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Journal Prompts for Codependency Recovery

Journal Prompts for Codependency Recovery

Journaling or writing is a way of becoming aware of your feelings, processing them, and gaining clarity. It’s an especially good tool for people who struggle with codependency as two of the core tasks of recovering from codependency are to 1) understand yourself as a unique, whole person and 2) fully accept and love yourself.

I developed the following journal prompts especially for people who want to understand and heal their codependency. They target common codependent traits such as:

  • Difficulty identifying and expressing your feelings and needs
  • Taking care of others at your own expense
  • Taking responsibility for other people’s feelings and actions and things beyond your control
  • People-pleasing and fear of rejection or abandonment
  • Trying to control others and feeling anxious because things are out of your control
  • Poor boundaries
  • Not asserting yourself


You don’t have to be a “good writer” to benefit from journaling. Your journaling is for you; it’s your process not intended for others to read or understand. And while I think there’s benefit in keeping your journaling and re-reading it, this isn’t necessary. If you feel more comfortable shredding or deleting your journaling for the sake of privacy, that’s fine. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it.


Journal Prompts for Codependency Recovery


I get angry when ______________, but I’m not able to express it because __________________.


I’m afraid of _________________.


People like me because _______________.


When things don’t go according to plan, I ________________________.


Taking care of other people makes me feel ______________________.


When I listen to my body, it tells me that it needs ____________________.


When I tune into my spirit/soul, it tells me that it needs _____________________.


I wish people knew _________________ about me.


I’m really good at ____________________.


I’m ashamed of _____________________.


I tend to bury or deny my emotions by __________________.


I can show myself love by ____________________.


Someone who is supportive of my growth and change is ____________________.


When I try to set a boundary by saying “no”, I feel ______________ because ____________.


When I’m sad, I ___________________.


When I’m angry, I _________________.


If I let myself feel all of my feelings, I would __________________.


I don’t feel good enough or loveable because ___________________.


If people knew the real me, they would _____________________.


One person who truly knows me is _________________.


If I start of focus more on myself – my needs and feelings, people will ________________.


If I let my inner child speak, s/he would say _____________________.


I feel anxious when __________________.


A positive way to calm my anxiety is ________________.


I try to control other people and situations by _____________________ and this leads to ________________. Instead I will ____________________.


I suspect I may have some denial about _____________________.


I feel hopeful about ________________.


I am grateful for _______________ and I will show it by ____________________.


Just for today I will _________________________.


3 Ways I can take care of myself today are _____________________________.


These prompts may bring up some strong feelings. In fact, they should; that’s kind of the point. But you aren’t in this alone; try to ask for support. Consider working on these journaling prompts for codependency recovery with a therapist or a Codependents Anonymous or Al-Anon sponsor.

Wishing you well on your recovery journey,



© 2016 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.
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Journal Prompts for Codependency Recovery

Sharon Martin, LCSW

Sharon Martin is a licensed psychotherapist and codependency expert practicing in San Jose, CA. She is the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism: Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism, Build Self-Esteem, and Find Balance and several ebooks including Navigating the Codependency Maze.  

To learn more, visit Sharon's website. And please sign-up for free access to her resource library HERE (worksheets, tips, meditations, and resources for healing codependency, perfectionism, anxiety and more).

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APA Reference
Martin, S. (2020). Journal Prompts for Codependency Recovery. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Sep 2020
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