How Journaling Can Help Your Sober Journey

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A person going through recovery from drugs and alcohol spends a lot of time talking to others about their experience, including therapists, doctors, and other treatment team members. They also invest time communicating with family members and friends. What may be lacking from a solid recovery plan is journaling and an inspirational list of journal prompts for sobriety.

The History of Therapeutic Journaling

Throughout history, humankind has kept journals in one form or another. From drawings on cave walls documenting neanderthal times to digital diaries, human nature prompts many people to keep a record of life events, feelings, fears, and goals for the future. 

When some people hear the word “journal”, they picture a teenage girl hovering over a diary, recording childish thoughts in dramatic fashion. This is only one facet of what journaling encompasses. The act of journaling took on a role in the therapeutic community in the 1960s when psychologist Dr. Ira Progoff determined through research that his clients who kept a journal worked through their issues quicker than others. 

Progoff developed the Intensive Journal Method, which led to journaling becoming a common method of treatment recommended by many clinicians in the therapeutic profession. Many patients showed a reduction in anxiety and stress levels when they kept a regular journal. Workshops teaching the Intensive Journal Method are now regularly taught in such diverse populations as schools, health care facilities, social service agencies, and prisons.

What is a Journal Prompt and How Does It Help?

A journal prompt is a question or thought designed to get your mind working when you sit down to journal. You take the prompt and answer the question or examine your thoughts about the prompt while you write in your journal. 

Journaling offers a person the ability to express themselves privately and work through ideas and feelings, often in order to better understand them before discussing them with others. Sometimes a journal offers a great place to just vent without worry about those expressions going any further than the private, written page. 

Getting into a habit of journaling can provide the comfort of knowing you’ve got a reliable place to pour your deepest and most vexing thoughts. It’s also a place to celebrate victories and mark milestones in recovery.

Journal prompts can help you think of something you might not be addressing or learn to consider an event or emotion in a new light. We’ve come up with some journal prompts for sobriety to help get you started. 

Journal Prompts for Sobriety

Try picking one or two prompts from this list the next time you sit down to journal and see what you come up with. You may use it to ruminate to yourself or as a jumping-off point for opening a discussion with a loved one or treatment provider.

The last time I felt true joy was…

What I most crave forgiveness for is…

What do I know for sure now that I didn’t know before I got sober?

Do I experience unconditional love in my life and with whom?

The first moment I felt like my recovery was working was…

The biggest mistake I made while drinking or using drugs was…

The person in my life who is the proudest of me is…

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I usually think of is…

What would I be doing today if I weren’t in recovery?

When I meet someone new, what do I tell them about my past?

The three things that happened today that I am grateful for…

The last time I felt shame was…

If I’m confident about one thing about myself, it would have to be…

The song that most reminds me of the dark days of my addiction is…

If I could have the approval of just one person in my life, it would be…

No one else knows how much I struggle with…

What progress have I made in the past couple of weeks?

The hardest part of choosing sobriety every day is…

The last time I laughed really hard was when…

Where will I be a year from now?

There Is No Wrong Way to Journal

Keep in mind that there isn’t a right versus a wrong way to journal. When you use your journal prompts for sobriety, feel free to add your own flair. If you write by hand, you might want to use pens with colorful ink. You can add stickers or draw doodles in the margins of the pages.

If you write with a keyboard, you can choose colored fonts and add emotes or GIFs. If you keep an electronic journal, resist the urge to share it with others via email or social media. People never write exactly the same when they know there will be an audience as they do when they write a journal only meant for their eyes. 

Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles

Entering recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is one of the bravest decisions a person can make. Launch Centers can help you or a loved one become sober and learn how to stay that way for a lifetime. Our programs offer clinical and holistic treatment, along with education and career guidance.


If you are ready to put addiction behind you, contact Launch Centers now and let us help you take the first step.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

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Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

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Eric Chaghouri, MD

Psychiatrist

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Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.

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