Journaling During Addiction Recovery

journaling in recovery

Addiction is a tough thing to fight and people have different ways of battling against it. What may work for one person as a coping mechanism, may not work for someone else. Some people will choose group therapy, music therapy, art therapy, etc. There are plenty of different kinds of therapy that people in recovery use, but one that we will discuss today is journaling.

Though journaling may sound similar to creative writing therapy or art therapy, it is quite different in nature. All these types of therapy seek to ensure one thing: long-term sobriety. With journaling, a person uses a notebook to write down their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences. Creative writing is more about letting your imagination and dreams run free, while journaling is more grounded in reality. Journaling focuses on past and present thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences.

Self-reflection is a big part of journaling, it allows you to take a deeper look at yourself and vent any out whatever is on the mind. This kind of therapy can help a person get more in tune with their emotions rather than bottling it up inside them. Many addicts will bottle up their emotions and keep their feelings to themselves. This can be detrimental to their long-term sobriety and does nothing but harm for their journey through recovery. Often times, people in addiction recovery will try and cover up any sadness, anxiety, anger, etc. with a substance. This provides them with a chemical refuge from their emotional quarrels.

Journaling focuses on taking the mask off of a person that is struggling with addiction. This helps show them that there is a problem with their addictive behavior, but there are ways to help themselves. It can help with keeping themselves accountable, making themselves more open to emotions, creating more time for self-reflection, and causing them to want to change.

In this blog article, we’ll discuss a couple of ways that journaling can help encourage a person to live a sober life.

Openness of Emotions

One of the hardest parts for someone during addiction recovery is being open about their emotions. It can be very difficult for an addict to open up about what they’re feeling on the inside. While they were abusing substances, chances are that they were already trying to suppress some negative emotions they were dealing with. With journaling, a former addict may have an easier time opening up to themselves and writing down how they feel on a day-to-day basis. Rather than opening up to a therapist or someone else they don’t know, they can discuss their feelings with themselves and do more self-reflection. Journaling can help someone in addiction recovery clear their mind and get back in touch with themselves again.

Track Progress

During addiction recovery, a person is bound to experience ups and downs. When a former addict is experiencing lower points in life, they may be more susceptible to relapse if they do not have healthy ways of coping. Journaling can help a person reflect on their day-to-day experiences, thoughts, and emotions to better cope with the negative ones. This can help someone keep track of the good and bad days. It can also help someone figure out what parts of their life may trigger a relapse so they can avoid those things. Journaling can take good and bad days and help a person in addiction recovery see them as trials for their sobriety.


With journaling, the only person that’s keeping you accountable is yourself. Through journaling, you can look back on what you have done in the past to see if it was better or worse for your addiction recovery. Journaling is all about writing down your experiences, thoughts, and emotions whether they’re positive or not. This form of therapy helps you engage your rawest self. There is no room for judgment because you are the only person apart of this therapy. Because of this, you are encouraged to keep yourself accountable. Being vulnerable is a major part of the addiction recovery process and it can help a person keep themselves accountable.

Relieves Stress

Some big issues that a lot of former addicts face are feelings like stress and anxiety. These feelings are only natural because the battle against addiction is one that goes on throughout a person’s life. Recovery can be tough and feelings of sadness, anger, stress, depression, and discomfort are all too common for those in addiction recovery. Journaling is a healthy way to vent out those negative emotions rather than taking them out on someone or seeking out substances as a way to cope. Writing out why you’re experiencing these negative emotions can be beneficial and act as a coping mechanism. This can help a person react in healthier ways and further ensure their long-term sobriety. If you start to feel negative emotions, take a look back on past experiences with negative emotions and then reflect on what you did in order to cope with them after your journal entry. This can help a person develop a better understanding of their emotions and help them learn how to deal with them in a healthier way.

Journaling is a great way to help fight back against any possibility of relapse. It’s all about being personal, open, and honest with yourself. The first step in sobriety is being honest with yourself and journaling is a great way to do that. If it’s done often enough, journaling can transform into more than just a coping mechanism. Many people who go through the addiction recovery process turn journaling into a hobby rather than just a coping mechanism for negative emotions. This form of self-reflection therapy is a great way to ensure long-term sobriety for those who are going through the addiction recovery process. By writing down your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and experiences, you are able to fight back against any sort of negative emotions and transform them into something positive.