There are so many reasons why journalling is good for mental health; they give us an outlet to work through our emotions, allow us to keep track of our growth, as well as is said to help reduce stress and anxiety.
But while we’re mostly open to the benefits that journalling can bring, it can be scary to sit down before the blank pages of a notebook and wonder, “How do I even begin?”
Ease in with mental-health journals
It’s a relief that we can set aside those blank pages and turn instead to mental-health journals – journals that have little prompts such as habit trackers, questions, or feel-good quotes to help us put pen to paper in our journey of self-reflection. Most of the time, they’re aesthetically pleasing too.
This year, instead of typing a few hurried lines on your digital notebook before you go to bed, or using only to-do planners to meticulously map out tasks for the day, why not take some time to slow down and invest in #selfcare, starting with these eight calming mental-health journals!
1. The Kind Friend
Even if you’re a stranger to mental-health journals, you might recognise The Kind Friend notebooks from your social media. They’re bright and beautiful journals that are have cheerful yellow, crimson red, and calming blue covers – with a simple phrase embedded in gold: “Smile more, stress less.”
Journals from The Kind Friend prompt you to jot down your goals for each week, plus reflect on what you loved and what you really didn’t. There’s a section where you can shade in your mood for the day – were you excited, upset, or just feeling out of sorts?
Those who like keeping track of their tasks on paper will also appreciate the lines on the page set aside for them to scribble down their weekly tasks. There’s also plenty of space that’s template-free, meaning that you can sketch or write down whatever you feel like.
Simple and elegant, The Kind Friend journal is certainly a great place to get started with journaling.
Shop The Kind Friend for S$30 on Shopee or on The Kind Friend’s online store.
2. Paperie Lab Gratitude Journal
Journalling isn’t as enormous a task as you might think it to be. If you’re hesitant about penning down a lengthy entry each day, then Paperie Lab Gratitude Journal is perfect for you to get into a flow for regular reflection.
The journal uses simple activities to help you notice the little things to be thankful for. Whether it’s with puzzles that ask you to spot the positive words within the jumble of alphabets on the page, or gratitude challenges that prompt you to write down things as small as a single happy moment within your day, the notebook makes reflection a much lighter and breezier task.
There’s also room for you to scribble down your thoughts for the week, which are easier to keep up with if you can’t manage to do so each day.
Paperie Lab’s journals are gorgeous inside and out, also inspiring you to glow with gratitude the same way!
Shop Paperie Lab Gratitude Journal for S$19.90 to S$20.90 on Shopee.
3. Intelligent Change The Five Minute Journal
All it takes is five minutes of setting your mind on the things that matter to experience a positive effect on your mental well-being.
That’s where The Five Minute Journal comes in. Each page begins with an inspiring quote, and three short statements for you to complete: “I am grateful for…”, “What would make today great?”, and “Daily affirmations. I am…”. The pages are also split into two sections, one that’s for when you wake up in the morning, and the other for before you go to bed at night.
With this journal, you’ll be reminded to refocus and realign at the start and end of each day – you might be surprised by how much of a difference you start to see in your life!
Shop The Five Minute Journal for S$54 on Shopee, or on Intelligent Change’s online store.
4. Celestial One Line a Day Journal
Take to the Instagram Story Archives and sometimes you’ll be greeted with a ‘Memory’ from the same date one, two, or even five years ago. It’s always fun to reminisce these major #throwbacks, like how one year ago you and your friends laughed so hard at something so silly, or perhaps when you celebrated a job promotion with your closest loved ones.
That’s what The Celestial One Line a Day Journal does! It helps you to line up your memories from the same date, from over a period of five years. Each page is dedicated to a date and, within that page, there are five sections – each for a different year, on that very same date.
Jot down a simple memory that stands out to you each day and, after five years, you’ll have an entire scrapbook of little reflections that you can look back on. Just like through the Instagram Archives, you’ll be able to match up the things that happened every one year ago.
Imagine: on the same page are your scribbles from 4 February 2022 that says “today I met my friend, A, at the coffee shop. We haven’t spoken in a long time, it was nice”, and another entry for 2023 that writes, “A and I went to the park rollerblade together. I’m so glad we’re seeing each other so often again.” You might discover that you have more full-circle moments in your life than you realise!
Shop Celestial One Line a Day for S$26.43 on Book Depository.
5. No Worries by Bella Mente Press
For the ones carrying their anxious thoughts heavily on their chests, this mental-health journal was designed for you.
No Worries, written by Bella Mente Press, is a 12-week anxiety journal that aims to help people who experience anxiety reframe their thoughts and be intentional in practising positive thinking each day.
There are sections in the journal that are specific in doing that, including questions that ask, “Did something trigger my anxiety today?”, and “How did I respond?” With a space that’s set aside for therapy reflections, you can even jot down what you discussed during therapy, what you felt about it, and your takeaways from the session.
A journal that’s meant to complement rather than replace therapy, No Worries is a journal that you might find useful in keeping you grounded in between your sessions.
Shop No Worries by Bella Mente Press for S$24.21 on Book Depository.
6. Insight Editions Calm Journal
It’s almost like filling up cute templates on your Instastories that ask questions like “If I could go to anywhere else in the world right now, it would be…”
With the Calm Journal, you’ll have an entire book of little “templates” to fill in. They’re just as aesthetically pleasing and adorable, plus they get you into the flow of reflecting each day and night.
In soothing ombré tones of pastel pink and light turquoise, the Calm Journal prompts you to rate your quality of sleep each morning after you rise, your mood, and set some goals for the day, to name a few. Before you go to bed at night, you can settle down with your Calm Journal and reflect on how stressed-out you were through your day, or activities that made you feel calm.
Besides helping you to reflect, the journal also gets you into a comfortable, calming routine morning and evening – you might find it easier to get up refreshed as well as calm your mind for a good night’s rest.
Shop the Calm Journal for S$27.10 on Book Depository.
7. Do It For Yourself Motivational Journal
Need an extra boost to get yourself in the rhythm and increase your productivity? Do It For Yourself is a bold, motivational journal that inspires you to start achieving your goals, build momentum, and overcome challenges.
It’s filled with vibrant pop-art graphics and quotes that make you rethink your perspective, as well as prompts that are written by creativity and productivity expert, Kara Cutruzzula.
Each time you flip the page, you’ll have abundant space to pen down your thoughts according to the prompts. It could be creating mantras that will help you to reorientate each time you face challenges, or writing down your goals and setting a deadline for achieving them.
Do It For Yourself paces you as you work towards your aspirations in life, helping you to flip the switch on a sluggish attitude and take active steps towards being a better you!
Shop Do It For Yourself Journal for S$22.22 on Book Depository.
8. I Guess I’ll Write It Down Journal
What brings us little moments of joy as we casual scroll through our feeds is stumbling across inspirational comics with #relatable quotes that make us feel less alone in our everyday struggles.
If you follow artist Beth Evans who always brightens up the social media feed with her cute illustrations, then you’ll surely fall head over heels in love with this I Guess I’ll Write It Down journal. While it doesn’t feature prompts, the journal is peppered with adorable illustrations, some of which pair with short quotes or comic lines to lift your spirits.
It’s also in a nice compact size that makes it easy for you to take the journal everywhere you go and, as the title suggests, write down anything or everything, whether good, bad, or ugly!
Shop I Guess I’ll Write It Down journal for S$22.89 on Book Depository.