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5 Types of Journaling That Anyone Can Do

When one thinks of journaling, the first thing that comes to mind is someone sitting at a desk writing a stream of consciousness. While that is one style of journaling, I’m here to tell you that there’s a whole world of journaling styles that exist. Journaling has a whole list of benefits but most importantly it serves as a way to document your thoughts, feelings, and memories and can be a great act of self-care. I’m a strong believer that everyone should keep a journal, and while not everyone may enjoy writing, there are other styles of journaling that can be experimented with instead. Here is a list of five types of journaling styles that I think anyone can do: 

1. Art/Collage Journaling

An art journal is a visual record of thoughts and ideas that can be created through a combination of art and writing. This is personally my favorite journaling style because it allows me to be creative while still expressing any thoughts and feelings I may have, and because there are no rules to art journaling. You can use any type of material, whether it’s clippings from magazines that you already have, old photographs, newspaper articles, or pages from old books. If you like to draw or paint you can also incorporate that into your art journal as well, once you figure out your creative style the sky is the limit with this type of journaling. There is tons of inspiration to be found on Pinterest, or you can get inspiration from Instagram accounts such as @journalbean and @featuringjournals

2. Bullet Journal

What’s great about a bullet journal is that it includes a little bit of everything and serves as a great way to organize yourself by creating agendas, lists, trackers, and other organizational tasks into a single journal. Bullet journaling is really versatile and anyone can do it. If you want to get really creative you can make elaborate bullet journal spreads, but simple spreads work just as The possibilities are endless with bullet journals and you can be as minimalistic as you want or as detailed as you want. 

Related: 6 Tips to Help You Start Bullet Journaling

3. Junk Journal

Junk journals are similar to collage and art journaling, except that a junk journal consists of recycled scraps and materials that are collected to record memories, thoughts, and ideas. A junk journal is a great way to store all your memorabilia and memories in one place. You can use anything and everything in a junk journal, whether it’s something from your day-to-day life such as a newspaper clipping or a store receipt or something from an occasion you want to remember such as a concert ticket or a polaroid photo. You can get really creative with junk journaling and this style is very sustainable because you don’t need to go out and buy any materials, you just incorporate and repurpose objects and materials. 

4. Gratitude Journal

Gratitude journaling is pretty self-explanatory, you just list or write about the things that you are grateful for in your life and day-to-day life. It’s always easy to think of what you don’t have and what you need to strive towards, but it’s even harder to realize what you already have right in front of you that you are taking for granted. If you are ever feeling down, you can look back at what you have written and reflect on all the things that you already have to be grateful for. Gratitude journaling is a great way to ground yourself and practice mindfulness, whether you practice it at the beginning or end of your day. 

Related: The Power of Journaling

5. Diary-stye Journaling

This style is classic and is the best way to organize and put your thoughts down in a single place when you are feeling overwhelmed and are having too many thoughts. Writing can be very therapeutic and is an act of self-care because it allows you to get a more intimate understanding of yourself and your own thoughts, and you may even end up being surprised by some of your self-discoveries. It can be hard to get the motivation to write sometimes because the task may seem daunting and overwhelming, but the key is to just put your pen to the paper and let it flow without overthinking it. You will never regret documenting your thoughts whether it’s a daily, weekly, or monthly practice, or just something you do on a special occasion. It’s greatest to have a written record of your thoughts and experiences and it’s always fun to reread and to look back on and reflect on how much you’ve grown since.  

Journaling is a powerful tool that can be used for self-care and to nurture your own inner child and creativity. There are several different styles of journaling that you can experiment with, and you don’t have to be limited to one style, you can incorporate as many different styles as you like. Hopefully, this article has introduced you to some of the many styles of journaling that exist, and that it inspires you to start or maintain a journal.

Amira B

George Mason University '22

Amira is a student at George Mason University pursuing a degree in Global and Community Health. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, and experimenting with fashion and makeup. In the future, she hopes to work in the field of Public Health and be able to travel the world.
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