Kris Carr

Blog Post

Why I Journal and So Should You (+ 7 Creative Journal Prompts!)

Hiya Gorgeous,

Journaling is a powerful tool at the center of my spiritual practice.

Like juicing, eating kale and loving animals, journaling makes me a healthier person. Today I want to share what my journaling practice does for me, because I think it can do a lot for you too.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to benefit from a regular journaling practice. You don’t have to believe you’re creative or talented either. Who cares about skill? I still misuse a semicolon.

All you need to do is show up and explore (and some good journal prompts can be super helpful, so I’m sharing some of my faves today—keep reading!). Trust me, if you do it enough, it will change the way you connect with yourself and others. And if you pay attention to the patterns in your writing, it will teach you a lot about your habits and beliefs, not to mention your goals. In fact, this one simple practice is the #1 way I’ve hit every major goal I have ever achieved. From being on The Oprah Winfrey Show, to becoming a New York Times bestselling author, to building an extraordinary marriage and supporting my own health as a cancer thriver.

Personally, I journal to connect with my soul.

I write what I need to say. I tell the truth and often let my inner guidance system take the wheel. But most of all, I write to get to know myself at the deepest level—to better understand what I want, how I want to feel, and what’s troubling (or exciting) me.

If I’m struggling with something, I turn to the page. When I’ve got an observation or a great memory I don’t want to lose, I spend a luxurious amount of time jotting it down and musing on my feelings about it. This definitely helps when I’m mining stories for a project (my brain doesn’t hold as much as it use to—thankfully my journals hold it all). But it also helps me feel more capable of working out my own issues and problems, of connecting with my wise higher self, rather than relying on too much external feedback and conflicting opinions.

I find it useful to ask myself questions and then scribble answers or walk around the room mumbling until I know what I want to say. Yes, I become that crazy lady (with awesome cats or in my case—dogs) who talks to herself and gestures.

Psst! Journaling has been a game changer for me when it comes to dealing with stress. So much so that I even created my own Results Journal to share the exact system I’ve used for years. I credit it with reaching all my biggest successes—building a thriving business, being one of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 and growing the beautiful relationship I have with my husband, Brian. Want to dip your toe into the magic as well? Grab your copy below!

Here are a few of the journal prompts I turn to when I need inspiration.

Choose the journal prompts that speak to you and write them down in the front of your journal. Pick one to explore several mornings per week. I promise you’ll uncover some interesting shizzle.

  • How are you feeling?
  • What could make this day even better?
  • What does your body say about this idea or decision?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What’s not working?
  • What lessons can you learn from this?
  • What’s your intention for the day?

Learn from your journaling but don’t censor or judge it.

You may not always like what you see, but guess what? You’re not supposed to present your perfect self in your personal pages. We often imagine someone looking over our shoulder, so we’re careful. We don’t write about sex or that weird kink we have about crumbs. We think that historians will be looking back on our lives crafting a special for PBS, so we’re “appropriate.” Forget the historians and be yourself! Doing so will connect you to your authentic power and that’s when life gets really juicy. Doors open. Dreams come true. Love blossoms… and so on.

If it makes you feel safer, lock up your journals. Buy chains and razor wire. Do whatever it takes to be real. Because your writing (soul) craves truth. And sometimes the real you will go through some stinky ass shit. That’s normal! Life isn’t meant to exist in a narrow color spectrum of perpetual happiness. That’s a movie. It’s not reality. Experience all your vivid, fiery, watery emotions. Give yourself permission to be full bodied. You’re peeling. Revealing. It’s a messy, magnificent process. So don’t be narrow or mean. No judgy editors allowed!

Show up and write (use the journal prompts!). Then do that again and again. Got it? Fabulous!

Now it’s your turn. Go write something!

I love you!

Peace & pens,

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  1. Stephanie says:

    this was the answer to all of my uncertainties about writing and exposing myself! I have MS and I’ve contemplated the idea of starting a blog and sharing my story and experiences. This post makes me feel that much more motivated to do it. Thank you!

  2. Cassie says:

    I love these lifestyle tips you share with us. I do journal. However, it has become a “when I have time” endeavor. I’m saving those prompts, and trying to get back to it on a more regular basis.

  3. Andrea says:

    I write daily, for the exact same reasons!! And when I go back to it randomly, I am always amazed about the wisdom that I have in me when I write without really thinking. Yesterday I started with just a thought that quickly turned into six some pages later in my journal. It is all the wisdom of the higher self that makes itself known through the writing.

  4. Jane says:

    Hi Kris, What a great post! I am a firm believer in writing too and all it does for your heart and soul, not to mention, your brain. In my book, Choosing Happiness After Divorce, there is a writing prompt for each week, because writing let’s us dig deep and figure things out! Writing is also good for people with chronic disease, easing the depression that often accompanies it, and often times helping with the healing process. Thanks for sharing and I hope a lot of readers out there will give it a try! Writing is awesome!

  5. Kellie says:

    Hey Kris
    I love this post. You are so write! Get it? I have journaled for as long as I can remember and love going back every once and a while. I crack up when I read something I was struggling with or some deep thing I wrote and think. “Man, I was the bomb!” I just started a blog a couple of months ago and find it funny how many times I change what I wrote because I worry what someone might think. It only works when I write in my style.
    Kellie from Princess and the Yard Ape

  6. Victoria says:

    My best friend has been writing like that for years & it really helps her. I do it every now & again & when I do it love it! I need to make more time for writing, thank you for the reminder

  7. Trish says:

    This is fantastic, Kris. (As always!). I love what you do, I love what you write, I love YOU, and I love the people who reply to your articles.

    @Stephanie – go for it! Write that blog, girl. So many people will benefit from your story and experiences.

    Namaste from PA,

  8. Paulette says:

    I have a trusted, long-distance friend whom I’ve been emailing every day for over ten years. We write about our successes and failures, our worries and fears, our hopes and dreams, our anger and regrets. We encourage and console and scold each other, give and take advice. For that reason, writing is extremely therapeutic for us. It’s our version of journaling. And over the years we have gradually learned that we can open up, sharing our deepest selves, knowing that it is safe to do so. It’s a rare gift. For us, that feedback is part of what makes it so valuable, and is something I don’t get from journaling. I wonder if that is why people blog: they like to put their thoughts down in writing, and then see what kind of response it evokes from others?

  9. Donna says:

    I’m crying reading this and I don’t know why! Or, do I? Am I so flippen afraid to get to know “myself”? WOW! “What’s really going on”? This struck a cord with me, I’ll tell you!

    Guess I needed this lesson today my friend! My SOUL knows I NEED to DO this!

    Thank you Kris!! Love n’ Light



  10. Kris, This is so profound in its simplicity and I love that! It had been awhile since I’d written a blog post (or anything else for that matter), whereas I used to write a blog post weekly and in my morning pages daily (for more than 6 months). On Sunday night I was feeling restless and felt the urge to write and I’m so happy to have answered that call. Not only did it help me sort my own thoughts out and share my story with others but it reminded me of a vital piece of myself. Telling stories is part of who I am and writing is a great way for me to do that, without me having to wait to be cast in a show. I will definitely be sharing this article!

  11. Koya says:

    I’m not crazy about writing. I’d rather talk…I’ve purchased many journals but have yet to fill one. I’m claiming this time will be different. I have a lot to share so I’ll give it another shot. Thanks for your inspiration

  12. Kimarie Green says:

    This article was just what I needed. You are so right!! I have known the truth of what you say – but you have inspired me to actually do it. THANK YOU!

  13. Ann says:

    Kris — and all blog readers —

    have you read *The Artist’s Way* by Julia Cameron? She’s a huge advocate for writing every day, using a technique she calls Morning Pages. It’s a wonderful, inspiring book — definitely something worth checking out, especially for those with whom this post resonates.

    • Kris Carr says:

      Ann, great suggestion, I totally agree! That was my first introduction to myself and what inspired me to become a life long journaler and then writer. 🙂

    • Dian says:

      Ann, I loved that book and wrote my pages everyday. Now I seem to just write every morning, but just about what’s going on in my head and life. Would love to figure out how to blog one day. Can’t seem to get started.
      @ Kris! Wow! That book was your start. Love you and all your posts. Thank you!!

  14. Jorge says:

    Hi Kris, thanks a lot for this article. I think it was really a blessing for me to have found you few months ago. I mean, your work, or part of it :-). For this article in particular, it is a fortunate coincidence for me you have issued it today. Last Sunday I was cleaning my space (a sort of “sanctuary” I have in the attic) with all my musical instruments, books, electrical wires and devices, etc. Depending on my mood, that space can be a music studio, an electrical engineering lab, an office or a library. When cleaning and selecting old stuff to be discarded, I found an old note book where I used to write my feelings and thoughts between 1986 and 1995. I actually had wrote the word “Feelings” on the cover. I didn’t look at it for so many years and this Sunday, I cried when reading the notes I recalled my memories, my disappointments, adventures and plans for the future I had that time. It was interesting to understand that, as a teenager, I was already making clear plans for the type of life I wanted for me, the kind of woman I would like to have with me, how I could treat my family and the steps I needed to follow to take care of my friends, my education and professional path. It also revealed how fortunate and happy I am today! I am glad I have found my old notes but regret I have stopped writing in 1995, when I moved to another country to study in a University. Today I have decided to recover that good habit I had in the past and I will try to fill the huge gap in the time line with those memories and personal stories I didn’t write. My family and I thank you very much for the great source of inspiration. We love you Kris!

  15. Janet says:

    Just this morning while driving into work I decided to focus on one thing I wanted to be. The affirmation, “I am a fearless writer” popped into my head. Then your blog post landed in my inbox an hour later. Thank you for some specific tools for how to approach the writing process and the encouragement to get started. This is very helpful, Kris. xoxo

  16. Bea says:

    WOW WOW WOW!!!
    I was just thinking this morning how great I used to feel when I wrote everyday and how ‘maybe’ I should start again. Hello wink from the Universe!! Thank you Kris for being the vehicle to bring the message home to me, now I know it wasn’t just my mind wandering but a message from a Higher Source.
    I especially LOVE your suggestion of those questions….brilliant!

    My journal journey begins again….
    Thanks Kris!!

  17. Such a fantastic reminder! Writing is indeed great for the soul. Thank you for this post and bringing out the best in us all! xo

  18. Maureen says:

    Kris, I recently bought 3 journals…yes, 3 because I can’t just pick one. It’s been 1 year since my b/l mastectomy. My 1 year check up has come back really (and I mean really) good so I’ve decided it’s time for me to open up and start writing again. Writing was what I loved to do in high school. I’ve learned this past year did not come with an instruction book and that each of us dealing with cancer takes different roads, drives fast or drives slow, finds windy roads, steep hills, unexpected construction sites and also finds some pretty sweet joyrides along the way. I need to write this down so I can remember how I felt, how my family was doing and where my head and heart were at that moment. Your blog came at the perfect time. I was praying, meditating this morning thinking about this and once again your blog pops up in my email like a little reminder to stop thinking about stuff and just do it. So today I will start. I promise to be honest with myself first. I promise to be proud of myself as I delve into this and I promise to have fun, laugh, cry, and look for the good each day I pick up my pen, pencil or crayon. Thank you for being here for all of us each day. I hope you keep these notes from all of us and continue to read them on your good and bad days. Be reminded daily that you really DO help so many of us with your humor, kindness and passion for life. Thanks from your friend in Colorado xoxo

    • Kris Carr says:

      Thank you sweet Maureen, and yes, I sure do keep all the beautiful words from my readers. They help me so much. xo kc

  19. Absolutely Kris, thank you for this post!!
    Writing is an essential practice for keeping the internal environment healthy and clear. (I’d say pen or pencil and paper are better for this than keyboard .)
    Have you come across proprioceptive writing?
    If not, I think you’ll love it. Here’s a link
    (I’m not in anyway affiliated, just an enthusiastic user of this method)

  20. Thank you!

    I never thought I’d be the kind of person that would NEED to write. I mean, who has time for THAT? It started with recipes, now I write every day, whether it’s pen to paper in one of my journals scattered about, a blog post for something I need to learn, somewhere to share gratitude, or piss and moan, or writing stuff for others to share.

    I always feel better. If I go too long without letting some words out I feel constipated 🙂

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