Whether you’re an aspiring writer or not, creative writing and journaling have many benefits for all ages, including young adults. Journaling can positively affect mental health by allowing the writer to process their feelings and emotions.
It enables the writer to improve their communication skills. Journaling also offers opportunities for personal growth through introspection.
To achieve these benefits and more, journaling needs to become a habit. To do this:
- Create a space for writing. This space should be comfortable and free of clutter and distractions.
- Set a time for writing. Aim to have your teen complete at least one writing prompt a day. One study shows that writing for 15-20 minutes a day can reap both physical and psychological benefits. The best time to journal maybe when they get home from school, before bed, or first thing in the morning, depending on the teen’s personality.
- Give your teen the right tools for writing. Some writers prefer a physical journal and a pen or pencil for journaling. Others struggle with writing by hand, so offer a computer or tablet where they can type or even dictate their writing.
- Remove stumbling blocks. Remind your teen that there is no wrong way to write. The important thing is to simply write and get their thoughts and feelings onto paper. Spelling, grammar, and other writing mechanics are important for published works, but this is not true for journal writing prompts.
- Offer journal prompts. Even the best writers struggle with writer’s block. But don’t let this stop your teen. We’ve compiled a list of the best journal prompts for teens to help them break this barrier and begin journaling.
Best Journal Prompts for Teens
The best journal prompt for a teen is really anything that sparks their interest. Have them choose their favorite journal prompts from the following list and start writing.
- Write about a time you received a compliment. How well did you receive it? Do you wish you had done something differently?
- How do you really feel about social media?
- Write about your town or community. What do you like or dislike?
- How do you feel about your family members?
- Discuss your happiest memory.
- What is the best compliment you have ever received?
- What kind of advice do most adults give that you disagree with? Why do you disagree?
- Describe how you imagine your life to be in ten years.
- What techniques do you use to calm yourself when you feel angry or upset?
- Who do you trust the most and why?
- Where do you feel the most content and why?
- How does music impact your life?
- Is there a line between insanity and creativity?
- When do you feel relief?
- How have you changed since you were a young child?
- Who is someone you have never met that you would want to spend a day with? What would you do with them?
- If you could relive and change one year of your life, which would you choose, and what would you change?
- What makes you feel nervous or scared?
- What is your favorite movie, and what makes it so special?
- If your life were a movie, what would the title be?
- What rule would you like to add, change, or remove at home and why?
- What can you learn from your relatives?
- Make a list of everything you’d like to disagree or rebel about.
- Describe how you feel when you receive a compliment.
- Describe a difficult conversation you’ve had with someone. How did you handle it?
- You’ve just won $10,000. What would you do with it?
- What’s your funniest memory from childhood?
- Write a letter to your future self.
- Does social media have more benefits or drawbacks? Support your argument.
- Describe your family in one word. Why would you choose this word?
Self Discovery Journal Prompts for Teens
Journaling is an excellent opportunity for self-discovery and improving mental health, especially for teens. Have your middle school or high school student write answers to the following journal prompts.
- What is your biggest dream?
- What are your weaknesses and strengths?
- What skills would you like to learn to feel strong and confident?
- If you could choose anyone as a mentor, who would it be?
- What do you want to be remembered for?
- What is your favorite thing about your personality?
- How can you cultivate calmness in your life?
- What are five things that represent you?
- What is something that you do really well? How does this make you feel?
- What is the most challenging thing you ever faced in your life? What did you learn about yourself in the process?
- What is something that you strongly believe in? Where does this belief come from?
- How do you think others see you? Why?
- Using 30 words, describe yourself. Who are you?
- What motivates you the most?
- Do you act differently on social media than in real life?
Creative Journal Prompts for Teens
The following journal prompts offer a creative way for teens to explore their feelings about themselves and the world around them.
- Imagine you want to earn money from a summer job. Based on your skill set, what job would you do well?
- What things could you do right now to give back to your community?
- Describe your best summer vacation memory.
- If you could choose to be any wild animal, which one would you choose and why?
- Write a list of questions for yourself in five years, ten years, and fifteen years. Save it, and open it in that amount of time.
Fun Journal Prompts for Teens
If your young adult is interested in creative writing, have them choose one of the following story starters.
- Write a funny short story about an unusual way to celebrate a holiday.
- Write a series of puns about your school.
- Write a comic dialogue about someone who thinks they made a new discovery.
- Write a short narrative with a passive-aggressive protagonist.
- Write a comic dialogue about a person who has more money than they know what to do with.
Gratitude Journal Prompts for Teens
An important journal topic that can greatly benefit teens is gratitude. Focusing on what we are grateful for is an important life skill and reduces stress and anxiety. Use the following journal prompts to practice gratitude.
- Think about a special moment in your life. How did it make you feel and why?
- Describe an experience you’ve had that you are grateful for.
- Who in your life has had a positive influence on you?
- What five things are you grateful for today?
- Spend time out in nature and write about how it makes you feel.
- Think about a time when someone thanked you. How did this demonstration of gratefulness for you make you feel?
- Who are the people that you love the most? What are their characteristics?
- Make a list of 25 things that make you smile.
- Write a list of 3-5 positive affirmations to tell yourself daily.
- What does it mean to feel grateful? Can you be grateful on a bad day?
A journal entry doesn’t have to be long or perfect to be effective, but the mental health benefits are astounding. To get your teen started, have a few of these journaling prompts handy and encourage them to begin their creative writing journey today!