Benefits of Journaling for Seniors

someone writing in a journal

Since the 1970’s, researchers have been studying the effects of journaling, finding that it is vastly beneficial for senior adults. Here are the 6 main reasons to keep a daily journal.

Why You Should Journal

1. Record Your Life Experiences + Preserves Memories
Revisiting entries is a great way to keep information for memoirs or family histories. While your journal can stay private, you can use information from it to pass along about your life to future generations.

2. Keep Your Mind Active + Maintain Brain Function
Several studies between the 1990s and 2000s showed that journaling helps older adults keep their mind active and their communication skills sharp. It may also aid in slowing down memory loss as well as compensate for memory loss by allowing you to document and revisit past decisions and actions.

3. Manage Stress
Journaling can help manage stress by prioritizing fears and tracking anxieties. Writing down your thoughts can help clear your head. Positive journaling – where you focus on gratitude and positive self-task – is a great guide through times of anxiety and grief.

4. Assist with Rehabilitation
People who are undergoing medical treatment or recovering from an illness can use a journal to help them share their feelings and experiences with nurses or caregivers, which can help with rehabilitation and therapy. Expressing yourself in a journal can also help you focus on areas you need to work on in your recovery or what’s going well.

5. Fight Depression
Regular practice has been shown to help with symptoms of depression as well as help older adults come to terms with aging and lifestyle changes, in turn helping people enjoy the present.

6. Better Sleep
In 2018, a study by Baylor University and Emory University, found that journaling before bed decreases distractions, overthinking and worry, which allowed participants to fall asleep faster.

Keeping a journal benefits seniors by allowing them to further identify and refine their interests and talents. We encourage continued growth through life enrichment, and keeping a daily journal can help you expand your horizons as well as organize thoughts and relax the mind.


Day-to-day thoughts and activities

  • Write about current local and national news events and your opinions about them.
  • Note when you felt happiest throughout the day.
  • Reflect meaningfully on a personal issue that’s important to you.
  • Keep track of any fun or unusual things you do every day.

Movies and music

  • Write down the names of movies you watch, provide a brief synopsis of what happened in the movie, and talk about how you felt about each one.
  • Jot down the lyrics to your new favorite songs or the classics that you love.

Memories and Wisdom

  • Think about what made you happy years ago and what makes you happy now. If you notice differences, write about how and why things have changed.
  • Create your own motivational quotes – a “wise words from me” type of list.
  • Write down actual memories you have from your childhood or young adulthood in order to keep them fresh in your mind.

Just for fun

  • List the things that make you laugh.
  • Write down recurring dreams.
  • List the things you would love to do sometime in your life, and follow up in your journal when you do them.
  • Pick something and make note of it every day, such as the names of flowers you may have come across and where you found them.

Food or fitness journal

  • Make note of what you’ve eaten, also helps be mindful about what you eat.
  • Keep track of your workouts, help stay committed to an active lifestyle.

Gratitude journal

  • Before going to sleep, make a list of everything you were thankful for that day, week or month.

Remember that journaling doesn’t have to be paper based. Technology like blogs, Word and other word processing applications as well as specialized apps help you keep up the habit of writing daily and let you incorporate photos and other graphics into your journal. If you’re interested in going high tech, check out some of the most popular journaling applications like: