90 journaling prompts to spark new personal insights

Reading time: 6 minutes

Journaling offers many benefits, including improved mood, fewer stress-related visits to the doctor, feeling of greater psychological well-being, reduced depressive symptoms and absenteeism from work, improved working memory, and more. However, many people struggle to build a journaling habit. The blank page of a journal can feel daunting, and many journaling methods assume a well-ingrained discipline. What if you want to journal but don’t feel inspired at all? An easy trick is to use journaling prompts.

Instead of staring at a blank page, wondering what you could be writing about, pick one of the journaling prompts below and write a few sentences—or, if you feel particularly inspired, a few paragraphs. You can even give yourself the challenge of going through these 90 prompts over the course of three months.

Not all of these journaling prompts include a “why” at the end, but it’s a great exercise to explore the reasons and emotions behind your answers. Again, you can make your answers as short as you want, but give yourself the space to dig deeper whenever you feel like you stumbled on an interesting insight.

Now, open your notebook or note-taking app, pick a journaling prompt that inspires you, and spend at least fifteen minutes writing down your thoughts. If you like the experience, block some time in your calendar to try and go through each question over the course of three months.

  1. What is your best childhood memory?
  2. What does a perfect day look like to you?
  3. When was the last time you made a courageous decision?
  4. What does kindness mean to you?
  5. What is something you keep avoiding, and why?
  6. Who is a person who has deeply impacted your life? Why?
  7. If you could go back to school, what would you study?
  8. What aspect of your personality are you most proud of?
  9. How do you want to be remembered after you die?
  10. What are aspects of your life you sometimes take for granted?
  11. How would your friends describe you?
  12. Imagine you are the last person on Earth, and you are able to make one wish. What would you wish for?
  13. What is something you feel is missing from your life?
  14. Is there something you are afraid of? What is your deepest fear?
  15. What are your core values?
  16. If I could have anything written on a massive billboard where you live, what would it be?
  17. What is one thing you would like to change about yourself? Why?
  18. How would you describe life to an alien?
  19. What was your most embarrassing moment?
  20. What do you need more of in your life?
  21. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
  22. Do you believe in the concept of a life purpose? Why, or why not? If you have a life purpose, what is it?
  23. What are your three biggest priorities at the moment?
  24. Where do I get your best ideas from?
  25. What is currently holding you back from creating your best work?
  26. Who is someone you wish you had stayed in touch with?
  27. What do you love to do for fun?
  28. Did you ever experience a failure that turned out to be a blessing?
  29. What book or movie has most impacted your life?
  30. How would you define love?
  31. What has been bothering you recently?
  32. Do you believe in free will?
  33. What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
  34. If you could go back in time, which era would you pick to live the rest of your life?
  35. What is a regret you have?
  36. What is something from your past you still feel guilty about?
  37. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? Why?
  38. What does “time well spent” mean to you?
  39. If you had to move to another city, which one would it be? Why?
  40. What would your dream home look like?
  41. Is there something about yourself you have never told anyone? Why?
  42. What did you want to become when you were a child?
  43. Where do you want to be in five years?
  44. What is happiness to you?
  45. If you could master any skill, what would you choose?
  46. What do you think is the least socially acceptable aspect of your personality?
  47. When was the last time you apologized to someone?
  48. What is a habit you want to change?
  49. Are you taking care of yourself enough?
  50. What is the kindest thing you have ever done for someone?
  51. If money was not an issue, how would you make the world a better place?
  52. What is one thing you are grateful for today?
  53. How can you better help others?
  54. What is the biggest illness or injury you have ever had? What happened?
  55. What is a recent dream you can remember? If you can’t remember your dreams, do you wish you could?
  56. Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?
  57. What is currently your most intimate relationship?
  58. How could you better cope with your worries?
  59. What would the complete opposite of you look like?
  60. Imagine you are able to see ghosts. Whose ghost would you like to communicate with?
  61. What is the most important thing you have ever learned?
  62. Do you have any pet peeves?
  63. What is a new habit you want to adopt into your life?
  64. What do you think is most misunderstood about your country’s culture?
  65. How can you motivate yourself more to accomplish the things you want to achieve?
  66. What makes you sad?
  67. Which season is your favorite? Why?
  68. What is something great that has happened to you this past week?
  69. Who was your first crush?
  70. What is your biggest insecurity? Where does it come from?
  71. Where would you like to travel to in the future?
  72. What causes stress or anxiety in your daily life?
  73. What advice would you give your younger self, knowing what you know now?
  74. Who are the people who have helped you in the past?
  75. What are some of the best compliments you have ever received?
  76. Who would you like to be with you on your deathbed?
  77. What are simple things that make you happy?
  78. What are things you own you should get rid of?
  79. Are you an oldest, youngest, middle, or only child? How do you think it impacted you?
  80. What is the biggest challenge you have ever overcome?
  81. Who would you invite to your perfect dinner party?
  82. What is your relationship with money?
  83. You get to make one wish to create your dream job. What is it?
  84. What does family mean to you?
  85. How do you express your creativity?
  86. What culture interests you the most?
  87. If you were able to go back in time and pick your own name, would you keep your current name? If you would change it, what would it be?
  88. What kind of legacy would you like to leave the world?
  89. Are you experimenting enough with your life?
  90. What would you do if you learned the world would end tomorrow?

As you can see, these journaling prompts offer a mix of spirituality, creativity, mindfulness, and general self-reflection to better learn from your experiences and plan for the journey ahead. Three months is a long time, and you may not be able to stick to one prompt each day, but feel free to come back to this list whenever you need some journaling inspiration.

Want even more inspiration? Check out these 75 writing prompts to unlock your creativity.