Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

Journaling has become such a staple in my life for many reasons. The benefits have left amazing results on both my mindset and my outlook on many things as a 21-year-old woman navigating life. It began something I picked up in the summer of 2022, where there were so many thoughts on my mind, yet I could not find an outlet that worked for me to express them. I had picked up my first journal and never looked back; to this day, it is such an essential part of my day.

The only thing I could possibly regret about journaling is the fact I did not start sooner!

Journaling has been so essential in terms of bettering my mental health and processing emotions, as it serves as a creative and personal outlet to not only share feelings, but also be able to process them. Things like recaps of my day, to-do lists, and manifestations get added to my journal. The more I add with less pressure, without making it ‘serious’, the more inviting the format becomes. Seeing my different goals and aspirations blossom is something that is beautiful, and seeing personal growth and well-being expand to new heights is very important to me and is all accessible with journaling. It is an area where self-love and self-appreciation grows, as I can see my old self overcome challenges and succeed in my aspirations, which makes me treat my current self with more love and care.

I enjoy flipping back and seeing how informal it is, as it directly reflects what is going on in my mind. Being able to look back on days that felt like the end of the world – or emotions I thought I could never fully process is a cathartic experience, even when you are partially healed. Moving forward with life and time is often scary but being able to look back on even mundane days that seemed so small can create memories and solace from the past.

There is something oddly calming about coming to the forefront with emotions when journaling. As for my personal experience, writing down exactly what was going on in my mind created a healthier and balanced relationship with my mental health. Bottling up feelings, thoughts, experiences, and everything else in my mind was a recipe for disaster. This therapeutic experience allowed me to express and decompress some hard-to-swallow days and nights. Reaching out or not being able to verbally express my thoughts and feelings came with a fear of judgement and embarrassment that held me back when deciding the next steps for improving my mental health. In my personal journey, journaling alleviated the fear of both, as writing to myself (as well as to the voiceless void) was full of creative and expressive freedom in terms of my mindset. There was just me, and my pen to paper, no prying eyes, or opinions, but just my confidence within myself. 

Although methods of self-expression and alleviating any mental health concerns vary within everyone, to this day I am so grateful I started my journaling journey. I find so much inner peace while journaling, and I have created such a better bond with myself, my heart, and my mind.

Bianca Giacoboni is a writer at McMaster University's Her Campus. Bianca is starting as a writer in her fourth year at McMaster, and majoring in Honours Political Science. As a Political Science major, Bianca does a lot of research and writing on various topics such as digital and public policy, but also heavily enjoys writing about everything in between. She is very interested in a career in the public policy sector, as well as journalism and communications. In her free time, Bianca loves spending time with her dogs Bella and Gigi, and loves to read. Writing and journaling is a big passion, and hopes she can connect to readers of all kinds.