How to use a guided journal

July 12, 2017

How-to-use-a-guided-journalGuided journals are rather new on the scene. We’re all familiar with blank journals — like me, you may have several that you intend to fill but never get around to.

* Research shows expressing feelings helps *

But guided journals aren’t blank.. They contain questions and activities that help with either grief or healing, depending on the journal. The idea is that by expressing how you feel about an illness or a loss, you become more able to deal with these things. You transform them, in a way.  There’s scientific research behind this for healing, too.  Breast cancer patients who wrote about their feelings had fewer symptoms and cancer-related doctor visits. And, as any cancer warrior will tell you, that’s a good thing.

Not just true of cancer, either. There are so many debilitating chronic diseases and feelings surrounding them: fibromyalgia, IBS, Crohn’s, M.S. and others. And maybe you’re not comfortable sharing difficult emotions, or continuing to share them. Or feelings about a loss. I wanted to provide products and services that support people in difficult life situations, and that’s why I started A Healing Spirit.

* But you don’t have to write! *

No writing necessary! Nope. No writing is required in our guided journals. How can that be?

The Guided Journal for Healing and the Guided Journal through Grief prompt you to express those hard feelings. Deep feelings. In a productive way.

You don’t have to write in them–my favorite way to use a guided journal is to make a mini-collage, using mementos, photos, stickers and words or pictures I cut out of magazine.  You can also draw, paint or use pastels if you’re artistic.

They make a beautiful gift for a close friend who’s going through something difficult.

Since guided journals are so new, I thought I’d do a short video about how to use them. Here it is. Oh, and please, try not to laugh at my terrible art. I am so NOT talented in that way! And if at the end, you want to learn more about my guided journals, click any of the links in this post. Thank you!


46 comments on “How to use a guided journal
  1. robin rue says:

    My sister has been doing some journaling since we lost our mom. She said it really helps her.

  2. Diane says:

    My daughter uses a guided journal every day with her daughter. Even for a mere ‘daily journal’, it is amazing how much it helps.
    This is an absolutely brilliant concept, Carol. Questions to get you thinking and expressing. And different options for doing even that.
    I love it!

  3. Guided journals are great. Whether you’re having an awful day or a great one, it’s important to embrace all your feelings.

  4. Guided journals are the best. Journaling is a great way to get your feelings out, but it can be hard to know how to get started.

  5. Mary Edwards says:

    Why have I never heard of these? I must be out of the loop. My teen girl journals, this is perfect for her

  6. Debra says:

    My seven year old daughter and 10 year old son are both big on journaling. Sometimes it’s words, sometimes it’s pictures they draw or stickers they find – any way to communicate their feelings. I definitely encourage it.

  7. Mary says:

    I so need to journal. I think I vent out loud way too much. A journal could definitely curb that and make everyone in my house happier.

  8. Cheryl says:

    I’ve never heard of guided journals, but I can see how they would be very helpful.

  9. Journaling is definitely a good thing. Thanks for your post!

  10. Tamara says:

    You’re so right. Sometimes I don’t want to write, and then I use it for drawing, sketching, stickers, magazine collages, whatever. My daughter does this with me.

  11. Darlene says:

    Journaling is VERY therapeutic. I highly recommend it. But some people are worried about someone finding the journal and reading it. If that’s a concern, I suggest writing and then deleting. Any other suggestions?

  12. Toni McCloe says:

    I’ve been keeping a journal since I was a kid and believe it really helps me to know “where I am.” I’ve always used those marble notebooks. They’re inexpensive and come in a variety of colors, one for every mood. I’ve never heard of a guided journal, but after reading your post, I’d really like to try one.

  13. I have a guided journal that I got at the Book Expo. This post has inspired me to use it…and maybe even with pictures. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  14. Mimi Green says:

    I like the idea of a guided journal. To date I’ve only used planners to manage my life. I start off well and then I fall off. I need something that allows me to be more expressive with my thoughts and to write out my feelings. Maybe I need a combination of the two.

  15. the sophia diaries says:

    I wish I could use guided journals xD I can’t keep up with them 🙁

  16. MAKEBA GILES says:

    Thank you so much for this! I have been toiling over whether to buy myself a guided journal for months now. I think that now is the perfect time! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Carmel says:

    Oh these look interesting, I think i might just get myself one! Thanks for sharing!

  18. GiGi Eats says:

    I used to have journals like this when I was younger and I LOVED filling them out. Then the last time I ever saw one was when my husband and I first started dating – his sisters gave him a book called something along the lines of “are you ready for marriage” – ha ha ha!! Our relationship was literally like 2 months in… And they give us this book! LOL! We did fill in a lot of the answers though which was very insightful!

  19. Liz Mays says:

    I like that you can be creative with the way you express yourself in a guided journal. Sometimes you just won’t be in the mood for writing.

  20. Carolann says:

    I love journaling! It’s so very good for the soul. Love the colors you chose, Carol. The guided pages look so interesting.

  21. I loved hearing your voice – it always gives me a better idea of a person who I only know through their writing – yours fits you so perfectly – no surpises – and I felt calmer just listening to you speak 🙂 Love your journals too!

  22. Pam says:

    I have a friend who swears by guided journaling. It seems like a helpful technique.

  23. Scott says:

    I’ve been seeing more of these on the market lately. Love the idea – sometimes I have no idea what to write about!

  24. I really like this idea because i am the type of person that likes to let things out. And not nessesarily in words either. i know I could use this for myself, and maybe some friends of mine as well.

  25. Eloise says:

    What a great way to help those in need! I didn’t have one because I seemed a counselor to help me with my near death experience and recovery, etc… But I think this would have been nice to have as another outlet and to help me move on from all the trauma.

  26. Journaling really helps. More so with guided journals like this because you get to write down things that you haven’t really thought of writing.

  27. ricci says:

    I think guided journals are a great thing!! I would love to try one and see if I could work some things out!!

  28. I like writing in journals but I am not good in finishing it. I always do good at first then it fades away. I’d like to try a guided one.,

  29. Tami says:

    I do a lot of writing but it’s usually prompted by my own thoughts. A guided journal would be good for days I’m blank but want to write.

  30. Ronnie says:

    This is an interesting way to work through the grief. My cousin recently lost her brother and it could be very helpful in the process.

  31. I have never used a guided journal before, I think it’s an amazing way to express what you’re feeling. Especially when you don’t have an outlet and you’re going through something.

  32. It would be nice to have some prompts for writing. I have always freestyled it but I like this idea.

  33. This is such a great idea for those struggle with a difficult time. It is a wonderful way to help them with those hard emotions even when they aren’t ready to talk to others. Such a perfect way to help initiate the healing process.

  34. Kita Bryant says:

    I sued to love these when I was younger. Forgot about them until now.

  35. Kita Bryant says:

    I used to love these when I was younger. Forgot about them until now!

  36. Wendy Polisi says:

    I have always wanted to try a guided journal. They sound enlightening!

  37. I’ve never heard of a guided journal, but it sounds like an awesome thing to have! I would love to check one out sometime. Thanks for sharing.

  38. Rebecca Swenor says:

    Writing in a journal can be an awesome form of therapy for many people. The Grief guided journal would be something my sister really could use. My niece died unexpectedly March 13th last year with no cause of death. Thanks for sharing these awesome journal ideas..

  39. Nadalie says:

    I’ve never had a guided journal, but in general, I’m not one for journaling. I find that blogging is the outlet of my thoughts that I need. Then again, I’m totally up to try new things and this does look great. And I do like the idea of being prompted to reflect.

  40. Dogvills says:

    A guided journal is great to have to help us through a difficult time. I think this would help us understand those feelings more and it would be uplifting to unload the emotional baggage to get us started on the way to healing.

  41. Lisa says:

    I love the idea of journaling. I haven’t done it in years. When I used to do it. I did find that it helps to express my feeling maybe its something I should get back in the habit of doing.

  42. I love that you don’t have to write…photos or pictures are always easier for me!

  43. Jennifer says:

    I wrote my way through my grief when my sister was dying. They turned into posts on my blog. I think writing really helped me to deal with it. She wasn’t just my sister, being 15 years older than I, she was like another mother to me. Loved your video. No I know your voice and will always hear it when I read your posts—which is a good thing, you have a lovely voice.

  44. Silly Mummy says:

    That’s a really good idea. I often need guidance and prompting to express feelings.

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