• Writing down our feelings and worries can have great mental health benefits

  • Particularly in our teenage years, self-expression can be of utmost importance. Here author Jenna Lee shares her expressive writing tips for young people.

  • Many of our therapists are trained to work with adolescents – start your search here 

Writing is such a beautiful tool that we can use to not only write down what we need to do but to express ourselves. Sometimes it can be hard to use your voice to say how you are feeling, I know I struggled with this when I was a teenager and through to my adult years. Especially at this time of lockdown in the UK, you might find you need a way to express how you are feeling, perhaps more so than ever now your usual social networks are limited. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t voice how I was feeling so I turned to journal writing and this helped me get through some of the hardest times. Here are some ways it helped save my life.


Your journal is your safe place, somewhere that you can let out your deepest and darkest thoughts, no one will see it but you. It’s a powerful feeling when you write out all the thoughts that are crowding your mind, it not only releases them on to the paper but from your mind too. You can write out what’s annoying you, how you aren’t coping or something great that happened.


When we release our thoughts a sense of relief fills us. We can let go of the thoughts and move forward without feeling weighed down.

Getting clarity

Journal writing is great for getting clarity on things that you might not have known the answer to. For example, you are stuck worrying about what you should do about a certain situation. Writing out your choices along with the pros/cons you can get clear on how to resolve it.


Throughout our life we make lots of mistakes, it’s how we learn and grow. Writing out situations that you have been in can help with forgiving yourself or others. It helps by releasing the story, getting clear on what happen and how you can forgive.


Who doesn’t love a good to-do list? If you’re anything like me, you thrive on writing down your to-do lists and goals. It holds you liable and there is no better feeling than crossing them off. You can also write down your goals for the day, week, month or year.


It’s a beautiful feeling when you’re writing out what you want, what you love about yourself and what you need. You can get clear about who you are down to your very core. You discover things about yourself that you might not have known before.


The connection you feel to yourself when you write is like nothing else you’ll experience. For me, through journal writing, I learnt to love myself as I am. I accepted who I was and loved everything single thing.

See how truly life-changing journal writing can be. Want to try it for yourself?

I’ve taken a daily prompted journal from my upcoming book ‘My Daring Journal’ Write out these questions and answer them honestly and freely.

I feel

My word for today is

What was the best thing about yesterday? And can I do more of it today?

In what areas could I learn more about myself? E.g. Emotionally, physically, mentally

What am I struggling with right now?

It’s time to let it all out—what’s on my mind? What am I worried about? How am I feeling?

Let it out.

Then let it go.

I wish you all the best with your journal writing and would love to know how it has helped to shape you into who you are today. Remember there is no right or wrong way to journal, it’s yours and only you have the pen to write.

Jenna Lee is a youth mentor and the author of Daring Journey, a guide for teenagers:


Further reading

The questing adolescent: how heroic narratives help teenagers

Trying too hard: perfectionism in teenagers

Telling your story: the benefits of therapy for young people

Expressive writing for mental wellbeing

MeeTwo: a safe app to help teens