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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

To whoever is reading this: this is your sign to start journaling if you haven’t already. 

I personally love journaling for many reasons, one being that it has allowed me to express myself without any boundaries. I believe it is an underrated form of writing since some view it as trivial and useless.

Journaling is so much more than just writing since it has many aspects to it that make it unique and beneficial to your mental health. 

Journaling Helps Improve Mental Health

For many, journaling positively impacts their mental health. If I am feeling stressed or anxious, I usually journal about what is bothering me at that moment. Sometimes, those who are in these situations might not want to vocally express how they feel, so journaling about it can be a more comfortable way to explore one’s mental health struggles.

Getting into the habit of journaling about your feelings can help reduce mental distress and increase feelings of mental stability. According to WebMD, studies have shown that those who experience feelings of anxiety have “…increased feelings of well-being and fewer depressive symptoms…” after journaling three days a week over a 12-week period.

It is important to remember that journaling is not a one size fits all solution, but could be a helpful tool in identifying the problem and then seeking professional help, if needed.

There are many journaling apps that can help improve your mental health, but the one that I use daily is Finch. Finch is a self care app in which you take care of a pet bird while taking care of yourself. By completing mindfulness activities, breathing exercises, and numerous journaling prompts, not only does your pet grow but so do you. I highly recommend this app because it is a free and easily accessible way to be introduced to journalism. 

Journaling = Ranting

Another benefit of journaling is how it serves as a safe space for your thoughts and feelings, as well as a creative outlet. 

Whatever you are thinking about, rant about it! 

That’s right, journaling is a great way to “rant” about something that is making you happy, sad, angry, or even confused. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, journaling can help you “…prioritize problems, fears, and concerns,” and provides “…an opportunity for positive self-talk and identifying negative thoughts and behaviors.”

“Ranting” about it on paper, or even on a device, will help you gain some clarity, even if your hand might tire from all the writing/typing. 

If you prefer to rant on paper, there are many rant journals available for online purchase. Online stores including Etsy and Amazon have a wide variety of rant journals to choose from. 

However, if you don’t mind typing your rants then I suggest creating a note on the Notes App or Google Docs; both can serve as an online journal. No matter which way you approach this form of ranting, it is a great way to start journaling as you are free to write about whatever you want!

Journaling Can Enhance Writing Skills

Lastly, I will talk about how journaling can help make you a better writer. If you commit to journal daily or weekly or even just as many times as you can your writing could greatly improve. 

Each time is helping you as a writer. 

In an article published by Writing Forward, a creative writing blog, the author discusses how “the more you write, the better your writing becomes” (Donovan, 2020). In other words, practice makes perfect.

As a journalism major, I am always looking for new ways to express myself as a writer, and I find myself turning to my journal for that extra guidance. When it comes to journaling, there are no expectations or boundaries set in place; there is no pressure to remain flawless. If you have a writer’s block, write about the frustration or why you feel stuck. As stated by MasterClass, an online education platform, one can combat writer’s block through journaling “…by keeping the creative juices flowing and feeling free to write without the pressure of a final product looming over you.”

As you continue to write, you might find a solution to the problem, thus improving your writing skills.  

To enhance your writing skills further, there are many journaling prompts to select, including ones that promote self-discovery, creativity, and inspiration.

Now, It’s Time To Journal

With these benefits and resources provided for you, I hope that you will start to, or continue to, journal. To get started, commit to a routine and find time in your day where you can sit in a comfortable environment with no distractions. Once you are in that space, gather a pen and paper, get into a clear mind set, and start writing. Following this plan can help you become the best journalist you can be. However, there are still many things to learn about journaling and the more you write, the more you will discover. 

Sofia Marcus

American '25

Hi I'm Sofia and I'm a journalism major and potential justice minor! My career goal is to become an investigative reporter! Some things about me: I'm originally from Boca Raton, FL, a taurus, a boba tea and sushi enthusiast, and a huge concert and music fan (some of my favorite artists are Harry Styles, 5SOS, Tame Impala, Rex Orange County, etc...).
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