Why Everyone Should Keep a Daily Journal

Ashley Donahue, Social Media Editor

Whether you prefer to call it a journal or a diary, writing in a notebook of this sort can improve your mental health greatly. 

Because of books such as ‘Dork Diaries’, diaries are typically associated with teenage girls writing in a sparkly, pink notebook about how attractive the boy in her first period is. 

But this is a gross misconception–as journaling comes in various, modern forms. 

One form of journaling is the traditional way, writing down your thoughts on lined paper. Another form would be writing down “I am…” statements to practice self love and manifest positive vibrations. 

There are also “list” journals that prompt you with a question and you list your answers. Another interesting option are the one sentence a day journals–where, as it sounds, you write only one sentence about your day. These are particularly interesting, as they often allow for three to five years worth of “one sentences” that you can look back on.

A newer type of journal created by Keri Smith is becoming increasingly popular called ‘Wreck Your Journal’.In this book, it provides instructions on how to ruin each page. Some of these methods include: burning the page, freezing the page, and many other creative ideas. 

With journaling, there is no right or wrong way to do it. You could draw, type, write, or any other form of reflecting the thoughts in your head onto something physical. 

“I wrote how I felt and the most prominent thing that happened to me on that day” said Sophomore Gabrielle Williams. 

I have been keeping a daily journal since April of 2021, and I have noticed an overall improvement in my wellbeing. 

Journaling has allowed me to put overwhelming situations in front of me and work them out on paper before I overreact. 

I at first stressed about remembering to do it at a certain time of day. The important thing to recognize is that daily journaling can be very time-flexible. 

In the mornings, writing out your intentions for the day can be a good way to organize your day better. On the other hand, writing at night allows you to reflect on your day and let out any feelings that you don’t want to bring into a new day. 

According to a study conducted in 2018, journaling for 15 minutes three times a week lowered the stress levels and improved the medical health of the 70 people who were tried. For people with conditions like asthma or astronomical anxiety, journaling could be a game changer. 

Another option is to carry your notebook/computer and simply write as you find time throughout your day. 

“I prefer journaling at night because I can feel the stress load being lifted off of my shoulders,” said nursing student and alumni Alysen Donahue. 

If you know anything about colleges and universities, you know how heavy the work and study load can be. Donahue is in her junior year of nursing school at York College of Pennsylvania and has found that journaling gives her a way to cope with her stress. 

“Keeping a journal can reduce anxiety and depression, can help one to let go of negative or destructive thoughts, and can offer some control when one feels out of control,” said guidance counselor Joyce Marburger. 

During this interview, Marburger also notes that daily journaling is able to help both boys and girls through their struggles.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), you must practice other healthy habits in order to fully benefit from journaling. A few of these habits would be: eating healthily, practicing meditation, avoiding alcohol and drug use, and exercising.