Journaling Is A Superpower
Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious about life’s challenges.
Raise your other hand if you’ve ever dealt with work stress, relationship issues, or personal struggles that seemed too difficult to overcome.
Raise your hand if you ever felt that you needed to get things off your mind and off your chest before it starts to affect you.
The good news is – you’re in good company! Famous artists, top athletes, nobel prize winners, powerful politicians, inspiring activists and hot entrepreneurs have so much in common with you. In their toughest times they turned to the power of journaling.
What works for them can really come in handy for you, too!
Proven, Accessible and Simple
Journaling is a practice that people have been using for centuries to reflect, document their thoughts, express feelings, and capture experiences. It’s a simple yet effective way to gain clarity, reduce stress, and increase mindfulness.
The famous and successful may have more means, but they have the same 24 hours per day as you. They all make the conscious decision of carving out a few moments each day to journal. The beauty of journaling it is accessible and simple. Anyone can use it as a tool for personal growth and development.
A strong body of research shows that journaling also helps you manage stress and anxiety by giving you an outlet to express your emotions and work through difficult situations.
We’ve assembled a whooping 80 compelling arguments for trying out journaling. Find your favourite personalities below and get inspired by their approach. If a super busy celebrity can carve out time to journal, so can you!
80 Stars To Get You Inspired
1. Top Athletes
Picture this: You’re about to face your biggest competition yet. You’re nervous, anxious, and maybe a little bit scared. What do you do? Well, according to some of the greatest athletes of all time, the answer is simple: start journaling. That’s right, these champs have found that putting their thoughts and emotions down on paper can help them stay focused, motivated, and mentally prepared for the big game. Let’s dive into the world of athletic journaling and explore why it’s become a go-to tool for so many top performers.
- Simone Biles: The Olympic gymnast has spoken about using a worry journal as a way to cope with her anxiety and the pressure of competition. She would put all the things that worry her in her journal and reserves a very specific hour of the day to deal with them.
- Serena Williams: The legendary tennis player has said that journaling helps her stay focused on her goals and mentally prepared for competition.
- Michael Phelps: The most decorated Olympian of all time has talked about using journaling as a way to get his thoughts and emotions out, preserve his memories, visualize his goals and improve mental readiness for competition.
- Kobe Bryant: The late NBA superstar and entrepreneur used journaling as a way to stay focused and to document his experiences as a professional athlete and businessman.
- Eliud Kipchoge: The famous long-distance runner, keeps a journal to track his training progress, set goals, and reflect on his experiences. He records details such as his daily mileage, types of workouts, diet, and sleep patterns, and uses his diary as a tool for motivation and self-improvement.
- Misty Copeland: The American ballet dancer and author made history as the first Black woman who got promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. She is known for her strength, grace, and athleticism and likes to journal as a source of aspiration and motivation. It has helped her turn her insecurities into a form of encouragement.
- Lindsey Vonn: The former American alpine ski racer has used journaling as a tool to help her overcome setbacks and injuries during her career. She has spoken about the therapeutic benefits of journaling, including reducing stress and anxiety, as well as staying focused on her goals.
- Usain Bolt: The exceptional Jamaican sprinter discusses in his book, “Faster Than Lightning: My Autobiography,” how he kept a training diary to track his progress and analyze his performances. He’s also used journaling to set goals, reflect on his experiences, and stay motivated.
2. Actors and Influencers
It’s not just athletes who are big fans of journaling. Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have also spoken out about the benefits of putting it all out there. From using multiple journals to manage their emotions to dream journaling, gratitude journaling, and more, these celebs have found that journaling can help with personal growth, creativity, and mental wellbeing. Whether it’s goal setting, processing emotions, or staying accountable, journaling is a tool that many stars rely on.
- Emma Watson: The actress and activist has spoken about using journaling as a way to reflect on her personal growth and to stay connected with her own values and beliefs. She’s mentioned keeping as many as 10(!) journals at all times.
- Jenna Dewan: The actress and dancer has spoken about using gratitude journaling as a way to turn off the brain and get her emotions out. It helped her focus on her goals and find her own voice and balance in a fast-paced, crazy world.
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: The actor and former wrestler recommends journaling as a tool for goal setting, making changes, building accountability and getting the universe to meet him halfway.
- Ryan Gosling: The actor and musician has encouraged actors to keep a dream journal as a way to explore their own emotions and to channel them into their creative work.
- Gigi Hadid: The model and influencer keeps multiple journals to take stock of her emotions – a “good journal” for memories, a “bad journal“ to cope with anxieties. She uses sketch pads and writes on the back of receipts and keeps her journals everywhere around the house so she can just pick up whichever one is closest to her.
- Zendaya: The actress and activist who’s openly talked about her anxiety and depression struggles keeps a “journal or art-book thing” to reflect on her experiences in the entertainment industry.
- Joe Rogan: The comedian, actor, and podcast host has spoken about writing down everything as a way to stay focused on his goals and to process his thoughts and emotions.
- Leslie Jordan: The American actor and comedian, has spoken publicly about his experience with addiction and recovery. He recommended journaling as a tool to help cope with difficult emotions and stay accountable in his recovery.
When it comes to the creative process, journaling seems to be a go-to tool for many singer-songwriters, helping them to work through their emotions and find inspiration for their music. Whether it’s working through insecurities or documenting the struggles of fame and mental health, or promoting self-love and acceptance, these artists know that journaling can be a powerful tool for creativity and emotional healing.
- Taylor Swift: The singer-songwriter has said that journaling is a key part of her creative process, helping her to work through her emotions and find inspiration for her music.
- Billie Eilish: The Grammy-winning musician has been known to write in her journal about her struggles with mental health, and has talked about the therapeutic benefits of journaling in interviews.
- Shawn Mendes: The singer-songwriter has said that journaling is a way for him to process his emotions and stay grounded while on tour.
- Lizzo: The musician and body positivity activist has spoken about using journaling as a way to work through her insecurities and to promote self-love and acceptance. She’s not afraid of opening up about her mental health issues and has done so in a series of powerful Instagram posts.
- Lady Gaga: The Grammy-winning musician has spoken about using journaling as a way to process her emotions and find inspiration for her music.
- Selena Gomez: The singer, actress, producer and mental health activist has publicly shared her own journal entries, moments of self-doubt and illness in her songs and the documentary My Mind & Me.
- Kurt Cobain: The musician and artist used journaling as a way to express himself and to document his experiences with addiction and mental illness. He filled dozens of notebooks writings, drawings and lyrics, expressing his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music.
- Beyoncé: The singer and performer’s songs are like pages of a diary where she processes the events and expresses the emotions of her very publicly lived life.
4. Painters and Artists
Some of history’s most renowned artists have turned to journaling as a way to express their thoughts and experiences. From chronicling travels or coping with chronic pain to sketching ideas that would only be built in the future, journaling has become a valuable window into the minds of some of the greatest thinkers and creators that walked the earth.
- Leonardo da Vinci: The artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci famously kept journals to record his ideas, sketches, and observations across a wide range of topics that interested him, including painting, engineering, philosophy, warfare, and more. From the age of 26 he wrote a daily average of 3 pages producing an estimated 20,000 to 28,000 pages.
- Frida Kahlo: The artist used journaling as a way to express herself and to document her experiences with chronic pain and physical disabilities. She didn’t just write in her diary—she also drew in it and keeping a diary helped her to establish a relationship with herself throughout her entire life.
- Paul Gauguin: French post-Impressionist artist, kept a journal throughout his life. His journals documented his experiences and observations during his travels to Tahiti and other Pacific Islands. They provide insight into his creative process, as well as his thoughts on colonialism and cultural identity.
5. Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople
Journaling isn’t just for artists and writers, it’s also a habit that many successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople swear by. Whether they’re documenting their creative process or tracking their business dealings, journaling provides a valuable tool for personal growth and decision making. By taking the time to reflect on their lives and set goals, the following individuals have found success in their fields and in their personal lives.
- Richard Branson: The founder of Virgin Group is known to carry a notebook with him at all times, using it to jot down ideas, reflect on his experiences, and set goals.
- Oprah Winfrey: The media mogul and philanthropist has been journaling for decades as a way to reflect on her life, express gratitude and process experiences. She has said that journaling helps her identify patterns, gain clarity, and work out emotions.
- Tim Ferriss: The entrepreneur and author of “The 4-Hour Work Week” is a big advocate of journaling, and has written extensively on how it can help with productivity, goal-setting, and self-reflection.
- Arianna Huffington: The co-founder of The Huffington Post has spoken about using journaling as a way to manage stress and anxiety, and to stay focused on her priorities.
- Mark Zuckerberg: The co-founder and CEO of Facebook has spoken about using journaling as a way to document his ideas and to stay organized and focused on his goals.
- John D. Rockefeller: The American industrialist and philanthropist, kept a diary throughout his life as a way to document his business dealings, track his finances, and record his personal reflections on efficiency. He used his diary to hold himself accountable for his actions and decisions.
- Warren Buffett: The billionaire investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, credits his daily readin and taking notes habit for helping him become a better investor and make more thoughtful decisions throughout his career.
6. Politicians and Public Figures
Regardless of one’s level of power, fame, or success, the act of reflection through journaling is a practice that people from all walks of life turn to. From politicians to billionaires and royalty, many have recognized the value of taking time to document their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Despite their busy schedules, they have made it a priority to pause, reflect, and gain clarity through the act of journaling.
- Michelle and Barack Obama: The former First Lady and the former President of the United States have both talked about using journaling as a way to cope with the pressures of being in the public eye, and to stay connected with her own thoughts and feelings.
- Theodore Roosevelt: The 26th president of the United States was an avid journaler, documenting his experiences as a soldier, politician, and outdoorsman.
- Winston Churchill: The former British prime minister had a strict daily writing routine. During WWII he wrote calendar entries in italicized shorthand and faded black ink into his engagement diary. They are hidden gems of historical significance with humor sprinkled throughout the pages.
- Queen Victoria: The former queen of England journaled from 13 years old until her death at the age of 81, documenting her experiences as a monarch and as a mother. The journals, running to 43,000 pages, provide an account of significant moments in her life throughout her 63-year reign.
7. Writers and Poets
While writing is a means to earn a living, professional writers and poets turn to journaling as a practice that they do for themselves. They keep personal notes as a way to explore their own thoughts and emotions, to document their experiences, and to refine their craft. Their journals offer an intimate look into the inner workings of their minds and can serve as an inspiration to aspiring writers and poets to start journaling for themselves.
- Maya Angelou: The American poet and civil rights activist said she started journaling from 9 years old after she was gifted a book. She continued writing throughout her life, helping people around the globe feel heard and understood via her thoughts on race, gender, and social justice.
- Mark Twain: The American writer, humorist, and lecturer, kept a journal as a way to record his daily experiences, observations, and ideas. Twain’s journal provided a source of inspiration for his writing, and helped him develop his unique style and voice.
- Virginia Woolf: The English author and feminist used journaling as a way to document her own creative process, to explore her own thoughts and emotions, and to build a safe room for herself.
- John Stuart Mill: The English philosopher and political economist began writing early in life to document his thoughts on politics, ethics, and education
- Anais Nin: The French-American writer kept diaries as a way to explore her innermost thoughts and desires, and to document her personal and artistic development.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: The American essayist and philosopher, kept a journal for over 50 years as a way to explore his ideas, record his observations, and document his personal and intellectual development.
- Franz Kafka: The German-speaking writer from Prague, kept a diary as a way to document his personal struggles, record his dreams and creative ideas, and explore his psychological and philosophical themes. He used his journal as a space to work through his anxieties and self-doubt.
- Henry David Thoreau: The American writer and philosopher, kept a journal for over 24 years as a way to document his observations of nature, reflect on his inner life, and explore his ideas.
- Beatrix Potter: The English author and illustrator kept a journal as a young girl. The journal was written between 1881 and 1897, and includes drawings and stories created by Potter during her childhood. The journal provides a glimpse into Potter’s early life and her love of nature, which would later inspire her beloved children’s books.
- Ernest Hemingway: The American novelist and short story writer kept a journal to record story ideas and everyday details that he observed. By carrying the notebook with him everywhere, Hemingway could note every detail and infuse his writing with richness.
- John Steinbeck: The American author and Nobel laureate used journaling to hold himself accountable for his writing goals, stay motivated, and overcome self-doubt. His diary serves as a reminder of the importance of discipline and perseverance in the creative process.
- C.S. Lewis: The British writer and theologian journaled as a way to process his grief and come to terms with loss. He used his journal as a private space to explore his emotions and thoughts, and to find solace and comfort in writing.
- Sylvia Plath: The poet and author used journaling from her pre-teen years onwards as a way to process her emotions and to document her experiences with mental illness.
8. Motivational and Fighter’s DNA
Strong, enduring and inspiring men from different walks of life have one thing in common: they all journal. They may be known for their physical strength, leadership skills, or motivational prowess, but they’ve had to work their reflection muscle, too. Through their journaling practice, they have gained greater insight into themselves, set and achieved their goals, and found ways to overcome challenges. Whether you’re looking to build your physical or mental stamina, develop your leadership skills, or simply gain greater clarity in your life, taking a cue from these men and starting your own journaling practice may be the key to unlocking your full potential.
- Bruce Lee: The martial artist and actor was also deeply interested in understanding himself and his place in the world. By recording his thoughts and experiences in a diary, Lee was able to gain greater insight into his own strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify areas for improvement in both his personal and professional life.
- David Goggins: The retired Navy SEAL and ultra-endurance athlete has talked about using journaling as a tool for self-reflection, self-study as well as physical and mental accountability.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: The former bodybuilder, actor, and governor of California has talked about formulating a vision and tracking progress as a tool for setting and achieving his goals.
- Jocko Willink: The retired Navy SEAL, leadership consultant and author of books on leadership and self-discipline, and emphasizes the importance of discipline in writing and taking notes for keeping the creativity process alive.
- Tony Robbins: The American motivational speaker, author, and life coach recommends journaling to help clarify your goals, reflect on your experiences, and overcome limiting beliefs. His book “Awaken the Giant Within” discusses the power of journaling and provides tips and exercises for readers who want to start a journaling practice.
- Rich Roll: The American vegan ultra-endurance athlete, author and podcast host, journals as a tool for self-reflection and personal growth.He writes down his thoughts and feelings to gain clarity, organize his goals, and track his progress. Setting aside a specific time each day to journal and focusing on gratitude and positive thinking, helps to better understand himself and lead a more purposeful life.
9. Scientists and Scholars
From Nobel Prize-winning physicists to pioneering primatologists, these figures have used journals to document their observations, reflect on their ideas, and push the boundaries of knowledge. Researching and recognizing the benefits of expressive writing and journaling for mental health and well-being, has also inspired the work of psychologists. They have created numerous frameworks to explore our emotions and cultivate gratitude, mindfulness, and resilience. Whether chasing the mysteries of the universe or the depths of the human mind, these thinkers demonstrate the power of journaling to unlock our full potential and enrich our lives.
- Albert Einstein: The physicist and Nobel Prize winner is known to have kept several journals throughout his life, where he documented his ideas and thought experiments. It took more than a decade for Einstein to be awarded the Nobel Prize for the idea that he originally explored in his journals in 1902 and that he spent even longer developing his ideas in his writings and journals.
- Marie Curie: The physicist and Nobel Prize winner used journaling to document her observations of the glowing properties of uranium, which she found to be similar to fairy lights. Her 100-year-old diaries are still will continue to be radioactive for the next 1,500 years.
- Charles Darwin: The naturalist and biologist kept a journal during his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle, where he documented his observations and ideas that eventually led to his theory of evolution.
- Jane Goodall: The primatologist and conservationist has spoken about using journaling as a way to document her observations of chimpanzees in the wild.
- Brené Brown: The social worker and author has provided numerous frameworks to express feelings, address and resolve conflict, practice gratefulness and find peace in a situation.
- Dr. James Pennebaker: The psychologist and author has conducted extensive research on the benefits of expressive writing, including journaling, for mental health and well-being.
- Dr. Dan Siegel: The psychiatrist and author coined the term “Mindsight” that describes our human capacity to perceive the mind of the self and others. Journaling is a way to practice that.
- Dr. Sherry Pagoto: The clinical psychologist has spoken about using (diet) journaling as a way to track progress and stay accountable when working towards health and wellness goals.
- Dr. Robert Emmons: The psychologist and author has conducted research on the benefits of gratitude journaling for mental health and well-being.
- Dr. Lucy Hone: The psychologist and author has talked about using gratitude journaling as a way to process grief and loss, and to cultivate resilience.
10. Activists and Role Models
From historic personalities to the youngest movers – the power of journaling seems to know no bounds! When it comes to activists and role models, it’s clear that journaling has played a pivotal role in shaping their journeys, providing a space to process emotions and document experiences. It’s inspiring to see how a simple practice can be used to achieve such profound results.
- Malala Yousafzai: The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and activist started keeping a diary when she was just 11 years old, which later became the basis for her book “I Am Malala”. She used journaling as a way to document her experiences and to process her emotions after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban in 2012.
- Greta Thunberg: The Swedish environmental activist started a journal to document her daily experiences, thoughts and emotions during her travel from the U.S. to Davos.
- Anne Frank: The teenage diarist who documented her experiences hiding from the Nazis during World War II has become an icon of resilience and hope through her journal entries.
- Yara Shahidi: The actress and activist for feminism and STEM has said that journaling helps her to stay grounded and to reflect on her values and beliefs as a young person in the public eye.
- Amanda Gorman: The poet and activist started writing in journals at the playground and has spoken about the importance of journaling in her creative process, saying that it helps her to find clarity and inspiration for her work.
- Willow Smith: The musician and activist who openly talks about anxiety uses journaling as a way to explore her own identity and to work through personal struggles.
- Rowan Blanchard: The actress and activist has spoken about using journaling as a way to process the trials and tribulations of her teenage years. She’s even included some entries in her book Still Here.
- James Baldwin: The author and civil rights activist used writing as a way to explore his own identity and to document the experiences of African Americans in the United States.
- Audre Lorde: The American writer and civil rights activist, wrote about the importance of journaling as a tool for self-discovery and self-expression, describing how writing helped her navigate difficult experiences, find her own voice, and connect with others who shared her struggles.
11. Selfcare Evangelists
The following self-care evangelists may not be household names yet, but they are certainly stars in the making. Their unique perspectives on journaling and self-care offer refreshing and exciting insights into how we can all better care for ourselves. They are living testimonies who have experienced firsthand how journaling can be a powerful tool for personal growth, reflection, and healing. Their approaches are not only effective but also accessible, making self-care and journaling achievable for everyone. Keep an eye on these rising stars in the self-care community, as they continue to inspire and guide us on our own journeys towards wellness.
- Meera Lee Patel: The artist, writer, and self-care expert has written several books about the power of journaling. In her work, she encourages readers to use journaling as a tool for personal growth, self-reflection, and overcoming fear.
- Ryder Carroll: The creator of the “Bullet Journal” system, developed his approach to help him manage his ADHD and improve his productivity and focus. His book “The Bullet Journal Method” explores the power of journaling as a tool for tracking the past, organizing the present, and designing the future.
- Alex Elle: The American writer and self-care advocate recommends journaling as a tool for self-reflection, healing, and personal growth. She also shares her own experiences with mental health and self-care to help others on their own journeys.
- Floris Gierman: Not a famous guy, but he runs marathons in his leisure time and helps people become stronger, healthier and happier athletes, by focusing on recovery. To him journaling is a powerful tool to identify what works and what doesn’t.
3 Ways To Get You Started Now!
Ready to go but not sure where to start? Here are three easy ways to get you going:
- Try a simple 10-second entry into our selfcare app to capture a moment of your day. It’s relieving and helps you keep an overview of your emotional state. We all need to feel heard and acknowledged and the Earkick Panda even gives you immediate feedback.
- Write down three things you’re grateful for, no matter how big or small. Type it into an app, grab pen and paper or use voice journaling. This exercise can help shift your focus from negative thoughts to positive ones, and increase your overall sense of wellbeing.
- Capture an event from your day that you want to reflect on. It can be how your boss made you feel, an issue you wanted to discuss with your partner or an idea you want to revisit later.
Join those 80 stars and start harnessing the benefits of journaling today. And if you come across more fascinating people who also journal, please share their stories with us!