Journaling can be a great tool to explore ideas and feelings. They can be useful when you’re stuck in a creative rut or looking for direction. Guided visual journals bring together both prompts and images to stimulate our mind and senses. They urge us to express ourselves in words, shapes, and colors. This helps us understand ourselves better by articulating ideas in more ways than one. These journals can be used as creative scrapbooks or cathartic safe spaces. Each journal is unique and each reader has their specific, gorgeous way of using it.
Here’s 7 beautiful guided visual journals for our self-exploration journeys.
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration By Meera Lee Patel
This guided visual journal is beautifully illustrated in watercolor. It has prompts that urge you to explore your creativity, dreams and sense of self. The gorgeous colors and inspiring quotes are both intriguing and soothing. It’s wonderful to pick up and flip through during creative blocks. Writing in it, drawing in it, and revisiting it all guide you along in your self-exploration journey.
How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum By Keri Smith
This is a wonderful visual journal that makes you look at the world from a fresh perspective. It makes you yearn for new places and look at old ones in new light. Most of the journal is in black and white, urging us to add color to it with our creative observations. As the title suggests, it feels like a portable life museum. This book is definitely something to carry around to look at the world in all its flawed, artsy glory.
1 Page at a Time: A Daily Creative Companion By Adam J. Kurtz
1 Page At A Time has visual prompts for every day of the year. This really helps build a consistent journaling habit for people who are looking for that. Some prompts are breezy, some make you think hard, and all bring you closer to understanding yourself. It makes journaling easier. People find using it consistently for a year extremely rewarding.
Here’s a video of Betty Gaffney using this guided visual journal!
I Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide and Journal by The Mindfulness Project
This is such a cool journal! I really like how it reinforces the idea that mindfulness doesn’t always have to come from the inside out, and it could go from the outside in too! It gives you creative solutions and prompts to build your own methods to be mindful. It focuses on making you observe your current habits and guides you to break free from ones that interfere with your peace.
The Anxiety Journal: Exercises to Soothe Stress and Eliminate Anxiety Wherever You Are : A Guided Journal By Corinne Sweet And Marcia Mihotich
Written by a psychologist, this journal has prompts based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that help soothe anxiety. It also helps you monitor and track your progress. Featuring beautiful illustrations by Marcia Mihotich coupled with Corinne Sweet’s knowledge and experience, this book serves as a guide to slow down. It has tools to help you calm down and process your emotions.
Practice You: A Journal By Elena Brower
This journal is illustrated in beautiful, soothing shades of watercolor. It helps you unlock your strength through contemplation. It focuses on healing and wellness. Written and illustrated by Elena Brower, a esteemed yoga teacher, it helps you build and maintain a consistent mindfulness practice through yoga. It’s the perfect journal for people looking to tap into their zen.
Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization By Meera Lee Patel
If that gorgeous cover isn’t enough to make you pick that book up, let this review do so. Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist and her chosen medium is watercolor. She opens up on TarcherPerigee about this medium, “When I started painting, I really liked watercolor because it moves on its own. I didn’t have any control over it. I forced me to be patient.” This guided journal reflects her own understanding of her needs and personality. It also helps you realise your strengths, weaknesses, things that hold you back and things that push you forward.