Keeping a self love journal boosts your mental health. When you focus on being kind to yourself instead of beating yourself down, you increase your overall well-being. If you don't know how to get started, don't stress. I'm sharing everything you need to know... plus 75 self love journal prompts!
What does self-love mean?
Before we dive into journaling, let's pause to define what self-love really means. According to PsychCentral:
"Self love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and well-being."
In its essence, self-love is about being positive in the way you think about yourself, feel about yourself, talk to yourself, and treat yourself.
Practicing self-love doesn't mean pretending your perfect. Trust me, it's more than natural to feel negative emotions. What's important is that they're temporary and that you continue to deliver kindness to yourself through the hard feelings.
Let me give you an example...
- You've been trying to wake up early and sneak a workout in before work. One day you wake up feeling exhausted and hit the snooze button. For the rest of the day, you tell yourself you're a lazy person who can't commit to anything.
Here's what a self-compassionate response to the situation would've looked like.
- It sucks that I didn't get a workout in before work, but I think my body needed to catch up on sleep. I'll do my workout after work today and get back to waking up early tomorrow if it feels right.
See what I mean? We tend to beat ourselves down when we need love the most. When we fail or feel rejected, we feel low. Why make yourself feel even more down?
That's where self-love comes in. It's not a magic solution, but an attitude that takes practice. Yet, if we can get good at being kind to ourselves, the benefits that self-love can bring are beyond imagination.
Why is self-love so hard?
Perfectionism. Full stop. But, let's elaborate...
When we're being hard on ourselves, it's usually driven by a need to excel and do everything right... all the damn time. Because of this, we're constantly bashing ourselves for not doing enough and failing to recognize ourselves for the great things we are doing.
That's pretty sad. Isn't it?
And here's the hard truth. It doesn't just suck, it's also bad for our health. Perfectionists have been linked to a number of adverse health consequences, like:
- Eating disorders
- Shorter lifespans
- Irritable bowel syndrome
If you're wondering if you have perfectionist tendencies, you probably do. Because we all do.
I mean common, in today's world, it's hard not to be tough on yourself. One glance at social media and you think your life isn't cool enough, your body isn't fit enough, and your job doesn't pay you enough.
So, is there hope? Yep. We just have to put in a little extra effort into being extra good to ourselves.
To get the health benefits of self-love, we need to practice it consistently. That means we have to incorporate it into our daily routine. And, guess what? Self love journaling prompts are an impactful way to do this.
Is self-love good for mental health?
Okay, so now that you know what self-love is and why it's so hard, let's get into why it matters for your health. Spoiler alert: it matters a lot.
Psychology studies show - again and again - that self-love has a huge impact on your mental health and overall well-being.
Being relentlessly compassionate with yourself:
- Helps you fight back against depression and anxiety.
- Pushes back against your self-limiting beliefs.
- Helps you stop reaching for society's unrealistic standards.
- Improves your self esteem, making you more aware of your strengths and accepting of your weaknesses.
- Makes you better at meeting your own personal needs.
- Helps you stop indulging in self-destructive behaviours like drug use and eating disorders.
And, the list goes on...
But, here's the catch. No one else can give you self-love. You're the person that's with you all day. You're the person giving feedback on your every move. If you're constantly telling yourself you're not good enough, it's going to be hard to feel good.
Just imagine your friend was delivering all that negative energy. They probably wouldn't be your friend anymore. Right? So kick your negative self-talk to the curb too. It's time to start being your biggest fan.
Does journaling help with self-love?
While there are many ways to practice self-love, an impactful way for beginners to get started is with a journal.
When you begin to write about yourself, you’ll notice that you have more clarity on your thoughts and actions, as well as the steps you need to take to be where you want to be. There is power in knowing yourself.
Here's how to start a self-love journal:
- Buy a journal (my favourites are listed at the end of this article)
- Block a 5 minute window in your daily calendar (my preference is right before bed)
- Pick and answer a self-love prompt from the list below
That's it! Now onto the the self-love journaling ideas.
75 self-love journal prompts
Be sure to pin this list of self-love journal prompts for quick reference. Or, if you prefer a hard copy, click here: FREE printable journal prompts for self-love.
- Name three things you love about your personality
- Describe a time you helped a friend or family member through a challenging time
- List three nice things people have said about you recently
- What compliment do you like giving to others? How would you give it to yourself?
- What makes you unique?
- When do you feel like your most confident self?
- When do you feel like your least confident self?
- What is one of your perceived weaknesses? List three ways this can be seen as a strength.
- Name something you wish others would say to you. Give yourself that praise instead.
- What does happiness mean to you?
- What's your biggest insecurity? What would it look like if you could let that go?
- Write a short note to your younger self.
- What does unconditional love look like to you?
- What fears hold you back from living your best life? Can you let those go?
- If you couldn't fail, what would you do?
- What do you love most about your life?
- What have you learned from your biggest mistakes?
- Write a short note to tell a stranger about all the good things in your life.
- What professional achievement are you most proud of accomplishing?
- What personal achievement are you most proud of accomplishing?
- What do you want to start saying yes to?
- Describe a time you made someone's day better
- How do you fill your own cup before helping others?
- Write yourself a short love letter
- Name three things you love about the way you look
- Disprove a limiting belief that you have about your abilities
- List three positive ways you've changed in the last five years
- When was the last time you indulged in self-care and when will you next?
- List three thoughts that aren't supporting you and describe how you could change them
- What habits or memories are making it hard to practice self-love?
- How can you give yourself a break today?
- What values do you want to live your life by and which ones are you already practicing?
- Name three things you love about your body that aren't related to the way it looks
- What situation would you like to make peace with?
- How can you show your body more gratitude today?
- Describe five nice things your friends would say about you if asked by a stranger
- List ten positive words that describe you perfectly
- What compliment do you struggle to accept about yourself and why?
- What food would nourish you this week?
- What is your biggest dream and why?
- What qualities do you share with your role models?
- Name something you've done to make the world a better place
- Write down three self-love affirmations you would like to read every day.
- Where in life do you need to slow down?
- Where are you saying yes when you really want to be saying no?
- List three ways you can be more compassionate and kind to yourself
- What would your younger self be most proud of you for today?
- List five actionable steps you can take toward your biggest dreams
- Write a positive advice letter to your future self
- Name one thing you can change in your life to bring you more happiness
- What hobby are you good at?
- What is your biggest struggle with loving yourself?
- What's something you know a lot about?
- What skill do you have
- How is your life more positive today than it was last year?
- Describe your dream life
- List five things you're really good at
- Name three things you've overcome that make you proud
- What habit did you start this year that made your life better?
- What is one self-love choice you can commit to doing every single morning?
- What do you consider to be your biggest flaw and how can you see this in a positive light?
- Write yourself a thank you letter for everything you've done in life so far
- How can you love yourself more?
- What would you like to forgive yourself for?
- What's standing in the way of you feeling happy and what can you do to change that?
- What is something new and exciting that you want to try?
- Is there something you need to allow yourself to feel?
- How can you express yourself more authentically?
- Is there an area of your life that you can let go of perfectionism?
- What does your heart need?
- What makes you feel most alive and how can you do more of it?
- Take a selfie. Describe your face in loving words.
- What does your support system look like and how can you make it even stronger?
- What positive and negative labels do you assign to yourself?
- From now on, how can you commit to showing yourself love every day?
My favourite self-love journals
What kind of self love journal you buy depends on how you want to journal.
- If you want a guided journal where you simply fill in the blanks, go with the guided self-love journal.
- If you want a blank notebook where can pick and choose from the self love prompts above, go with a bullet journal or blank notebook.
Variations on self-love journaling
I love journaling. Writing down our thoughts, emotions and experiences helps us process, reframe negative thoughts, and change our behaviour.
With that in mind, I say, why stop at self-love? If you want to go further in improving your wellbeing, I suggest adding one of the below to your journaling routine.
- Gratitude journaling (150 gratitude prompts can be found here)
- Manifestation journaling (55 manifestation prompts can be found here)
- Shadow journaling (80 shadow work prompts can be found here)
- Nighttime journalling (25 evening journal prompts can be found here)
If you want to learn more about improving your well-being, check out some of my other articles below. Happy, healthy, reading.
Building self-love into your life takes work, but it's so worth it. Don't forget to download the self love journal prompts to help you get started. Be sure to let me know if there are any other prompts I should add in the comments below.