14 Journal Prompts to Start Your Day with a Smile

Updated: 3 days ago

These journal prompts will have you smiling before breakfast.

Imagine this: Your alarm goes off. Ugh. You want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep. But you don’t.

You think about the day ahead. So much to do. Sigh.

It's probably going to be another busy, let’s just get through it kind of day. You take a sip of coffee. Sigh again. 😐

Instead of starting your day in a blah, ho-hum kind of mood, start with positive energy and a smile. Journalling good vibes and happy thoughts can make it happen.

Journal for Good Vibes and Happiness

So how can you drop some happiness on that kind of morning? Write. No, not the boring writing exercises you did in English class.

Instead, write down a series of thoughts, feelings, and memories that make you happy.

This writing technique is called journaling, and there’s a lot of science to show that it improves SAD – stress, anxiety, and depression.

So, how do you journal effectively so you can get the most benefit from your effort? Read on to find out.

How to Journal Effectively

Here are four simple guidelines to help you get the most out of your journaling time:

1. Keep your journalling session short. Give yourself 15-20 minutes to write down your thoughts. It’s easier when it’s quiet, and you have uninterrupted time to write.

2. Write for you, not someone else. You’re writing for your own benefit, so be honest with yourself. There are no right or wrong answers here and no reason to worry about what someone else would think about your writing.

3. Don’t worry about how you write, just write. This isn’t an English class, so say what you want to say the way you want to say it. Free your mind and just go with it.

4. Write on paper, not on a screen. Many people find that there’s something more satisfying about writing by hand than typing on a screen. For thoughts on the pros and cons of each approach, this article on journaling compares both techniques.

What to Do with Your Journal Pages When You're Done

When you’re done, you can keep your journal pages or throw them away.

If you think you might want to look back at your writing at some point in the future, consider keeping them. If not, throw them away.

There are no right or wrong choices here. It's a completely personal decision, so do what seems right for you.

Journal Prompts to Start Your Day with a Smile

As promised, here are 14 writing prompts to lift your spirits on ho-hum days:

1. What’s your happiest memory?

2. What does happiness feel like?

3. What does happiness sound like?

4. Who is someone that makes you happy?

5. What are you most proud of doing and why?

6. What was your favorite thing to do as a kid?

7. What is your favorite outdoor activity and why?

8. What are three things you’re grateful for right now?

9. What’s something about you that makes you happy?

10. What songs would you include on a happiness playlist?

11. What is something you would enjoy learning more about?

12. What is your favorite season of the year and what do you like about it?

13. What is one thing you can do for yourself today that will make you happy?

14. What is one thing you can do for someone else today that will make them happy?

Download a free pdf list of these prompts. No email required. Print, then write your answers directly on the page.


Bringing happy memories and uplifting thoughts back to the forefront of your mind can help you feel better and approach the day with a more positive attitude.


Next: You might enjoy reading 5 Things to do Tonight to Have a Better Day Tomorrow.