top of page

Journaling for Health, Progress and Self-Discovery

Updated: Apr 16

journaling health

Journaling is a powerful tool with benefits that can support self-care and achieving one’s health goals. When I first heard about this habit I was hesitant to start. And then l I tried it…

Journaling is the practice of writing down your thoughts and feelings, keeping track of issues or information, setting down goals. It differs from keeping a diary in that it is not simply a record of one’s day or time.

The process of journaling is a mental exercise but one that can affect all areas of health: mental, physical and social. The very act of writing down your thoughts allows you to process and articulate them better. This leads to having a clearer vision of what you want to achieve or greater understanding of what you have done. Planning will become more effective. Tracking one’s progress, reflecting on accomplishments and failures is useful and ultimately can boost long-term growth and self-confidence.


My own journal tends to be factual: goals to achieve, tracking my progress, how I feel after my exercise sessions. At it’s most simple a string of numbers, my workout routine and how I felt afterwards. I tend to focus on stats and goals rather than my emotions. Some people focus on their emotions and how they relate to health.

I note when I have succeeded AND failed in my goals, to analyse what happened and make improvements in my plans. I get a better perspective on myself and not beat myself up over mistakes but rather to learn from them. Sometimes it is all too easy to get lost in everyday stresses and concerns. It can also help to keep a note of the good things in one’s life - gratitude journaling – to offset the negative.

I prefer to have a physical journal, to write with pen on paper. That's not to say that I don't use my phone to keep notes, I do. Moving away from the small screen, often related to work or mindless scrolling, allows me to focus on the specific task and skill of writing. In turn thinking more about what I am trying to write. It's all part of the process.

Go to a store and find a journal or decent notepad. Make it your own and use it. Write, sketch, doodle, staple in clippings. You will find that more you journal the easier and more effective it becomes. And maybe, even for us men, we can write about our emotions.

Stay Healthy,


health journal

Achieve your Health Goals

Your health, physical – mental – social - is complex and affected by multiple factors within and outside of your control. Our consults and programmes address the whole person, the root causes of ill health and maximising your health, performance & vitality.

Take the first step. Contact us to arrange an introductory call, to discuss how we can support your journey to health. We are based in Singapore and work with clients globally.

Book a Whole Health Consult to assess, identify and prioritise key factors (known and unknown) that affect your health. And receive personalised recommendations on how to address them.

Want to put recommendations into action? Learn more about our programmes for individuals or teams.


Related Studies

Sohal M, Singh P, Dhillon BS, Gill HS. Efficacy of journaling in the management of mental illness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Fam Med Community Health. 2022 Mar;10(1):e001154. doi: 10.1136/fmch-2021-001154. PMID: 35304431; PMCID: PMC8935176.

La Marca L, Maniscalco E, Fabbiano F, Verderame F, Schimmenti A. Efficacy of Pennebaker's expressive writing intervention in reducing psychiatric symptoms among patients with first-time cancer diagnosis: a randomized clinical trial. Support Care Cancer. 2019 May;27(5):1801-1809. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4438-0. Epub 2018 Aug 29. PMID: 30159604.

Smyth JM, Johnson JA, Auer BJ, Lehman E, Talamo G, Sciamanna CN. Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Ment Health. 2018 Dec 10;5(4):e11290. doi: 10.2196/11290. PMID: 30530460; PMCID: PMC6305886.



bottom of page