Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before: Start journaling! Jot down what you’re thankful for! Track your thoughts and feelings! To be fair, self-reflective writing has been shown to improve mood and mitigate stress and anxiety. But even though this self-care ritual seems so simple and doable in theory, some of us consider it a total chore to break out the pen and paper daily. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best journaling apps out there—to make the process a lot more convenient for folks looking for an alternative method.
One great perk of a digital diary is that you’re less likely to lose it compared to a regular ol’ notebook. Plus, many of these mental health apps include a bunch of fancy features that allow you to personalize your writing experience: Some, for instance, are designed for people who just want a quick way to record important memories and events. Others focus more on gratitude, self-care, and reflection, and guide you via thought-provoking prompts that can help you learn more about yourself. Plus, let’s not forgot that these techy options can guarantee more privacy than a paper journal (thank you, password protection).
So whether you’re a note-taking pro looking to experiment with more modern methods or a newbie who’s ready to do some soul-searching on your phone, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best journaling apps to download.
On top of encouraging a regular practice by motivating you to look inward, Reflectly uses positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to teach you how to reduce stress, cultivate gratitude, and generally gain perspective in life. It also doubles as a mood tracker, thanks to AI-generated prompts and questions that are curated and personalized for you based on your past responses.
Use it: Free or $60 per year for a premium subscription; iOS and Google Play
You can use this multiplatform digital journal across your devices, whether you want to tap out entries on your phone, tablet, or laptop. It’s beginner-friendly, with lots of easy-to-use features including the ability to attach photos or videos to your notes, personalize the theme and color scheme of your journal, and even organize your thoughts (by folder, tag, or location). Android users especially love this app—it’s currently sitting at a 4.6-average rating across more than 100,000 reviews.
Use it: Free or $9 per year for a premium subscription; iOS and Google Play
One of the most straightforward options in this roundup, DailyBean is a user-friendly journaling app that encourages you to log your mood with whichever colorful bean best represents how you’re feeling. (If you’re in good spirits, for instance, you might tap a yellow, super smiley bean. On bad days, you can opt for a more distraught, tearful one). You can also jot down why you’re in a great mood, say, or what exactly you’re stressed about.