Journaling Prompts

Journaling was a huge part of my recovery from postpartum depression.  Now I do it every day, and I consider it a crucial part of my daily self-care.  If I’m writing in my journal, I’m at my best.  If I start to slack on journaling, I get cranky and overwhelmed. 

I used to journal by hand in cheap notebooks.  Now I mostly journal on my laptop because then I can easily print and hand the pages over to my therapist.  Plus, when I am using paper and pen, my hand cannot keep up with my brain!

There’s no right way to journal, but I highly recommend The Artist’s Way and Writing Down the Bones if you want some deeper advice.

I thought it would be fun to create some creative writing prompts for moms who are struggling with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and any other maternal mood disorder.  But any mom can use these prompts!  Motherhood is tough for all of us, regardless of whether we get the added bonus of a mental illness.  We all need to work hard to feel fulfilled, and I think journaling can be a big part of emotional wellness for just about anyone.

To get started, I have some prompts about … (insert dramatic drum roll)… COLOR!

  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. Pick three words to describe your favorite color.  (Just do whatever pops into your head, no need to agonize over this.)
  3. When did it become your favorite color?
  4. Why is it your favorite color?
  5. Do you prefer a particular shade of your favorite color?
  6. How well is your favorite color represented in your wardrobe?  What about your home?
  7. What was your favorite color when you were a kid?
  8. What is your favorite color combination?
  9. What is your least favorite color?
  10. Do you associate any sounds with different colors?

Remember: there is no right way to answer these questions! You can answer all of them, focus on one, or jump around from question to question.  Maybe you will write about color for the next month.  Maybe you will think “Courtney is an idiot, I don’t want to have anything to do with her stupid prompts.”  It’s all good.

Here are some of my answers to the prompts above if you are feeling stuck but really want to have a go at journaling.

  1. Green!
  2. Vibrant, happy, alive
  3. I’m not exactly certain when green became my favorite color, but I definitely knew it was my favorite color by the time I was in college.  I think.  Shit, I don’t know!
  4. Green is my favorite because it just is.  This is kind of a lame question.  Can anyone really answer it?  This is just something I know and understand in my gut, in my essence.  When I see green, my soul sings.  Ah, I guess I have answered my question…
  5. My favorite shade of green is apple/emerald – I refuse to choose between the two.  I am not a big fan of forest green, which is the shade you see on cars, so I will probably never have a green car.  That’s okay, I love having a red car.  [now if I was writing on my own, I would probably get sidetracked and talk about how important my red car is, how it was this big psychological achievement when I finally deviated from grey and white and got the red car I had wanted for year.]
  6. Green is usually well represented in my wardrobe but not lately.  For the past three years, I’ve been wearing maternity clothes or clothes that I can get cheaply as I lose pregnancy weight.  So lots of whites and blacks.  I miss having lots of cheerful green options in my closet.  This needs to change and soon.  An emerald green dress – that would be HEAVEN.  I would feel so lovely.

and so on!  I hope if you are interested in journaling that you will at least give it a try.  Creative writing is such a rewarding hobby.