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Julia Matheson


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Journaling 101: why bother?

(As written for Nourish Melbourne.)

You keep hearing it.

You keep reading it.

Why is everyone harping on about journaling? “The last time I had a journal I was 10 years old. No more ‘dear diary’ for me thank you very much!” I hear you say, and I get it. To be honest, I used to think that, too.

But adult journaling is a little different to the ‘dear diary’ entries of your childhood, but is just as necessary to your development, and just as fun!

So what the hell is journaling? And why should you bother? I’m here to break it down for you.

Journaling is good for your health, your emotions, your soul and your mind. It allows you to connect with yourself at a deeper level and make sense of yourself and your world.

I for one have been pleasantly surprised at the power of journaling and have welcomed the clarity, the space and the connection to self that it has brought me.

Here are my top four reasons to start journaling.



Glorious, self-serving ‘me time’. It’s rare, it’s necessary and it’s completely transformational. In our busy lives we are rushing endlessly and not often taking some well-deserved time out. Not only does ‘me time’ restore your energy, soothe your soul and maintain your sanity, but it is also the fastest way to deepen your most important relationship – that’s right, the one you have with yourself. Journaling (no matter what you write) is a beautiful act of ‘me time’, where you can just BE. You are taking time to sit with yourself, with your thoughts, with your emotions and allowing yourself to get present. It’s self-love at its finest.


Journaling allows you to get out everything that is brewing within you. It’s so healthy to release all of your emotions, thoughts, experiences and desires onto the page. It clears your mental space, reduces the effect of emotions and also cleanses you – think of it like having a bubble bath for your brain! It’s important that you release pent-up thoughts and emotions; it’s cathartic, healthy and very empowering.


Feeling heard, valued and like you have a voice are probably some of the most empowering feelings you can experience. So why not give that to yourself whenever and wherever you want? Journaling allows you to express your authentic voice and feel heard, even when no one else is listening (indeed because no one else is listening!). Your feelings matter, your ideas matter, your dreams matter – and expressing them powerfully through journaling gives yourself a voice.


You know how good you feel after a really big vent with a friend? You feel lighter, more peaceful, a big sense of relief, like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders? Well, journaling is just the same, in fact even better – as you don’t have to deal with other people’s opinions, judgements or well-meaning ‘advice’. You can simply vent. No consequences, no hurt feelings, no judgements or labels. Your journal is your best confidant and most loyal listener. After writing about your experiences or feelings everything seems to make more sense. Often writing out how you feel is the fastest way to gain clarity, understanding and, best of all, release. Allow yourself to let things go and invite freedom and ease back into your world.

So there you have it, my favourite reasons for journaling.

There are so many varied benefits to journaling, but I believe you really have to experience it to believe it. So, it’s your turn!

Have a go – buy yourself a beautiful journal, grab your favourite pen and carve out some time in your day to sit with yourself.

Even if you have no idea what to write, it doesn’t matter; the very act of spending that time with yourself is great in itself. Journaling is not focused on the end result or a specific outcome – it’s all about the experience.

If you feel stuck for words, quite often just putting pen to paper gets the ball rolling. Thoughts begin to stream out of you and you’ll express things you hadn’t even consciously thought of. This is what happens when you harness your subconscious mind and tap into your innate creativity.

Enjoy your journaling experience.

Let me know how you go in the comments below.

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