Do you occasionally find yourself feeling depressed? Cash grab books influenced by the bro culture growing around Stoicism can tell you not to think or care about it. My mood-based free journal printables for depression will show you why you need to do the opposite. And the good thing is; my suggestion is backed by actual mental health science.
My journal spreads, journal prompts, and freebies blog is relatively new. Let me be honest. Two years ago I didn’t even know there are people in this world who didn’t stop keeping a journal after middle school.
- Speaking from the experience
- The Look of the Depressed Mood Free Journal Printable
- The Content of My Guided Mental Health Worksheets
- Detective Work Pages of The Journal For Depression
- How To Use The Guided Journal For Depression
- Are These Mood Based Journal Printables Free?
- Is This a Bullet Journal?
- Journaling Prompts Included
- Can I Use This As A Bullet Journal for Anxiety?
- Download Your Mental Health Free Journal Printables For Depression
Speaking from the experience
Two years ago, after a big, tragic(for me at least) change in my life, I started to examine my depressed mood.
It revealed a lot when I looked within myself to find the reason why I was so down.
I listed all the problems I’m facing. I also have created a list of any assumptions I might be making about both myself and life.
I’ve scanned a large number of articles. Read some books and did some serious research. From research papers on modern-day cognitive behavior analysis to Plato’s Republic.
I realized that the protective factors in my life were outdated. As well as my goals and dreams.
Then finally, I’ve started a journal. It didn’t only introduce me to better mental health. Journaling also changed me and my life in an amazing way.
It will change YOUR life too.
If you don’t believe me, just check out the scientific benefits of keeping a journal first.
This is the second part of my mood-based free journal printables. This time it is for people who feel depressed. Download links are at the bottom of this page as usual. First, let’s take a look at it. This is a journal for depression. It is very important you understand how and why you should use it.
The Look of the Depressed Mood Free Journal Printable
Road to hell is paved with negative thoughts and emotions. But obviously, a bullet journal for depression shouldn’t resemble it. What I’m saying is, even tho the bullet journal is about depression, it shouldn’t have a depressing tone. I tried to design this printable with some positive vibes in it. This way, I’m hoping you will enjoy it more.
My free printables always have the size of a single A4 paper (because it is superior). This doesn’t mean you can’t print it on a terrible US letter-sized page. This time I’ve also included a version for the US letter size.
All I did was to scale down the content and add some white. But it should be easier to print this free bullet journal. If you are living in a country that still uses the worst standard page size system ever.
Free journal printable has orange as the primary color. I also used some pink and blue to create some contrast.
It has 8 areas just like the first one. You can use this video tutorial to create a small bullet journal without using any glue:
The Content of My Guided Mental Health Worksheets
As I said at the beginning, this printable is the second part of my mood based free journal printables series. If you’ve missed the first one, you can simply click here:
Part 2: Depressed Mood Free Journal Printable (You are reading it now.)
I will publish journal page PDFs for at least 2 more moods. I am still trying to complete my research about the most ideal journal writing prompts. If you want to see free journal printables for any specific mood, please let me know by leaving a comment down below. You are also welcomed to contact me anytime for suggestions and questions.
First Page: A Checklist for The Symptoms of Depression
Mental health is no joke. The journal prompts for depression shouldn’t be picked randomly. Hopefully this time I had much more time to do my research. One of the resources I found extremely helpful was The IMPACT Study’s CBT for Depression In Young People Manual for therapists. The title may imply the manual solely provides knowledge about young people’s depression. But actually it is the same depression as everyone else’s. Manual just gifts you a truckload of information regarding depression and how to treat it in general. I know it is not a surprise anymore. But apparently journaling or bullet journaling can also be used as a part of the therapy.
If you have negative automatic thoughts, and you end up with depression, there will be some symptoms. (Behavioral, Cognitive, Motivational, Physical and Affective) These are strong indicators that what you are experiencing is depression.
I wanted to make it easy for you to recognize these symptoms. That’s why the very first page of my journal printable for depression has this checklist:
- Currently; sadness, feeling low or weepy are part of what you are experiencing (Affective)
- You are tired or lethargic (Physical)
- You lost my motivation (Motivational, obviously)
- Negative thoughts about yourself are giving you a hard time(Cognitive)
- You give up something I like or responsibility just to avoid feeling bad. (Behavioral)
The core symptoms of depression (ICD-10) are depressed mood, less interest or pleasure, and loss of energy. If you have two of these core symptoms plus two cognitive symptoms, you might be experiencing mild depression. If you have more cognitive symptoms, a therapist may suspect you are in a moderate depressive episode.
But this information is based on what I understand from what I read. I guess it is time for a disclaimer.
Second Page: What Made You Feel Depressed?
You are looking for journal printables for depression. Then there is a good chance that you are actually looking for a CBT worksheet for depression or mental health in general. Negative thoughts often create feelings. Such feelings affect what we think and do. What we do also affects what we feel and think. Cognitive behavioral therapy usually focuses on this cognitive triangle.
In order to feel better, or get better, you need to find the thinking error cycles you are not aware of. You can start this by writing down what events or ideas which triggered your depressive mood or negative thoughts/feelings.
The second page of my free guided journal for depression asks you to write about this: What made you feel depressed? What are the situations or events related to your depressive symptoms?
3rd and 4th Pages: Your Negative Thoughts and Emotions
As I said earlier, negative thoughts and feelings affect your mood directly. We often make assumptions and let harmful thinking affect us. Some of these popular harmful thinking ways are:
- Jumping to conclusions
- Emotional reasoning
For the complete list of cognitive distortions and their explanations, I suggest you check this article from Positive Psychology.
For being more aware of these types of distortions, it is usually seen as a good practice to list your negative thoughts and emotions.
The third and fourth pages of my journal spreads for people feeling depressed are focusing on these. It asks you to list the top 3 current negative thoughts and emotions you think are responsible for your depressed mood.
Detective Work Pages of The Journal For Depression
The next two pages of the depressed mood journal printable is about something I like to call detective-work.
CBT requires that you be a good detective. List your negative thoughts and feelings. Then the free journal printable is going to ask you to examine the things that get in the way of some things. Such as doing activities, feeling energetic, achieving your goals or getting up in the morning.
The government of Western Australia has amazing resources for depressed people to look after themselves. I got some help from their Detective Work and Disputation PDF while deciding on what should my journal for depression include as journal prompts.
The detective work requires you to gather evidence for your negative thoughts, as well as evidence against your negative thoughts.
The main purpose of this practice is for you to look for the information(evidence) around you. Information about your thoughts or events. Rather than just accepting your negative thoughts. This may also eliminate the harmful assumptions you are making.
Final Page: The Chances You Will Be Okay
After this practice, hopefully, you will be able to analyze your situation in a more healthy way. But only if you take a second to think about it.
I added a last page to the PDF just in case you forget re-analyzing your situation. The free journal printable for depression asks you the chances of getting better in a week, a month and a year.
How To Use The Guided Journal For Depression
You obviously can’t use this as a personal planner since it is more of a mental health CBT worksheet rather than a planner printable. If you are currently feeling depressed, I suggest you just download it without thinking much. Just print 7 copies of the free PDF printable, and use one of them every day. I’m confident this practice will help you track your thinking patterns. Hopefully, it will prevent you from using harmful thinking methods without knowing.
You can make a lot of copies of this journal spread and make it a part of your morning routine or your evening routine.
You can cut the entire page and turn it into an 8-page free pocket journal. Having one of these in your pocket with come handy. You will be able to use it at the moment you need it.
Are These Mood Based Journal Printables Free?
As I stated in the post about previous journal printable, These printables are completely free for personal use! I don’t permit its use for commercial purposes. This is mostly because I don’t want people to pay for the journal printables I’m already giving for free.
If you want to use it for a non-commercial, non-personal project, (such as social responsibility projects or school projects), please contact me first. Having an active role in such a project would be a pleasure for me. Maybe I can help you by creating customized versions of the printables.
Is This a Bullet Journal?
I get this question a lot. This misinformation around mental health bullet journals is mostly because people love the word #bujo.
Bullet journals are simply the journals you use to stay organized. You will usually have a ton of pages just for your daily goals. A guided journal, however, is something else. A guided journal can become a bullet journal, a mental health worksheet or even just a simple cartoon with fill-in-the-blanks areas.
These journal spreads I share are not bullet journal printables. BUT you can use the journaling prompts in them for your own mental health bullet journal pages. Just like you can use them as a trigger tracker, or even a worksheet for anxiety attacks.
You can create your own mental health bullet journal spreads. And use my journal prompts and personalize your sticker pages as you want.
For such purposes, below you will find the mental health journal prompts included in this freebie. Also don’t forget to check this nice post about happy planners .
If you are more interested in practicing self-care for better mental health, here is an amazing read.
Journaling Prompts Included
The free printable mental health spread has these journaling prompts about depression:
- How do you feel?
- What made you feel depressed?
- Your top 3 negative thoughts
- Your top 3 negative feelings
- Factual evidence for your #1 negative thought
- Factual evidence against your #1 negative thought
- The chances you will be okay in a week, a month and in a year
Can I Use This As A Bullet Journal for Anxiety?
This is one of those free journal printables for depression. Anxiety and depression are two very different things. Both can have overlapping symptoms, but there is an important difference. Just to name a few, anxiety shows itself with both immediate and long-term excessive worry. Generally accompanied by increased heart rate, muscle tension and shortness of breath. The physical state of depression is usually more about the loss of appetite, lack of energy, sleeping too much or very little and so on.
It is common for people with depression to have anxiety problems and vice-versa. Both problems are strong indicators that the subject has harmful thinking habits which leads to cognitive distortions. But behavioral therapy of both is different. This free journaling printable for depression is not a replacement for therapy but it is helpful as a supporting resource.
Managing anxiety requires the subject to analyze different things. I am planning on creating another mood-based guided journal printable just for that case. Until then, I suggest you check this great post for possitive affirmations for anxiety treatment.
Using the printable bullet journals you found online as mental health worksheets are not the best solution. What you are looking for is a worksheet for mental health and depression? Then this free guided journal printable is for you. I suggest you to also check out these therapy worksheets. Maybe they are not works of talented designers, but they are closer to what you need.
Download Your Mental Health Free Journal Printables For Depression
You can use the download button below. This little bullet journal is the second part of a free journal printable series. Therefore, I would suggest you enter your e-mail address below. This way you can get notified about the next week’s journal printable.
Download it, and make it your morning routine. Or use it as a bullet journal mental health spread if you want. You can also use it as a helper for your mood tracker.
There is also a grayscale version of the free journal printables for depression. It is included in the same download zip as a separate PDF.