Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of your addiction recovery. In fact, many people who aren’t addicts enjoy keeping a journal. There are many benefits of journaling.

Once you get in the habit of journaling, you won’t be able to stop. Because as you’ll soon find out, there’s really no reason not to journal.

Here are just a few ways that journaling can help addiction recovery.

1. Routine

Routine is a key part of recovery.

It’s important to establish a daily routine that doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs. Routine provides a healthy form of stability in your life.

When things go wrong, it’s important to have a routine to fall back on. Routines need to be flexible. If your routine is too rigid, you won’t be able to alter it if something comes up.

Journaling is a versatile type of routine. You can carry a journal with you everywhere. You can even journal on your laptop or phone.

Don’t get caught up in journaling in the same journal. If you forget it, jot down your journal thoughts somewhere else and insert them later.

The important thing is that you have something to do every day.

2. Supports Treatment

Many forms of treatment will require journaling.

Almost all therapists recommend journaling. They even recommend it for patients who aren’t seeking addiction treatment.

Journaling is particularly important for intensive outpatient programs. If you are looking for one of those, here are some good Los Angeles IOP services.

Intensive outpatient programs are ideal for patients on a budget. They aren’t as expensive as inpatient programs. It’s also easier to adjust them.

You might not have the luxury of taking time off from work. Or you might want to stay with your family. There are many valid reasons for choosing an IOP.

An IOP does require more work outside of therapy. The first few months of sobriety are the most important. It’s important to be mindful during this time.

Journaling helps you and your therapist keep track of what’s going on outside of treatment hours. It’s also something you can turn to during a crisis when your therapist isn’t reachable.

Even if you choose an inpatient program, you’ll probably have to journal. So, it’s a good idea to keep up with the practice once you leave.

3. Creativity

Journaling doesn’t have to mean writing words.

Your journal should be as unique as you. There are many ways to journal. For example, a photographic journal could be your style.

Many artists create a drawing journal. You could even create a video diary. The possibilities are really endless.

Multiple forms of journaling are also possible. If you are interested in different art forms, consider mixing media. You’ll be surprised by what comes up.

A creative outlet is essential to recovery. Self-expression is an important element of a healthy lifestyle. People who create usually report being happier with their lives.

Turn your recovery into a piece of art by saying what’s on your mind. Many of the greatest works of art have come from recovering addicts.

You don’t need to share your art with anyone if you don’t want to. It’s there for you, not for everyone else.

4. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a lifestyle choice.

It’s based around doing things with intention. Journaling is all about intention. You decide to sit down and journal.

Couple your journaling with other mindfulness practices like meditation. Meditation is a good way of coping with addiction.

Meditation will help you discover yourself, but you’ll also learn so much more. The best thing about meditation is that you don’t need any equipment.

All you need to meditate is a quiet, safe space. Your closet can easily be turned into a nice meditation corner.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it easy to meditate even in loud areas.

5. Records

Having a record of your recovery is important.

Years from now, you’ll want to look back at how far you’ve come. Keeping a journal will give you insights into how you dealt with difficulties.

Record the good and the bad. That way, when you are struggling in the future, you can look back on how you coped.

Maybe one day you’ll even feel comfortable sharing your journal with others. It could be a helpful tool for future addicts who need help.

Of course, there’s no need to keep it if you don’t want to.


Recovery is a magical journey, but it isn’t an easy one. Journaling can make the road a bit less difficult.