5 Reasons Why Women of Color Need to Journal Before It’s too Late

Sitting at a picnic table at a Community Park by my house, I looked at the waves of the serene pond in front of me and said "Today is the today I begin anew and live again". Then I picked up my purple pen and wrote down everything I felt in my pretty pink “Faith” journal.

As the fierceness of the summer heat beamed down my face and tears ran down my cheeks, I picked up my favorite purple pen and made a conscious decision to let it all go. No longer would I hold on to the pain and anger that rested so deeply in my soul. I was tired of crying myself to sleep every night and waking up to sharp pains in my chest.

From the heartbreak to the toxicity of my job, I couldn’t keep living the way I was living. I couldn’t keep pretending I was okay, when in reality I was slowly dying inside. During that time in my life, I felt at any given moment I was going to have an emotional breakdown until I made the choice one Saturday morning to reclaim my peace, my joy, and my happiness.

Sitting at a picnic table at a Community Park by my home, I looked at the waves of the serene pond in front of me and said “Today is the today I begin anew and live again”. Then I picked up my purple pen and wrote down everything I felt in my pretty pink “Faith” journal. I wrote so much that I had to literally stop writing because my wrist began to hurt. After I finished writing, I read everything and began to weep. I realized at that moment I had just cleansed my soul of years of trauma.

A confused woman is an unproductive woman. She is a woman who doesn’t know who she is or what she wants. I used to be that woman until I gained mental clarity.

Who knew how therapeutic writing down my feelings in a journal could be? From that day forward I knew.

As black women, who are constantly weighed down by the burdens and pressures of living in this unfair world, we need a daily outlet for us to express, process, cope with our ever-evolving emotions, thoughts, and belief systems.

Journaling is that outlet for me and it can be for you too. Below are my top five reasons you should practice journaling as a daily self-care practice.

Stay True To You

Are you living or merely existing? Are you showing up in life as your authentic self? As black women, it is rare that we get to fully show and be our true selves. At my job, I am constantly having to code-switch and watch the tone of my voice, so I won’t come across as the “angry black woman” and offend my white counterparts.

Journaling daily helps me take off the mask and express my real voice. The more I journal, the more I begin to learn about myself and stay in alignment with my authenticity. While I wish I could be a 100% Amber at all times, the reality is I can’t but, in my journal, I can be! If just for 5 minutes to 10 minutes a day, I can be the real me and say whatever the hell I want to say! 

De-Stress From Your Internal & External Mess

Between worrying about getting kidnapped from a sex trafficker, getting shot by a police officer, and the mere existence of being a black woman, I have enough external stresses to last me a lifetime. But to top that off, I have to deal with work stress, manage my side business and ministry, and try to attempt to have a social life in between. Pretty stressful right?! Well that’s why important that I do a daily de-stress.

Writing down my daily frustrations and problems is a healthy and constructive way for me to relieve stress and de-clutter my mind of negative emotions and thoughts.  We all need to dump our brains from to time to time and clear bad thoughts and belief patterns that keep us stuck in anxiety, worry, and fear. It is vital that we renew our minds daily and let go of the junk. Getting rid of mental junk improves focus and boosts creativity. Allow yourself to de-stress from you daily mess!

Gain, Clarity, Insight, & Understating

A confused woman is an unproductive woman. She is a woman who doesn’t know who she is or what she wants. I used to be that woman until I gained mental clarity.

Journaling helped me a take a step back and reflect on my life. The more I journal the more aware I become of my daily thought patterns, behaviors, and triggers.  This helps me gain clarity, insight, and understanding on why I do things I do and evaluate if I need make to any internal and external changes or improvements.

Photo by Ree on

Writing for mental clarity brings awareness to constant cycles and themes that you keep repeating in your life. Do you keep switching goals or stopping halfway through projects? Do you tend to avoid confrontation?  Do you constantly date the same type of men who you know are no good for you?

Writing and self-reflecting helps you assess and observe if there are any behavioral patterns you need to take a note of, bad habits you need you to break, and things you need to improve on. Once you’ve figured these things out, you can do the work to correct them.

Set & Achieve Your Goals

The cultural phenomena of being a Girl Boss or Boss Chick has been indoctrinated into every black woman’s psyche. We all want to become our own boss and start side hustles. Well, you can’t be the head b*tch in charge if you don’t have a plan.

I want to leave my 9 to 5 and become a full-time entrepreneur in the next two years. To help me achieve this goal, I bought a dream and vision journal. In the journal, I identify and write all my monthly business goals and desired outcomes. At the end of each month, I track my progress and write down my achievements and failures.  This tool has been so instrumental in me getting closer to ultimate goal of leaving Corporate America!

We all have the potential to be our own boss, we just need to become more disciplined, determined, and focused. Journaling will help you hold yourself accountable and keep you motivated during the times you want to give up and need inspiration to stay on track.

Express Gratitude

One of my favorite books is “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” by Amy Morin. The first thing she says mentally strong people don’t do is Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves. I have wasted so many days, weeks, months, and even years feeling pity for myself for past mistakes I made and things that simply don’t work out in my life. According to Amy the cure to self–pity is expressing gratitude.

So I have a prayer and gratitude journal that helps me express my daily gratitude to God. Listing the things and people I am thankful for helps me keep a positive, balanced perspective on my life’s circumstances. Which is truly needed if I am going to navigate this crazy world as a brown girl.  

Journaling is my favorite self-care practice. It has helped me become a better version of myself and become more aware of my regular emotions, experiences, and behavioral patterns. In the words of Iyanla Vanzant, it has helped me “Do The Work” or inner-soul healing.

I have come a long way from the girl crying my heart out at the park. Through frequent journal writing, I have a created a safe haven for me to express my authentic voice, de-stress from my mess, gain clarity, insight, and understanding, set and monitor my business goals, and express daily gratitude to my Heavenly Father.

Ready to embark on new inner-healing journey, whip out your favorite pen and buy you a journal or two! Then write it out.!

Writer, Intercessor, and the founder of She Writes It. Amber Bryant uses her voice and influence to help those looking for encouragement, prayer and spiritual advice through ministry.

For more content, follow Amber on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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