Writing things down

Writing things down, by using a journal or a diary, can help you to defuse a situation that you have kept inside you. For some people, they use journals as a way of sharing difficult feels, expressing words that they would not be able to say out loud. Others use journals to track their mental health, highlighting the good days and the bad so that they learn more about themselves and their mental health. 

Sometimes people use paper journals, or others use blogs or their social media to let it out. There are many websites that can give you advice on how to journal including The Shaw Foundation and the University of Rochester.  The blog Journaling for Mindfulness also includes over 40 prompts to help you start journaling.


What young people have told us:

'I enjoy reflecting but often jump too quickly from one thought to another. Writing things down helped me to arrange my thoughts, and now I can go back and reflect on those thoughts.'

'I got what I needed to get out of my system.'

'Definitely try this, even if it is just a scribble it is a way of just releasing your emotions.'

'Don't feel that you have to write loads. At the same time don't think anything isn't worth noting, just write.'

'It helps me when reflecting whether I was overreacting or not.'

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.

Did this activity help your mental wellbeing?

If yes, why do you think it helped?

What would you say to other young people who are thinking of trying this?


Senior Mental Health Lead training: New dates live

Sign up with the Anna Freud Centre, the UK’s leading mentally healthy schools charity.

DfE grant funding is available to cover the cost of our Senior Mental Health Lead training.

Find out more

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