The 9 Best Anxiety Journals of 2021, According to an Expert

Calm your mind by writing out your thoughts and worries

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Our Top Picks

Etsy Mindset Journal

"Designed as a way to actively combat negative thoughts, the journal offers writing prompts to decrease anxiety."

Exercises to Soothe Stress

"Written by a psychologist, the journal provides space for writing and is paired with instructions on how to calm racing thoughts."

Journaling Inspiration

"Ideal if you enjoy creating lists, the book is complete with writing space, inspiring essays, quotes, and prompts."

Daily Prompts

"The illustration-filled journal combines writing, mental health education, and mindfulness, using breath to address anxiety."

A Creative Journal for Teens with Anxiety

"It targets the specific areas of teen anxiety with fun writing prompts and advice for calming fears."

The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal

"Perfect for busy people, it helps break the pattern of negative thoughts by redirecting your mind to the positive things in life. "

Let That Sh*t Go

"Complete with hilarious prompts and doodles, the snarky journal helps you get rid of daily frustrations and find your zen."

A 52-Week Guided Journal

"Broken down into weekly themes with daily writing prompts, it takes you through an entire year of mindfulness."

Savor Beauty Planner

"This planner prioritizes self-care and is filled with space to list out priorities, social events, and to-do lists."

There is no shortage of research on the mental and emotional benefits of journaling. When researching the benefits of journaling, it doesn’t take long to begin asking the question: why aren’t we all doing this every single day? Along with meditation and mindfulness, journaling has shown to be one of the most effective and helpful techniques for decreasing feelings of anxiety.

Journaling also helps people track their progress, as it documents challenges that have been overcome. Progress then inspires more progress. Because it's a very simple act, many people doubt the degree of the benefits that can come from journaling. But its simplicity is precisely what makes this tool so effective. 

Journaling is an often-overlooked practice because of busyness, lack of faith in its effects, and struggling to know how to begin. A journal with writing prompts and structure offers the best method for getting started and for getting the most out of your journaling experience. 

Here are the best journals for anxiety on the market.

Our Top Picks

Etsy Mindset Journal

Etsy Mindset Journal

Courtesy of Etsy

Pros
  • Increases self-awareness

  • Documents progress

  • Inspirational

Cons
  • Room to write thoughts, but not long passages

  • Readers must be self-motivated to engage to get the most out of this journal

Designed as a way to actively combat negative thoughts, this journal can be used as part of your anxiety management routine. Over time, it becomes a record of all the challenges you have overcome. Tracking progress can help motivate you to keep making progress towards overcoming your fears, even if you're just taking baby steps.

Beautifully designed with writing prompts to help decrease anxiety and elevate your self-talk, this journal is the perfect daily companion for the anxious mind.

The journal features 120 pages and is made of recycled paper and vegetable-based ink.

The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to Soothe Stress

Pros
  • Focuses on anxiety

  • Effective techniques

  • Individualized writing prompts

Cons
  • More instructions than writing room

Written by psychologist Corinne Sweet, the journal offers space for writing paired with instructions on how to calm racing thoughts and panic attacks.

Small enough to take with you anywhere, this journal helps to identify anxious thoughts as you have them and offers helpful techniques for calming them in the moment. 

The journal features 224 pages, so it'll last you for some time.

52 Lists for Calm: Journaling Inspiration

Pros
  • Beautiful design

  • Effective techniques

  • Features inspirational writing

Cons
  • Made for lists, not journaling

  • One list per week, not each day

  • Not made for severe anxiety

For those who thrive on to-do lists, 52 Lists for Calm will calm your anxious, stressed-out mind. Lists help people feel organized and in charge of the tasks ahead of them, and this journal offers plenty of space for you to list out your worries and face them head-on.

Complete with inspiring essays, quotes, and prompts to help you look ahead while also staying present anxiety doesn’t stand a chance when you're equipped with this journal.

The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety: Daily Prompts

Pros
  • Addresses layers of anxiety

  • Effective techniques

  • Holistic approach

Cons
  • Completing all prompts can be time-consuming

  • Requires consistent dedication

The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety expertly pairs journal writing, mental health education, and mindfulness prompts using breathwork and meditation to address many layers of anxiety. Beautiful designs with colorful illustrations are used to calm your mind and refocus your attention to a peaceful mindset.

The journal features 144 pages filled with beautiful, calming illustrations.

Put Your Worries Here: A Creative Journal for Teens with Anxiety

Pros
  • Effective techniques

  • Fun activities and prompts

  • Audience-specific

Cons
  • Difficult to get teens to commit

  • Might feel like school

  • Difficult to maintain consist practice

Even though teenagers may experience anxiety for different reasons than adults, the feelings are no less intense or debilitating. Written by licensed social worker Lisa Schab, the Put Your Worries Here journal targets common areas of teen anxiety with fun writing prompts, creativity, and tips for calming fears.

The journal features 224 pages and is best suited for kids 13 years old and up, in grade levels 9 through 12.

The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal

Pros
  • Great for busy people

  • Effective techniques

  • Expert author

Cons
  • Narrow focus

  • Short writing spaces

  • Does not address anxiety directly

Author and psychologist Sophia Godkin believes that gratitude is the gateway to happiness. This journal helps break the pattern of worry and negative thoughts by redirecting your brain to the positive things in life, both big and small.

Perfect for busy people, 5 Minutes of Gratitude can change your thought process and positively affect your entire day—and it only takes five minutes!

The journal is 132 pages long and features helpful prompts along the way.

Let That Sh*t Go

Pros
  • Hilarious

  • Effective techniques

  • Fun and well-written

Cons
  • Swearing is not for everyone

  • Short length

  • Does not address anxiety directly

If anger and sarcasm pair well with your anxiety, then this snarky journal is your best medicine. Hilarious prompts filled with colorful language and doodles help you get out the frustrations and find your zen.

From to-do lists to prompt about feelings, this journal allows you to creatively align your inner rebel with your need to actually get stuff done and feel good about yourself. 

The journal features 128 pages.

A Year of Mindfulness: A 52-Week Guided Journal

Pros
  • Year-long structure helps solidify new habit

  • Effective techniques

  • Beautiful design

Cons
  • Limited writing space

  • Needs to be done daily for full effect

Broken down into weekly themes with daily writing prompts, this journal takes you through an entire year of mindfulness and calming routines. Learn how to be mindful in everything you do, from cleaning your house to being productive at work.

With 172 pages, the journal will teach you everything from anxiety-reducing breathwork to how to reduce tension in your body.

Savor Beauty Planner

Savor Beauty Planner

Courtesy of Savor Life Planner

Pros
  • Beautiful design

  • Prioritizes self-care

  • Focuses on work-life balance

Cons
  • Isn't laser-focused on anxiety

  • Not much room to write

  • More of a calendar than a journal

Busy people sometimes have to focus on and prioritize self-care so they can continue to be busy and productive without getting overwhelmed or anxious. While burnout can stop you in your tracks, a daily routine that consistently includes various aspects of self-care can help get you back on your feet.

This planner helps you prioritize self-care, even on a busy schedule, so you can feel and do your best. 

Final Verdict

The Anxiety Journal is the best fit for people struggling with all kinds of anxiety, from racing thoughts to panic attacks. It can be used on a daily basis or whenever you need it. The prompts can be referenced whenever you need anxiety management reminders, and over time the journal tracks your progress which will motivate you to continue on your healing journey.

For busy people who are short on time, the 5-Minute Gratitude Journal can help create the most effective mindset change with the shortest amount of invested time. 

What to Look for in an Anxiety Journal 

Clear Guidance and Prompts

Journaling can feel pointless and confusing for beginners. It is important to choose a journal that provides clear guidelines and prompts for meaningful writing and encourages positive thought patterns. A journal with clear instructions and structure helps keep you motivated to maintain the journaling habit each day. 

Evidence-based Techniques

For anxiety in particular, cognitive behavioral techniques offer the most effective methods for identifying irrational thought patterns that increase anxiety and replacing them with more sound-minded and rational thought patterns. 

Fits Your Writing Style

If you’re the type who loves to process novel-length pages of feelings, be sure to choose a journal that allows for that writing space. If you are short on time and want to write as little as possible, choose a journal that allows for short writing but pairs that with mental exercises—like gratitude or mindfulness—to help carry the positive effects throughout the day.

FAQs

How do you journal for anxiety?

There is no wrong way to journal, other than not doing it. Some prefer to write elaborate passages of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Others prefer to bullet point thoughts or to-do lists. Write in whatever way feels the most comfortable and beneficial to you.

What do you write in a journal for anxiety?

The main purpose is to identify thoughts, feelings, people, and experiences that are contributing to your anxiety. Feelings of anxiety are often caused by fear-based thoughts that can be challenged and replaced by healthy and sound-minded thoughts. Reframing fear-provoking experiences and learning to implement mindfulness and boundary-setting skills helps us feel more in control of situations rather than being controlled by our feelings. 

Why Trust Verywell Mind? 

As a licensed mental health counselor with over 15 years of experience working with clients who struggle with mental health issues, Mary K. Tatum understands the importance of finding quality resources and techniques that work for each person. Not everyone will have the same kind of healing journey, therefore, having lots of options to choose from is vitally important in creating a lifestyle that combats the symptoms of mental illness.

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  1. SUNY College. Stress management in college students: why journaling is the most effective technique for this demographic. Updated May, 2020