Journaling can be helpful for your well-being, but it can also be hard to know what to write about. Today I’m sharing 22 of the best guided journals for mental health with all the prompts, both written and not, that you could ever need! At least for a while. :)
Whether you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, feeling a little lost, or just want to learn more about yourself and dig a little deeper, this list has you covered.
This list is pretty wide-ranging from funny and sort of obnoxious (but probably necessary at times, haha) to more serious, proven techniques authored by licensed professionals to help your mental health.
What is a Guided Journal?
The unique thing about guided journaling is that you don’t have to free write; you have prompts to help you focus. Freewriting is also a good practice, but some days it’s hard to know what to write…and then you don’t write at all.
Guided journals help you learn more about your likes, your dislikes, your dreams, your fears, your achievements, your beliefs and just who you really are. They can help bring clarity, awareness, help you process difficult emotions and give you some direction.
How to Benefit from Guided Journals
The greatest benefits from journaling come with repeated practice. The easiest way to make journaling a habit is to create a daily routine that includes journaling time. 10 minutes a day is a great start and really all you need.
Also, the more honest and open you are, the more journaling will work in your favor.
Write like nobody is reading!
Create a Journaling Routine
I like to think daily journaling is best, but you can choose what that works for you. I find that daily journaling keeps my head a lot more clearer than if I only journal once in a while.
It can be helpful to associate something that you do during the day with journaling that will signal that it’s journaling time. A lot of people prefer to journal right after waking up, but it could also be after you make your coffee or before you go to bed.
Just like with working out, the more consistent you are with journaling, the more you will benefit from it. The same is true for journaling, except you’re flexing your mind muscles, which are also important.
Create a Journaling Space
This could be your bedroom, living room or your closet. Make it an inviting, peaceful and calm space where you feel free to explore your thoughts and feelings without distractions.
Light a candle, put some cozy clothes on, wrap yourself up in a big soft blanket, grab your journal and favorite pen and forget the world for a while.
Don’t Worry About Your Journal Being Read
If the thought of someone reading what you write stops you in your tracks or prohibits you from expressing yourself fully, find a good hiding spot for your journal. You could also use a computer instead and create Word documents or create a private blog online that’s hidden from public view.
Also, if what you’re writing is really that “bad” or makes you worry at all in the first place about somebody reading it, maybe it’s time to weed through the people in your life that are giving you a hard time.
Another tip: Burn it! The process of journaling is what helps you. You don’t have to keep everything to read again later. It’s all up to you and what makes you comfortable.
22 Best Guided Journals for Mental Health
- Author: Meera Lee Patel
- Publishing Date: March 31, 2016
- Pages: 120
Meera Lee Patel’s uplifting book presents supportive prompts and exercises along with inspirational quotes to encourage reflection through writing, drawing, chart-making, and more.
This journal has space for both writing and creating. Sometimes you’ll make lists, sometimes you’ll fill in things, and sometimes you’ll just write based on a given prompt. The illustrations inside are super beautiful and fun for the eyes.
- Publisher: Potter Style
- Publishing Date: November 23, 2010
- Pages: 368
This journal makes it easy to get into the habit of journaling because there’s just one simple question each day to answer. I got this one from my mom for my birthday, and she filled out the first entry on my birth date, which was a fun surprise!
There is a daily prompt with room to answer the same question for five years on the same page. It’s so fun to compare old answers with the new. The hard part is sticking to it. For sure.
- Author: Keri Smith
- Publishing Date: August 7, 2012
- Pages: 224
If you’re not super into writing, the Wreck This Journal is a fun alternative because while it does have prompts, it’s more of an art journal.
Art journaling can be just as therapeutic as putting words on paper. It forces you to be creative and it’s fun seeing what you can come up with. You can find a ton of inspiration online to help fill your pages.
This is one of my favorite pages:
I just used things I already had on hand for this one. I used these Crayola paints and I love the way they smell. Ha.
* Buying new art supplies isn’t necessary unless you love buying new art supplies. Haha! When I bought this journal, I did purchase paints and markers and colored pencils because new craft supplies smell good, and they’re fun. :)
- Author: Lea Redmond
- Publishing Date: March 22, 2016
- Pages: 12
This is guided journaling in a bit of a different way. Usually when we think of journaling, we think of keeping them to ourselves. This one was meant to be shared, but that doesn’t mean you have to give it away.
Whether you decide to gift this to your mom (whomever that means for you) or keep it for yourself is up to you.
They have one for the dads too. I have gifted one to each of my parents, and they both really enjoyed it. It was also fun for me to write letters specifically to them on topics I wouldn’t have thought about on my own.
- Author: Monica Sweeney
- Publishing Date: March 6, 2018
- Pages: 128
My sisters and I all got this from our mom for Christmas one year. If you have a pretty good sense of humor and don’t mind some swears, you might like this one as much as I do.
Sprinkle, scatter, or set off a glitter-bomb of happy vibes onto your trail of tranquility with Zen as F*ck!
• Start sparkling like the f*cking gem you are
• Learn how to rise, shine, and kick ass
• Cast your soul-shining light on others and spread some f*cking beauty
- Author: Monica Sweeney
- Date published: July 3, 2018
- Pages: 128
This is the second journal in the Zen as F*ck series.
With Let That Sh*t Go, you’ll find moments of profanity-laced catharsis and joy through journaling activities and inspirations that are positive as f*ck. Within these truly charming pages, you’ll find ways to let go of the bullsh*t and lift your spirit a little f*cking higher.
Lift my spirit higher? I’m down. Let’s do this.
- Author: Potter Style
- Publishing Date: October 13, 2015
- Pages: 368
The Q&A A Day for Moms is very similar to the Q&A A Day Journal I mentioned earlier, but the questions are geared towards moms. I think this would be such a fun keepsake to create for your kids. They do ask specific questions, so if you have more than one child, you may want to get one for each!
Even though it’s one short prompt each day, keeping up with this one is no easy task given that it’s a 5-year journal, but I think it’d make such a neat keepsake for kids. It would make a super sweet graduation gift.
- Author: Pretty Simple Press
- Publish Date: September 16, 2017
- Pages: 118
Gratitude is huge. This book reminds of an Oprah quote that gave me a whole new perspective on gratitude:
“My spiritual practice is that I awaken and the first thought is, ‘Thank you,’” Oprah says. “The next thought is, ‘I’m still here, in this body.’ ~ source
If you’re having a hard time wondering what you can be grateful for, be grateful that you woke up today. That’s powerful, isn’t it?
Here’s what you’ll find inside:
Each well-designed weekly spread contains an inspirational quote, space to write 3 things you are thankful for each day of the week, and a weekly checkpoint.
- Author: John T.
- Publishing Date:
- Pages: 105
A gratitude journal for the rest of us.
Ya know, a lot of my journal pages are rage pages! This is probably my favorite title out of all of these. If you deal with any high-conflict or toxic people in your life, you seriously need this.
You can’t even stay mad with this one. The prompts are simple and it’s great to get out the negative stuff and keep it all in one place. Write out the negative and get it on the page and out of your head.
This one would be super fun to burn after it’s full!
- Author: Bonnie Myotai Treace
- Date published: September 22, 2020
- Pages: 176
This guided journal is neat because even though it’s a weekly guided journal, there are a few prompts within each week so you could stretch them out and write a little each day.
I don’t have personal experience with this one, but the prompts seem very thought-provoking and unique compared to other guided journals. It has a clean, fresh layout, too.
The No Worries Workbook: 124 Lists, Activities, and Prompts to Get Out of Your Head – And on with Your Life
- Author: Molly Burford
- Date published: November 19, 2019
- Pages: 176
Worry and stress can feel overwhelming and affect many parts of our daily lives, but most problems can be dealt with in small, bite-sized, and even playful ways. These prompts make battling worry more approachable.
I think everything going on in the world lately have caused some worry (or a lot) in all of us. Dealing with problems in a bite-sized way is totally doable and way easier. This journal helps bring some self-awareness and is a really good tool to help you stop chronic worrying.
- Author: Megan Logan MSW LCSW
- Date published: September 29, 2020
- Pages: 174
Hiiiiiiighly recommend this one. With over 15,000 reviews, The Self-Love Workbook for Women is one of the top-selling guided journals currently available. This is another journal that I actually own. It’s good!
Difficult and challenging times are had by us all. Sometimes when we’re in survival mode, we can lose sight of ourselves and who we are. This journal puts the focus back on you to rediscover your amazing self.
- Author: Ev’Yan Whitney
- Date published: December 7, 2021
- Pages: 176 pages
150+ prompts and exercises to help you focus on grounding yourself, checking in with your mind and body, self-acceptance, self-care, and body consciousness.
This guided journal is very unique in that it focuses more on the body. Sensual Self could be very helpful for people who have experienced any kind of trauma to help you get back in touch with yourself and help you have a better relationship with your body.
Through the prompts, you will learn what your body likes and doesn’t like and dive into some serious self-exploration. Get to know your body and appreciate what it can do for you while learning to be more mindful of the many sensations that it feels.
I’m naturally always in my head, and this book has helped me bring awareness to my body and what it feels.
I feel like anyone who commits to a prompt a day, or even once a week, will find themselves connecting to their body more: becoming more aware of what their body needs, likes, and doesn’t like.
- Author: Case Kenny
- Date published: January 1, 2020
- Pages: 220
Side effects include: making power moves, being a carefree goofball, checking off your bucket list and living an unbothered life.
In this hardcover guided mindset journal, you will find 60 days of prompts designed to be done in about 10 minutes. The questions are thought-provoking and the attention to detail is really nice.
- Author: Sharon Jones
- Date published: October 27, 2020
- Pages: 160
- Suggested ages: 13+
Write. Burn. Repeat.
This is a national bestseller that currently has over 75,000 reviews! This is also another guided journal that I personally own.
Burn After Writing allows you to spend less time scrolling and more time self-reflecting. Imagine instead of publicly declaring your feelings for others, you privately declared your feelings for yourself?
The prompts touch on the past, present, and future. There are a few prompts per page with some space to write underneath each one. You can start from the beginning or jump around as much as you like.
- Author: Suzi Barrett
- Date published: July 14, 2019
- Pages: 96
Give transcendence a whirl, flush the bad vibes, and channel the good ones. You might decide that open chakras are a great look.
Inside you’ll find:
- Heart (and brain!) openers
- Vice busters
- Gratitude generators
- Self-lovin’ letters and more
This was a Target find. I walked past it on a few different trips before eventually bringing it home with me. If you’re interested in chakras or curious about them, this would be a good introduction I think.
- Author: Mystic Tortoise
- Date published: August 5, 2019
- Pages: 107
The author sums it up pretty nicely:
As someone who has personally endured trauma and abuse, I know the importance of letting your feelings out on paper. It’s healing. It’s therapeutic. It’s necessary for recovery and moving forward.
This Journal is dedicated to all those who have experienced trauma from abuse or other circumstances. You endure a silent struggle but you are not alone.
- Author: Pragya Tomar
- Date published: May 14, 2022
- Pages: 163
- Suggested ages: 13 to 18*
This book provides a safe and secure place for teen girls to practice self-discovery, deal with peer pressure, and overcome their insecurities in a constructive way.
I put an asterisk by the suggested ages because even though this guided journal is obviously geared towards teens, it may still be helpful to work through if you experienced trauma prior to or during your teen years.
This workbook can help bring you joy in kind of reflecting on who you were then and allow you to go back in time and nurture your younger self with the wisdom you’ve gained along the way.
- Author: Jacqueline Kademian
- Date published: April 11, 2018
- Pages: 380
This journal will help you slow down, reflect and enjoy your life from a new perspective. You will learn about yourself, self reflect on what’s important to you and gain awareness on a deeper level.
- Author: Four Progress
- Date published: September 28, 2020
- Pages: 128 (including 60 of the same two-page layout focused on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques)
Use this journal to improve mindfulness, uncover triggers, track physical and emotional sensations, document your worries, evaluate evidence for and against your automatic thoughts and ultimately walk away, in control, with more constructive ways of thinking.
I was super excited to find an guided journal like this during my research for this post. While there aren’t hundreds of unique prompts like all of the others here, each set of pages has a helpful layout specifically to help you identify and work through anxiety.
- Author: Jordan A. Madison LCMFT
- Date published: March 29, 2022
- Pages: 176
Explore writing prompts, positive affirmations, breathing exercises, and other practical activities designed to help you reframe thought patterns and behaviors to better align with your goals and values.
This is another one that’s on the more serious side, but at the same time practical and helpful in identifying and changing negative thought patterns.
You can work through this journal alone or with its companion, The CBT Workbook for Mental Health.
- Author: K C Delgado and Keila Shaheen
- Date published: March 9, 2022
- Pages: 179
60+ journal prompts, 90+ trigger tracking pages, 100+ inner child affirmations
Shadow work is very intriguing to me. I was really excited to find this guided journal. What caught my attention right away was the fact that it has multiple trigger tracking pages you can fill out with each one being specific to a certain event in your life.
Certain triggers can stop you in your tracks and wreak havoc on your day. A scene in a movie, a smell, a voice, a face, a food, a place — any of these things and more could be potential triggers.
Being able to sit down and identify what makes you feel triggered is the first step to working through them and tracking will help you build the awareness you need to do that. Show them who’s boss!
And an honorable mention I came across while taking photos of the journals I own…
365 Journal Writing Ideas
- Author: Rossi Fox
- Date published: 2013
- Pages: 241
A year of daily journal writing prompts, questions and actions to fill your journal with memories, self-reflection, creativity and direction.
This is another Target find, but I’m not sure it’s still available. This one is a little different because while it has 365 prompts, it’s not technically a journal. You’ll need to have a journal with plenty of room to write in, add photos, etc.
This book goes over how to use it, tips and tricks for journaling, supplies you’ll need, the prompts, 52 weekly actions, photography prompts and more! There are also 400 quotes included.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mega list of guided journals for mental health that I’ve put together here. I had so much fun exploring and finding new journals to try. I hope you’ve found some that you like, too.
When it comes to journaling, there are two basic rules in my opinion:
- Write daily if possible (or as often as you can)
- Always be open and completely honest with yourself each time you write
Happy writing, and healing.