20 Journaling Prompts for Trauma Recovery

Here are 20 journaling prompts for trauma recovery and some tips for getting started. Journaling can be a powerful tool for trauma recovery. The process of putting thoughts and feelings into words can help individuals process their experiences, gain insight, and promote healing. Here are 20 journaling prompts for trauma recovery and some tips for getting started.


Focus on the Present:

While acknowledging the past is essential, create your prompts to encourage grounding in the present moment to help you manage any emotions arising in you as you journal. Long, deep breathing can help ground you in the present.


Use Self-Compassion:

Prompts should promote self-compassion, reminding individuals that it’s okay to feel what they’re feeling and that self-judgment is counterproductive.


Validate Yourself:

Validate your feelings and experiences. Your emotions are valid, no matter how complex.


Use Art and Imagery:

Not all prompts need to be text-based. Incorporate visual prompts or suggest drawing, painting, or other creative expressions to facilitate healing.


Celebrate Your Progress:

Reflection on your personal growth and progress. Celebrate every step of the way, even small victories on the path to recovery.


Integrate Professional Guidance:

While self-help journaling can be valuable, remember that professional support is available to you and crucial in trauma recovery.


Try these journaling prompts as part of your healing journey:


1) Gratitude and Healing:

Start your journal with something you’re grateful for today, no matter how small.


2) Exploring Emotions:

Reflect on the emotions you felt today without self-criticism or judgment.


3) Grounding and Safety:

List five things in your surroundings that make you feel secure and grounded. What do you see, feel, hear, and taste? What can you touch?



Write a compassionate letter to yourself, acknowledging your worth and strength.


Daily Strengths:

Identify a personal strength or positive quality you displayed today.


Healing Goals:

What steps can you take tomorrow to nurture your healing journey?


Acknowledge Your Coping Strategies:

List three healthy ways you managed stress today and brainstorm new ones.


Inner Child Needs:

Reflect on what your inner child needs and how you can meet those needs today.


Include Your Support System:

Describe the people or resources that provide you with support and comfort.


Establish Boundaries:

Explore the boundaries necessary for self-care and well-being.


Positive Affirmations:

Write down three things you love about yourself.


Healing Imagery:

Visualize a place of safety and healing in your mind. Describe it in detail.


Release the Unnecessary:

What negative thoughts or emotions can you release today to promote healing?


Write a Letter to Your Trauma:

Write a letter addressing your trauma, expressing your feelings, and reclaiming power. You are not your trauma. You experienced your trauma, but it does not define you, and it is not who you are.



Reflect on the idea of forgiveness, both for others and yourself.


Track Your Progress:

Celebrate your small victories and personal growth, no matter how subtle, as a tool to keep track of your progress in healing.


Include Sensory Journaling:

Describe an experience through your five senses to stay present. What do you see, feel, taste, and hear? What can you touch?


Develop Supportive Mantras:

Develop a mantra for moments when you need reassurance and strength.


Notice Your Mindful Moments:

Record instances of mindfulness or presence throughout your day.


Connect with Your Future Self:

Write a letter to your future self, envisioning the healed and empowered version of you.


These 20 journaling prompts for trauma recovery offer a nurturing path to healing, fostering self-awareness, resilience, and healing.


For a deeper dive into the power and application of journaling for trauma recovery, join Elizabeth Kipp for her class, “How Journaling Helps Us Heal in Trauma Recovery,” in her evergreen donation-based course “Heal. Here. Now. Mindfulness and Trauma Recovery.” Register HERE. Replays are available for the entire course for all registrants.


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