Journal writing is a great tool for people of all ages. And for teens, it can be the perfect way to explore yourself and the world around you as everything you know changes.

So, to help you get past those blank page, no-thoughts, aaargh moments, we’ve collected 99 inspiring journal prompts that are perfect for teens. Believe me, these prompts will have your pen in your hand and thoughts flowing immediately!

There’s a lot of choice below – so why not bookmark this page for all your future journaling sessions, and use these links to skip to a section that interests you today:

And if you’re looking for prompts that are ideal for journal-keepers of all ages, don’t forget to check out our companion collection of 101 thought-provoking journal prompts!

Why journal? The benefits of journaling for teens

Before we dig in, let’s have a quick look at the benefits of journaling – for all of you who are still a little unsure why you shouldn’t give up when the ideas don’t flow …

Here are some of the key benefits of keeping a journal:

  • There’s no judgement – a journal is a safe haven. Let it all out without worrying about feedback
  • It’s a great way to store your favourite moments and memories – big and small!
  • Writing in a journal can be the perfect outlet for difficult-to-process thoughts and feelings
  • It’s highly therapeutic and cathartic
    • Had a stressful or confusing day? Writing about it will help you make sense of things and gain new perspectives on events and reactions
  • Your secrets will be kept for as long as you need (phew!)
  • You’ll increase your self-awareness and sense of who you are and want to become
  • Writing for pleasure is a great life-long habit to develop
  • You’ll learn to slow down, observe your world, and reflect on what’s important to you
  • Journaling is a great first step towards developing a growth mindset
  • The creativity and self-awareness inspired by keeping a journal are important tools to have as a teen, when life is full of change and pressure

How journal prompts can help you out

As Jewish diarist Anne Frank once wrote:

“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.”

The Diary of Anne Frank

But what to do when you don’t have the words right now to express what lies buried deep inside you? What if you doubt what you’re thinking is worth writing about? Or there’s just nothing pressing on your mind?

Well, that’s where journal prompts come in!

Journal prompts are ideal for teens because they:

  • Encourage you to develop – and keep up with – a journal writing habit
  • Help you to explore thoughts you didn’t even know you had
  • Inspire you to write about a weird and wonderful array of topics – from serious social justice debates to the wacky “what if” questions!
  • Are designed to elicit reflection, memories, opinions, feelings – all of which help you explore yourself
  • Don’t involve research, or complex arguments! You can just write whatever comes to mind, it doesn’t need to be polished

So keep reading for 99 journal prompts for teens! They’re thought-provoking, serious, creative and fun.

Some are about you and your life: high-school, social media, the future, friendships, and family. Others focus on the wider world, society or hypothetical situations. There’s something for everyone – promise!

And in case these prompts aren’t enough to get your creative juices going, we’ve added some further questions and ideas for each prompt so there’s plenty to think about.

Prompts to inspire mindfulness

Mindfulness is a hot topic these days, and with good reason.

Learning to be present in the moment and focused on what you need to do is a key study tool with a huge range of benefits for your academic performance! Plus it’s great for your mental health 😊

So why not kick start your mindfulness journey with some great prompts for reflection and grounding yourself?

cross-legged teen with a journal answering the prompt "how do you feel right now, in this moment?"

1.      How do you feel right now, in this moment?

Take a pause. Notice the sensations you’re feeling – your breath, throughout your body, the range of your emotions, any lingering worries. Note them down.

2.      What do you do to take a peaceful moment for yourself every day?

What do you do in this time? How do you clear your mind of negativity? Is it important to you to take that peaceful moment, and why (not)? Write about this routine.

3.      Where do you feel most at peace?

Describe the place that most makes you feel calm – somewhere where you go when you feel restless. Why do you love this place?

4.      Who are you grateful for?

When you think of the people in your life who love you, what do you feel grateful for? Time spent together, things you have shared …? Enjoy the emotions this prompt, well – prompts!

5.      What do you procrastinate about, and why?

If there are tasks in your life and studies that you frequently put off, can you identify them? What can you do to focus on these tasks in the moment?

There’s no shame in being a teen (or adult) who procrastinates: but let this journal prompt help you grow and move forward with more focus!

6.      Describe your morning routine

What tasks do you complete? How does your routine make you feel as you start your day? Energized, focused, calm, rushed?

7.      Write about a person who’s changed your mind

Most people know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Write about a time when you’ve encountered this sentiment in your life.

Perhaps there was a person who you inadvertently judged before understanding their past and present. Do you still know them?

8.      What was your most restful moment this week?

Remember one moment during the last week that you felt truly rested and peaceful. Write about it!

Reflecting on everyday life as a teen

As a teen your life is probably busy, full of complexity and elements you might not even consider regularly.

So take a moment and write a page in your journal about the favourite and forgotten moments of your daily life as a teen, using one of these prompts. Plus, they’ll make for fascinating reading when you’re older!

person writing in a diary with the prompt "what effect has social media had on your life?"

9.      What are your favourite things to do with your friends?

Do you go out, or stay at home? Whose house do you hang out at? Have you got a favourite study spot or café? What’s life like when you’re together?

10.  Do you have a best friend? Write about them!

What makes them special to you? How did you become best friends? What does their friendship mean to you?

If you don’t have a best friend, write about what qualities you look for in a friend.

11.  How have video games influenced you as a person?

Do you enjoy playing video games? If so, write about what lessons you’ve learnt from your favourite games that you feel are relevant to real life. Have they shaped who you are, or who you want to be?

12.  What effect has social media had on your life?

Write about how you interact with social media every day, the friends you’ve made, the experiences you’ve had. How does it make you feel? Do you crave the attention it brings? Has it influenced the people around you?

13.  Do you act differently online than you do in person?

Write about the different experiences and relationships you’ve had. Which persona feels more like the real you, and why?

14.  Describe your favourite food

Who cooks it best? What memories does it evoke? How often do you get to enjoy it (nom)?

15.  Write about your favourite place

Describe how you feel about your favourite place. What emotions does it evoke? Who do you go there with? Or is it somewhere you prefer to be alone? Do you visit it often?

16.  Describe the perfect way to spend the weekend

Who do you spend it with, and what do you do? Do you stay at home, chill with friends, go adventuring, or …?

17.  Do you think that the town you’ve grown up in has influenced the person you are?

In what ways? Are you proud of your hometown and the influence it’s had on your life?

18.  What is the greatest responsibility your parents have given you?

Consider the full range of responsibilities your parents have asked you to take on, from chores to babysitting. Do you enjoy it? Has it changed you, as a growing teen?

19.  When you look in the mirror in the morning before school, what do you see?

What’s the first thing you think about yourself? Do you immediately criticise your appearance, and why? Are there things that you love about yourself first thing in the morning?

Or are your thoughts already wrapped up with school …

20.  Write about something you believe in strongly

Where does your belief come from? What or who influenced it? What does it mean to you to stand up for what you believe in?

21.  What changes have been going on in your life recently?

How do they make you feel? Are you coping with them? Whether you consider the changes to be positive or negative, write about what parts of your life and thoughts these changes have affected.

Building your memory and considering the past

With a good handful of years behind you already, you hopefully have lots of great childhood memories you want to remember throughout your life.

But our memories aren’t infallible, we’re always forgetting the little moments that gave us so much joy.

So why not use these great memory journal prompts for teens: they work two-fold! They’ll help to build up your memory strength for all the studying required of a teen and create a record of some favourite moments for looking back on!

teen girl lying on the carpet thinking about the prompt "write about the last time you couldn't stop laughing"

22.  What did you learn today?

If you had school today, write a quick summary of everything you learnt – the key concepts, topics, formulae and principles. (This great technique is called memory journaling, it’s great retrieval practice for later revision!)

What you learnt today doesn’t just have to be academic: did you learn a cool new fact, or get a new peek into the pasts of your friends or family?

23.  Recall a happy memory from this week

What happened that made you feel so happy? Who were you kind to? Who was kind to you?

24.  Write about one moment this week that you felt truly content

Why did you feel so satisfied and contented? Was it a peaceful moment, or energetic? Who was with you?

25.  Discuss the biggest challenge you faced this week

Looking back, what did you do during this challenge that you are proud of? Do you have any regrets? If so, why – and what would you approach differently when you face your next challenge?

26.  Write about the last time you couldn’t stop laughing

What caused your giggles? Does remembering it make you want to laugh again? Who was with you – did they laugh too?

27.  What surprises are there in the story of your life?

Imagine you’re looking at a mosaic created from all the moments of your past. Some pieces are large, others are tiny fragments. What story do they tell? Are there any pieces that surprise you in importance?

28.  What is the best thing you’ve ever done for someone?

How did it make you feel? How did it make them feel? Are you still proud of your actions, and would you do it again?

29.  Write about one of the hardest moments in your life

What would be different now if you had made a different choice? What paths do you imagine your parallel selves taking?

(This is a tricky one, but sometimes confronting the hard questions and experiences can help you work through deeply buried feelings – and a private journal is the perfect place for some catharsis!)

30.  Write about a time you did something that you were afraid to try

What happened? Who coaxed you into it? How did it make you feel? What emotions do you feel when remembering this event?

31.  What is your favourite childhood memory?

Why is it your favourite? Are there lots of family stories about this event?

Here’s some fab alternatives too: What is your funniest childhood memory? What is your earliest memory?

32.  Describe your best summer vacation memory

What made that summer vacation so special to you – the people, the place, the experiences? Could you recreate it?

33.  What was your favourite toy as a child?

Do you have any special memories together? What’s their name, and do you remember why you picked it?

34.  Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?

If so, write about them! Who were they, and what were they like? What adventures did you go on together?

Prompts to encourage self-development

Journaling isn’t all about reflecting on the past and present! It can be a great way to explore your hopes and dreams for the future too. As a teen, I’m sure you’ve got plenty – the world is only just opening out for you.

So make the most of these journal prompts to explore all the places you could go with your life as you journey through your teens and beyond!

person writing in journal in answer to the prompt "what are you most looking forward to about getting older?"

35.  What habits would you like to change or develop over the next year?

Think carefully about what steps you would need to take to make this a reality, and write down a plan – keep it realistic!

36.  Write about a big choice you will have to make in the near future

What paths could you take? Imagine what your life could be like in 10 years if you took each of the paths: how different could they be?

Imagine it’s graduation day, and you’re giving the valedictorian speech. What words of wisdom do you have for your peers, and for your younger self? What’s the first thing you’re going to do after the ceremony, and who will you celebrate with?

37.  Make a list of everything you’d love to do in your life – a bucket list of aspirations big and small!

What will you tackle first, and what steps do you need to take to make it happen? Pick some fun items and get started …

Are there items on your list that are far off? Make them into long-term goals, and plan to make them a reality!

38.  What is one thing you want to learn more about, or build your awareness of?

Pick a social issue, interesting niche of knowledge, or real-life application of your studies – and write about why it interests you! How will you go about researching it?

39.  What do you want to be remembered for?

There are so many ways to make a mark on the world, so write about the legacy you want to leave behind! Skills, achievements, good deeds, family

40.  Discuss what kind of job you’d be best suited for (today)

Imagine that you want to apply for summer job tomorrow, to help towards your college tuition. What talents do you have? Are there skills you’d like to learn? Based on those talents and skills, what job would you be best suited for?

41.  Write about what drives you forwards

What motivates you the most? How do you usually use this motivation to push you towards your goals?

If you’re lacking in motivation, why not explore different ways to boost yours and then write about what you’ve discovered? There’s plenty out there!

42.  What are you most looking forward to about getting older?

Is there anything you’ll miss about being a kid? Use this journal prompt to explore all the pros and cons of being a teenager!

43.  If you could make a living doing anything at all, what would you become?

What’s the most outrageous answer you can think of? What niche interests do you have that you wish could be a career (even if it’s not possible in today’s world)?

44.  Write a letter to your future self

Describe what your daily life is like now, how you feel, what your worries are, what your hopes and dreams are. Spare no details – make it a true snapshot of teen you.

Keep it somewhere safe to open in 5 or 10 years time!

45.  Write a list of questions for your older self

What do you want to know about the future, and future you? Who are your closest friends in the future, and what do you most enjoy doing with your time? Ask about all the things you’re truly curious to know!

Keep them somewhere safe, and open and answer them in 5 years time – a perfect journaling activity for future you!

Prompts to help you tackle your mental health

Journaling is a fabulous mental health tool – it’s great for processing volatile thoughts and emotions about a situation until you feel calmer and can think more clearly about what to do next. Plus, there’s absolutely no judgement from anyone else (and hopefully none from yourself either!).

So make the most of these journal prompts to work through your teen angst, overwhelming worries, anxieties and fears. Trust me, it will help.

teen girl with large yellow journal writing about "what worries are you holding onto right now?"

46.  What worries are you holding onto right now?

Do you carry yesterday’s worries into today? Write about them – leave nothing out. Consider what it would be like to let go of those worries.

47.  Are there any hypothetical situations that are scaring you right now?

Do you ever worry about hypothetical worst outcomes? Write about one of these scenarios to make it less frightening. Make a list of things you could do if these hypotheticals ever came true!

48.  Write about a negative memory you can’t get out of your head

Do you struggle to let go of embarrassing, awkward of negative memories? Release them from that endless loop by writing about how that situation has changed you.

Did anything good come from it? Did you learn something new about yourself? Look for the silver linings and take away the memories’ power.

49.  What is the first symptom you notice when you feel anxious, stressed or sad?

Can you always identify when it’s happening? What can you do to help relieve these feelings?

50.  What is something you feel nervous about right now?

Write down three things you can do to take your mind off it. Any three practical things will do – journaling about it can even be an answer!

51.  What topics are you afraid to talk about?

Can you identify why? Is there anyone different you could talk to? If not, write to your journal (the classic “Dear Diary” approach!).

52.  Write a list of things that make you feel uncomfortable and unhappy

Which of them are in your control, and which are outside of your control? What changes can you make to minimise this list?

Conversely: write down a list of things that make you happy right now – how many of them are in your control?

53.  If you could create a painting of your mood right now, what colours would you use and why?

What memories do different colours evoke? How many do you need? Would your painting be abstract or realistic?

Journal prompts for exploring who you are as a teen

Being a teenager is a tumultuous time of discovering and rediscovering who you are.

So these journal prompts might be just what you need for a little self-exploration and reflection on teen life!

teen girl sitting on a sofa with a journal, and the prompt "write down all the things that inspire you in the world"

54.  How have you changed since last year?

What do you feel when you look back at past you? Has this past year come with lots of physical changes? Have your priorities changed?

55.  How do you think others would describe you?

Think about the different people in your life – your parents, friends, teachers, strangers. What qualities would they say you have – and are you pleased about their choices?

If you’re not sure – why not go ask a few friends! This prompt can be a great starting point for working out what qualities you identify in yourself.

56.  What brings joy to your life?

Who, and what, make you laugh? Do you enjoy yourself often?

57.  What face do you show to the world?

What facets of yourself do you keep hidden from sight? Why? Do you feel like the real you is being hidden, and is there anything you can do about it?

58.  What makes you unique?

Have you got any unusual attributes or interests? Are there any special skills you have?

59.  What are the best elements of your personality?

Write about them, and why you consider them the best. What other features would you like to develop – and how can you get started?

60.  Who are the people you admire the most?

What characteristics of theirs do you admire them for? Are they famous, or someone you know? Does that affect how you judge their character? Why do they stand out for you?

61.  Who do you trust the most in your life?

Why is that the case? Who do you think trusts you the most? Are there any secrets they know about you?

62.  What makes you feel proud of yourself?

Write about any accomplishments that you feel proud about – little or large. Think about academic achievements, good deeds, social endeavours … What is your greatest achievement so far? How do you feel about it?

63.  What activities do you love the most?

How can (or do) you incorporate these activities into your daily life? Why do you enjoy them?

64.  Write about the unrealistic expectations you feel are weighing you down

Where do they come from – your society, peers, parents? Do you try to live up to them, and why? Are there times when you choose to forge your own path?

65.  How do you define perfection?

Do you strive for it, and why (not)? How does seeking perfection impact your happiness, mental health and life?

66.  Write down all the things that inspire you in the world

Don’t forget the little things. Think about your own environment and circle, and then wider across the whole world.

67.  How do you feel when you get a compliment?

What emotions do you feel? Do you accept the compliments? How do you feel when you get some criticism?

68.  Do you prefer to be in the spotlight, or behind the scenes?

Why do you feel that way? What experiences have shaped this answer? Are there times when you make an exception?

69.  Have you ever had a really difficult conversation with someone? Write about it!

What was it about? How did you handle it? If you had to have this conversation again, would you handle it differently?

70.  What is one thing that your parents do now that you never want to do if you have children?

Why? What experiences have shaped this answer? Are they negative or positive things?

71.  Choose five objects that best represent who you are and describe them

What are they? Why did you choose these items? Are they things you enjoy to do, or wear?

72.  Have you ever given something important away?

Why did you give it, and who to? How did it make you feel? Would you do it again?

Prompts for teens who want to have an impact on their world

In these turbulent times we live in, there’s a lot to consider about how we as individuals and communities live our lives.

Use these journal prompts to consider issues you’d like to help out with – big and small! Think social enterprises, environmental causes, political stands …

Whether now, as a teen, or in later life – there’s a lot to think about and these journal prompts can help get you started 😊

teen boy sitting at a desk with a green pen answering the prompt "which rules in your life do you struggle to understand?"

73.  What could you do to positively impact the life of just one other person?

Whose life would you choose to benefit? Why them? What action could you take to improve their life?

74.  What is one small change you could make today?

Write about one small thing you could do in your daily life that would have a lasting impact on the world around you? Could you make it into a habit?

No idea is too wild – from planting flowers to yarn bombing to picking up your litter!

75.  How have prejudices affected you personally and shaped the community you live in?

Write about the injustice you witness in your life. Is it directed towards you, or others around you? How would fighting these prejudices affect your life?

76.  Which rules in your life do you struggle to understand?

Pick a rule you would love to change and write about why you don’t want to follow it.

What would your daily life be like if you fought to make a change happen to this rule: at home, in school, or in your wider society? Imagine how things could be different if you could change this rule – in reality as well the ideal you hope for?

77.  Make a list of everything you’d love to disagree and rebel about

Write about everything – big issues and small! Why did you pick these issues? Are there any you have the courage and means to confront (with friends)?

78.  What frightens you in the world today?

What could you do to change that, in reality? Then, imagine what you would do to change that if you had all resources necessary to invent (and finance) a solution.

79.  Write about an area in your hometown that needs improvement

What would you do to transform it? What could you do? Can you identify what resources would be needed it make it happen? Describe what this area would be like afterwards, and how it would make you feel to achieve it.

80.  If you could change three things about the world, what would you change and why?

Write about the three things you choose – how would they affect the world? Are they realistic? Would things truly change for the better?

81.  What is one thing you could do this year to give back to your community?

Pick something, big or small, and write about it. Could you make it happen? What would it take? Would your school or friends help you achieve this goal?

82.  Do you think your society values personal privacy enough?

What impact has that had on your life? Do you wish you had more privacy? How does peer pressure affect the way you handle your public data and image?

83.  If you could be an expert on anything in the world, what subject would you choose?

Describe yourself in 10 years time, having gained all the knowledge to be at the top of your field. How would you use your expertise to shape the world?

Prompts for getting fun and creative!

This is often my favourite type of journaling prompt – the chance to let your imagination run wild and answer all the silly hypotheticals!

So if the serious questions above are a bit much today, why not pick one of these fun journal prompts and see what you can learn about yourself as a teen – perhaps you’d answer differently next year!

teen boy laying in bed answering the journal prompt "imagine your life as a movie - now pitch it!"

84.  Describe what it would be like to move around inside your favourite piece of art

How did you end up inside it? What would life be like as a 2D creation? What would the world look like?

85.  Imagine you wake up tomorrow 5 inches taller …

How would that change your perspective of yourself? What would it mean for your life? What worries would disappear, and what worries would persist?

86.  Someone gives you $5,000 with the condition that you can only spend it on others – what do you do?

What would you use it for, and why? Would you spend it all on one person, or spread the benefits among many? Would you focus on people you know, or strangers?

87.  Imagine your life as a movie – now pitch it!

What would the title be? What narrative would you pitch to sell this movie to Hollywood? Write that pitch! Who would you cast in the lead roles?

88.  If every person on Earth looked exactly the same, how would beauty be defined?

Would it still be an important social construct? Would beauty even be a word we use? What would be the most important characteristic of beauty in this world?

89.  Imagine you could slip into your favourite comic or graphic novel and become a character

What role would you choose to take – hero, sidekick, villain, bystander? How would you choose to influence and alter the story?

90.  If you could live in the fictional world of any book or series, which one would you pick?

Why? Is there a character whose role you’d like to take on or would you be yourself? Would you try to change the story?

91.  Which fictional character do you relate to the most?

What about them do you admire? Describe the similarities between you and how they influence who you are.

92.  Write about taking a trip to the past and visiting your ancestors

If you could spend the day with one of your distant ancestors, experiencing their daily life, what would you ask them? What would their life be like?

93.  You have to relive an entire year of your life: and you can choose which one. Write about it!

Which year would you pick, and why? Would you do anything differently, or is there an occasion you want to experience again?

94.  Imagine that you’re stuck in an elevator with three strangers

Would you talk to them? What would you talk about? Who would you like to be trapped with (in an ideal world)?

95.  Describe the perfect hangout space: imagine that …

… someone has just given you an old RV to convert into a personal, private hangout space for you and your friends. Describe how you would convert it into the perfect space for you? What resources would you need? Where would you drive it to?

96.  Write about your dream house

What would it be like? Who would you want to live there with you? How old are you in this scenario?

97.  If you could be any animal for a day, which one would you like to be, and why?

What freedoms and traits does that animal have? Why do you identify with them?

98.  What three items would you take to a desert island?

Why did you pick them? What purpose do they serve for you? Are they practical, entertaining, sentimental, or … ?  

99.  You’ve invented a new technology – describe it

What does it do? Is it a technology that does one specific task that you need? Or does it have a wider application? What kind of world would it be useful in?

Journaling resources for teens

Well that’s it for our 99 journal prompts for teens! Hopefully you’ve found something to inspire you to get writing (and never stop!) 😊

If you’re looking for more, check out our companion collection: 101 thought-provoking journal prompts for writers of all ages looking for some self-discovery ideas!

Remember: all you really need to get started is a (nice) notebook and a pen! Simple and affordable. An app will do the trick just as well if you prefer to type …

But if you’d love a more structured approach to journaling, there are plenty of resources that come already packed full with prompts designed especially for teens.

Thanks for reading, and happy journaling!

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