20+ Journal Prompts for when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed or experiencing stress, journaling has been a great way for me to process my thoughts and emotions.

If you’ve ever suffered from feeling overwhelmed, there’s no doubt you’d be willing to try anything to make it go away. You might exercise, watch a TV show or listen to your favourite podcasts to help cope. And if you’re lucky enough to have supportive friends, there’s no doubt you’ve vented to them too.

When I’m feeling overwhelmed or experiencing stress, journaling has been a great way for me to process my thoughts and emotions. In the absence of a regular therapist, my notebooks or documents folder has stepped in. Not only is it cheaper than a professional, but it’s also a more accessible way for me to work through those thoughts in the heat of the moment.

While some may prefer to free right, journal prompts can be an excellent way to help point us in the right direction. Or they at least help us to see the bigger picture and to reflect on our own thoughts, emotions and the reasoning behind them.

Image from Alina Vilchenko

But how does journalling help us deal with feeling overwhelmed?

Journalling is a wonderful way for us to process various emotions, not just when we’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s similar to talking through an issue with a therapist or friend in that it gets those unhelpful thoughts and feelings out of our minds. And while this in itself may not be the solution, a problem shared is truly a problem halved thanks to something called emotional release.

Journalling is also a wonderful way to organise our thoughts and enables us to find solutions or a different way of thinking. Writing our worries down can help us decide to finally leave that toxic job that’s burning us out. Or it can push us to have a conversation we’ve been avoiding for far too long.

My journal has become my replacement for regular therapy sessions. And while this works for my current life state, I first had to attend professional therapy to find the tools to allow journaling to be that outlet. It in no way should replace therapy or medication if you’re currently struggling or going through an active disorder, be it an eating disorder, severe depression etc. Instead, it should be in addition to these things. You might even feel comfortable enough to discuss your journal entries with your therapist, and your words could help steer your sessions in the right direction.

20+ Journal Prompts to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  1. What is causing me to feel stressed right now?
  2. What are some small steps I can take to alleviate my stress?
  3. How can I prioritize my tasks and responsibilities?
  4. Are my worries realistic?
  5. On a scale of 1-10, where is my anxiety today? And, if possible, discuss why.
  6. What self-care practices can I incorporate into my daily routine?
  7. List five good things that have happened lately.
  8. Who can I reach out to for support during this time?
  9. Write to your greatest supporter. You don’t have to give it to them.
  10. What are some positive affirmations I can tell myself when I start feeling this way?
  11. How can I reframe my mindset to view this situation in a more manageable light?
  12. What are some things I’m grateful for that can help put things in perspective?
  13. How can I break down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones?
  14. What lessons can I learn from this experience that I can carry with me in the future?
  15. What is something I can do to relax and unwind?
  16. What are some coping mechanisms that have worked for me in the past?
  17. What would I say to a friend who is feeling stressed?
  18. What is something that always makes me smile or brings me joy?
  19. What do I need to feel safe, held and supported?
  20. What fears am I holding onto?
  21. What are some things I can look forward to?
  22. Name 5 things that tend to cause the most stress in your life.
  23. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
  24. Do a “worry dump” and write down everything that’s causing you anxiety and stress. If it helps, tear the page up when you’re done.
  25. If you get anxiety or panic attacks, write down your coping strategies. Use them as a reference next time you’re suffering an attack (be it visually or in your mind). Having this list displayed in your home might be helpful for those you live with.


  1. There have definitely been times when I feel stressed and overwhelmed, but I haven’t thought about journaling when I’m feeling overwhelmed. This is a great list of prompts to try to.

  2. These prompts are great! I love journaling, and I am always looking for more journaling prompts to keep me going. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is a great list of journaling prompts when feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I’ve been journaling since I was a teenager. It has become a huge de-stressor for me and has helped me through some tough times. I’m more of a free writer when it comes to journaling, but these journal prompts for when you’re feeling overwhelmed are awesome. I’m going to bookmark this page for future journaling sessions. Thank you!

  5. This is such a big help for my journalling. I just started one and I need questions like these to start writing. Thank you for these.

  6. I really enjoyed your post. Journaling is a lot like blogging for me because it helps me reduce stress, which is actually how I got started with my own blog. However, I prefer to keep everything electronic.

  7. I love to write and rarely need journaling prompts but can see how this would be helpful when feeling overwhelmed. Great ideas.

  8. Hhhmmm….I like the idea of “Do a “worry dump” and write down everything that’s causing you anxiety and stress. If it helps, tear the page up when you’re done”. I believe it should automatically translate in me ditching the things that worry me, once and for all.

  9. These are all great journal prompts to help focus the mind. Having prompts can really help when you can’t think of what to write about. It can be very therapeutic to journal and so many people find it extremely beneficial.

  10. Even if you don’t write in a journal, this is a great list to run a sense check against yourself! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Such a great post! These are some great prompts, Journaling is one of my go to activities when I am stressed, anxious or plan just not having a good day.

  12. Very important journal prompts. We need to have this to help us through the overwhelming feelings moments. I will keep them to use them. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Journaling is so good for the soul! These 20 journaling prompts are perfect for some introspection when feeling overwhelmed.

  14. How did you know I needed this today? Very thoughtful and thought-provoking post. My favorite from your journal prompts was “How can I reframe my mindset to view this situation in a more manageable light?” I’m going to start asking myself that when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

  15. A worry dump sounds like a good release mechanism. It’s important to vent somehow so you don’t blow.

  16. This is such a great cerci’s e to help know where the stress and anxiety is coming from. Great questions!

  17. Journaling when overwhelmed helps me so much! Just putting it out there helps a ton!

  18. I stumbled upon your website and your 20 journal prompts for when you’re feeling overwhelmed are amazing! They are thought-provoking, yet easy to follow. Your writing style is engaging and friendly, making it a pleasure to read. Your website is a valuable resource for those looking to improve their mental health.

  19. These are great journal prompts. I like writing out my anxieties and worries, too. Just getting them out is helpful. Often, things don’t feel so bad if you can gather your thoughts and get something down on paper.

  20. I love journal prompts or writers prompts – as a travel writer, I often find just starting is the hardest part.

  21. i have been trying to get into the habit of journalling for years but often find it hard to writing what’s going on with me. I think having a list of questions to answer would get me writing. great tip!

  22. I love this list of journal prompts to use when you’re feeling overwhelmed. I love writing, but often find it difficult to focus and do so when I am going through stressful times. I will be bookmarking this list to turn to for my journaling. I will also share this with my teenaged daughter…it’s tough times being a teen nowadays, and writing out those feelings can be incredibly beneficial! Thank you for sharing!

  23. I’m not much of a journaler, but I am feeling this right now. We have 19 days of school left and I think that will relieve so much of my stress when I walk out of school that last day.

  24. Sometimes my thoughts and emotions get overwhelming. These journal prompts are perfect to channel that stress energy into a helpful outlet. Thank you for the great suggestions and prompts.

  25. These are great prompts! I actually have writer’s block quite often. I don’t know what it is about a blank page, but it makes everything fly out of my head.

  26. Journaling is a great stress reliever. In my opinion, it’s like talking to an old friend and just divulging what is on my mind. It’s also good to write things down because it’s a great way to see what’s really going on or the big picture of what’s causing the overwhelm. That way it’s easier to formulate a plan for dealing with it in small steps.


  27. I love to journal. My favorite Journal Prompt that you listed is “List five good things that have happened lately.”

  28. I so often suffer from writer’s block when journaling. The tips in this article are sure to inspire me next time I sit down with my journal.

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