Journaling, or keeping a regular record of feelings and experiences for recovery can be a helpful tool to advance the healing process. A journal can be used to record recovery-related struggles and accomplishments. Journaling is a type of expressive writing without an end goal in mind, just to gain some clarity and freedom of thought on paper.

Types of Journaling

There are many different types of journaling and several of these lend themselves well to working through the recovery process emotionally and physically. There may be various types, including:

  • Diary writing with events written down and how a person felt about them
  • Evening reflection journal with reflections on the day’s events
  • Gratitude journal where things are written down that a person is grateful for
  • Goal-focused journaling to keep track of goals and objectives with progress reports


There are many ways a person might journal about the same situation in different ways, using four different types of journaling. Some of the following examples can help flush out the above types of journaling.

Diary: “today was a difficult day. I was upset about something first thing this morning but i was able to figure out what was going on and I was not so mad anymore. I felt lousy the rest of the day and yelled at a friend of mine but i apologized and now i feel a little better but still just an okay day.”

Evening journaling: got mad at a friend today and accused them of doing something they did not do. Yelled at the kids and should have stopped to think but just burst out yelling. Avoided a negative experience but decided maybe I need more patience during the day.

Gratitude journal: I feel grateful for having a loving wife who puts up with my quick temper and impulsive behavior. I am grateful my husband/wife/partner will accept my apology, even if it is too late. I am grateful for opportunities coming my way right now.

Goal focused journal: i will improve my ability to hold my temper and not deflect frustrations towards others, especially my wife/husband/partner. I plan to do the following things to help in this endeavor like take 3 deep breaths when frustrated, use time to think about when to say things, consciously choose to ask questions and explore options before jumping to a conclusion.

There are myriad benefits to having a journal including reduced stress, improved immune function, and increased ability to think clearly and logically. Expressive diary journaling enhances cognitive integration and increases the capacity for working memory.

The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs encourage journaling and writing throughout recovery as a means of processing the experience.  are tailored to meet the needs of each client. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process. Call us to get started: 432-620-0255