11 Types of Journals for Self-Reflection

I love journals. I love how writing my problems down makes them seem less small, and writing my hopes and dreams makes them seem more attainable. It’s also nice to once in a while go back and reflect on how far I’ve come, or relive the details of good memories. I don’t always have time to write super in -depth about experiences though, which is where the different types of journals and journaling come in. If you don’t particularly like writing in a journal then don’t give up on them yet! There’s a style for everyone. These are my top 11 favorites.

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1.Standard Lined Journal

This is the one that I use the most. It doesn’t have any fabulous quotes or pictures, but it’s simple lined layout leaves room to just write, write, and write some more. I like to use this journal when I want to recount details of an experience, or vent my frustrations.
2. Travel Journal
The travel journal is great for recording new experiences and adventures. You can also keep track of plane/train times and write down itineraries in it.
3.Bullet Grid Journal
I don’t use this journal very often, but it’s great for jotting down quick ideas or to-do lists. You can also use this one as a “brain dump” journal where you just take 5 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind, no matter how weird and random it is.
4. Visual Journal
This one is great for artists, or those who are aspiring to be an artist. This journal provides sturdy blank pages for drawing and painting your emotions.
5.Adult Coloring Journal
I have to admit that I’m one of those people that got caught up in the adult coloring fad. A few years ago I bought a coloring book and these fine point markers, then was hooked ever since. This coloring journal keeps all of your pages in one place. I like to work through my emotions based on colors. So, if I’m having a bad day then I’ll title a page “my dark space” and color the picture with dark colors, or title a page “my light space” and color the picture with all bright and happy colors. There’s a lot of relaxing that can be done through coloring emotions.
6. The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
I’ve noticed that when I strive to write down even just one positive thing in my journal a day then the rest of my day seems brighter. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in our failures and everything that went wrong that day, so this journal can help you get out of that funk and see the good.
7. Daily Food Journal
What we eat plays a huge role in how we fee. I thought I was doing great with eating healthy, until I started recording my daily meals and realized that for breakfast I did okay with yogurt and walnuts, but for lunch I had just a handful of marshmallows! This journal can really be an eye opener into what you actually eat on a day to day basis.
8. Wreck This Journal
This journal is tons of fun! By the time you get to the end it really should be in bad shape. It will walk you through venting your frustrations and tapping into your creative side by dropping it in a puddle, making paper airplanes out of the pages, and so much more! Each journal in the Wreck This Journal series is different so check out this one and see what destructive fun it has to offer!
9. The Belly Book
Perfect for pregnant moms, this journal can help you document some of the most exciting moments of pregnancy, and the not so pleasant moments if you wish.
10. Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
This journal will provide you with some great self-reflecting topics on each page to get you started when you don’t know what to say. It’s full of positivity and bright colors.
11. Relationship Communication Journal
These journals can help bring honest communication to relationships that are struggling. For example, this one has topics for Mother and son to write to each other. So, Mom will find a page and write down the answers to her son, then he can read it, and vice versa. It helps a lot with those kids that don’t like to talk about their feelings or are too afraid to speak to their parents about something. I remember writing out my feelings in letters to my parents all the time when I was younger, a journal like this would have been very beneficial. Here’s one for a grandparent and grandchild.

I know a few people who refuse to write and keep journals because they are afraid of what family and friends will think of them if they are read after the writer dies. I did something a little crazy…and wrote instructions of my journals in my will. When my husband and I wrote our wills, I added in there that after I die my little sister gets the journals, because she’s the only person that I feel will read them and understand my darkest days without too much judgement. If she doesn’t want them then they are to be destroyed. That may seem a bit drastic to you, but I love the power of self-reflection in journaling so I will continue to write in them and then made a plan so others hopefully won’t read them. You can always just throw a page away after you’ve written it!

How has journaling helped you? Which form of journaling is your favorite?


One thought on “11 Types of Journals for Self-Reflection

  1. Oyinkan

    June 16, 2017 at 5:46am

    A travel journal sounds fun! I would give that a try! Do you have a travel journal?

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  2. Brooke Poston

    June 14, 2017 at 6:30pm

    I kind of think of my blog as a type of journal. It’s a great place to hold everything and then rediscover it!

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  3. Elizabeth O

    June 13, 2017 at 10:20pm

    I love journaling so I have my share of Journals that make me write and smile. On your list, the Wreck This Journal made me laugh out loud.

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  4. Brandi

    June 13, 2017 at 1:02pm

    I recently started journaling and I think I need to purchase an actual book to do so. I have been using my Macbook, but I wonder if I will glean more benefit from actually writing down my thoughts. Your post has motivated me to check that out!

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  5. Esse D

    June 13, 2017 at 3:27am

    The adult coloring journal sounds really interesting. A co-worker introduced me to the adult coloring books about a year ago and it really CAN be relaxing. The “journal” seems like it would tie it in.

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  6. David Elliot

    June 12, 2017 at 8:23pm

    It is kind of cool that they have all different types of journals. I would never have thought of a coloring journal. But I really like the one you mentioned that had the writing prompts. Sometimes it’s not easy to get started and having a prompt helps.

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  7. Elizabeth Brico

    June 12, 2017 at 5:14pm

    YES! Writing is so therapeutic. Standard lined journals and adult coloring books are my two personal favorites. Did you know a composition notebook is what brought my husband and I together??

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    • Author


      June 12, 2017 at 7:36pm

      Really?!? What an intriguing love story!

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  8. Tracey

    June 12, 2017 at 4:16am

    I so wish I could be disciplined enough to write in a journal. They are so pretty and I know that journaling is relaxing and provides great self-reflection. I do like the relationship & travel journals however.

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  9. Rosey

    June 12, 2017 at 3:14am

    I think the journals are a good idea. Finding a way to write always seems to uncloud so many things for me.

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  10. Nicole Anderson

    June 11, 2017 at 10:31pm

    So many people derive great benefits from keeping and using journals. However I just had no idea that these could take so many different forms. I really found this quite fascinating and will be checking some out. Interesting thought about what happens after you die – must admit I haven’t given that much thought.

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  11. colleen

    June 11, 2017 at 8:09pm

    My daughter has kept a journal all of her life. She writes in it daily.

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  12. Nina

    June 11, 2017 at 3:54pm

    A one-minute gratitude journal is something I should use. I often forget to practice gratitude throughout my day.

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  13. Corinne & Kirsty

    June 11, 2017 at 2:15pm

    I would love to start a wreck it journal. Sounds like so much fun! I don’t really right down things but I should defo start! xx corinne

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  14. Amanda

    June 2, 2017 at 3:00am

    I love this. I kind of started a bullet journal a few months ago and I love it! Thanks for sharing all of the other options!

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  15. sarah

    May 31, 2017 at 4:31am

    I love writing in my journal. I only have one for all purposes.

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  16. msmamabean

    May 17, 2017 at 1:10pm

    I have not had a journal since secondary school!! Well I guess now my blog is starting to become my journal. Thanks for sharing, I didn’t know there were so many types of them!

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  17. Kris

    May 17, 2017 at 1:40am

    I have been writing in a journal for a long time. It is so therapeutic

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  18. Kris

    May 17, 2017 at 1:38am

    I love using journals especially at tough times in my life. My journal is now a blog. Runawaywidow.com

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  19. Amanda

    May 16, 2017 at 8:32pm

    I have not kept a journal since high school. I used to write my feelings, hopes and dreams a lot then. I need to take the time for writing in a journal again! I know my kids would enjoy it when I’m gone.

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  20. Kayla

    May 16, 2017 at 7:45pm

    I’ve tried several of these but my favorite is the 5 minute journal!

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  21. mapolo.style

    May 16, 2017 at 5:51pm

    I used to have a journal when I was growing up, but I used it for writing sing lyrics lol funny I know. Great post

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  22. Tiara

    May 16, 2017 at 5:37pm

    I never really knew there were different “types” of journals. I do like the standard “lined” journals because I love writing. I use to believe that you should write if you’re not feeling “good” or “upset”.

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  23. Kanani

    May 16, 2017 at 4:59pm

    Wow! I lovvvve these. Didn’t even know of the existence of a few such as the Wreck journal. I will be buying one of my children who has some frustrations the find hard to communicate! I have a lined journal which I write a gratitude entry in now but it’s just a plain old composition notebook. I will be trying out a new one from this page!

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  24. Tina

    May 16, 2017 at 4:57pm

    I always kept a journal growing up and now I always bring a travel journey. I like to reflect after a fantastic day. Or a more unhappy day. Writing helps me through rough days.

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  25. Angelina

    May 15, 2017 at 7:07pm

    I love the idea of a travel journal! Especially using it to track time and date. Good idea 🙂

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    • Author


      May 15, 2017 at 7:08pm

      Thanks Angelina! I definitely wish that I had a travel journal the first few times I went on trips, it’s been a life saver!

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  26. Jaclyn Andrews

    May 15, 2017 at 5:13pm

    I hate journaling. I have a huge fear of writing and feeling like I can’t made grammatically correct sentences or spell words correctly. I have tried to write a few stories for my boys. I want to start a 1 minute gratitude journal. I love that idea.

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    • Author


      May 31, 2017 at 12:00pm

      That’s the beauty of journaling..no one has to read your mistakes so they don’t matter! 1 minute a day is definitely doable.

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