Why Journaling is the Best Medicine for Addiction

Journaling is so much more than a few scribbles in a notebook or jotting down a quick recount of your day on a piece of paper.

It doesn’t have to be a “Dear Diary” scenario, and it isn’t just reserved for preteen girls. For many, journaling can be an outlet. For recovering addicts, journaling can be a way to work through your darkest days and offer a glimmer of hope.

How Journaling Helps in Recovery

As providers of holistic addiction treatment in West Palm, we encourage our patients to have a journal because of the many benefits journaling can have on a person’s mind, body, and soul. Not convinced that some words on a piece of paper could possibly be so powerful? Here are just a few benefits of keeping a journal for recovering addicts.

  1. Journaling is good for your mental health. One of the biggest benefits of journaling in recovery is that it can improve your overall mental health. Life has its way of throwing many obstacles our way and addiction recovery certainly qualifies. When you are hit with these struggles it is natural for your mental health to suffer. One study found that journaling focusing on emotions decreased mental distress, increased well-being, and decreased anxiety and depression.1
  2. Write what you cannot say. A great benefit of journaling is that it allows you to write what you cannot say in therapy or to another person. During your time in addiction rehab, you will most likely participate in both group and individual counseling. It can be difficult to open up to another person, especially when it comes to matters that you may be ashamed of. By writing down these feelings or stories, they lose some of their power over you and it may become easier to eventually talk about it.
  3. Improve your sleep. Yes, you read that right. One of the lesser-known benefits of journaling in recovery is that it may help you sleep better. If you have already started your recovery process or you know someone who has, you know that there can be many sleepless nights, especially from withdrawal after detox treatment. Luckily, journaling before bed, even if it’s just about your upcoming to-do list, can help you fall asleep significantly faster.2
  4. Better physical health. Not only is journaling good for your mental health, but one of the many benefits of journaling is that it has a positive effect on your physical health as well. Studies have found that expressive writing can lead to long-term health benefits like better lung function, improved immune system, reduced blood pressure, and improved liver function.3 Drugs can wreak havoc on your body so anything you can do to improve your physical health is helpful.
  5. Work on self-reflection and personal growth. You may have lost yourself during the worst part of your addiction, but you can find yourself again as you are journaling. By writing about your thoughts and feelings, you may be able to learn more about yourself like what causes your drug triggers, the roots of your problems, and what makes you happy moving forward.

As a luxury rehab in South Florida, we have a lot of extra amenities to make your time in our facility more comfortable, but some of it is up to you. Now that you know some of the many benefits of journaling, give it a shot. You may be surprised just how valuable it can be.

Recovery may be a long journey, but it is better to have someone by your side. Let Seaside Palm Beach be your helping hand. Call us today at 561-677-9374 to get you or your loved one started on the road to recovery.



    1. NCBI – Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial
    2. NCBI – The effects of bedtime writing on difficulty falling asleep: A polysomnographic study comparing to-do lists and completed activity lists.
    3. Cambridge Core – Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing

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