Can Journaling Really Help You Heal?

In this day and age of all things technology, and automated everything, it may seem old-fashioned to pick up a pen and paper and write your thoughts in a journal.  It can be inconvenient and time consuming.  AND….it can be really healing!  I hope that by the end of this blog post you will be willing to spend 5 minutes a day this next week trying out this old-fashioned practice, and experiencing the magic that you find in it.

A 2020 study* suggested that our minds have more than 6000 thoughts per day.  That’s a brand new thought at least every 10 seconds of the waking day.  And you can be having new thoughts while speaking or reading a book.  Your brain can be doing more than one thing at a time.  When I suggest writing in a journal, and I really mean writing with a pen and paper, I’m often asked why they can’t just use a speak-to-text app and talk to their phones to journal.  While that is better than no journaling at all, you can be speaking to your phone and still be having other thoughts.  However, when you are using your hand to do the writing, your eyes to see your hand, and your brain to think the thoughts you write, you are using so much of your brain that it is harder to get distracted.  Something magical actually happens when your pen hits the paper and you start to write.

When you use journaling as a regular healing tool, you can reach a deeper place in your brain than you can by just simply sitting down to think about something.  Often when I’m not quite sure how I feel or not sure what to do to solve a problem I’m having, I will simply sit down and start writing.  Our thoughts find their voice when our pen hits the paper.  Our mind is free to come up with its own solutions to problems when we write.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I encourage you to commit to 5-10 minutes a day for the next 7 days, and see if you can feel the difference that journaling can make.

Using a journaling prompt can help when you don’t know what else to write about.  Click HERE to get 5 free journaling prompts, written specifically to help women heal from betrayal trauma. I especially encourage you to write yourself a letter!  It is one of the prompts.  It can be incredibly healing to hear exactly the words you needed to hear at some of the most pivotal points in your life.  If you didn’t hear what you needed then, it’s not too late to write yourself a letter.  Dear self on my wedding day…  Dear self on the day of “The Discovery”…  Dear self at 16…  You get the picture.  I promise this is a very powerful exercise and one that can be repeated over and over until you feel at peace with those past days.

You have the power within you to heal your heart and mind.  You’ve always had this power.  The pain you feel can be so strong, and feel so big, that it might seem something so simple as writing yourself a letter on a pen and paper won’t be enough to heal this big pain.  I urge you to give it a try.  You might be surprised with how much power this simple exercise can have.  There are circumstances in our lives that we can not control, like other people’s actions.  But it’s our thoughts about those circumstances that create our feelings, which then influence our actions, which then add up to our greater outcomes.  Writing yourself a letter is one example of how journaling can help soothe the past memory and help you have a different thought about the past.  Having different thoughts about those circumstances will actually lead to different outcomes in your life.  By rewriting our response to these circumstances, we can then make space to create the life we want for ourselves.  Doing this writing doesn’t change or invalidate that these things happened, but it does lessen the negative effect they have in your life.  You can rewire your brain to create an amazing life for yourself, and journaling is one way to help do that. 

If you’d like help learning about other ways to help rewire your brain to create the life you want, I’d love to chat with you.  Click HERE to schedule a FREE 30 minute mini session to learn more about how life coaching can enhance your life and help your healing.

As always, these are my thoughts and my thoughts alone.  My stories, nor the life coaching I do, ever replace a trained and licensed therapist and I recommend everyone find a therapist they love.  You can start your search at


Want to never miss a blog post?

Click below to add your email and get a notification every time a new blog post goes up. And you will get my free 5 journaling prompts too.

Share this post

Kendra Last Avatar

My name is Kendra Last

I’m a life coach and author of the book Journaling to Recovery: A Reference Guide to Healing from Betrayal Trauma. I have been working in the betrayal recovery world for almost a decade. I’ve been there, and I will help you let go of the pain of the past, help you recognize your own inner beauty and strength, and help you learn to celebrate yourself again.

Enter your name and email to get this FREE journaling guide.

Please read my privacy policy to see I take your privacy seriously.