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Positively Explore All Of Your Feelings With These ‘Inside Out 2’-Inspired Journal Prompts

Do you ever catch yourself staring at someone, wondering, “What’s really going on inside their mind?” I sure do. We’re all architects of our own daily core memories, and in Disney’s Inside Out, the colorful characters of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust lead us through the vibrant spectrum of emotions that color our lives. Navigating these emotions can sometimes feel like wandering through a maze, but understanding them is crucial for unraveling the complexities of human interaction and self-awareness.

Drawing inspiration from the profound exploration of the human psyche in the film, journaling emerges as one of the most potent tools for tapping into our innermost feelings. It’s more than just a pastime; it’s a transformative practice that unveils the mindfulness behind our emotional landscapes. Each emotion acts as a valuable guide, offering insights and embarking us on an adventure into the depths of our inner worlds. And with the second film introducing four new emotions that can occur more frequently than we think — Anxiety, Envy, Ennui, and Embarrassment — these are feelings college students and Gen Zers experience more than ever (and are willing to write about).

You can really learn a lot about yourself by writing about how you truly feel. So, whether you’re seething with anger, grappling with anxiety, or experiencing a glimmer of joy today, journaling provides a safe haven to explore these emotions. With these nine Inside Out 2-inspired journal prompts, positively explore all of your feelings, embracing the full spectrum of them with curiosity and compassion.

Reflect upon a moment from your day that brought you pure joy.

There’s nothing better than having a great day, and recalling the day in detail helps keep the happiness alive. Remembering the little things that made you smile and why they mattered so much makes the joy last longer. It could be fun with friends, reaching a goal, or just enjoying the beauty around you. These memories are like precious treasures, reminding us that happiness comes from the special moments in life.

Dive into a recent situation that made you angry.

It can be easy to get a little hot-headed after something doesn’t go your way, whether it’s after an argument with friends, Chipotle not getting your order right, or even when your fave celeb is finally taken. And all of those built-up frustrations can really do a number on your emotions. Writing down your angry emotions is an awesome way to cool down. Think about how you react and whether you really express your anger constructively or more destructively. To avoid letting your anger get the best of you, you can even consider what you could do differently next time.

Make a list of anything you feel envious of.

Ever felt a bit jealous when your peer lands their perfect internship, or when you see your friends traveling to the places you’ve always wanted to go? Whether it is something or someone, try to list all of the aspects of your life that you envy and why. By doing this, you can shift your perspective to focus more positively on what you are grateful for in your own life. And this doesn’t mean to stray you away from not pursuing your dreams. It’s all about finding that balance between admiration and motivation, empowering us to pursue our aspirations while cherishing the unique journey you’re on.

Explore a recent experience that left you feeling sad.

Growing up has its fair share of tough moments. When you’re feeling down, it’s crucial to pour out all your emotions and figure out what caused them. This can be a great way to cope because it allows you to reflect on any lessons learned from the experience. For college students, this process can be particularly valuable as it helps build emotional resilience and self-awareness. By understanding your triggers, you can better navigate the ups and downs of college life, ultimately leading to personal growth and a more positive outlook.

Recall a moment when you felt disgusted.

Feeling the ick about something? Whether it was triggered by an external situation or even your own behavior, take a moment to consider what values or boundaries were being challenged. Reflect on how you can handle similar situations in the future while staying true to yourself. This self-awareness can help you navigate life’s challenges with confidence and authenticity.

Write about a fear that is currently holding you back from reaching your full potential.

Fears can come in all shapes and sizes, but that doesn’t mean they have to hold you back. Why not brainstorm some creative steps to confront and overcome your fear? You could even turn it into a fun game or challenge for yourself! Just think about the amazing boost in personal growth and confidence you’ll experience once you tackle it head-on.

List everything that is causing you anxiety.

Breaking down whatever is causing your anxiety can really help tame those overwhelming emotions. Whether it’s upcoming exams, social pressures, or career uncertainties, use this journal prompt as an opportunity to explore strategies for managing each of these sources of anxiety. Take a moment to delve into everything that’s been weighing on your mind. After listing these items, ask yourself, “How does this anxiety manifest in your daily life, and how do you typically cope with it?” Consider reaching out to friends, family, or campus resources for support, and remember that you’re not alone in facing these challenges.

Ponder on a period of ennui in your life.

If you didn’t know, ennui is that feeling of being disinterested in your surroundings, having nothing to do, or feeling like life is dull. It often happens when you’re missing out on activities or passions. Boredom is totally normal, but there are several journaling habits that can bring more excitement and meaning into your daily routine. Creating a mood or vision board in your journal might just spark some inspiration and guide you toward what truly excites you.

Recount a moment when you felt embarrassed.

Think back to a time when you felt super self-conscious. While it’s helpful to remember how you handled the situation back then, it’s equally important to consider how you feel about it now. Write down every emotion that makes you feel embarrassed, and then let it go because you can overcome this. By reflecting on past experiences and planning proactive steps, you can better prepare yourself to face similar challenges head-on and grow stronger each time.

So, feeling anxious about that big presentation? Turn it into excitement! Envious of someone’s success? Use it as inspiration! Bored? Get creative and try something new! Embarrassed? Laugh it off and own it! By using all of these nine Inside Out strategies, you can really explore and understand your emotions to the fullest through writing.

Lily Brown

Emerson '25

Lily Brown is the Wellness Intern for Her Campus Media. She writes for the Culture, Style, and Wellness verticals on the site, including Beauty, Decor, Digital, Entertainment, Experiences, Fashion, Mental Health, and Sex + Relationships coverage. Beyond Her Campus, Lily is a rising senior at Emerson College in Boston, MA, majoring in Journalism with a Publishing minor. She works as the Creative Director for the on-campus lifestyle publication, Your Magazine, where she establishes and curates the conceptual design and content for the entire publication ranging from style, romance, music, pop culture, personal identity, and college experiences. She has written and photographed for Your Mag along with several other on-campus magazines. Lily was recently recognized for her work on YM and awarded two EVVYs for Outstanding Print Publication. In her free time, Lily maybe spends a little too much time keeping a close eye on captivating red carpet and runway fashion, and binge-watching her favorite shows. She also enjoys expressing her thoughts through creative writing, exploring new destinations, and blasting ABBA, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, and Lady Gaga on Spotify. Additionally, she actively contributes to fostering a sense of community among college residents as a dedicated Residential Assistant.