Get the most out of journaling.

“Get the most out of journaling. This self-care activity can help you gain new insights, release inner pain, and invite God into your thoughts and feelings in a deeper way.” Laurie Glass


In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. (Psalms 18:6)

Whether you’ve been journaling for a while or you only recently started, you might recognize the benefits but also wonder how you can get more out of it. Below, you’ll find suggestions to help you go deeper with journaling. Review the ideas, and choose one that strikes you. On another day, a different suggestion may stand out to you. If any of these exercises bring up thoughts and emotions that feel like too much, take a break or choose something else. Talk to someone you trust if you feel overwhelmed. If need be, consider reaching out to a counselor.

(If you haven’t already read them, you may want to refer to Discover the Benefits of Journaling and Getting Started with Journaling.)



If you’re new to journaling but eager to find out how you can get more out of it, here are some exercises to help you dig in and explore yourself and your relationships a little deeper. If you’re experienced with journaling, you might still find something you haven’t written about before that you’d like to address. Keep in mind that going deeper doesn’t always mean writing about something painful or negative. Yes, that may be a big part of it, but it doesn’t have to be the only thing.

  • Explain the positive things in your life, whether big or small, and what they mean to you.
  • Describe your relationship with a close friend or family member whom you cherish.
  • Remember that conversations with God go both ways–that is when you’re listening. Keep track of what God says to you. You can revisit those recorded words when you need comfort or feel far away from Him.
  • God’s love. Write about how you see God’s love in your life and the impact it has on your faith.
  • Choose a favorite quote or verse and explain why it means so much to you.


When you’re ready, you can try one of the suggestions below to help you express your thoughts and feelings about living with a chronic illness. Just go with whatever resonates with you. Try another one on another day. As you go further with journaling, keep in mind that if you’ve already written about something but it’s still bothering you, it’s okay to write about it again. You’ll likely need to do so with things that trouble you the most. Also, remember that your journal is a place where you can admit just how angry, sad, or disappointed you are. You can also pen the struggles you may feel too embarrassed to say out loud. Your journal will not judge you.

  • Explain conclusions you made about yourself, life, and God as a result of being hit with a chronic illness.
  • Write about what you’ve lost at the hands of the illness and what you feel about it. Be candid. Starting from a place of honesty will serve you well.
  • Use your journal to practice what you want to say if you’re having a hard time facing a difficult conversation you need to have with someone. For example, maybe you need to consider what to say to a loved one or a medical professional about your illness and how that person has treated you over it.
  • Enter your illness-related fears on one side of a page and ways to face them on the other side. Include statements to counteract what you’re afraid of and that give you peace and strength.
  • Moving forward. Explore what that might mean for you. Whether it’s related to daily activities, relationships, serving God, or any number of areas in your life, brainstorm how you might make the best of your situation and move forward.

Discover What Works Best For You

For more journaling ideas that may help you go deeper in your relationship with the Lord, see the 50 Prayer Journaling Prompts printable.

Yellow Bubbles
Laurie Glass

Laurie Glass

Chronic Joy® Staff Writer

Laurie has a Master's Degree in Christian Counseling and is the author of Coping with ME/CFS. Many of her poems and articles have been published in print and online. She won the Open Medicine Foundation poetry contest in 2019. Laurie loves to use her gift of writing to encourage others.

50 Prayer Journaling Prompts

Choose a quiet moment, open your journal, and begin with whatever thoughts are on your heart.

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