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Writing is therapeutic. You don’t have to be a good writer to keep a journal or to jot down your thoughts and feelings — even if they’re fleeting — onto a napkin. In fact, the therapy can reside in that disposable action. Write it down, get it out of your system and then trash it.

I’m one of those people who’ve kept a journal since childhood. But it wasn’t until a good friend of mine introduced me to The Five Minute Journal that I saw how journaling can be used therapeutically and to spread personal joy. Writing down your hopes for the day as soon as you wake up and then the best things that did occur before bed can have huge benefits for your mental health. It encourages you to think of life differently, with a happier spin.

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I’ve since moved on from The Five Minute Journal. Although it provided the perfect foundation, I’m now getting a lot more creative with “bullet journals.” Together with my new Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, I’m creating full-on masterpieces (I hope you managed to not roll your eyes). I honestly think I could’ve been an artist in another lifetime — forgetting the fact that these particular journals make it very easy to create amazing note-taking visuals. It also doesn’t hurt that the vivid colors of the pens happen to have a life of their own.

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Going through a tough separation, I’ve needed an outlet like this to get some much-needed perspective. To be able to do it in a fun way makes it so much easier. Even as I travel right now (I’m currently sitting in a cute Berlin cafe), I’m doodling with my Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens — without my usual smudges since they’re so quick to dry (insert prayer hands). Journaling helps me not only remember the things I’ve done, but appreciate them more fully as well. I’m innately a creative person, but everyone can benefit from an activity such as this. Everyone. So go on, spread that joy of yours :)…

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