling, make sure to check out my previous post: How To Start Journaling For Self Care.


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Mental Health Journal Prompts
  1. What have you done lately just for you?
  2. What is your favorite memory?
  3. What are you most grateful for right now?
  4. What thought patterns are holding you back right now?
  5. What are you afraid of?
  6. What does success mean to you?
  7. What limiting beliefs are holding you back from living your dream life?
  8. What are you grateful for this week?
  9. What have you done lately that you are proud of?
  10. What are your priorities for this year?
  11. What is one adjustment you’d like to make to your morning routine?
  12. What is one adjustment you’d like to make to your evening routine?
  13. How do you remind yourself that you’re enough?
  14. What’s your ultimate goal in life?
  15. What is causing you stress right now?
  16. What is one thing you can do today to reduce stress in your life?
  17. If I could talk to my younger self, the one thing I would say is…
  18. Describe the most unforgettable moment in your life.
  19. Name what is enough for you.
  20. What do you love about life?
  21. Describe yourself in 10 words or less
  22. Write about a failure you had. What can you learn from that?
  23. Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to. How many of these are you currently doing?
  24. Make a list of everything you’d like to say yes to. How many of these are you currently doing?
  25. How will making myself a priority positively impact my life?
  26. What are 3 things that I’m currently doing that no longer serve me? How can I stop doing these things?
  27. What can I do to add more flow and relaxation to my day?
  28. When I’m really busy how can I find 10 minutes of time for myself? What can I do in that time?
  29. Write a letter of gratitude to yourself for looking after your own wellbeing. 
  30. What’s one positive habit I can make in my daily life?
  31. Consider your mindset. Is it serving you? How can you make a shift if it isn’t working for you?
  32. How can you celebrate yourself today?
  33. What helps you slow down and feel more present?
  34. How do you stay focused and steer clear of distractions?
  35. How do you notice when you’re nearing burnout?
  36. How do you ask for help or support when you need it?

Get All Of These Journal Prompts In A Printable Journal And Access Them Anytime


Emotional Health Journal Prompts
  1. What Things Make You Happy
  2. What’s a funny story that makes you laugh every time?
  3. What brings you genuine joy?
  4. What makes you happiest in life?
  5. What are you proud of yourself for?
  6. One thing I need to work on is __________
  7. What do you need to forgive yourself for?
  8. Name a habit you need to stop doing to live a more meaningful life?
  9. What is your proudest moment?
  10. I’m most proud that I __________
  11. What makes you feel powerful?
  12. What could you do to make your life more joyful every day?
  13. How can I show myself more love?
  14. When do you feel most confident?
  15. Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
  16. What does unconditional love look like for you?
  17. Write the words that would make you happier today.
  18. What acts of self-care truly make me happy? How can I add more of this to my self care routine?
  19. I feel happiest when ______________.
  20.  What personal needs am I sacrificing to meet the needs of others?
  21. What makes me feel calm?
  22. What makes you feel in control?
  23. How do you put yourself first without feeling guilty?
  24. How do you practice self-acceptance?
  25. How do you set boundaries and avoid taking on someone else’s emotions and stress?
  26. How do you advocate for yourself?
  27. How do you forgive yourself when you make a mistake?
  28. How do you calm your nerves in a difficult situation?
  29. How do you trust yourself to make big decisions?

Spiritual Health Journal Prompts
  1. What does your dream life look like?
  2. What do you want your life to look like three years from now?
  3. What do you want your legacy to be?
  4. What do you need to let go of?
  5. What would your ideal day look like?
  6. What do you need most to heal right now?
  7. What do you need to forgive yourself for?
  8. What would you do if it was impossible to fail?
  9. What does your ideal day look like from morning to night?
  10. What do you wish you had more time for?
  11. What’s the best dream you can remember?
  12. A mantra I’d like to live by is…
  13. What would you do if you loved yourself unconditionally? How would you treat yourself? How can you start doing that now?
  14. Is my morning serving me well? What does it look like? Do I have a routine? Are mornings rushed?
  15. I am the best version of myself when I_____________.
  16. Am I living in alignment with my values?  What can I change to make this happen?
  17. How do you savor the time you get alone?
  18. How do you embrace your true self, even if it looks different from what others expect?
  19. Write a letter to yourself from the future version of you. Tell yourself how awesome your life is now.

Intellectual Wellness Journal Prompts
  1. If you could make a living doing anything, what would it be?
  2. What are some things that inspire you?
  3. How have you been getting in the way of achieving your goals?
  4. What did you/can you do today to bring yourself closer to your dream?
  5. What is your best accomplishment?
  6. A book that has impacted me is __________
  7. What’s inspiring you right now?
  8. What wild and crazy thing would you like to try?
  9. What have you learned today?
  10. If I could accomplish one thing in the next three months, what would it be?
  11. A topic you want to learn about that will help you be happier? How can you start learning about it?
  12. How can I encourage myself when I’m trying something new?
  13. What can you do today that you didn’t think you could do a year ago?
  14. How can you step outside your comfort zone to grow?

Social Wellness Journal Prompts

  1. Who is your best friend?
  2.  Who is someone you’d like to treat better?
  3. Who is your favorite person to talk to?
  4. Who’s your biggest idol?
  5. What makes you a good friend?
  6. What qualities do you think others admire about you?
  7. How do you add value to those nearest to you?
  8. Who inspires you most in life?
  9. What is your favorite personality trait?
  10. Make a list of the people in your life who make up your support system.
  11. I really wish others knew this about me…
  12. Name a way you’ve supported a friend recently. How can you do the same for yourself?
  13. How do you share your feelings with the people who care about you?
  14. How do you make the time you spend with people more intentional?

Environmental Wellness Journal Prompts
  1. If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  2. What do I need more of in my life?
  3. When you wake up in the morning, how do you want to feel?
  4. How do you add value to the world?
  5. My favorite way to spend the day is…
  6. I couldn’t imagine living without…
  7. Write the obstacles you face for practicing self-care daily. How can you overcome at least one of them?
  8. A space in my home that makes me feel happy. 
  9. When is the best time in my day to practice self-care?

Financial Wellness Journal Prompts
  1. I am grateful to money because_________.
  2. Write all of the ways money will help you live to your fullest potential.
  3. What feelings come up when I think about my desire for money?
  4. What did your parents teach you about money?
  5. What is my biggest challenge with managing money? What step can I take to change that?
  6. What is your ideal income? How would your life be impacted as a result of earning this amount?
  7. Reflect on a past money mistake? How can you forgive yourself for this?

Physical Wellness Journal Prompt
  1. What’s your favorite physical feature?
  2. What items are in your self-care toolkit?
  3. Today I can honor my body by _________
  4. If my body could talk, it would say…
  5. I feel most energized when…
  6. I feel happiest in my skin when…
  7. Today my self care mantra is…
  8. How do I feel about the importance of practicing self-care?
  9. Self-care is important to me because I want to feel _________.
  10. What does bedtime look and feel like? Is there anything I can change for a more restful night’s sleep?
  11. Reflect on a time when I didn’t practice self-care and write about all the positive changes I’ve made in my life.
  12. What would I say to someone that thinks self-care is selfish?
  13.  What’s something I can do to feel good today? 
  14. How do you recharge?

If you love this resource, be sure to check out our digital library of helpful tools and resources to help you bring more self care for your mind, body and soul consistently into your life so you can truly thrive.

Click Here To Get Access To Our Complete Self Care Toolkit Now

I hope these journal prompts inspire self-discovery, reflection and personal growth. Which dimension of wellness will you start with first?

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🎖▷ Why you don't have to worry about weight gain with Lamictal


6,834 2 min read

If you're worried that taking Lamictal (lamotrigine) might cause weight gain, there's good news. It probably won't affect your weight much. If anything, you're more likely to lose weight due to Lamictal than gain weight, but either way, the changes are likely to be pretty small.
The effect of Lamictal on weight has been little studied and various clinical trials have found minimal effect. In fact, some researchers even considered the drug as a possible remedy for obesity and as a remedy for overeating. This information should be reassuring for people with bipolar disorder, as many of the medications used to treat this condition can cause weight gain. nine0003

Lamictal findings and weight gain or loss
Lamictal is an anticonvulsant that can be used to treat seizures such as epilepsy. It is also used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder.
In the first clinical trials with the drug, 5 percent of adults with epilepsy lost weight while taking Lamictal, while 1 to 5 percent of patients with bipolar I disorder gained weight while taking the drug. The researchers do not disclose how much weight patients have gained or lost. nine0007 Meanwhile, a 2006 study comparing the effects on weight of Lamictal, lithium, and placebo found that some Lamictal-treated patients gained weight, some lost weight, and most remained about the same weight. Weight changes are usually not many pounds anyway. Obese patients taking Lamictal lost an average of four pounds, while the weight of non-obese patients remained virtually unchanged.
Relationship between weight gain and other bipolar drugs
Weight gain from medications used to treat bipolar disorder is unfortunately quite common. Some mood stabilizers commonly used for bipolar disorder, especially lithium and Depakote (valproate), carry a high risk of weight gain.
In addition, the atypical antipsychotics Clozaril (clozapine) and Zyprexa (olanzapine) tend to cause significant weight gain in people who take them. Finally, some antidepressants, notably Paxil (paroxetine) and Remeron (mirtazapine), have been associated with weight gain. nine0007 Therefore, if you are already overweight, you and your psychiatrist may want to consider additional weight gain when determining your bipolar medication regimen. Based on this, Lamictal may be a good choice.
Lamictal as a possible treatment for obesity
Lamictal has also been studied as a possible treatment for obesity in people without epilepsy or bipolar disorder.
In a small clinical study of 40 people conducted in 2006, researchers randomly assigned participants to receive either lamiktal or placebo for up to 26 weeks. Each participant in the study had a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40, placing them in the obese group to the level of severe obesity. Those who took Lamictal lost an average of just over 10 pounds. Those who took the placebo lost about 7 pounds in the meantime, so while those who took Lamictal lost more weight, they didn't lose all that much more. nine0007 Another study in 2009 looked at Lamictal as a remedy for overeating. This study involved 51 people with the condition that 26 of them received Lamictal, and 25 - placebo.
Those who took Lamictal lost more weight than those who took placebo (about 2.5 pounds vs. about one third of a pound) and did have significant improvements in blood sugar and cholesterol lab test results. However, Lamictal did not appear to affect other aspects of the eating disorder when compared to placebo. nine0003


Lamictal you don't need to worry about why increases

What is ABA Therapy is a behavioral science

ABA Therapy is an applied branch of behavioral science. Currently, this is one of the most effective methods of correcting the behavior of children with autism and other developmental features. In this approach, the intervention is based on the analysis of environmental factors that influence human behavior. We will talk about the features, tasks, possibilities and effectiveness of this technique in this article. nine0003

ABA therapy: the essence of the method

Specialists study the patterns of behavior of all living organisms. Knowing the laws of behavior allows them to build an effective intervention based on the data received. Research in this area made it possible to create a direction called Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) , which translates as Applied Behavior Analysis. The main tenet of ABA therapy is that what happens immediately after a behavior affects whether that behavior will increase or decrease. The behavioral approach is applied to socially significant behavior, that is, one that significantly affects the quality of life of the child and his family. nine0003

1968 is considered to be the year of birth of ABA therapy as an independent scientific discipline. At this time, the first issue of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis was published. I. Lovaas studied the effectiveness of ABA therapy in children with autism and proved that with intensive training, 40% of children overcome developmental delays and by school age master various skills, including social ones, on an equal basis with their peers.

ABA Therapy techniques are currently used in individual and group work with children with autism and other disorders to reduce unwanted behaviors and teach new skills. In Russia, this approach is not as well known as in the West. This is due to prejudices, such as training, which is fundamentally wrong. People almost constantly use rewards or punishments to regulate the behavior of others. Specialists who study child behavior apply a scientific approach to solve these problems, change the environment in order to change behavior. But applied behavior analysis studies behavior and deals with behavior that is important to society. Working with behavior is always based on the knowledge of its principles and laws, and they are the same for everyone! Specialists only change the environment in order to change behavior. In this sense, ABA can be called the science of "common sense". nine0003

Who is ABA therapy effective for ?

The method has been found to be very effective for working with children with special needs. At the heart of ABA therapy is the technique of reinforcing/reinforcing the desired behavior. The child is given a prize, a motivational item: a toy, candy, praise, active games, etc. Thus, specialists reinforce (reinforce) the desired behavior by teaching the child.

ABA includes both a system of hints and teaching methods, manipulations not only with consequences, but also with previous factors, stimuli in the environment, and reward modes. All this is united by scientific validity and real practical application. nine0003

How does aba therapy start when working with autistics ?

First, parents consult, receive information from specialists, provide information about the child, talk about future work, clarify goals, decide if this method is suitable for the child. Next comes testing - a mandatory process preceding therapy. During testing, the current level of the child's communicative, academic, adaptive, social skills, barriers associated with undesirable behavior, and a motivational profile are established. Next, the aba experts write the goals. Each goal is a work on a specific skill. nine0003

For example, if the test reveals that the child cannot wait to be given a motivational item, begins to exhibit undesirable behavior every time the parents ask him to wait a little, the specialist sets the goal: “Will calmly wait for the motivational item or activity for a minute or wait your turn. " Methods and protocol are prescribed, according to which parents or therapists (aba instructors) will work. Each protocol specifies methods and procedures, a detailed plan, and a description of how the skill will be worked on. There are several such goals. When setting goals and testing, behavioral specialists rely not only on their work experience and their competence, but primarily on diagnostic tools. nine0003

Emphasis is placed on key skills that the child needs in the first place and will allow him to continue to develop at a normal level. It is important for parents and professionals to know what a child with autism can and cannot do. This knowledge makes it possible to determine which skills need to be developed right now, which task is currently the most important. Learning a few basic skills can help you quickly achieve meaningful results in different areas of development without the use of complex teaching methods and the creation of special conditions. Working on them later will help a child with autism learn in a natural environment, gaining new experience every day. nine0003

Another feature of behavioral therapy is the collection of data. Constant recording and monitoring of results allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, change the correction plan, protocol in time, update the training program, if the skill has been achieved, set the next goal to achieve even better results

What tasks can be solved using this technique?

Using this approach, you can solve the following problems:

  • Development of skills that can replace unwanted behaviors. For example, the purpose of the work may be to teach the child to ask for the desired object in a form accessible to him, and then he can stop screaming to get what he wants;
  • Formation of social and communication skills, such as, for example, maintaining eye contact, understanding the facial expressions of the interlocutor, the ability to ask for help from a specialist, teacher and parents, ask questions, play with others;
  • nine0083 Formation of academic skills (reading, counting, writing) at a level accessible to the child;
  • Formation of everyday skills and self-care skills: independent use of the toilet, cooking and eating, distinguishing between one's own and other people's dishes, taking a shower, making one's bed, maintaining a neat appearance;
  • Generalization of skills, increasing the ability of a child with autism to demonstrate target behaviors not only in this context, but also in various other situations. nine0084

How can specialists determine the goals of the upcoming work?

Skills assessments are needed to determine what needs to be taught to a child at the moment. To do this, specialists in the applied analysis of the behavior of children with autism use various methods.

The main and most common of them:

  • ABLLS-R - a methodology for assessing basic speech and learning skills in 25 different areas of development. They can be roughly divided into basic learning skills, academic skills, self-help skills, and motor skills. ABLLS-R testing also allows you to prioritize learning objectives. The author of the technique is James Partington; nine0084
  • VB-MAPP - a methodology for assessing the skills of speech and social interaction. Based on the results of VB-MAPP testing, it is possible to determine which skills should be taught to the child in the first place, at what level of complexity it is worth starting training, what factors complicate the learning process, what form of education suits the child at the moment. The author of the methodology is Mark Sandberg;
  • PEAK is a methodology for assessing complex skills. Consists of 4 modules, each of which assesses the degree of development of 184 skills: direct learning module, generalization module, equivalence module, transformation module. The methodology allows for the assessment of skills beyond the basic level. It is effective for diagnosing both children and adolescents and adults with autism. Written by Mark R. Dixon; nine0084
  • AFLS - a method for assessing the development of functional life skills: basic, everyday, social behavior skills. Written by James Partington and Michael Muller;
  • Essential for Living is a life skills assessment tool. Suitable for children and adults with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. Authors: Patrick McGreevy, Troy Fry & Coleen Cornwall.

How do you work with children?

Learning new skills can take many forms e:

  • Block learning is Aba's most popular method. A behavioral skill is broken down into individual steps that are practiced with a large number of repetitions. Each block consists of providing a stimulus, prompting, if necessary, a child's response, rewarding a correct response, or a procedure for correcting an error in case of an incorrect response. The session takes place at a table or on the floor. The specialist gives instructions, if necessary, provides hints (this is a separate art), encourages the right reaction. For example, he puts it in front of the child, asks him to show the ball, helps physically. To do this, he puts his hand on top of the child’s hand and pulls his hand towards the ball, helping to form a pointing gesture. Then the child is rewarded for the correct reaction with a hint. The hint is then removed or lowered. nine0084
  • Also popular in ABA therapy is the Chaining training technique. This technique is used for complex tasks consisting of a long sequence of actions. To do this, you need to divide a complex task into simpler ones, and then write down all the steps in a checklist. For example, for the “wash your hands” chain, the links might be: turn on the faucet, roll up your sleeves, wet your hands, take soap, lather your hands, rinse the soap, turn off the faucet, use a towel. After compiling a checklist with prescribed steps, the hint is systematically reduced at each link in the chain. You can lower the prompt from the end or at the beginning, or depending on the presence of independent reactions, each step has its own hierarchy of pre-thought out prompts. The hint level is fixed in the checklist. nine0084
  • Learning in the natural environment is a form of learning in which skills are practiced in class in the environment in which the child lives. These can be the skills of requesting motivational stimuli using the functions and characteristics of an object, prepositions for indicating the location of an object, and other skills. The task of the teacher in applying this procedure is to notice or provoke the initiative of the child and use it for learning. This method is ideal for teaching communication, asking, taking initiative. To do this, the adult adjusts to the actual needs of the child, provides hints when the child has taken the initiative to do something. For example, if a child loves apples, you can put this fruit on the table so that the child cannot take it himself, but sees it. Further, when he wants to take it, you need to give a full verbal prompt “apple”, provide the child with what he wants. Hints in the methodology must be systematically and consistently removed. nine0084

In general, the prompting system can be described as a separate tool in aba therapy. They must be given with the expectation that they can be removed without hindrance

in the future, without spoiling the existing skill. Tips should be controlling, sufficient for the child to give the desired reaction after them. But at the same time, it is necessary to ensure that there is no dependence on prompts.

  • Mixed blocks - a format in which learning new skills alternates with the repetition of already learned material. For the convenience of a specialist, each instruction is written on a card of a certain color, each area has its own color. The specialist forms a deck of cards with tasks that the child is already completing and adds several cards with target tasks. Training most often takes place in the process of studying at the table, at a fast pace; nine0084
  • Obstacle course - an adult or child, with the help of a specialist, builds an obstacle course from mats, paths, stairs, etc. At the end of each obstacle, a task awaits the child, for example, naming cards, reading, puzzles, and so on;
  • Game - an adult with a child in the lesson play a certain plot familiar to the child. In this format, you can master and update skills such as echo imitation, requests, motor imitation, and others. nine0084

There are many more methods of working with skills and behavior, trainings, hint systems. For a complete immersion in the subject, we recommend contacting a specialist and referring to the literature, for example, the well-known book in their circles by Cooper, John O. “Applied Behavior Analysis”.

Function Based Behavior Correction

In addition to teaching new skills to children, ABA Therapy deals with the correction of unwanted behavior based on four functions. The function of behavior is what the child wants to get by behaving in a certain way. She points to the source of his reinforcements. nine0003

The following behavioral functions are distinguished:

  • Attracting attention . The behavior of the child, the purpose of which is social attention, is aimed at causing some kind of reaction in the adult, not necessarily positive. For example, a child can drag a cat by the tail and rejoice when parents swear, or shout loudly in class and watch the reaction of others.
  • Access to desired . This behavior is aimed at obtaining the desired item or activity. For example, every time a child screams loudly, parents give him candy. To get the same result next time, the child will scream again. nine0084
  • Avoidance. The purpose of this behavior is to avoid performing a task or other unpleasant activity. For example, when a demand is made, the child does not work, but beats himself, and, accordingly, the start of the task is delayed.
  • Sensory stimulation. This behavior is directed towards pleasurable sensory experiences. For example, the child sways on the bed or hangs upside down.

The definition of a behavior function consists of several steps:

  1. At the initial stage of ABA - specialists collect already known information about the child's behavior. There is a conversation with parents, questionnaires, the use of rating scales, a survey and reports of teachers who work with the child.
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