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12 Reasons to Start a Diary

In our loud and distracting world, keeping a diary may seem old-fashioned, but this simple practice offers a slew of benefits to modern-day individuals.

Starting a diary may feel daunting, requiring more commitment than a journal to sketch in now and then. The blank page can hold a load of pressure if you’re not sure where to start.

But once we get past the initial blank page, a diary holds infinite possibilities of self-discovery. Here are a few reasons why starting a diary could be one of the best decisions you make for your mental and emotional well-being.

It’s a Safe Space

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In the digital era where everything online is scrutinized and open to public opinion, keeping a private diary helps us create a safe mental and emotional space for ourselves. When you’re the only author and audience, you can offload without any fear of judgment. A lot of people have never seen a healthy example of a safe space, whether in family or relationships, so it can be immensely beneficial to nurture this space within yourself.

It’s Calming

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There’s something incredibly calming about the quiet activity of writing in a diary. It’s just you, your thoughts, and the diary. There’s no feedback or complication, and you can write about anything you want.

You Can Offload

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Bottling things up can lead to feelings of overwhelm, frustration and anxiety. Writing in a diary is a free and accessible way to offload whenever friends, family or loved ones aren’t available for support.

Self Discovery

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A diary holds all the private records of your self-discovery. With each entry, you explore your own mind, heart and spirit, and discover endless aspects of your own identity. As a result of this inner journey, you feel more deeply anchored in your own identity.

You’re More Confident

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By knowing yourself better and getting used to speaking about what you like and don’t like, as well as how you feel, you are taking ownership of your experiences, and this can lead to an increase in confidence.

It’s Peaceful

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When you write in your diary, you can disappear into your own peaceful world, away from the noise of a demanding job, a bustling city or any other stressful aspect of life. It’s just you, a pen and a blank paper.

Timelessness and Connection

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There is something profoundly reassuring about a place where your story can exist for years, decades, perhaps even generations. Much like Anne Frank’s diaries, there is a sense of timelessness as well as connection, reminding us that we’re part of a greater whole, and that our story matters. It can help us find meaning and continuity in the seemingly messy or chaotic events of our lives.

In short, our human experience is not lonely in its uniqueness, but that our shared humanity connects us to a million other people experiencing the same things worldwide.

It’s Healing

Find your inner peace on pages of a diary.
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Keeping a diary is a free therapeutic practice that anyone can try. With the previously mentioned benefits, it’s understandable how this practice can be healing for the mind and spirit. It is also a beautiful reminder of how we can take steps to control our own healing, no matter how small.

You Can Process Your Emotions

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In the midst of a busy life, withdrawing into a quiet corner and writing in a diary gives us the opportunity to process things we never got the chance to. It could be a forgotten memory from childhood that still affects our self-esteem, the loss of a friend, or a change in our life that we have not yet moved on from. Taking the time to slow down and just address our feelings is a great practice, as it’s not easy to do outside the confines of a loving relationship, friendship, or a therapy session.

Making Sense of Things

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With deeper introspection and self-awareness, we have the opportunity to have a fresh perspective on a situation, or to empathize with other people, or see things more objectively. The mindful practice of writing in a diary gives us the space to reorganize thoughts and feelings in a way that can give us peace of mind and clarity.

Rewrite the Narrative

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An interesting benefit is reclaiming control over your story. This is especially useful for people who feel misunderstood or who have spent years pursuing a career or goals to make other people happy. You get to retell your story, or shift the perspective to what you want. One year can be about your love life, another year can be all about your career. You get to tell the story however you like – after all, it’s your diary. And that can be very fun and healing.

Immortalizing the Memories

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Having a diary is like walking through a library of your own life. You get to reread the story of your teenage self, or the you from your twenties or thirties. You get to compare and observe all the differences and shifts in your identity, in your development as an individual, and that can be a beautiful and bittersweet thing. Imagine shuffling through your collection of diaries at 60, remembering all the wonderful memories and adventures you had.

Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery

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We all need moments to check in with ourselves sometimes, see where we are in life, and whether we want to make any changes.


Author: S.K. Lumen

Title: Writer

Expertise: women's personal development, mental health, self love

S.K. Lumen is a writer, artist and blogger who is passionate about helping women become their best selves. She writes about personal development, self-love, self-care, wellness & mental health.