Journaling to relieve anxiety is one of the greatest tools that you’ll ever develop. It is life-changing, easy, and reliable.  These journal ideas for anxiety relief will help you get started so you can experience this for yourself. 

Suffering from anxiety is exhausting, frustrating, and confusing.  Anxiety is ruthless and it can be really difficult to get rid of. So when something harmless and easy can actually alleviate anxious feelings, it’s without a doubt worth a try!

And that’s exactly what journaling does – it will relieve anxiety, both immediately and long-term.  It is such a powerful tool, but is often brushed off because it doesn’t seem like it could actually be that powerful. 


If this is your first experience using a journal for anxiety, I’m really excited for you!  Your life is about to get easier. Try out as many of these journaling techniques as you can to find out which is your favorite.

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These are amazing journal prompts to reduce stress and relieve anxiety.  Journaling is such a great way to heal your mind and take care of your mental health.  If you aren't an avid journaler yet, here's how to get started!

Gratitude Journal

Starting a gratitude journal is definitely one of the best journal ideas for anxiety relief.  Practicing gratitude in general has been proven to have immense mental health benefits (and thus physical benefits!) and a gratitude journal is one of the best ways to actually put that into practice.

Starting a gratitude journal is very simple. You can literally just write “I am grateful for…” and then list away!

One thing that often keeps people from really embracing a gratitude journal, especially when anxiety is involved, is a feeling that there’s nothing to be grateful for. But that mindset is precisely what a gratitude journal will gradually change. 

In times when your anxiety is especially high, the key of a successful gratitude journal is to start with small and seemingly insignificant things. What you’ll soon realize is that these things aren’t actually insignificant and they’ll almost act as a gateway to being grateful for larger, more powerful aspects of your life.

So what are these small things?  Maybe it’s your favorite pair of shoes, a favorite TV show, a nice breeze, or good weather.  It can be anything.  Gratitude is gratitude, whether small or large.   

Other things to be grateful for are those that we take for granted – your family, your health, being able to eat everyday, having the ability to work, having a roof over your head.  These are things that not everyone in the world experiences, so they are absolutely worth being grateful for.   

Bullet Journal

Another great way to journal for anxiety relief is to start a bullet journal.

Bullet journaling is very different from a gratitude journal in that it doesn’t focus at all on mental health.  Instead, the purpose is purely for productivity and organization reasons.

The effect of a bullet journal, however, can instantly make you feel like you have way more control over your life, which can have an immediate effect on your level of anxiety, especially if you’re unsure where your anxiety is coming from. 

Bullet journaling is simple, but also complex.  It is list-based, employs symbols, is color-coded, and most notably, organizes all areas of your life in one place, as opposed to dividing responsibilities, To Do’s, and action items into different facets of your life. 

Bullet journaling for anxiety relief is an exciting prospect because it eliminates the “Dear Diary” feel of other journaling techniques.  If you want to check out a great tutorial on bullet journaling to get you started, Buzzfeed’s is the best I’ve seen. You’ll be hooked! 

The 5 Minute Journal

I am obsessed with The 5 Minute Journal.  This brilliant, yet simple, journal was one of the best purchases I ever made and is the perfect way to start journaling to reduce anxiety. 

The 5 Minute Journal is just what it sounds like – you spend 5 minutes a day and that’s it.  

The journal provides prompts (and they’re the exact same everyday) to make sure you’re thinking about the right things – gratitude, productivity, and reflection. 

This anxiety-reducing journal hits the nail on the head.  By asking the exact same questions every single day, you instantly form a very powerful habit that will stay with you even after you’ve stopped journaling…which is unlikely to happen though, because this journal is enough to get you completely hooked on journaling.  The effects will be that strong, I promise. 

Affirmation Journaling 

Daily affirmations can be so, so powerful for reducing anxiety and turning your life around and an affirmation journal is a fun way to put that into practice.

Daily affirmations involve saying powerful statements that you want to be true, even if you aren’t quite ready to believe them (or just really aren’t true yet).

For example – I am successful. I am beautiful.  I am madly in love with my soul mate. I am at the top of my class. I am at the top of my industry. I am living debt free….and so on and so forth.

Affirmation journaling puts those thoughts and statements on paper.  It will help to turn them into reality.

When you do this each and every day, you will start to notice changes and you WILL soon find yourself living what used to feel like just a dream. 

Related post: How to Use Daily Affirmations to Change Your Life

Letters to Burn 

Ahhhhh, letter burning.

At some point in your journey to relieve your anxiety, you may have come across this fun exercise, but now it’s time to actually do it.

This form of journaling is great if your anxiety and stress is the result of a person or something they did to you. 

What you’re supposed to do is write a letter to them.  Completely unload all of your frustrations in the letter.  Tell them what they did, how they hurt you, how angry you are, and how it’s affected you.  

AND THEN BURN THE LETTER (or, for safety’s sake…just throw it away or delete it). 😉

This is a really harmless way to get your frustration out and feel like you’ve had the last word.  But more importantly, there is a strong theory that when you write your feelings down, you actually transfer that stress away from you and onto the paper…and then it’s destroyed. 

Real Letter Writing

Now that you’ve written letters to all of the people that hurt you, it’s time to send letters to people you love – and this time you can actually send them!

Letter writing has so many mental health benefits.  

First and foremost, as we’ve already talked about, writing down your feelings in general has an anxiety-reducing effect.  And when you’re writing a letter to someone that matters to you, you’ll be experiencing a feeling of gratitude, even if you’re not directly thanking them.

These letters don’t have to be sappy or heartfelt (unless you want them to be!).  They can be fun and silly, or just say that you were thinking about them.

What is important is that you’re writing and the tone is positive.  And that WILL reduce your anxiety. 

Write a Fictional Story…with You as the Hero

Imagine yourself (only better) in the exact same position you’re in.  Write a story about yourself going through all the same things that stress you out…only in your story, make sure you triumph.  

Have yourself tackle whatever problem is holding you back.  Or maybe write yourself as someone that just lets things brush off their shoulders.

Imagine the perfect you and how that version of yourself would get through this anxious period.

Become your own hero!

Writing about what you wish you would be doing may be the little push you need to actually do it!

This is a really fun journal idea that can seriously relieve anxiety.

Thank You Letter Writing

The final form of letter writing as a journal alternative is the classic thank you letter.

So often these letters seem like a chore, but if you take the time to really think about it as you’re writing, you’ll soon find that they’re actually really therapeutic. 

The key is to not think about them as a chore AND to actually put thought into what you’re thanking them for. 

When you do this, you’re bringing gratitude to the forefront and, as we already know, gratitude is one of the best natural anxiety-relievers there is.

I hope you get a chance to try out all of these anxiety-reducing journal techniques!  There really is so much power in writing, so use it to your benefit. Good luck!

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These journal ideas for anxiety relief have the power to turn around a bad day and pull you out of a rut.  Journaling for anxiety is a great natural anxiety reliever with absolutely no down side.  It's something you have nothing to lose by trying, but everything to gain!