While we’re all staying in because of the coronavirus, 43% of Americans have said their emotional wellbeing has gotten worse. That’s a very significant number. Some have turned towards shopping to feel better, some have turned to exercise, and some have turned to meditation, breathing exercises, and more mental health-focused exercises.
One exercise that has proven beneficial for mental health is journaling. Journaling has been proven to help reduce stress, solve problems more effectively, clarify thoughts and feelings, improve your immune function, keep your memory sharp, boost your mood, and benefit your overall emotional health.
Because sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, guided journals are great at prompting your thoughts and cutting through the noise. Here is a list of some of the best guided journals we found for every (yes, every) type of person out there.
FOR THE BEGINNER
The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day
Five minutes a day, everyday. That’s it. That’s all this journal requires. It’s structure is very formatted with thoughtfully designed prompts that are different each day, including what you’re grateful for, inspiring quotes, daily affirmations, and an end of day self reflection. The journal also explains the science of the prompt, so you know what you’re getting out of completing it.
FOR THE ARTIST
Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way: Sketch, Paint, and Doodle Through One Creative Year
This drawing journal is divided into monthly themes, with undated daily prompts that suggest what to draw each day. You can work from front to back or jump around the journal and draw whatever you’re feeling that day. Monthly themes include: a month of nature, a month of your favorite things, a month of prints and patterns, and more! Get ready to draw til your hand falls off (kidding)!
FOR THE ONE WHO DOESN’T GIVE A F*CK
Let That Sh*t Go: A Journal for Leaving Your Bullsh*t Behind & Creating a Happy Life
Nobody has time for grudges or plotting revenge, that just takes up too much energy. So get ready for a catharsis of all the negative energy and getting yourself higher (their words, not ours). This profanity-filled, tongue-in-cheek journal is sure to charm you and make you smile as you get out all your frustrations.
FOR THE WILD SPIRIT
The Wild Unknown Journal
There are no rules for this journal. It begins with a dynamic, interactive introduction that invites you in and explains how to use the journal. But really all the possibilities are yours. This journal is perfect for connecting with your inner self and just drawing, writing, creating whatever you feel in that moment. Warning: may awaken your inner creative being.
FOR THE ZODIAC OBSESSED
You Are Stardust Guided Astrology Journal
Get your stars aligned (and know what the f*ck it actually means) with this journal. It will take you on a journey of self discovery through your own birth chart, and guide you to develop your very own interpretations led by your intuition. It features core astrology teachings, writing prompts, and a few drawing exercises to help you better connect with certain concepts.
FOR THE LIST MAKER
Listography Journal: Your Life in Lists
Are you one of those people who can only get stuff done if it’s written in a list? You’re not alone, and this journal is for you. It’s the ultimate tool for creating a unique autobiography entirely in list form. Some lists include: greatest accomplishments, memorable co-workers, places you’ve lived, guilty pleasures, and greatest acts of kindness.
FOR THE INTERNET OBSESSED
1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion
Put your phone down, turn off your TV and computer, and pick up a pencil. The Internet will still be there once you’re done. This journal aims to help you take some time away from the internet and feed your creative side. Each of the 365 prompts will encourage you to draw, write, list, reflect, and share. At the end you might like this journal more than your phone (maybe).
FOR THE OPTIMIST
The Happy Book
The ultimate pick-me-up in journal form (no, really though). Packaged to encourage doodling and drawing, there is plenty of space throughout to scribble thoughts, make lists, fill in the blanks, and paste pictures. This book is about creating a record of what makes you happy, whether that’s puppies, donuts, or those headbands you wore in eighth grade that are making a comeback.
FOR THE PERSON WHO LIKES TO BREAK SH*T
Wreck This Journal
If you’re the kind of person that prefers messy or just isn’t into that whole pristine and perfect thing, well, this is your journal. This book challenges you to muster up your best mistake- and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (or destroy them), including poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting pages with coffee, coloring outside the lines, and more—in order to experience the true creative process..
FOR THE HEALTH NUT
Eat Pretty Live Well: A Guided Journal for Nourishing Beauty, Inside and Out
The journal for eating well and feeling your best. It includes an A to Z directory of more than 150 radiance-boosting foods, a 40-day food diary for tracking your wellbeing, fill-in charts and lists, prompts for self-reflection, recipe cards, de-stressing techniques, sleep tips, and more. All the guidance in this journal is science-based and time-tested to present a complete overview of beauty nutrition and easy, motivating ways to embrace it in your daily life.
FOR THE BUSY BEE
One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book
For those daunted by the idea of keeping a journal or who think they don’t have enough time to keep one (much less take time to breathe during the day) this is your journal. Each page includes an entry for five years, allowing you to revisit previous thoughts on a specific day of the year over the span of five years, and reflect on change and progress. It’s a great way to start off your day or finish off your night. And, again, it’s only one line, so it will only take you a minute.
FOR THE COUPLE WHO DOES EVERYTHING TOGETHER
Our Q&A a Day: 3-Year Journal for 2 People
We just found another thing for you and your S.O. to do together: journal!! This book is a simple and fun thing for the two of you to do together. It provides a question for every day of the year for three years, with enough space for two people to jot down a one or two sentence response. Questions revolve around things you want to do together (“Where would you like to travel with your partner?”), while others suggest writing something about each other (“What does your partner’s laugh sound like?”). Over the years you can see how their answers compare, contrast, and change.
FOR THE YOGI
Practice You: A Journal
Basically like doing yoga, but in book form. That’s probably because Elena Brower is a yoga instructor herself. With pages of questions, teachings, inspiring imagery, and plenty of space to write, draw, and reflect, this journal is your sanctuary for recording your flashes of insight, find your ground, create and clarify your goals, and bear witness to your own evolution.
FOR THE COLOR LOVER
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
Featuring vibrant hand-lettering and images, this interactive journal is designed to help you nurture your creativity, mindfulness, and self-motivation. Inside you’ll find a series of prompts, exercises, and inspirational quotes to help you flex your creative muscle and get to know yourself better (all in beautiful color-filled pages!).
FOR THE DREAM ANALYZER
Dreamer’s Journal: An Illustrated Guide to the Subconscious
Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean? (Don’t we all secretly?) This journal is the only of its kind and provides anyone with the resources to record and interpret their dreams. Filled with a dictionary of common dream symbols and themes and plenty of space to write and draw out their dreams, this book is a go-to for anyone looking to find meaning in their dreams.