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10 Insanely Useful Free Resources to Master the Transformative Power of Journaling

There is a TON of information online on ‘How To Journal’ and there are many paid-courses on the subject as well.  The sources that made it on this list are the very best resources when it comes to mastering the power of journaling.  All are free and only require your time, and energy to get started.  

Since I began consistently journaling every day, my life has truly become more joyful, focused and powerful.  I am experiencing a deeper level of kindness and forgiveness towards myself and others.  

There are a wide variety of approaches to effective journaling.  In this article, I’ll be sharing world-class teachers whom I trust.  I have categorized them by clear subtitles so you can quickly find the approaches that resonate with you.      

Know with certainty that once you put journaling into practice every single day, you will transform your life.  Let’s get to it! 

Journaling as a Powerfully Transformative Habit

  1. Dr. Benjamin Hardy

Ben is near and dear to my heart, thus he is #1 on my list.  My daily AM/PM habit of journaling is thanks his genuine expression of how vital journaling is to life transformation.     

What Ben shares is valuable because he is sharing wholeheartedly from direct experience.   His level of emotional and mental maturity far exceeds his age.   In addition, he is also the author of several amazing books that focus on life transformation.  

Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life

  1. Robin Sharma

Robin is a world-class leadership expert and is an internationally acclaimed bestselling author with over 20 million books sold. 

From early 2000, Robin has been promoting life transformation through his books and online courses. He is the first person I heard speak about the transformative power of journaling.  

He shares his passion with great clarity on 7 Reasons Journaling is life-changing.  

7 Key Reasons to Journal

Journaling, a Lesson from Stoic Philosophy

  1. Ryan Holiday

A modern-day Stoic and brilliant writer, Ryan has been promoting the power of journaling since 2014.  The practice of stoic journaling is the philosophy of Stoicism.  Via the journal, you prepare for the day ahead, reflect on what was accomplished and what was missed at the end of each day, and decide the steps you will take tomorrow to become greater.  

Ryan shares how Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Seneca approached Journaling here. 

The Stoic Art of Journaling 

He gives a great comprehensive overview with a variety of journaling strategies here.

The Art of Journaling: How to Start Journaling, Benefits of Journaling and More 

Journaling One Sentence Every Day

  1. James Clear

James is most famous for his mega-selling book Atomic Habits which has sold over 10 million copies.   

He shares about the benefits of journaling but focuses on how to make journaling easy and sustainable as a habit.  He promotes ‘One Line Per Day’ which makes it easy for anyone to get started and show up for their journaling each day.  

The Suprising Benefits of Journaling One Sentence Every Day

Journaling to Increase Happiness 

  1. Oprah Winfrey

Known as the “Queen of All Media”, Oprah powerfully changes the world for the better.  She became a billionaire, and a philanthropist, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013 which is the highest civilian award in the USA.  

Oprah has been journaling for 54 years.  In her teens and 20s, she used journaling as a form of therapy to help her with self-image and romantic relationships.  In her 40s, she realized that although she had fame and riches, her happiness didn’t seem to improve.  She found that through journaling what she was grateful for, her happiness increased immensely. 

Here’s a peek into some of Oprah Winfry’s journals over the years. 

An Exclusive Look at Oprah’s Journals

Journaling with The 6 In 1 Method 

  1. Clark Kegley 

Clark is a YouTuber who has been promoting journaling since 2015.  He believes that if you could only choose one tool to transform your life, it would be journaling.  

Clark has a unique approach to journaling that focuses on using one journal for an entire year.  He recommends using a sketchbook with about 100 unlined pages and dividing it into six sections based on the six things you want to focus most on in that year.   

Clark’s approach to journaling is what inspired me to take up journaling in 2017.   It’s especially good for people who want to get started journaling and want to combine journaling with goal setting.  

The Ultimate Guide to Keeping a Journal (2023) 

Journaling for Brain Optimization

  1. Jim Kwik

Jim is the #1 brain coach in the world.  He has written Limitless, a New York Times Bestseller,  which is a manual for brain optimization.

He explains the value of using pen and paper to record our thoughts.  He also clarifies what journaling can do for our brain.  

7 Ways Journaling Can Benefit Your Brain

Stream of Consciousness Journaling 

  1. Julia Cameron

The person most known for stream-of-consciousness journaling is Julia Cameron.  She calls them ‘Morning Pages’ in her book, The Artist’s Way.  

Stream-of-consciousness journaling doesn’t use a prompt to get you started and it doesn’t have a particular goal.  The idea is to write 3 pages every morning and not stop until you are done.  You just keep the pen moving, even if you are writing thoughts like, “Why am I doing this…I don’t have anything coming to mind…I feel stuck…”  

This is valuable because it allows you to let whatever is there in the moment arise.  Sometimes you get beautiful insights that will delight you.  

Morning Pages 

  1. John-Roger 

Although John-Roger’s ‘Free-Form Writing’ is similar to Julia Cameron’s ‘Morning Pages’, it can be utilized more as a spiritual practice to clear negativity.   

I have found this to be a very effective means of clearing negativity in times of great distress.  I once did Free-Form Writing 2 hours per day for a week.  I have never felt as light, joyful, and free in my entire life.  If you are experiencing deep grief, fear, anxiety, or anger, I highly recommend you use this amazing tool.   

Free Form Writing 

Journaling Before Checking Your Phone 

  1. George McKeown

Greg is the author of two New York Times Bestsellers:  Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and Effortless: Make it Easier to do What Matters Most.  The mission of his work is to teach Essentialism to millions of people around the world so that they can live happier, richer, more meaningful lives.

He shares not only how to be more productive by using a journal instead of reaching for your smartphone, but also how to become a voice of your generation.  In addition, he is on the same page as James Clear in promoting the value of Journaling One Sentence Every Day; which is clearly an Essentialist habit.    

One Thing Productive People Do Before Reaching For Their Phones

Digital Journaling 

  1. Derek Sivers

Derek is a radically honest and insanely unique man who has been a professional musician, producer, circus performer, and entrepreneur.  He is best known as the founder of CD Baby, which is an online distributor of independent music.  

Derek is uniquely different from the 10 experts above in that he promotes a digital approach to journaling rather than journaling with pen and paper.   He uses journaling for posterity, thought-organization, and for transformative self-inquiry.  

Benefits of a Daily Diary and Topic Journals

Closing

You now have access to many approaches and tools to get you off and running on your new transformative habit of journaling.  

There is a lot to digest here, so please just choose one or two approaches and get started.  Once you have made those a daily habit, you can come back, take in, and implement some more.

Once you start seeing deep changes in yourself and in your outer world, I’m certain you will make it a lifelong habit. 

May the transformative power of journaling enrich you deeply on every level! 

If you’d like some help or have further questions about journaling, please leave a comment and I’ll help you.  If you are interested in a deeper dive into health optimization, radical life transformation, diet, mindset, or training, I’m offering a complimentary 60-minute zoom call.  If that’s something that you feel would be helpful to you, please book a call HERE

Yours in Transformation,

Bodhi