The Power of Journaling

Deb Journaling in BaliSeven years ago I went through a powerfully painful, life-shattering breakup. (We’ve all been there, right?)

Over the following four years I rebuilt myself using a variety of tools and methods, which included excellent food choices, daily yoga and meditation, nourishing friendships, supportive coaching and counseling, regular juice fasting and detox practices, travel and… journaling.

My journaling practice started on a surf beach in India. I was there to finish my novel, which had been well and truly ‘bottom-drawered’ in my break up.

The Power of Journaling – The Practice

To help rekindle my creative practice, I began writing three pages every morning in my journal.

Sometimes I wrote something profound. But most days it was a jumble of nonsense, to-do lists, a healthy dose of self-pity and another dose of self-therapy.

Since that sunny surf month, I have kept up my 3-page daily habit.


Because for me, journaling is:

1) A meditation.
My journal is a repository for my mental clutter. I always finish my daily entry feeling more clear-headed.

2) A confession and catharsis.
My journal is the place where I can lay out all of my hopes and fears, where I can work through shame or guilt, where I can vent, honestly express and really look at any muckiness or messiness that has been sitting with me.

3) An essential friendship.
My journal never gets tired of hearing about the trivial details of my life. The minutia of my house renovation, the cute stories about my dog (that really are only cute to me!), the women I have crushes on. I can have girlfriend-type chats freely and easily with my journal and never worry that it is getting bored or is going to tell others my secrets.

Journaling Is A Simple Practice

All you need is a pen and a notebook. Perhaps that is why its power can be overlooked.

Why not try it out tomorrow? Rather than dumping your drama on your friends or partner, commit it to the page. Here are some things to think about to get you started:

  • How much are you really going to write each day? If you’re a beginner and want to commit to three pages a day, choose a smaller notebook.
  • Do you think in pictures? Perhaps think about a journal that isn’t lined. A visual diary will give you the freedom to write and draw.
  • Are you a lefty? I am and have found that journals with big spiral binding are hard to write in for a left-hander.
  • How do you travel? If you want to have your journal with you all the time, does it need to fit into your back pocket or do you have a huge sack of a handbag that can fit anything?
  • Hard or soft? I’m a hard cover fan because I tend to write in bed (i.e. no desk). If you have a writing desk then you might prefer a soft cover.
  • Not sure what to write about? No worries! If you’d like some journaling prompts and interviews with queer women journal experts, send me an email. I’ve got a free, simple program that you’ll love.

My journaling practice has changed my life. I believe it has the power to change yours, too.

Are you ready to take the leap and commit to journaling?

About Amy McDonald

Amy is a writer, wellness coach, yoga teacher and the Founder of The Happy Healthy Lesbian .com.

Amy works with queer women to help them identify their wellness goals and ambitions, and then to map out the route to achieve those goals. A 20-something year student of Yoga, Amy draws on these ancient teachings as well as her training in coaching, wellness and nutrition to guide, encourage and inspire queer women to live happy and healthy lives.

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