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A Healthy Distraction: 20 Journal Prompts to Explore

When we’re dealing with difficult times, turning to healthy distractions can help. One of my favorites is journaling: It’s a great way to get to know ourselves better, get grounded, reconnect to our imagination, and brighten our perspective.

As such, here’s an array of journal prompts to play with and explore. The first nine prompts come from Marina Greenway’s book Listify: List and Journal Your Way to Balance, Self-Discovery, and Self-Care

  1. List the books, movies, and games that give you comfort.
  2. List five nice things that happened today.
  3. If you could only own five items (besides necessities like toothpaste) for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
  4. List your favorite things about your favorite people.
  5. For one month, keep track of one thing you’re learning every day.
  6. List or doodle your favorite creatures, real or fictional.
  7. What are your favorite scents?
  8. What would be your magical power? What is your non-magical superpower right now?
  9. “Books let us live multiple lives without ever leaving our couches!” What are your all-time favorite books or short stories?
  10. Write a 3-line poem about the sunrise or sunset every day for 30 days.
  11. Write about the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you.
  12. Jot down a list of your favorite things in your house.
  13. What would your children’s book be about? (Bonus: Draw the cover and title it.)
  14. List 10 books you’d like to read right now.
  15. Write about last night’s dream. (You might want to keep your journal on your nightstand and jot it down right after you wake up.)
  16. Write a paragraph-long description of a mysterious character who appears in your new mysterious novel.
  17. Write 50 things about the sky. Yes, really, 50. 
  18.  List 10 ways you love to move your body (and do one today).
  19. Look out your window, and list a few beautiful things you see.
  20. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and jot down one intention for your day, week, or month.

As always, pick whatever prompts resonate with you—and absolutely skip the rest. I hope a few of these ideas give you some comfort during this time!

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash.

A Healthy Distraction: 20 Journal Prompts to Explore

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. (2020). A Healthy Distraction: 20 Journal Prompts to Explore. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 22 Mar 2020
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