Journaling in recovery can be a great tool for healing. Getting your thoughts, feelings, emotions out onto paper means they aren’t jostling around in your head. When you write, you are working through your problems in a tangible way and releasing pent up feelings which can be very therapeutic. Furthermore, a journal can show you how far you’ve come, reduce stress, and be a creative outlet for your ideas and memories. Using writing prompts in your recovery journal can help you connect to yourself in ways you may not have thought of.
Types of Journaling
First of all, we should note there is no wrong way to journal, whatever feels right for you is what you should do. But, there are lots of different methods out there that might inspire you, so we thought they were worth sharing.
There is the classic diary, wherein you reflect on and write about your day, your experiences, and your emotions. You can look back and see how you were feeling in a particular moment and reflect on the past. Often you will find you’ve grown a lot when you read old entries.
Gratitude journaling is another popular writing method. Thinking about the things you are thankful for can help you see the world in a positive light. Rather than focusing on what we don’t have, we focus on the things we do have.
Goal-setting journals can help track our accomplishments, big and small, and keep us on track to take actionable steps to achieve our goals. Writing down the steps we’ve taken to reach our goals keeps us accountable and helps us remain motivated.
What am I grateful for today?
What about recovery scares me the most?
Where am I in my recovery journey?
What advice would I give my younger self?
What are you most proud of yourself for today?
If it weren’t for my recovery, where would my life look like right now?
What does it mean to love yourself?
What does showing up for myself look like?
Is there something I wish others knew about me?
What am I happy about? How can I hold onto this feeling in dark times?
What am I worried about? How can I cope with this worry?
Am I angry about something? How can I resolve this anger?
Is there something I am sad about? How can I cope with this sadness?
Write a letter to…
Your younger self.
Yourself when you were in active addiction.
Your future self.
Yourself right now.
A significant person in your life.
Unpacking the Past
Write about your…
Someone you lost.
A time you were truly afraid.
A time you were truly happy.
Short-term goals (1-3 months)
Medium-term goals (1-2 years)
Long-term goals (5-10 years)
Choose a number for each list and commit (i.e. 10 things that I like about myself):
Things that make me smile.
What I like about myself.
Things I want to accomplish this year.
What I like about my pet.
What my recovery gave me.
Things I did for others this week.
Things I did for myself this week.
Actions I can do for self-care when I feel down
At each milestone of your recovery, whether it’s one week, one month, one year, take a moment to congratulate yourself, think back on this time and what it has given you, what you have given yourself by remaining committed to your health and wellbeing. Write about it all.
A Final Note
We hope these writing prompts inspire you and your recovery journal. If you have any prompts that have helped you, we’d love to hear from you on our social media.
And if your recovery journal isn’t enough and you are struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out. Call us anytime, we’re here to listen.