Best Journaling App For Improving Your Client’s Mental Health

Journaling App

Nothing invites reflection quite like the act of keeping a journal, which is why journaling apps feature so much in therapy and coaching.

If you’re looking for a bright way to help others help themselves, here’s why journaling matters and the best way to engage your clients in their diaries.

Before reading on, why not try out Quenza’s journaling app for just $1 during the first month? Our user-friendly blended care toolkit will help you share personalized, engaging journals for use in therapy and coaching, and share them with your clients from anywhere.

What is Journaling & Why Is It Important?

Journaling is quite simply the practice of writing down thoughts and feelings as a way of:[1]

  • Processing problematic emotions and thoughts
  • Understanding mood or behavior patterns
  • Enhancing one’s mood, and/or
  • Self-managing mental health challenges.

Whether it’s done on paper or using an app, journaling has proven itself a useful tool in therapy, helping individuals:[2]

  • Reducing subjective distress
  • Decreasing reported symptoms of depression
  • Reducing illness-related visits to a doctor
  • Improving self-reported health, and
  • Enhancing self-reported physiological functioning.

Best Journaling App For Improving Clients’ Mental Health

Journaling apps are generally easier to use and more suitable than pen-and-paper diaries in therapy, especially for clients who are new to the approach.

Journaling apps are generally easier to use and more suitable than pen-and-paper diaries in therapy, especially for clients who are new to the approach.

Not only can the idea of ‘opening up’ be tough the first time around, but clients are much less likely to create a journaling habit when it means carrying a physical book and pen around.

The fastest and most engaging way to get clients involved in journaling is by creating a personalized tool that speaks to them.

To enable more consistent journaling and enhance its intended mental health impact, apps like Quenza come equipped with a range of features to simplify the whole process.

With Quenza, clients can:

  • Access their journal anytime, anywhere from their phone or tablet
  • Get helpful journaling prompts from their provider
  • Receive reminders to fill it out each day
  • Revisit their previous entries and look for trends, patterns, triggers, or key events
  • Download their journal, tracker, or diary in PDF form
  • Create private notes on their journals
  • Share entries with and invite notes from their therapist, and
  • Keep their journal securely encrypted in accordance with HIPAA.

As a therapist, Quenza gives you all the tools you need to create tailor-made digital journals for those you help, complete with custom prompts, multimedia, and reflection points. You can digitalize hard-copy resources, modify existing templates to save time, and even automate the delivery of each entry to your clients to save you time.

There is a huge range of tools and apps for journaling, but with Quenza you can craft fully personalized therapy journals and motivate your clients to make them a habit.

How To Use Quenza For Journaling: Step-by-Step Guide

The fastest and most engaging way to get clients involved in journaling is by creating a personalized tool that speaks to them.

By creating a journal from Quenza Activities and Pathways, you can send a completely unique, tailor-made solution that’s easy and convenient to fill out from their phones.

It’s as simple as designing each Activity and assigning them as steps in a Pathway as follows.

Step 1: Create Your First Journal Page

Quenza’s Activity Builder was designed to simplify how you create online tools, so you can create a daily, weekly, monthly, or custom journal using drag and drop fields:

Gratitude Journaling App Example
Quenza helps you create gratitude journals, mood trackers, and more using drag and drop Activity Builder tools.

As well as creating very basic gratitude journal entries like ours above, you can also use:

  • Text and multimedia fields for explanations or an introduction to the journal
  • Response fields for your client to record their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, sensations, or habits, and
  • Static elements to structure your solution.

As soon as you save your completed Activity, you’re ready to start putting together a custom journal for each day using Quenza Pathways.

Step 2: Create Your Pathway

Building a Pathway is as straightforward as putting your Activities together into a sequence.

Because each step can be scheduled for delivery at custom intervals, it’s perfect for sharing an entry each day with your clients.

Quenza Journaling App for Mental Health Three Good Things
Quenza’s Three Good Things Pathway is an engaging but simple journaling tool made of two basic Activities: an introduction and a daily entry.

You can create a custom journal for thoughts, gratitude practice, feelings, and more simply by duplicating each daily entry and selecting an interval between each as we’ve done below.

Journaling Apps Daily Exceptions Quenza
Use the Pathway Builder to select when you want each entry to be delivered and create daily, weekly, or custom journals for clients.

With Quenza, it’s even possible to create private notes for each journal Pathway before you automate it and share it with a client or group.

If you’d like to remind your clients to fill out their diary each day, an automatic notification can be scheduled for every step – helping them create a journaling habit that sticks!

For more brilliant ways to build and use care pathways in therapy, check out What is a Care Pathway? 5 Examples & Management Solutions

18 Examples of Journaling Prompts You Can Use

The best prompts for your specific tool will depend on how your journal is meant to help your client.

They may be very broad, or they may prompt further exploration into a specific event, like these samples from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:[3]

  1. What happened or what was said, exactly? 
  2. When did this occur? 
  3. What emotions did you experience when this happened?
  4. What lessons can be learned from this experience?
  5. How do you feel about your life as it stands right now?

Like these examples from the Journaling Through Grief in 40 Days Expansion, they may also take clients through a series of stages:

  1. Wherever you are in your journey through grief today, just write. Let it all out. Write whatever you are feeling in your heart and let your thoughts spill out onto the page. What are you feeling here in this moment?
  2. What can you do to let this love live on in the lives of those who are still around?
  3. Today, write about your search for light in the dark. Where do you notice flashes of hope? What are your shards of light?
  4. Today, let’s lift the veil – if only for a moment. What are you feeling today? Shock? Numbness? Anger? Pain?
  5. If you had just one more moment together, what would you say to your loved one? What would you do?

8 Gratitude Journaling Prompts

If you’re looking for some gratitude journaling prompts, check out some of the other activities in Quenza’s Expansion Library.

In Cultivating Gratitude Through Counterfactual Thinking, clients explore how a positive event or experience changed their life with prompts such as:

Quenza Gratitude Journaling App
Cultivating Gratitude Through Counterfactual Thinking is a gratitude reflection in Quenza’s Expansion Library with useful journaling prompts for clients.
  1. Which of your positive personal attributes (i.e., strengths) would be less developed, had this event not happened?
  2. Which helpful or empowering beliefs were shaped by this event?
  3. What life events and experiences would you have missed out on had this event not occurred?

Gratitude in Romantic Relationships includes some thoughtful prompts to remind clients of their feelings toward their partner.

Quenza Journaling Apps
Gratitude in Romantic Relationships can be used in journaling Pathways as is or with your personalizations.

A few examples are:

  1. “I am grateful for the way you _____.”
  2. “I appreciate your _____.”
  3. “I like how you _____.”
  4. “I’m proud of the way you _____.”
  5. “I’m attracted to your _____ (inside and out).”

5 Additional Features Included in Quenza

As well as helping you share engaging journals with clients, there are plenty of ways Quenza can help you grow your business while honing your skills as a helping professional.

  1. Quenza White Label helps you market your practice by uploading your business logo to Activities
  2. Quenza Groups simplify how you conduct group therapy or coaching with up to 50 participants
  3. HIPAA-compliant Quenza Chat ensures you’re always in close contact with patients or clients
  4. Quenza’s Client App comes in 17 possible languages for the perfect free coaching or patient portal, and
  5. Quenza Expansions make it easy to create personalized digital tools while using popular evidence-based resources.

For a look at what’s coming soon, check out our Quenza Roadmap.

Final Thoughts

To truly help clients, a journaling app needs more than a few features for convenience. As a therapist or coach, creating a personalized journaling tool can vastly improve your clients’ engagement and encourage them to stick with it.

If you’d like to start creating your own, try modifying some Expansion Pathways with your $1 Quenza trial.

References

  1. ^ Caldeira, C., Chen, Y., Chan, L., Pham, V., Chen, Y., & Zheng, K. (2017). Mobile apps for mood tracking: an analysis of features and user reviews. In AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings (Vol. 2017, p. 495). American Medical Informatics Association.
  2. ^ Ullrich, P. M., & Lutgendorf, S. K. (2002). Journaling about stressful events: Effects of cognitive processing and emotional expression. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 24(3), 244-250.
  3. ^ Johnson, M. (2019). How to Use Journaling as a Coping Tool. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/January-2019/How-to-Use-Journaling-as-a-Coping-Tool

About the author

Catherine specializes in Organizational and Positive Psychology, helping entrepreneurs, clinical psychologists and OD specialists grow their businesses by simplifying their digital journeys.

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