Journaling, in particular, is a powerful way for us (particularly women) to confront any limiting beliefs we hold, along with shadows in our subconscious that we aren’t even aware of. But the act of putting pen to paper when you haven’t done it since high school can be daunting as hell. You feel silly. You don’t know what to write. And you might end up censoring your truth when left to your own devices. That’s why I’ve put together this handy list of self-love journal prompts to get you started when you have no idea where to begin.
But before we dive into the journal prompts, let’s explore self-love for a minute. If you’re in a rush, you can skip ahead, but you’ll miss some juicy stuff.
What is self-love, really?
Every day, we see posts on social media shouting, “LOVE THE SH*T OUT OF YOURSELF,” to which we respond with a heart or a fire emoji and feel fired up for all five minutes. But then reality sets back in. It turns out that a self-love quote on Instagram wasn’t quite enough to fix our leaky self-love tap, and so we’re right back where we started. We look for more posts like this on social thinking that’ll help, but we all know by now it doesn’t.
The thing about self-love is, it’s complicated.
Yes, an act of self-love can be eating a healthy meal or reading a book, or taking a delicious bath. It can also be ending a toxic relationship, quitting a job that is making you miserable even if you have no idea what you’re going to do next, or calling out your inner critic when she’s going in on you. And it can be living in harmony with our sacred cycle, creating space for a ritual on the full moon, or beginning each morning with five minutes of peaceful meditation. Alone, none of these things equal self-love. But when you combine an array of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional choices like these, they make a real difference to our self-esteem and self-worth.
Loving yourself is about putting yourself first, even when the world demands your attention. It’s recognizing your strengths, flaws, and imperfectness and still holding yourself in the highest regard. It’s making a mistake, picking yourself back up, growing from that experience, and refusing to carry any embarrassment or shame with you as you continue your journey. Self-love is about having the courage to experience new things and be in pursuit of your wildest dreams. It’s also about saying no to certain things so we can say yes to other things that are in our highest alignment.
And, of course, self-love is a skill we must practice and master, just like anything else in our lives. So if you know you’ve got a long way to go, that’s okay. The simple act of you being aware of this is a step in the right direction. Don’t be hard on yourself because the world will do enough of that for you.
My self-love journey
To be honest, the younger me didn’t just lack self-love; she hated herself.
On the outside, I may have appeared confident. I’ve always made bold (and sometimes daring) fashion choices, which present a very different first impression to others than how I felt about myself. And there’s no one magic thing I can point to and say that’s when it all changed. There is no quick fix, and there’s no one solution that fits all because we’re all so different.
But when I started writing again at 25 and had the surprise of a publication actually wanting to publish my words, followed by women around the world responding to those in such a positive way, something began to change inside me. For the longest time, I thought a new dress, shade of lipstick, or a half-bottle of vodka would fill me with confidence and make my life better, but the first thing that ever truly did was writing.
Every time I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), I discover something new about myself (or about something else). More often than not, I take a step forward in healing something. Whether it’s something some asshole said to me at school when I was 13, a pervert catcalling me on the street the other week, or a harrowing story in the media that has been festering in my mind.
Writing has healed me, and I know it has the power to heal you, too, and help you take huge leaps forward on your own journey to loving your authentic self.
And the truth is my self-love journey is not over, not by a long way. I’m worlds apart from the woman I used to be, but I’m still working on it. And I think that’s true for everyone.
My top tips for self-love:
- Be authentic to who you are (but remember who you are is always evolving)
- Make yourself a priority every day
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone apart from yesterday’s version of YOU.
- Don’t give a fuck about what other people think about you
- Trust your intuition
- Practice gratitude for all the good in your life right now
- Be okay with making mistakes (and make sure you grow from them)
- Learn that your value is not tied to your looks or your body
- Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to your best friend
- It’s okay to distance yourself from toxic people and situations (even if it’s family)
- Acknowledge your fears and shadows and get to the root of them
- Work on achieving your wildest dreams
- Lean into all your emotions and feel them fully
- Speak up for yourself (and others)
- Be gentle with yourself
Why should you keep a self-love journal?
If self-love is something you’re committed to working on, then keeping a self-love journal can really help you on your journey. I’d recommend journaling to everyone. It’s a fantastic way to clear out the clutter from your mind and confront emotions and feelings you don’t even know you’re harboring. Challenge your limiting beliefs, end your negative self-talk and remind yourself of everything there is to love about you (there’s a lot). We go to the gym to move our bodies physically, but we forget that we need to salsa with our souls too!
Anytime you feel unworthy, unconfident, fearful, or small, use one of these self-love journal prompts to write about it. The things we confront don’t hold us back. It’s the things we choose to ignore and repress that weigh us down and end up poisoning us. Remember, no one has to read anything you write. Your journal is just for you.
I love incorporating journaling into my morning ritual. I usually set myself the goal of writing three pages each morning (like Julia Cameron suggests in The Artist’s Way), but if that’s intimidating, just try and write one page or write for ten minutes. The best way to get your words flowing freely is to force yourself to keep writing no matter what. Even when you don’t know what to write, just write, “I don’t know what to write…” and keep going until you flush that out and get to what’s really happening.
74 Self-love journal prompts that will force you to dig deep
Read through the list and work through them in order, or pick whatever is jumping out to you today. Keep picking until you’ve exhausted this list.
Journal in the morning, before bed, or incorporate them into your self-care routine—whatever works for you. The only rule is to not hold anything back. When you’re done, take some time to self-reflect on what came up. Read your words back to yourself without judgment.
Self-love journal prompts when you’re in a rush
- Write down one thing you’ll do today that is just for you.
- List 10 things you’re grateful for.
- Make a list of 10 acts of self-care that would make you feel good.
- What’s one thing you could do today to make your life better?
- List 5 things you’d love to do or try if you knew you couldn’t fail.
- Write 3 things you’d love to add to your self-care ritual.
- Create a positive self-love affirmation for yourself.
- List 5 things you’re excited about.
- List 3 things that sap your energy and joy.
- Write 10 things you want more of in your life.
- List 5 things that always cheer you up.
- How can you advocate for yourself? List 5 ways.
Self-love journal prompts when you’ve got some time
- Write yourself a full-on, all-out love letter like you’re the #1 fan girl of yourself (FYI, you should be).
- What does it mean, to you, to love yourself?
- What does self-love look and feel like to you?
- How can you be kinder and more compassionate to yourself?
- When was the last time you said “yes” to something you wanted to say “no” to? And why?
- When was the last time you said “no” to something you wanted to say “yes” to? And why?
- What is your biggest challenge when it comes to loving yourself, and what can you do about it?
- What would you do today if you loved yourself?
Self-love journal prompts for figuring out who you are
- What did you love spending hours doing as a child?
- What brings you joy?
- Write about what you’re great at and what your strengths are.
- Make a list of hobbies, classes, and experiences you’ve always wanted to try.
- What makes you wildly unique?
- What advice would you give your younger teenage self?
- Describe (in detail) one of your all-time favorite days or memories.
- When do you feel most at peace?
- When do you feel most stressed?
- List your 5 main priorities in life.
Self-love journal prompts for your body
- What are the three parts of your body you like least? Write something loving about each of them.
- When do you feel most comfortable and at home in your body?
- What is your current relationship like with your body vs. what your dream relationship would be?
- What do you love about your physical appearance?
- What makes you feel sexy?
- Write a thank you letter to your beautiful body and all it does for you.
- Take a no-makeup selfie and write a loving description of what you see.
- How do you most like to move your body?
- What’s your relationship with food like?
- How can you treat your body more lovingly today?
Self-love journal prompts to boost your confidence
- When do you feel most confident? Who are you with? What are you wearing? What are you doing?
- Describe a tough challenge you’ve worked through and overcome. How did you grow from this experience?
- What are you most proud of achieving in your life so far?
- What is your go-to outfit when you want to feel confident? How does it make you feel?
- When do you feel physically strong?
- What’s one thing you could do today to build your confidence?
- How do you think you’d feel if you were a confident woman? How would you think, speak, and feel? Where would you go? What would you do differently from what you’re doing today?
Self-love journal prompts for your dreams
- What do you believe you deserve?
- What is your biggest dream for your life?
- What current goal (or goals) are you working on, and why is it important to you? What are you doing to achieve it?
- Write some positive affirmations that could help you love yourself more. Repeat these to yourself often like a mantra.
- When did you last step out of your comfort zone? How did it feel?
- Where would you like to see yourself in a year/five years/ten years?
- When did you last fail at something? What did you learn?
- What action could you take today towards your goals and dreams?
- What’s one limiting belief you’d like to release today that is not serving you?
- What would make your future self proud of you?
- List 3 of your biggest fears.
- Who inspires you (in real life and public figures you look up to)?
- How can you support yourself more today?
Self-love journal prompts for relationships
- How do you feel when you set aside “you time” in your calendar?
- How do you like to give and receive love?
- How comfortable do you feel receiving pleasure, and why do you think this is?
- What is your usual communication style?
- What are your boundaries?
- How can you set and communicate healthier boundaries in your relationships?
- What qualities are most important to you in a friend?
- What qualities are most important to you in a partner?
- Are you embodying the qualities that you’re looking for in your other relationships?
- List the people in your life who nourish and inspire you.
- List the people in your life who drain you and make you feel small.
- How does dating make you feel?
- How does being alone make you feel?
- How can you show others more love and compassion?
Ready to journal?
I hope you enjoy working with these self-love journal prompts. More importantly, my wish is that they truly help you take steps forward on your journey to loving yourself and healing any insecurities, wounds, or traumas you’re holding onto.
Make a promise to yourself today and commit to doing one small act of self-love. Tell me what it is in the comments below, then make it happen—because you deserve it, today and every day.