The Pros and Cons of Journaling

Many students who journal often are very enthusiastic about the effects it has on their mental health.

People who write in journals find it cathartic.

Students are often plagued with negative thoughts, small and large. Those thoughts congregate and can lead to a very stressful mindset and possibly anxiety. It’s important to find a healthy way to express oneself; journaling is just that.

Journaling can help students:

  • Manage anxiety
  • Reduce stress
  • Cope with depression

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, recording one’s thoughts and feelings can help improve their headspace by

  • Helping them become more self-aware of their problems, fears, and concerns
  • Identifying negative thoughts and behaviors
  • Keeping track of what really makes them tick

It’s a great idea to write down one’s positive feelings. Students may want to record good things so that they have a permanent record.

Teenagers have  a lot to talk about because of school and social interactions; whether it’s something nice or unpleasant to write about, journaling is a great way to let all that out.

“I always thought journaling was pretty,” said Kota Amos, a sophomore. “Journaling can be a really good emotional release, and it’s very pretty to flip through after.”

Journals can be remarkably aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes, people were inspired by others’ journals and decide to start their own.

“A few of my friends inspired me,” said Cali Perry, a freshman. “The way they journal was very interesting , and it made me think that I needed to get a journal to jot things down.”

Others were mentioned to journal by more professional figures.

“My therapist and my sociologist recommended it to me, as well as some of my mom’s friends,” said Audrey Erickson, a ninth grade student.

Some people say that they do their journaling whenever, but some actually schedule it.

“I also try and do it every day, but sometimes I can’t,” said Erickson.

“I just do it whenever something interesting happens,” said Ebonee Linder, a tenth grader.

There are many types of journaling, such as bullet, poetry, art, dream, scrapbooking, or maybe just regular writing. There are tons of different ways to express oneself, and people seem to have picked up different concepts.

“I do bullet journaling whenever I feel like it,” said Katelyn Robinson, a tenth grader.

“I kinda just slam a bunch of random things on a page and hope it works,” said Amos. “It’s a hot mess honestly.”

“I mostly do regular writing right now, but I want to start doing more art stuff,” said Perry.

“I like to write and put things in it,” said Erickson. “I like to put to-do lists and reminders to drink water, but also things like movie tickets, flowers, and stuff I find on the ground.”

While it can be very nice to make an aesthetically pleasing journal, there are definitely some stresses that come with it.

“It can sometimes be overwhelming to make it look pretty,” said Amos.

“I think there’s a lot of pressure to make things look good,” said Erickson. “Though I know that it doesn’t have to be perfect because it’s for you and no one else.”

The aesthetics of journaling can be a big aspect for them, but the more important thing is how it affects someone mentally. Multiple people like to compare journaling to therapy as well.

“It’s very therapeutic and if I’m in a bad place, it clears my mind out a lot,” said Linder.

“It’s kinda like therapy, like letting all of the weight off of my chest,” said Erickson. “It definitely helped me a lot more than I thought it would. It’s like my little place, and I can control who sees it and what happens in it.” Erickson continued to say, “It is a very positive thing for me to control and it has helped me a lot with my memories.”

“I think journaling makes it a lot more easier to clear your headspace,” said Perry. “There’s a lot less stress and anxiety, and you don’t have to wait to tell a person what’s happening in your head, unlike therapy.”

There are clearly many good aspects of journaling on one’s mental health. Anywhere from how pretty it looks to how good it feels, there’s plenty benefits of recording how you’re feeling. The negative effects are more subtle.

“Sometimes I feel when I write stuff down that I can do better, like it’s not enough,” said Perry.

“A con would be looking back on some of the stuff that I’ve written can kinda make anger build up too,” said Linder.

“I think a con of journaling would be that people might go through your things when you don’t want them too,” said Robinson.

Journaling can be a really great way to release whatever a student is thinking and/or feeling at the time; it greatly benefits the health of many who do it.

“Everyone should at least try it once,” said Erickson. “Remember that it’s for you and you only, and you can do it in any way that benefits you!”