Create a wellness journal with these easy wellness journal ideas

Getting your thoughts on paper is a really effective method of clearing your head.

Our brains can only hold so much information before we start to feel overwhelmed.

Wellness journal ideas help to get those thoughts out of your brain.

Keeping a wellness journal helps ease the day to day pressure on our brain.

Dave Allen, author of “Getting things done”, says the brain is for having ideas, not holding them.

But we forget that and instead cram our brains full of all sorts of information.

This in turn impacts on our wellness.

For that reason I would really encourage you to keep a wellness journal.

Think of it as a space of personal calm and focus where the demands of the outside world are kept at arms length at least for a while.

Other wellness blog posts you can read on the Wardrobe Journaling website are:

A prayer for wellness and emotional strength

Printable wellness recovery action plan worksheets

How to prioritise your wellbeing with bullet journal techniques

Creating a wellness journal

To help you get started you will find below a list of different journal types that you can keep, followed by different wellness journal ideas that you might want to incorporate into your journal.

Firstly let’s look at what results you want from your journaling practice and the personal journey you will undergo as part of using one of these different types of journals.

wellness journal ideas for powerful but gentle mental wellbeing

Wellness journaling is a journey

Before you embark on your journal decide what result you want from your journaling practice.

Do you just want to feel better?

Do you want to establish new daily routines to help you cope with and enjoy your life better?

Do you want to monitor mental health issues? Journaling around your feelings of wellness, what makes you feel well, what makes you feel tired and anxious can be a very valuable practice.

You may benefit from writing prompts, and we have a list of useful writing prompts here
50 wellness journal prompts
and here
30 reflective journal prompts
that can trigger your brain and help start your daily wellness writing practice.

You may want to track some form of daily goals such as water intake, mood level, steps or just keep track of your health in general.

Whatever you want to track, the ultimate purpose is not the tracking method or how many glasses of water you drank in a day, or whether you exercised every day for a month.

The ultimate purpose of a wellness journal is your personal wellbeing. It’s as simple as that.

Personal journaling

Wellness journaling is about who you are and how you are fitting into this world in a way that suits and fulfils you. It is about your personal journey.

So, gathering your wellness journal actions together and creating a great journal is only part of the story. The real story is the personal journey which you will undertake as part of this process

The best wellness journal for you is one which provides a safe space to give you a better understanding of your own mental wellbeing. The most important thing is that it is personal to you.

Developing new habits from wellness journal ideas

Secondly to personal wellbeing you can address your habits.

Your habits for the year should arise out of who you want to be and how you want to live.

They should not arise first. First is your personal wellbeing.

Habits come second place after that.

A simple example of this is: Don’t set yourself the goal of 20 minutes yoga practice every day if you’d rather go for a run.

Equally, do not feel pressurised into journaling every day if you do not want to. Establishing a regular pattern is a great thing, but it doesn’t have to be every day.

Once you have established what results you want from your wellness journal and what kind of personal journey you might undertake let’s look at different journal types you could use:

wellness journal ideas for powerful but gentle mental wellbeing

Different wellness journal types

1. Bullet Journaling

Bullet journaling has become very popular. It is a flexible method of journaling within a structure. I am not a bullet journal expert. Check out the website for yourself and read Ryder Carroll’s story too of how he created his first bullet journal. It may give you inspiration for your own.

2. Reflective journaling

Reflective journals allow for self reflection and critical analysis of your chosen activities. As we all know, wellness doesn’t just happen, it is usually the result of careful self reflection and thought. A simple way to get started with reflective journaling is:

  1. Limit your reflection subjects to just what is contained in your wellness journal – Don’t try and reflect on all of your life. Take it small pieces at a time and deal with them well.
  2. Write in your reflective journal regularly. Give yourself a specific amount of time to address your subject matter. It doesn’t have to be a short length of time, there is no pressure. The time constraint is simply to keep you focused.
  3. Observe yourself. Before reflecting on paper, observe yourself, your actions, thoughts and feelings.
  4. Regularly take time to reflect on what you have written. This is key as your reflections will have very limited value if you are unable to incorporate them into your life
  5. Use lists of reflective journal prompts to help you embark on your self reflection journey.

3. Visual journal

You may want to track your wellness visually: with drawings, paintings or collages. Or maybe you want to take pictures of places where you feel particularly well. The act of creativity itself lends itself to feelings of wellness and the practice of reflecting over creative works is also wellness inducing. So creativity is definitely a great tool to use in your wellness journaling arsenal!

4. Gratitude Journal

The concept of the gratitude journal is very simple. It is a method of tracking everything that you are grateful for. The fact of tracking what you are grateful for will make you more aware of just how much you have to be grateful for which you don’t notice each day.

Some people give themselves a certain number of things to be grateful for each day, eg 10 things to be grateful for each day. By tracking them the idea is for you to become more appreciative of your life.

5. Food Journal

Food journals are an excellent way to monitor your relationship with food which can often be as emotional as physical. You can track how you feel about the food you eat and how much your emotions affect what you eat. What food makes you feel well. Conversely what food doesn’t make you feel well. What would your diet be like to produce the highest level of wellness in you.

6. Mental Health Journal

Monitoring your mental health or a recent mental illness can be a great healing process. You can use wellness journal prompts, sketches or images to also help with your mental health journaling.

What to write in your wellness journal

Now that you have picked the type of journal you will create, let’s look at what you will write on those blank pages.

As you’ve seen in this article, you can incorporate many different approaches and practices into your wellness journal, but it’s also a good place to establish some regularity and routine to make it easy for you to come back to each day.

This regularity and routine will create a structure in your wellness journal which will enable you to read the journal easily as well as find and locate specific ideas and thoughts.

Pick a few of the following:

wellness journal ideas for powerful but gentle mental wellbeing

Giving structure to your wellness journal

Journaling is a very free exercise and there are few rules. The choice of wellness journal ideas is entirely yours. However, we have created a short list of wellness journal ideas to give you structure to the journal as well as inspiration as to what to write. Use these options and create the structure of your wellness journal as you like.

Even though I have said that you don’t need to journal every day, the most effective way to use your wellness journal is on a regular basis. If you want to see and feel a difference in yourself I definitely recommend having a structure in place both for the layout of the journal and for your journaling in it.

Here are some journaling types that you can incorporate into your wellness journal.

Mood tracker

The purpose of this type of tool is to help look for patterns in how moods vary over time and due to different situations and circumstances.

In some cases, a mood tracker can be useful for people with mental health conditions—such as depression and anxiety—to help identify and regulate moods.

Wellness goals or journey

Do you have a goal in mind or a journey or any specific actions you want to take on a daily basis? Establish these from the start.

Meal planning

You can keep a meal planner journal as part of your wellbeing journal practice. However keeping a meal planning element in a general wellness journal can be a helpful tool. Journaling across different activities can be a healthy holistic approach to your wellness journey.

Physical health

Monitoring your physical health is a great way of tracking your overall health, both mental and physical. Your physical health, for example being fit, is as much a result of your mental health as it is of what you eat.

Healthy habits

Healthy habits are another backbone of your wellness journal ideas. Wellness is a result of often simple acts performed regularly. Decide for yourself what healthy habits you want to adopt.

Track them in your journal (a bullet journal would be a perfect way to track habits). You can also use your journal to provide daily prompts to keep your healthy habits regular.

Water intake

Monitoring your water intake is a great way of ensuring that you are drinking enough water. Lack of adequate hydration leads to dehydration. Dehydration causes tiredness and a reduced mental state. So, monitoring your water intake is one of those little things which can have a major impact on your mental health.

Daily habits

Daily habits are, as we’ve already seen, the backbone of your wellness journey. There is no right way or wrong way to monitor them, whatever works for you and gives you a positive outlook on your wellness journey is the right thing.

Daily life

You can do a regular brain dump of things going on in your life. Getting your thoughts on paper is a simple act which has far reaching consequences for a positive mindset.

This is because the act of writing your thoughts down frees the brain up and gives you clarity. When you have clarity in your brain you will feel so much better and you can use that clarity to then go to work on your life.

Personal health

Tracking your monthly cycle is one of those thought-provoking prompts which can really help you better understand your moods and energy levels. Keeping track of your periods is a very practical way to monitor your wellness. Equally keeping track of any menopausal, or pre-menopausal symptoms is very useful.

Weight loss

Losing weight is one of those short-term goals which can help promote healthy wellness in your life.

Firstly tracking your weight loss / food intake is positive and motivating and secondly as you lose weight you will feel so much better and much more empowered as you realise that you have agency over your own life.

Energy levels

Monitoring your energy levels in your every day life can be very relaxing and encouraging. We all have fluctuating energy levels, they never remain the same. It can be very discouraging to have low energy levels without understanding why.

If you monitor your energy levels you might start to recognise patterns in the energy levels in your everyday life.

Next time you have a couple of days when you feel particularly tired, the chances are you will be so much kinder to yourself because you will understand that this is just part of a larger energy level pattern and sooner or later your bouncy energy levels will return.

Positive experiences

Similar to a gratitude journal, journaling your experience of positive experiences is a simple but good idea and one of the different ways in which you can achieve wellness through journaling.

Create your own action plan for monitoring positive experiences. Do you want to list them out daily? And if so, how many do you want to list each day? You could create this as part of your daily to-do list.

Or it could be one of your monthly goals: at the end of each month list out the positive experiences you have had. For me, I’d definitely forget if I had to wait to list them out after a month, so I would opt for charting them as part of my daily pages.

Morning routine

Create your own morning routine. First thing in the morning set your daily intentions and undertake your activities that you plan to do each day: yoga, meditation, pray, go for a run and write in your journal.

Self care

Self care is fundamental to healthy wellness. In fact a good self care routine is one of the first steps you should take to establish long term wellness.

Ask yourself what self care looks like to you, think of specific goals. Is it time each week for a long leisurely bath? Is it to have your nails painted, or facial? Is it to set aside time to read one of your favourite books?

Whatever it is write it down then set out regular times when you will do these self-care activities.

Innermost thoughts

Monitoring your innermost thoughts is a core pillar of your wellness journal ideas. “The unexamined life is not worth living” said Socrates. Use any of the journal types above and use your journal writing to firstly write out your innermost thoughts.

The trick here is to do this without editing your thoughts, just write down what you are thinking. After you have written down your thoughts you can then examine them.

You can examine your innermost thoughts by carefully rereading what you have written and then thinking about what you have written and then journaling about those subsequent thoughts.

Big goals

Challenges are a great and necessary part of our life. A certain amount of hardship and difficulty is actually really good for our wellness. So don’t be afraid to set big goals.

And more importantly, don’t be afraid to fail. Just go all out and do your best. Don’t second guess yourself or think you can’t do it. Just go all out. Decide for yourself what your personal big goal will be.

It will be different for each of us. Set that goal and go all out on it. A big goal can take an entire year to achieve, it shouldn’t be something that you can complete in a month.

Other similar blog posts

If you enjoyed this blog post then you should have a look at the posts which address mental health and self improvement and personal growth (I might have mentioned these already but if you haven’t already checked them out please do):

The benefits of journaling for mental health
What is a growth mindset journal


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