How journaling helps us process the pandemic

A woman writes on a notebook.
Journaling is a personal form of self-expression, but it can also be an insight into an unprecedented time.
fotografierende via Pexels

Hobbies like knitting, video games and playing music are gaining popularity as the pandemic drags on and we’re spending more time at home. A growing number of Americans are also finding solace in journaling to make sense of a difficult time.

Journaling serves different purposes for different people. Maybe you keep a log of groceries and other small notes to yourself during the day, or maybe your journal is an escape into a world of art and self-expression. Some research has shown that journaling can improve mental well-being and decrease stress. 

Beyond the self-care benefits it has, journaling can also be a window into history. Journals can serve as archives — ones that are meticulously curated and personal. As we reflect on the past year, journals can be a way of memorializing an unprecedented time.


  • Audrey Truschke is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University.

  • Molly Anthony is a local artist and co-facilitator of the MN Visual Journal Collective.

  • Brenda Hudson is a writer and instructor at The Loft Literary Center.

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