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21 Fill-In-The Blank Prompts to Explore in Your Journal

Asian Lady Writing Notebook Diary Concept

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about journaling. Because journaling is a powerful and effective tool for self-discovery. As psychotherapist Anna Osborn, LMFT, recently told me:

“Journaling allows us to externally process our thoughts and increase self-awareness, because we’re literally pulling the thoughts out of our head on paper. This is super helpful when we’re working to better know and understand ourselves. [That’s] because we’re able to see it through a different lens and uncover deeper knowledge about ourselves when it’s on paper versus just in our heads.”

Often it’s helpful to simply jot down whatever is happening in our heads and hearts. That is, write about whatever is on your mind. Write about your feelings. Write about how you’re doing. Write about what’s bothering you. What’s making you happy. What you’re anxious about. What made you laugh.

And other times it helps to have some prompts you can turn to. A wide range of prompts to explore. Here are 21 prompts to answer in your notebook (or maybe they’ll inspire you to come up with your own prompts). Return to them regularly to see how your answers may or may not change.

  1. I feel empty when ____________.
  2. I feel satiated when ___________.
  3. These are the rules I wish I could relinquish _____________.
  4. I could study this subject all day long (and maybe I just might) ______________.
  5. I wish I had more time to create ____________ (and maybe I just might).
  6. I define creativity as __________________________.
  7. I usually forget this _______________ but I really need the reminder (so here I am writing about it, again and again).
  8. Being true to myself means or looks like _____________________________.
  9. Being true to myself doesn’t look like _______________________________.
  10. This ________________ captures my heart and sense of wonder.
  11. This song __________ by ____________ always inspires me to create.
  12. I’ve carried this story ______________ for way too long. (But I don’t have to anymore.)
  13. What I love about my hometown is _________________.
  14. My favorite thing to do when I’m alone is ______________.
  15. There is so much I’d like to say about _________________. But today, I’ll just start with ________________.
  16. When I dig deep, I realize I’m still grieving the loss of ______________________.
  17. These are the words (from a song, a book, a therapist, an author interview, something I’ve said myself) ____________ that I’d like to blow up, frame and hang in my home (or tattoo to my face, either way…).
  18. Right now I’m absolutely obsessed with _________________.
  19. I believe in ___________________ because _______________.
  20. I want to feel _____________ in my home. (Which I can create by _________________.)
  21. I am strong because __________________. When I forget that I am strong (and capable and resilient), I will remind myself by ________________.

Happy journaling! 🙂

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21 Fill-In-The Blank Prompts to Explore in Your Journal

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2016). 21 Fill-In-The Blank Prompts to Explore in Your Journal. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jun 2016
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