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Journaling for Stress (18 Prompts)

Journaling for Stress + Bonus Prompts | Students of all ages experience varying degrees of stress. Some students feel anxious about circumstances in their personal lives, while others may feel stressed about the work they are doing in school or about their performance on a sports team. Stress manifests itself in many ways, but teachers and parents can help students manage their stress levels by teaching them coping techniques.

Stress Relief Journal Prompts

One of the best coping mechanisms for stress management is journaling. Journaling for stress can provide students with much-needed quiet time to sort their thoughts and write down their feelings. Sometimes, the simple act of journaling allows students to better understand why they are stressed. From there, they can figure out the best way to minimize their stress levels and reduce their anxiety.

Stress journaling is a valuable tool that can be taught to students at any point during their educational journey. Not only is it something that can help them develop their writing skills and boost their social emotional learning, but it also can be a technique that they use throughout their lives. Journaling for stress is not only beneficial for students, but also for adults.

Many students ultimately find that journaling for stress is a very enjoyable activity. It doesn’t feel like work to them, and as they are focusing on their stress journaling, they are simultaneously developing their writing skills. Use these stress relief journal prompts in your classroom, and help your students better manage their stress on their own!

18 Stress Relief Journal Prompts for Students

  1. You are probably quick to forgive other people, but do you take time to forgive yourself? Write about how you can forgive yourself for a mistake that you have made in the past.
  2. How does your body feel when you are feeling stressed or anxious? Write about how stress makes you feel physically. Then, identify a few ways that you can help combat those physical symptoms.
  3. If stress was a color, what color would it be?
  4. Make a list of five things that make you happy, no matter what. Why do those things make you happy? How can you use this list to make you feel better when you are stressed, angry or frustrated?
  5. Spend three minutes writing down everything that is worrying you right now. Now, write about how you can leave those worries on the pages and eliminate them from your life.
  6. Write about the place where you feel most comfortable. What is it like there? Describe it in vivid detail.
  7. If you are feeling stressed, depressed or anxious, who is one person you can go to for support? How does that person help you? What have you learned from that person?
  8. Think about the day that you had yesterday. Was it a good day or a bad day? Was there a problem that you overcame? How did you solve that problem? Are you happy with the resolution?
  9. Self-care is one of the most important ways to manage stress over the long-term. What is your favorite form of self-care? Why?
    Journaling Prompts for Stress
  10. If you could do anything that you wanted today, what would you do? How would you feel?
  11. Sometimes, stress is caused by a common trigger. Is there a specific time that you normally feel stressed? Can you identify anything that you did, any person that you saw, or anything that you ate? Journaling for stress can help you uncover triggers and help you better manage your own stress levels.
  12. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed in the morning, you may want to adjust your morning routine. How can you improve your morning routine before school so that you feel less stressed or frustrated?
  13. If you feel stressed in the evening before bed, you may want to adjust your nighttime routine. How can you improve your evening routine after school so that you can rest easier at night?
  14. Write down one word that you can focus on today in order to have the best possible day. Why did you choose this word as your focus word?
  15. Listening to the voice inside your head can be difficult at times. Is your inner voice being particularly critical? How can you quiet that voice and focus on all of the positive things you have accomplished?
  16. When you are feeling stressed about an upcoming test or a big game that your team is going to be playing in, what do you? Are there ways that you can improve your stress management techniques?
  17. Write down three things that you are grateful for. Focusing on gratitude can help you minimize your stress and keep a positive attitude.
  18. What is one long-term goal that you have? Sometimes, long-term goals can be overwhelming. To minimize any stress associated with achieving this goal, write down three short-term goals that can help you work toward your long-term goal.

These are just a few stress relief journal prompts that you can use in your classroom. When you start incorporating stress journaling into your lesson plans, you will begin to see the stress melt away from your students. You can always remind your students that no matter how they are feeling, they should always keep on writing!

Until next time, manage your stress and journal on…

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Journal Prompts to Relieve Stress

From the Archives…

The following article was originally published on this blog in March of 2010 and may also be of interest to you today.

Journaling Can Help Reduce Kid Stress—

Being a tween,  pre-teen and teen can be all be a challenging experience loaded with confusing things. Youngsters are confronted with the development of their individuality and integrating themselves into becoming socially productive people. This is not an easy task and often can produce stress within the child. Using a journal can help them cope with those stressful moments more effectively. Here are some ways the journal can help.

pre-teen stress


As a child grows and develops, their life may seem to become scattered and disorganized. The demands of family, school, friends, and other activities can become overwhelming, causing them to lose their inner sense of direction. A journal can become a resource to help them become more organized and less scattered in their thinking and resulting behavior.

In some instances, a child may not have someone to help them sort confusing issues out, or they may feel uncomfortable sharing bewildering issues with the significant people in their life. When a young person is confronted with such issues life can feel nearly unbearable for them and the feeling of loneliness can consume them. The kid who maintains a journal can avoid some of these types of issues and become more dependent on their own ability to rationalize and cope with confusion.


One of the results of confusion, for a person without an outlet to express themselves, is that thoughts and emotions can become pent-up inside of them. Everyone has heard the phrase “he (or she) is a walking time bomb”.

Being a walking time bomb is the result of keeping, or stuffing, thoughts, and emotions and the young person caught in this position is not a happy person. The journal can become a means for them to express what they are feeling as a result of what going on in and around them. Journaling can be a source of release for the kids.


The stress of confusion can also cause a young person to lose their focus. They can become so distracted by their confusing thoughts and emotions that their interaction with the world around them can suffer dramatically. Family and friends can find themselves placed at a distance from their loved ones. School grades and activities can decline when a young person feels unfocused. Journaling can assist the child in transcending confusion and help them reestablish a clear focus for themselves.


With the stress of confusion comes instability and the kid in this position does not know what they want, much less have the ability to productively meet the social demands of the environment around them. The unstable kid is an unpredictable one. This situation is not necessarily their fault and can exist because they don’t have the means to sort themselves out. Journaling can provide any pre-teen with a means to help them sort issues out and maintain their stability.


Personal empowerment is one of the greatest and most profitable advantages of journaling for the young people. Empowerment is the result of the pre-teen being able to sort out their thoughts and emotions in a responsible manner. Journaling is one way that the pre-teen responsibly processes their life experience.  And when a young person feels empowered, they are less likely to be scattered and disorganized and more not to be adversely affected by stress.

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