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51 Addiction & Eating Disorder Journal Prompts to Support Recovery

[Ad] Recovery journal prompts are a powerful tool for supporting the healing journey for a variety of different kinds of addictions. These eating disorder and addiction prompts are an effective way to gain clarity about your disorder, and begin recovery.

This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp and verified by their team of medical professionals.

Why Eating Disorder Journaling Works

Recovery journal prompts | A young woman wearing a grey cardigan sits at a desk holding a pen poised over a journal. She has a cup of coffee in front of her in a white cup and saucer, and there are green potted trees in the background.

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Recovering from an eating disorder can feel scary and lonely. Not everyone understands what it’s like, and you can get stuck inside your own head often. 

When it feels like even your own brain is against you, it can be useful to try journaling.

Journaling is a great way to gain insight into your mental health and emotional state.

Positive affect journaling (PAJ) has been associated with decreased mental distress and increased wellbeing1

In the context of the self-medication theory of addiction, which can also be applied to behavioural addictions2, PAJ is likely to be beneficial for anyone suffering from any kind of addiction. 

In the case of substance abuse, studies have shown that expressive writing can help drug dependent women to write about traumatic events without experiencing a spike in negative affect3

An eating disorder personal journal allows you to write out your feelings about your eating disorder and habits. It’s a great way to gain insight into your mental health and emotional state, which your future self will thank you for.

Journaling allows you a safe space to transfer obsessive thoughts and observations onto paper.

So why not treat yourself a fancy pen for journaling, grab your journal, and start writing!

Don’t have a journal yet? Here’s our favourite if you’re looking for ideas that double perfectly as a bullet journal:

How Journaling Can Support Your Recovery Journey

Eating disorder journaling works because it allows you a safe space to transfer obsessive thoughts and observations onto paper, where they can be processed instead of internalised.

Try making your journaling time a calming ritual.

Keeping a reflective journal also helps you to:

  • Identify triggers
  • Analyse negative feelings
  • Challenge negative thought patterns
  • Develop coping strategies
  • Record your progress

The list of prompts below are specifically designed as a therapeutic tool to support your healing process.

How to Keep an Addiction Recovery Journal

There’s no right or wrong way with journaling.

To encourage you to actively look forward to journaling, it’s a good idea to turn the time you spend with your journal into a calming ritual.

For example, you may like to play relaxing music, light a scented candle, and ensure you’re in cosy and comfortable clothes.

Image shows tea lights and miniature plants on a gold tray placed upon a furry white blanket.

If you’re stuck on where to start with your journal, that’s where recovery journaling prompts can be really useful, giving you a jumping off point to help you put pen to paper.

While there’s no right or wrong way with journaling, for maximum benefit try to make time every day for your journal writing.

If you can’t commit to writing a daily journal entry, create a healthy habit that becomes part of your regular routine each week.

Most of these prompts can be adapted for any other type of addiction.

Remember, this strategy isn’t going to work for everyone, but it’s likely to work for you if you’re a creative person who likes to utilise writing prompts.

If you want to learn more about how eating disorders work, you can check out BetterHelp’s online advice column here:

51 Addiction and Eating Disorder Recovery Journal Prompts

Below are 51 eating disorder recovery prompts to try in your journal.

Talk to your therapist or doctor if journaling ever makes you feel worse. 

(Remember, for most of these prompts, you can simply switch out ‘eating disorder’ for any other type of addiction.)

  1. What is the number one lesson that you’ve learned in therapy for your eating disorder? 
  2. What is the last time you remember having a healthy relationship with food? If you never have, why do you think that is? 
  3. Is there a person or thing in your life that triggered your eating disorder in the beginning? 
  4. Do you think your eating disorder is related to trauma? If so, how? 
  5. Write a goodbye letter to your eating disorder. 
  6. If you could talk to your eating disorder, what would you say? 
  7. How has your eating disorder made you feel safer?
  1. Write about how your life will look when you are recovered. 
  2. Write about the lies your eating disorder tells you. Come up with rebuttals for them all. 
  3. Write about your most recent slip-up with your eating disorder. What will you do next time to prevent this? 
Journaling recovery prompts | A young woman wearing a white shirt and with her head resting on her hand holds a pen over a journal. She has long dark hair and there's a white cup and saucer in front of her.
  1. What does food make you feel? 
  2. What are some safe foods that you can eat when you’re feeling restrictive about food and eating? 
  3. What physical sensations are you feeling in your body right now?
  1. Are you trying to avoid any feelings in your daily life by eating or avoiding food? 
  2. How can you be nicer to your body? 
  3. What are some non-food ways you can treat yourself? 
  4. What do you hate about food? 
  5. What do you love about food? What are some healthy foods (and less healthy foods) you can enjoy in recovery?
  6. What difficult emotions are you feeling about eating / food right now? 
  7. What self-related assumptions do you make about yourself when you eat or don’t eat? 
  8. What are your short-term goals for your eating disorder recovery in a few months? 
  9. What are your long-term goals for your eating disorder in a few years? Ten years? 
  10. What boundaries do you need to have with yourself or with others in your life?
  1. What are ten things that I love about myself? 
  2. Describe yourself from the perspective of your best friend or closest person in your life
  3. If you could change anything about how you treat yourself, what would it be? 
  4. What patterns are no longer helping you in your recovery? 
  5. What is something loving and kind that you have done for yourself recently? 
  6. What is something loving and kind you can do in the near future for yourself? 
  7. What are my favourite hobbies to partake in when I’m feeling physically well? 
  8. What is one eating disorder-related habit that I’d like to cut out in the next few months? How can I start? 
  1. Who do you feel safest around to talk about your eating disorder? 
  2. Have you created healthy boundaries with those that make you feel unsafe about your body? How can you create these boundaries in the future if not? 
  3. What does your eating disorder voice tell you most often? Why isn’t this true? 
  4. What are five things you can do to start to try to love yourself today? 
  5. How can you be more patient with yourself? 
  6. What would you tell someone else with the same eating disorder and same body type as you? 
  7. If you could write your younger self a letter about self-love and body image, what would it say? 
  8. How do you push away your feelings during a difficult time?
  1. How can you be more vulnerable with those you love? 
  2. What is your greatest fear about eating disorder recovery? How can you soothe this fear? 
  3. If you have been in a treatment centre, what has that experience been like for you? 
  4. Do you walk on eggshells around yourself? 
  5. How has the media influenced your vision of yourself? How can you protect yourself from this influence? 
  6. What are some resources that you can reach out to if you have a crisis/relapse in the future? Who can you talk to and feel safe with? 
  7. What are some ways you avoid taking responsibility for your eating disorder compulsions? 
  8. What does recovery mean to me? How do I know when I am ‘recovered’?
  1. Do I want to have a party after my recovery? How do I want to celebrate? 
  2. How will I work in my future life to love my body and nourish it? 
  3. What was my favourite thing about myself before my disorder? 
  4. How does my eating disorder impact my ability for self-care? 

These prompts will hopefully prove valuable for your own recovery, however the benefit of journaling applies to the addiction recovery process in all areas. With that in mind, they can also be adapted for other types of addiction such as:

  • Codependency recovery
  • Drinking habits and alcohol addiction
  • Substance use habits
  • Other mental health issues such as depression and anxiety

Also consider that there’s no harm in extending your journaling process to support personal development alongside your healing journey.

Extend patience and compassion to yourself.

More Ways to Also Enjoy Your Journal

With the above in mind, you may like to try other journaling methods too, such as:

The type of journal you choose to keep will likely evolve over time, so just enjoy the process on your personal journey!

Final Thoughts on Using Journal Prompts For Recovery

Eating disorders can be very difficult to overcome. However, you’re taking a step in the right direction simply by trying. The best thing you can do towards your recovery is to continue doing your best, and extend patience and compassion to yourself.

Try not to echo the same types of negative statements that others in your life may have told you. 

Although every eating disorder looks different, these prompts should help you understand yourself in a deeper way. Over time, journaling about your eating disorder should help you gain clarity and support your recovery.


  1. Smyth JM, Johnson JA, Auer BJ, Lehman E, Talamo G, Sciamanna CN. Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Ment Health. 2018 Dec 10;5(4):e11290. DOI: 10.2196/11290. PMID: 30530460; PMCID: PMC6305886.
  2. Self-Medication Theory of Addiction, Verywell Mind
  3. Meshberg-Cohen S, Svikis D, McMahon TJ. Expressive writing as a therapeutic process for drug-dependent women. Subst Abus. 2014;35(1):80-8. DOI: 10.1080/08897077.2013.805181. PMID: 24588298; PMCID: PMC3942795.