Journaling methods help improve mental and physical health

June 2017

A journaling method called "expressive writing" -- recording your deepest thoughts and feelings for 15 to 30 minutes a day, usually for period of days or weeks -- has numerous physical and psychological benefits, according to a meta-analysis of 146 studies on expressive writing conducted by Joanne Zinger, associate professor of teaching. The practice can improve mental health and even cause wounds to heal faster.

But some people are likely to benefit more than others.

"This type of intervention may be more helpful for certain types of individuals, such as those who don’t have much social support," Zinger told The Guardian. "In my 2006 meta-analysis, I found that participants who were higher in stress and/or who were more pessimistic benefited from expressive writing more than participants who were lower in stress and/or who were more optimistic."

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