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Mood Journal: How Writing Can Help Manage Emotions

Are you often operating at the whim of your emotions? Do you find yourself unable to stay in control of your emotions to the point that they affect your work and leisure life? Are your relationships at risk of tearing at the seams because of your moods?

Well join us today as we explore the mood journal, the possible solution to your many mood-related problems.

mood journaling

What is a Mood Journal?

A mood journal is a type of journaling where you engage with mood tracking. Rather than, say, keeping a record of all your daily activities, you instead look to see how these activities make you feel and what they can do to your mental health.

These don't just have to be negative feelings either, for there is much to be said about the connection between negative and positive emotions, the pairing of, for example, ecstasy and anxiety.

Many doctors believe that if you can record your feelings as accurately as possible alongside your thoughts, then you will be better able to objectively track your emotions and get to the bottom of what things trigger your stronger and seemingly uncontrollable emotions.

A mood tracker is great whether your issues are only minor or whether you are concerned about the presence of mood disorders in your mood chart.

Refillable Heart Journal
Refillable Heart Journal
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Why Is It Important to Track Your Moods?

If a mood is a collation of persistent feelings, then mood journaling is the capturing of these persistent feelings in one place so as to understand them better. But why is this important?

1. Identifying Mood Issues

Are you even able to ascertain what mood you are in right now? Identifying your mood issues and mood patterns through mood trackers can be very helpful in helping you to really know how you are feeling, perfect for the dissociative depressive that has been chewed up and spat out by late capitalism.

Those who don't experience such intense conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder will likely never attempt to see the nuance between emotions - things will simply be good or bad. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of your own emotions and track moods, then you are going to need to get more specific.

2. Processing Adverse Emotions

Of course, your issues might be a little more adverse. At the end of the day, no matter how grave our psychological condition may be, we can't all afford to jettison our money at an expensive therapist whose enterprise takes a considerable amount of time to take effect.

No, persistent feelings day-to-day can easily be addressed by yourself in a mood journal wherein you can act as your own therapist. Indeed, if you are the victim of posttraumatic stress disorder, then you can just as easily use a mood diary to keep track of your thoughts and feelings, regardless of whether you end up taking the resulting mood charts to a mental health professional.

Collating your feelings in one place can only do good for you and encourage overall better mental health.

3. Behavioral Patterns

We spend essentially all of our waking lives in the center of our own consciousness, in the eye of the veritable storm of emotions that can afflict us as randomly as it feels as though the weather is. Where a bullet journal is concerned with helping you find a balance between work and play and helping you to streamline your work patterns, a mood journal is attempting to do a similar thing but with the essence of your emotions.

After all, if we spend so long within the vortex of our emotional storm, how are we going to keep track of the various thoughts and feelings we have over periods of time and how often they recur without holding something of a mirror up to ourselves? And what better way to hold a mirror up to ourselves than to capture it in words that we can then recount and disown?

That being said it can be an easy option to simply throw the ball at our emotions when it is more physiological and psychosomatic factors that are influencing our recurring mood symptoms, such as:

  • Your dietary habits and the things you put into your body
  • How well you have slept the night before and in the past however long
  • How much you have exercised recently
  • Your physical health in general and how well you are treating yourself and your body
  • Any hormonal fluctuations you might otherwise be experiencing
  • The cursed weather, the great mother that she is
  • Your interactions with those around you and the way they make you feel
  • The quality of your relationships with those around you
  • The quality of the physical environment that you are in, whether that be where you live or where you work

4. An Action Plan

In the same way that it can be difficult to even keep track of your emotions and ascertain which ones need to go when you are in the whirlwind of them at all times, it can also be difficult to create any sort of action plan to change these emotions when you are smothered by them.

This is one of the reasons so many people turn to external help like therapy and counseling because it can be so difficult to really know what you need or to trust your instincts. In such instances, people would rather be told what they need or at least be nudged down the path toward personal enlightenment.

A mood journal, then, is the next best thing, allowing you to hold a mirror up to yourself long enough to garner a look at yourself that will then help you to ascertain which steps to take next for the betterment of yourself and your emotions, to, for example, reduce your business travel stress when you most need to.

What Effects Can Keeping a Mood Journal Have?

Arguably the most important thing to consider is how closely intertwined your thoughts and feelings can be in both directions. Just as your feelings can influence the way you think, the way you think can influence the way you feel.

Mood journaling thus can help:

  • Improving your mental health overall and in particular
  • Learning stress management techniques to overcome stressful moments at your own behest
  • Increasing your self-awareness
  • Ascertaining which external factors affect your mood and which internal factors do too
  • Shifting your perspective overall and helping you to see things in a different way
  • Improving your overall ability to concentrate and pay attention to things over longer periods of time
  • Developing healthier strategies by which to cope with difficult and/or troubling emotions - i.e. not just dissociating and rotting in a dark room but actually seizing the sore emotions and feelings head on.

How Can Writing Help with Managing Stress?

Any type of journaling is great for relieving stress precisely because it relieves you of all the things you might otherwise have ticking over in your brain without much conscious thought. Alone, these things can seem pretty harmless, but as they accumulate they accrue strength in their numbers until together they can feel insurmountable.

Writing about anything can instantly help you to switch your perspective and look at things from a different perspective.

Journaling is great for managing stress:

  • Helps to foster a feeling of purpose and control
  • Identifies potential triggers of stress and anxiety
  • Helps to understand the source of stress better
  • Tracks your progress while you are doing it all the while
  • Helps to acknowledge emotions that might otherwise go ignored
  • As well as helping with the processing of internal struggles
  • Helps to vent safely and privately away from the gaze of any who might judge
Faith Hope Love Journal
Faith Hope Love Journal
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How Can You Start Your Own Mood Journal?

By following the subsequent four steps, you will be well on your way to starting your very own mood journal that is centered on your own emotional investigations.

1. Choosing the Right Tool

First off, you will want to ascertain the type of journaling you are looking to do. Some people are content with taking it back to basics and just using paper and a pen. Equally, though, you can also use more modern technology like, say, an app on your phone or a journal on your desktop to get the job done.

What you eventually use is up to you, though it should honor your desires as much as possible. By honoring yourself, you can be sure that you are starting out on the right footing to engage in a deep and thorough psychological exercise.

2. Starting Small

When you begin your journaling journey it can be all too tempting to be overcome with the tremendous weight of all of your issues and wants simultaneously. In such instances, it is important to remember to start off small and work your way up to the big things. This is especially true if you are new to writing or haven't engaged in writing practice for some time.

By starting off small, you can begin to ensure that you are not immediately scared off by the immensity of such a task. The most important thing to establish with any journaling practice is a routine. While you might not glean too many enlightening results if you journal every now and then when you feel like it, forcing yourself into a routine of journaling is when the real juicy stuff comes about. You can begin to thank us later.

3. Habit Forming

Indeed, in this way, you can form a habit of journaling that might never leave you. Of course, it is important not to let the burden of journaling weigh down upon you, it is also important to at least consider writing in your journal every day. While you might at first feel as though you don't have anything to write about on a particular day, you will more often than not be surprised at what comes pouring out of you on even the driest days.

Another thing to consider is focusing on only one issue or feeling at a time each day. Journaling every time you feel certain emotions is good sometimes but it can also provide only a single perspective that is thus clouded by emotion. Writing about this emotion in separate circumstances over time is a perfect way to build up more of a portrait of this emotion and where you lie within it.

4. Patience

Perhaps most important of all to take into account is patience, both with oneself and the practice at hand. Beginning any new practice and forming a new healthy habit takes time, though it's all too easy to just beat yourself up about it straight away when it doesn't take effect immediately.

Be as patient with yourself as you possibly can. The fact that you have decided to make this change toward understanding your emotions and moods better is enough and in many ways should be applauded.

Equally, have patience with the process itself. The initial results might prove oblique and unclear but, given time, they will form into something clearer and more readable that you can then use to make concrete changes in your life. Just wait for the epiphany, keep at your journaling, and it will come.

What Should You Include in a Mood Journal?

Before you go, here are a couple of things that every mood journal should include:

Mood Tracking Table

As already touched upon, keeping track of your emotions and when you feel them from within yourself is hard work.

Luckily, this mood-tracking table can make that a whole lot easier, presenting all of your emotions in one place for you to quickly scan and see just what's going on. Draw as many columns as you have troublesome emotions and get started whenever you wish. The possibilities really are endless.

Specific Information

Each mood journal entry should include some more particular and specific information so that you can more easily place your present self into the emotional garbs that you were wearing at that time.

These things include but are not limited to:

  • The time and the date on which the entry was written
  • The specific mood felt and the intensity of that mood in the proceedings
  • An emoji that best describes the mood or emotion felt
  • How many hours of sleep you were running on
  • What food you had been eating and how much water you had consumed
  • Any medications you might have been on at the time
  • Any hormonal imbalances
  • Any unexpected triggers like bad weather or traffic.
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Final Words

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to start tackling your moods head-on!

FAQs Mood Journal


A mood journal is a type of journaling where you engage with mood tracking. Rather than, say, keeping a record of all your daily activities, you instead look to see how these activities make you feel and what they can do to your mental health.


Anything that you feel is relevant pertaining to your mood.


The benefits of mood journaling can be many, though they will entirely depend on each individual. They include but are not limited to easing stress, improving mental health, improving relationships with friends and relatives, improving your relationship with yourself, improving your coping strategies and ability to face your emotions head-on, shifting your perspective on things that you are otherwise hard-headed about, and improving your ability to concentrate.


By beginning with the intention of being as honest and true to yourself as possible.

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