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Managing Stress With Journaling Handout

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Journaling is a form of expressive writing in which a person writes down their thoughts and feelings in a notebook or an online document. For many, journaling serves as a creative outlet. Health professionals may also use it to improve mental health outcomes in clients.

The Managing Stress With Journaling Handout introduces journaling as a therapeutic activity for clients who need help clarifying their thoughts or tracking their self-improvement efforts. First, it provides research on journaling and stress relief, and then it presents 5 tips to maximize the journaling process. The final part of the handout offers 3 additional tips for increased engagement.

Kids and teens under pressure in school can have a safe space to relieve their tension and reduce stress and anxiety through journaling. For those who are using journaling as part of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) or to support their personal growth, we recommend checking out our DBT Journal Prompts resource. These prompts will guide them through the process of self-reflection.

Feel free to explore our Stress Management Handouts Bundle, which is a 39-page collection of research-based stress management strategies.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of stress management worksheets and handouts.


  1. Sohal, M., Singh, P., Dhillon, B. S., & Gill, H. S. (2022). Efficacy of journaling in the management of mental illness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Family medicine and community health, 10(1), e001154. https://doi.org/10.1136/fmch-2021-001154
  2. Mercer, A., Warson, E., & Zhao, J. (2010). Visual journaling: An intervention to influence stress, anxiety and affect levels in medical students. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 37(2), 143-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2009.12.003
  3. Baikie, K. A., & Wilhelm, K. (2005). Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(5), 338–346. https://doi.org/10.1192/apt.11.5.338
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