According to numerous studies, keeping a journal is a highly effective method for improving mental health. Recording your actions, thoughts, and feelings about those actions will help you process them. In addition, through journaling, you’ll work through problems and track your progress over time which is very motivating.

But if you’re not used to journaling, it can be hard to make it a regular habit. So, to increase your chances of success with journaling, choose the right time of day to journal.

Consider the following when picking the best journaling time for you:

  • When do you have the most energy? — Journaling first thing might be a good option if you’re a morning person. Then, you can use that fresh energy to get your thoughts down on paper. On the other hand, journaling before bed might work better if you’re more of a night owl. Writing things down will clear your head and relax you to sleep better.
  • When do you have the most time? — Life is busy, and it can be hard to find time to journal. So, if you can, choose a time when you know you won’t be interrupted. For some people, that means getting up a little earlier or staying up a little later. Others find they have more time on their lunch break or commute.
  • What’s your mood like at various times of the day? — Your mood can also impact when the best time to journal is. For example, if you tend to get stressed out or worried in the evening, journaling before bed might not be the best idea. Conversely, if you find that you’re more reflective and introspective in the morning, that might be the ideal time to write.
  • What’s your goal for journaling? — What you want to get out of journaling can also guide you when you do it. For example, the evening might be the best time if you’re using journaling to wind down before bed. But morning might be better if you’re hoping to use journaling to jump-start your day or get some creative ideas flowing.

There’s no perfect time to journal. The important thing is to find a time that works for you and that you can stick to. Experiment several times to see what feels best for your needs. And if you miss a day here and there, don’t worry. But if you miss too many days, it’s possible you need to pick a better time. The point is to journal and use it to help you feel your best.

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