Why a Journal is Helpful During Recovery


A journal is used as a coping method for expressing your stressors in a healthy manner, and for those in recovery, journaling may help to keep your temptations at bay and maintain your mental health. Journaling is one of the least expensive and most beneficial forms of therapy. It is a way to track your progress, increase your motivation, relieve stress, and keep track of your thought patterns. Many 12 step rehabs and treatment programs require journaling for all its benefits. The benefits of journaling are undeniable, but people still have excuses for not doing it. Here are just a few reasons why a journal is helpful during your recovery.

Recording Your Thoughts

There isn’t a specific time of the day where you must write in your journal. Whether you opt to write in it as soon as you wake up, before going to bed or in the middle of the day, journaling allows you to write what you are thinking. One of the most beneficial times is when your highly emotional it helps release tension and you can gain some perspective of reality. When you’re angry it can be the best way to release frustration, so you don’t create an unnecessary confrontation. There is a popular passage in the 12-step program “nothing pays off like restraint from pen and tongue” by journaling you can release with a pen keep your thoughts and criticism private in a journal. You can record your goals, track how well you feel about goal progression, and what you feel may be interfering with your goals and your recovery. These are your thoughts, no one will read what you write, so if you’re angry, happy, or disappointed, you can express your thoughts for your benefit only.


Journaling is a great way to help you remain accountable. It can also be a gratitude list of all the things you are grateful for in the moment you are writing. The writing allows you to keep a record of your intentions, especially during those times when your thoughts may become overwhelming, and your intentions may start to slip away. Having access to your intentions means you can take a minute to review them, reflect on them and get back on track. Keep in mind that setting goals is one the most positive ways to move through recovery and on to a healthier, happier lifestyle.

One of the most difficult things about keeping a journal during recovery is taking the first step and starting to write. If you aren’t in the habit of expressing yourself through writing, it can be difficult and stressful to stare at a blank page. You may simply struggle with knowing what to write, so it’s important to keep in mind that there isn’t a right or wrong way to journal. Journal book, notebook or computer won’t matter at first just write anything that comes into your head, even if what you’re thinking doesn’t mean anything and once you start writing, your thoughts and words will come easily. You don’t have to write in any order, you don’t have to write at a specific time of the day and you don’t have to pinpoint what it is you write about-you simply have to write.

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