30 Daily Journal Prompts for Adults

It takes time to build and break a habit. One habit I’m looking forward to cultivating more is a journaling habit. There are many benefits of journaling, including improving your mental health, spuring personal growth, processing difficult emotions, and learning from past experiences.

However, staring at a blank page with the ultimate goal of building a daily journaling practice can seem daunting. Yet a daily practice just starts with a single day, and for those of us who need additional help, it also comes with daily journal prompts. These 30 daily journal prompts for adults are a great way to kickstart your journaling journey and make this powerful practice part of your daily routine.

Side portrait of smiling young woman writing about journal prompts for adults in her journal

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​Journal Prompts for Adults

My favorite form of self-care is journaling because it gives me a deeper understanding of myself. It provides a judgement-free safe space for writing about negative emotions or simply jotting down my thoughts in pure stream of consciousness. 

While I can’t promise that journaling will cure anything or solve all of your problems, I would bet that it will bring you new insights and get your creative juices flowing. 

What should I put in my journal ideas?

In addition to the 30 prompts provided below, here are some ideas of other simple things you can put in your journal.

  • Pictures of things and favorite photos
  • Trip memorabilia – train tickets, boarding passes, pamphlets
  • Drawings – doodles and/or sketches
  • Prayers – print and tape favorite prayers in your journal or write your own
  • Bible Verses and Scripture
  • Meaningful Quotes — like these motivating career quotes
  • Funny things you overhear — interesting things you overhear or that people say to you
  • Answer the 30 daily writing prompts below! 

1. Why do you want to start journaling?

Start of these daily journal prompts with a journal topic. Write about why you want to start journaling. Journaling is a valuable tool, but what are you hoping it can help you with this month?

2. Tell your life story in 1 page or less.

A famous quote says, it’s hard to know where you are going when you don’t know where you’ve been. Today’s the day for you to talk about where you’ve been. Tell your journal who you are, recap important past experiences, and mention how it’s made you who you are today.

3. What other new things do you want to try this month?

Or respond to this prompt by asking yourself what other new things you want to try in general. Getting out of your comfort zone is another healthy habit to cultivate. Write about how you can build on this in your daily life.

4. What are 3 things you’re thankful for?

Another favorite thing to write in journals is a gratitude list. Some people use gratitude journals specifically to create a habit of expressing gratitude everyday. I encourage you to express gratitude throughout these 30 days, but here’s a journal prompt dedicated to it.

5. What’s your favorite book? 

Take time today to write about your favorite book. Why is it your favorite? When’s the last time you read it? What impression did it leave on you?

6. Write a love letter to yourself.

We’re taking self-care to the next level with this one. Draft a lover letter to yourself to let yourself know that you are loved and valued. What are some ways you can care more for yourself this month?

7. What is your favorite season?

Spring, Fall, Summer, or Winter? Or is there another type of season that’s your favorite, like Basketball Season, Football Season, Back to School Season, etc. Write about your favorite seasonal memories.

8. Write about your day, start to finish.

A classic journal entry is the Dear Diary. Tell your journal about your day. Your journal is the perfect place to store thoughts and memories of your every day life.

9. Write out your bucket list.

A bucket list is a list of fun things you’d like to do or try in your life time or another set time. If you currently have a bucket list, journal about one of the items on it. Otherwise, create your own bucket list now with this journal entry.

10. What are your favorite personality traits? 

In yourself and others. For those of you who love personality tests, this will be a fun journal entry for you. For others, feel free to pick a couple of character traits and write about how you developed them or why they are important to you.

11. Tell a story about someone who had positive impacts on your life.

Think about a parent, a mentor, or best friend. How did/does this person impact you? What have you learned from that relationship? What was the most significant impact the person had in your life?

12. Free Write.

Every once in a whle, it’s good to take a break from the prompt ideas and have a free writing day. Write about whatever is on your mind. If you’re facing writer’s block, then write about your everyday life. What happened today in your world?

13. If you could live in any other time period, what period would it be?

For the history buffs, this journal prompt allows you to expound on your favorite historic area. Compare that area to our world today. And remember, any other time period can refer to future periods, too.

14. Make up a story about a time machine, a science teacher, a lottery, and a rainy day.

I love creative writing prompts because they challenge you to be creative and come up with new ideas or a fresh perspective. Try this one out or look for other expressive writing prompts.

15. What’s something you are looking forward to?

Is there something coming in the future that you’re excited about? Share about it in your daily journal practice.

16. Recap a weird dream you’ve had.

​Another creative prompt, this one challenges you to tell a story or make a story out of a dream you’ve had. If all you can remember is fragments or images, then you can fill in the other parts with your imagination.

17. Tell a funny story from your childhood. 

Childhood memories can be fun to reminisce. However, for those with tough childhoods, this may be a hard prompt. In that case, perhaps write about some of the emotions that come up when you think of your childhood.

18. Write about your personal goals and why they’re important to you.

If you don’t have any personal goals at the moment, check out these personal goals for the new year, tips for goal setting, and career goals. Otherwise, write about your goals, why you chose them, and your roadmap to accomplishing them.

19. Recap a memory at one of your favorite restaurants.

Is there something big you celebrated at a Michelin star restaurant? Or did you go out with friends after a bad breakup at your favorite Mexican place? 

20. If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?

Each day we learn more about ourselves and the world we live in. If you could deliver a letter to your younger self, what would you want to say? Would you tell yourself to make different choices? How would you encourage yourself? 

21. Name a time you went out of your comfort zone.

Going out of our comfort zone is part of personal growth. Write about the last time you did something that was out of your comfort zone. What did you learn from the experience? How did the experience make you uncomfortable? How did the experience help you grow?

22. What’s been hard about this past week?

This journal prompt is meant to help you start processing negative emotions or thoughts. Note, you may need to journal several days about this topic depending on what comes up. But also remember, that your journal is a judgement free, safe space. Tell it how you really feel and don’t hold back.

23. If you invented video games, what would the main storyline be?

Another creative writing prompt, this prompt is mean to help you stretch your creative side a bit. Whether you play video games or not, brainstorm story lines from your favorite books or movies to create a story line you wouldn’t mind playing through on a game console.

24. Write about any negative thoughts you’ve had this week.

An extension of question 22, this is more space for you to process negative thoughts. You can also write about what’s stressing you out or has you overwhelmed this week. You can also write down positive affirmations or your favorite comforting Bible verses and songs.

25. Free Write. 

Another day for freewriting. Feel free to jot down any thoughts about your day, week, month, or these journaling prompts. It’s like updating a social media page. What’s on your mind?

26. Write about your personal values.

Values are principles or standards of behavior that are important to us. Values can differ from person to person. When we don’t know what our true values are, it’s easy to be swayed into doing things we don’t agree with or act contrarty to what’s important to us.

Today, journal about your values. For more about what values are and how values differ from goals, check out this article from Mindfulness Muse.

27. What are the good things in your life right now bringing you joy?

We’ve spent some time on negative thoughts and hard things. Now it’s time to celebrate the joys of life. What’s bringing you joy at the moment? What has been making you smile lately?

28. What’s the most important thing to you?

For journaling prompt #26, we have a big question: what’s the most important thing to you? While it may be such a big question you’re tempted to skip it, I encourage you to have another look at it.

From time to time, it’s important that we ask ourselves this question so that we can realign our actions with our values. Additionally, we can expand this question by asking ourselves if our time, money, and energy is going to what we claim is the most important thing to us. 

By asking ourself this question and reevaluating from time to time, we are recalibrating our actions and daily routine to make sure this important thing remains priority in our life.

29. What family member are you most like?

This is always a fun one. Whether you have a close sibling or are the carbon copy of one of your parents, tell your journal about your most similar familiar member. How are you all alike? How are you different? 

30. How has journaling been a safe place for you this month?

For this last day of journaling, reflect on the past 29 days and think about what journaling has been for you. How did it encourage, inspire, and challenge you? Be specific because I hope that these reasons keep you coming back to journaling next month.

May these 30 journal prompts for adults inspire you to keep journaling and keep up this daily journaling practice.

What other journal prompts for adults do you use?

Leave me a comment below!

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