These Guided Journals Make It Easy to Build a Healthy New Habit


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Like many, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with journaling. Despite being a writer, the thought of putting pen to paper to reveal my deepest, innermost thoughts (often to no one but myself) is anxiety-inducing at best. Maybe it’s the vulnerability required or the pressure I put on myself to journal day after day without fail—whatever the reason, journaling and I just haven’t always clicked. That is, until I discovered what initially felt like cheating: guided journals that did the hard work for me.

Okay, not all the hard work. But fear of the blank page—no matter how low the stakes—is real. I empathize with anyone who struggles to come up with something on cue. But as I’ve begun to embark on my own journaling journey, I’ve learned to no longer expect some shock of divine inspiration each morning. And thankfully, now that I’ve jumped on the guided journal bandwagon, I have the support of journaling prompts to guide my direction.

Because I’m careful not to proselytize all my wellness breakthroughs to unsuspecting friends and family, I’ll unleash my love of journaling here. By engaging deeper and more consistently with the practice, I’ve connected with it as a supportive way to work through challenging moments and gain clarity in my thoughts. As someone who’s learned to manage her anxiety and depression through holistic methods—and the support of psychiatrist-prescribed medications, let’s be clear—I’ve experienced a new level of mental and emotional resiliency by jotting my thoughts in my journal. And yes, getting to know myself better because of it.

Why Journaling Could Change Your Life

If there’s one person I can thank for my love of journaling, it’s Camille. She’s long spoken about how journaling is a crucial part of her morning routine. It centers and grounds her before jumping into the day. These are some of the top benefits of journaling Camille has shared since beginning her journey several years ago:

  • Journaling is a meditative experience. “As my hand moves slowly across the paper,” writes Camille, “it untangles the thoughts, feelings, experiences, and inputs that are usually so entwined in my brain that I often don’t even know what I’m thinking until I write it down.”
  • You learn to identify what’s important. “My own journaling practice is the number one tool that’s helped me set priorities and make traction toward my goals over the last decade.”
  • Journaling can generate creative, personal, or professional inspiration. “I’m always surprised by what I discover—a dream that suddenly appears from the night before, knowing the answer to a business decision, or most often, having some new creative inspiration.”
Yellow guided journal.

How to Start a Journaling Practice Today

Make it a part of your routine. Whether it’s in the morning or at night, find a part of your day when journaling fits best. Personally, I like doing it in the morning right when I wake up. I keep my journal next to my bed so I can simply turn on the light and get to jotting.

Support your journaling ritual with complementary incentives. If you’re finding it hard to start journaling, try pairing it with other things you enjoy. (Hi, habit stacking.) Brew yourself a cup of coffee or tea if you’re doing it in the morning, light a candle, and go somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. If you don’t mind a little music in the background, Camille swears by this playlist.

Mindfully enjoy your life. Personally, this is something that’s developed alongside my journaling practice. The more I write about my days and my accompanying thoughts, the more I actively take note of them in the moment. I’m seeking out inspiration in my every day, and suddenly, the most minute things can become exciting and transformative.

The more you look for the magic in your life, the more you’ll be inspired to reflect upon it, and vice-versa.

Let journaling prompts inspire you. If you’re like me, it’s hard to think of what to write when you have a blank page staring back at you. Get started with any of the guided journals below. I guarantee—you might just become a journaling enthusiast yourself.

Janessa Leone typing on laptop.

The Best Guided Journals to Start Your Journey in 2024

Inside Then Out Dig Deeper Journal

Why We Love It: Nothing beats an aesthetically pleasing (and life-changing) tool. This journal’s minimalist cover looks soft and soothing stored on any nightstand and maintains an aesthetic appearance. Prompts are designed to help you reflect upon key moments of your day, and at the end of each week, you’ll be guided through a new “breakout prompt” where you’ll dive deeper into different themes.

Key Highlights: With 180 prompts oriented toward intention, healing, and growth, this journal offers ample opportunity to reflect on your life. Most prompts can be addressed in just 5-10 minutes per day.

Five Minute Journal by Intelligent Change

Why We Love It: This journal has maintained its social virality over the years, with many “that girl” girlies opening it up at the start of their curated morning routines. While that may sound cynical, it’s anything but. I’ve read comments and heard from many who use it that it’s one of the best guided journals in terms of aligning their actions with their priorities. If you’re focused on boosting your mood, make this guided journal your pick. The prompts help you gain a clearer understanding of what self-care practices are truly meaningful for you.

Key Highlights: This journal includes trackers for your healthy habits like meal prep, goals, sleep, and more. It’s designed for morning and nighttime use, with prompts written specifically for your morning and night routines.

Therapy Notebooks The Anti-Anxiety Notebook

Why We Love It: I’ve long coveted this journal, and the start of spring might just be the perfect reason to indulge in a little self-gifting. I love that it can function as a tool to complement my weekly talk therapy sessions. The journal prompts, exercises, check-ins, and tips from therapists help you work through your thoughts to change unhelpful patterns and reframe your emotions. It’s supportive in times when you’re feeling anxious and is a proactive way to self-reflect and check in each day.

Key Highlights: This notebook includes guided journal entries, exercises, and regular check-ins so you can begin to build a better awareness of your emotions and state of being.

Papier x Anthropologie Guided Journal

Why We Love It: Papier has clearly made its claim on the guided journal space. As an avid user of several of the journals the brand has put out, I couldn’t be happier. The journal comes in six beautifully-designed styles, with prompts and guidance to help you identify the joy in your journey.

Key Highlights: This 96-page journal is filled with guided prompts and affirmations designed to help ground you and shift your mindset toward the positive. It offers countless opportunities to reflect on your life and build a more introspective understanding of your experiences and the world around you.

FORM Daily Check In Journal

Why We Love It: You already know and love the brand for its empowering and efficient workouts. Now, you can continue on your self-improvement journey with a mindfulness journal designed to help you engage deeper with all areas of your life. It’s an opportunity to build self-awareness and gain a stronger sense of autonomy over your time and day. If you’re wanting to transform your habits, the FORM Daily Check In Journal is my recommended place to start. (I’m halfway through it, and seriously, the transformation is palpable.

Key Highlights: Each entry is set up to let you get into the nitty gritty of your day. You’ll respond to prompts including:

  • Your Daily Form of Intention
  • Your Daily Form of Self-Care
  • Your Daily Form of Wellness
  • Your Daily Form of Gratitude
  • Your Daily Form of Movement

Along with a to-do list and space to identify the day’s top three priorities, you have the support to commit to your wellness and get the most from each day.

Best Year Yet: A Journal for Becoming Your Best Self

Why We Love It: If you want help getting after your goals and finding inspiration month after month, pick up this guided journal. It’s designed to help anyone who’s looking for a fresh perspective throughout the year and motivation to build a better life. Not only are the prompts positive and uplifting, but the journal itself is colorful, bright, and will energize every writing session.

Key Highlights: Each month, you’ll be prompted with a new task or goal. The journal breaks this down further into small, but impactful actions you can take to ensure success at the end of the month.

Wilde House Paper The Reset Guide

Why We Love It: While this is one of the thinner guided journals, each page is filled with valuable space to check in and get the clarity you need. The guide is divided into three sections (“evolutions of self”): The Past, The Present, and The Future. Each section progresses through insightful prompts and includes intention-setting worksheets to help you understand and prioritize what’s important. Once you’re done with each page, you’ll feel clearer and more focused on how you want to make each day better—and work toward your goals with efficiency and excitement.

Key Highlights: With 52 pages, every detail of this guide is intentional. Not only does it offer prompts and affirmations, but you’ll also dive into inspirational articles and expansive exercises.

Create Your Self Guided Journal

Why We Love It: This sweet guided journal is a reminder that every day is a chance to create ourselves and start anew. It’s oriented toward self-discovery, helping you observe your life without judgment and instead curiosity. With simple, but profound prompts, you’ll find yourself going down a beautiful journey of self-exploration and personal growth.

Key Highlights: Focused sections include self-esteem, self-love, self-growth, and self-truth. The questions are short and simple, but help you dive deep into your personal values and unique qualities.

Intelligent Change Night Notes

Why We Love It: While I usually write in the morning, this journal has helped me build a reflective evening practice as well. Filled with inspiring quotes and prompts to guide your nighttime musings, it’s a great way to wrap up your thoughts before drifting off to dreamland. Because what’s not cute? Ruminating on everything while trying to fall asleep.

Key Highlights: Pages are organized by Ideas, Dreams, To Dos, and Creative Musings, helping you focus your intentions as you work through the journal. It engages you while not feeling like *too* much work—striking the perfect balance between analysis and letting your mind wander.

The Next Right Thing Guided Journal: A Decision-Making Companion

Why We Love It: We’re big fans of this guided journal’s author, Emily P. Freeman. Author of The Next Right Thing and host of The Next Right Thing podcast, Emily has dedicated her career to helping people recover from decision fatigue and step into their lives with confidence. This guided journal is a year-long tool, with space dedicated to weekly, monthly, and seasonal reflection. Like her other work, this journal’s intention is to help you clear through the clutter of your decision-making process and arrive at a place that aligns with the life you want to lead.

Key Highlights: The seasonal and monthly breakouts include questions, lists, and exercises to help you act on your decisions and discover the courage it takes to make a choice without regret.

The School of Life Who Am I? Journal

Why We Love It: Despite feeling like I have a strong sense of self, I’m often caught with the question: who am I? I found this journal with a sigh of relief, recognizing that (thankfully) I’m not the only one who feels this way on occasion. If you’ve ever been at a loss trying to unpack your essence, you know it can be deeply distressing. That’s why I love this journal’s prompts. They inspire self-discovery, help us get to the core of our personhood, and build up a picture of who we are.

Key Highlights: The prompts are at times playful and complex. You’ll learn who you are by exploring yourself through chapters including Psychology, Relationships, Sex, Other People, Work, and more.

Papier Rise & Shine Wellness Journal

Why We Love It: Papier is known for their highly aesthetic journals and design-driven notebooks. This journal is perfect if prioritizing wellness is one of your 2024 resolutions. As we know, wellness isn’t just physical. It’s all the many practices that help us feel good. This journal understands that complexity and approaches your wellness from every angle.

Key Highlights: You’re set up with a wellness map, room to set your intentions and write your goals, and ample space to track your habits (sleep, self-care, meal planning, thoughts, etc.). It’s comprehensive without being overwhelming—essentially the perfect journal.

Poketo Gratitude Journal

Why We Love It: Just as I start a new book before I’ve finished my current read, I have a bad habit of purchasing journals well before I need them. This journal? Already on my nightstand. I love the bold and colorful design—it’s the perfect accompaniment to my bedside TBR.

Key Highlights: This year-long, undated journal progresses through prompts that help you go beyond a quick “Today, I’m grateful for… ” Rather than understanding gratitude as something banal and simplistic, it helps you dive deeper. It’s a powerful tool to help you uncover the consistent sources of gratitude that exist all around you.





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