What’s inside this article: 40 self-discovery journal prompts to help you learn more about yourself, thoughts, feelings, and goals while helping you get started with journaling if it’s hard for you to start from a blank page. Includes a free printable checklist of all the prompts.
Writing in a journal is a way to get to know yourself better. It’s almost like you’re talking to yourself, and finding out more about your own thoughts, dreams, and ideas. These self-discovery journal prompts can help you learn things about yourself that you didn’t realize were there.
Starting from a blank page might leave your mind blank, too. But there are many benefits of journaling, and using prompts can help you explore yourself, your thoughts, goals, and values ; leading you on a journey of fulfilling self-exploration.
Benefits of Journaling
There are many benefits of journaling and if it’s not something you do regularly, it’s definitely worth trying. Some benefits of journaling include:
- Reduces stress and anxiety – Getting your thoughts and worries down on paper helps you recognize negative thinking patterns affecting your mental health and provides an opportunity for self-reflection. This can reduce stress and anxiety by helping you gain a more realistic outlook on life’s challenges.
- Improves communication skills – Journaling helps you practice expressing your thoughts and feelings, and helps you understand yourself better. The better you’re able to express yourself, the easier it is to express your feelings to others and make yoruself understood.
- Improves memory – Research shows that simply writing something down makes you more likely to remember it. The physical act of writing something by hand tells your brain that the information is important. Keeping note of goals, values, thoughts and ideas that are important to you keeps them at the forefront of your brain.
- Boosts mood – Journaling provides an outlet for expressing your emotions rather than keeping them bottled up. Research shows that it also reduced symptoms of depression , and helps you problem solve. Journaling can also help you process traumatic events and increases gratitude. All of these benefits can help boost your over all mood.
Self-Discovery Journal Prompts
So if you’d like to learn more about yourself while also benefiting from journaling, here are some great self-discovery journal prompts to get you started on the self-exploration process.
I recommend buying a quality journal and choosing one prompt a day from the list to write about. You may also want to perform a brain dump to clear your mind before you begin journaling.
You can download a free checklist of these journal prompts at the end of this article to help you keep track of which prompts you’ve completed.
- Write a letter to yourself from five years ago. What advice would you give them?
- Describe how you would live if you weren’t worried about what other people thought of you
- How would you describe your personality to a complete stranger?
- Describe one of your earliest childhood memories
- What do you believe defines a “successful life”?
- Write a letter to one of your parents sharing how they’ve influenced you to become the person you are today.
- How does social media impact your mood and your day? What are the upsides and downsides to using social media?
- What is your biggest regret? Is there anything you’d do differently if given the chance?
- Write a letter to someone who has done you wrong.
- Describe your biggest strength and your most challenging flaw.
- Do you take risks in life, or play it safe? Explain why
- Has your partner ever pointed out traits or behaviors they want you to work on? How do you feel about it? Do you think you have poor behaviors that you should change?
- What distractions are currently hindering your productivity?
- If you could travel back in time, what would you tell your teenage self?
- Describe the worst break-up you’ve ever had. How did you heal from it?
- How do you want to be remembered by your loved ones after you’re gone?
- Do you feel like your life is balanced? Are there things you think you should be doing more or less of?
- If you could live in a different time period entirely, what would it be? What do you think you’d be doing.
- Do you think you make enough time for self-care? How do you practice self-care currently and what are some things you wish you could do?
- What are the different roles you play in your life and how do you feel about them? (e.g. mother, partner, sister, etc.)
- What’s going well in your life right now? What’s currently challenging you?
- Can you recall an occasion when someone was kind to you when you weren’t expecting it?
- What’s your biggest insecurity? What do you think your life would be like if you let it go?
- What’s one goal you have that you’ve never shared with anyone?
- Write a letter to yourself accepting yourself for who you are.
- What activities drain your (mental) energy the most? How do you recuperate?
- If money wasn’t an issue, how would you live out the rest of your life?
- Describe someone or something that you couldn’t imagine living without. What makes them/it so special?
- How do you react when you’re angry? Is there anything you’d like to change about how you cope with anger?
- Where do you hope to see yourself in ten years?
- What are some skills you’d like to learn? How would they benefit your future self?
- What are some unhealthy habits that you’d like to change?
- Describe a moment where you felt proud of yourself.
- What is the most dominant emotion in your life right now and why is this so?
- What are some things you think should change about the world to make it a better place?
- Is there anything you feel is missing from your life right now that would make it more fulfilling?
- Do you make decisions with your heart or your head? Explain how you make difficult choices.
- What are your best qualities? Why are they assets to you?
- Write a letter to someone who hurt you in the past, explain what they did and how it affected you. Have you healed from that experience? Have you forgiven them?
- Is your current job fulfilling to you? Explain why/why not. What is your dream job and what obstacles are holding you back if you’re not currently in your dream career?
Download Checklist of Self-Discovery Journal Prompts
You can download a check-list of these self-discovery journal prompts to print and help you keep track here below.
I hope you enjoy these and they help you learn more about yourself, your values, and your future goals.
There’s no right or wrong way to write about any of these prompts. Journaling is a personal, intimate experience. Use this time to let your thoughts flow, they are yours and you can keep them private if you wish. But learning about yourself opens up opportunities for growth, gratitude, and healing
Be open and honest with yourself while completing these self-discovery journal prompts.