Does a Mental Health Bullet Journal Really Help?
I am not a psychiatrist or a therapist. The views expressed here are my own as a person living with mental illness and having endured mental, physical, and sexual abuse. I am confident in stating my opinions as I have real-life experiences to fall back on. I always encourage you to seek medical attention.
I am looking for a new journal, so I thought I would use this time to research bullet journals vs. traditional journals with the hope that I can help you find out if a mental health bullet journal would be beneficial to you.
What is a Bullet Journal
I am not knowledgeable about a bullet journal, so I jumped on Google and asked there. I found a few images and articles describing what the journals are. They are a notebook of blank or grid layout pages. You can journal about absolutely anything that you can think up. You might want to track a weight loss journey, a to-do list, or a mental health journal. Once you set your purpose, write out sections you can mark off as you complete them.
Ideas on how to set up a mental health journal
I would sit down and brainstorm what I wanted to keep track of. For myself, I might choose
- Daily mood tracker
- Physical symptoms checker
- Medication, Did I take it?
- Basic self-care
You create sections for each topic and an area to mark it off, such as a box you can check or color in.
Bullet Journal VS Traditional Journal
I am already skeptical if this would work for me. Let me explain: as a person with Bipolar disorder, I do not think I can check off a box to describe my emotions for an entire day. My feelings change all day long. I may wake up in a good mood, and I will be crying uncontrollably by noon. How would I say that was a good or bad day unless I wrote it out?
A traditional journal, to me, is just a book with blank pages or lined pages. You can write in a letter style to yourself, or you can make lists in it.
A bullet journal is a blank or grid layout page in which you can list items or draw. It would be good for creative drawing, and many people use drawing as a form of expression. Drawing on a blank or grid layout would be better than drawing on a lined sheet.
I do like to check things off a to-do list, but these can easily be created in a plain notebook or journal. I don’t want to give up on this idea just yet. Let’s look at it further.
Bullet Journals on Amazon
I did not have much luck on Amazon when I searched for Mental Health Bullet Journal. Only one book came up that looked like a bullet journal, and it was not very detailed. It listed a column at the top for each month in the year and then numbered down the side 1 – 31 for the days. It looks like you are supposed to mark if it was a good or bad day with a colored pencil.
Articles on Google
I found an article on Google where someone said that the bullet journal saved their life. They were incredibly depressed and used it as a habit tracker/mood journal. They wrote a few lines on each page as in a traditional journal but also had checkboxes and short phrases to journal the day.
I found another article that shows all types of bullet journal ideas. Some of them look interesting to me. You can see that site here. It offers different thoughts on journaling, not only check marks or boxes.
If you look at my article on DIY Daily Christian Prayer Journal For Women, you will see that it is set up like a bullet journal, or you could look at it as that. I think some forms of bullet journals would work for different reasons.
I honestly think that this is a matter of opinion. No one is right or wrong! It really comes down to what you are most comfortable doing. I can see some ways it would be helpful for “at a glance.” data, and I also think writing out a few sentences about what is happening around and in you is beneficial.
You should ask yourself how you like to express yourself. If you want to draw, I would suggest a bullet journal. If you like telling a story, I would recommend a traditional journal. I usually hate when people don’t pick a side and stick to it, but I honestly see how it could help others. I am more into being detailed and telling a story, so I want to write in a letter style. I decided to stick with my regular journal.