Friday, December 27, 2013

Review: 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness

Available at Amazon or at Create, Write Now
Mari McCarthy knows a thing or two about the benefits of journaling. Through a journey with MS, she has discovered the power of healing by putting pen to paper and allowing the free-flow of words to help her release pent-up feeling and develop a healthier relationship with her mind, body and emotions.

Recently, Mari offered a free download of her book, 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness, in exchange for an honest review. I love to keep a journal and am highly dependent on my morning meditation-- including journaling--to help me work through emotions, ideas, concerns, joys and inspiration. I've been filling notebooks since I was in high school and even wrote about it on my blog here. I love to write and was excited to give her book full of healing prompts a try.

Each day begins with a short introduction to the topic Mari wants to guide you through, then offers a series of prompts to help you process that day's topics. For example, Day 6 is titled: Declaw your fears by writing them down. The prompts include:
1.At the top of the page, write, "I am afraid that_______".
2. Under that statement, write the worst possible thing that could result from this fear coming to pass.
3. Then write, "It is______ percent likely that this will happen."
4. Write, "If this happened, here's what action I would take:_____________."
5. Then write, "I feel _______percent equipped to handle this if it came to pass."

The idea is to help you face your fears, find your strength, and take an honest and realistic look at your imagined "worse case scenario". The end result, hopefully, is to feel better equipped to handle your fears.By exploring various topics of health, emotions, and beliefs, the goal is to help get all the stuff swimming in your head out on paper, dig at it, and deal with it in a healthy, open manner.

My experience: Guided journaling is a lot like guided meditation or prayer. You can meditate without guiding thoughts, but sometimes it's nice to have a little direction. Likewise, if you're not in the habit of journaling or want to develop a habit and are looking to making this a New Year's goal, this book can help you get started with a variety of self-exploration prompts.

Since I have been journaling for the better part of 40 years, I prefer an unguided, free-flow of thoughts.  But, as I worked through her book, I found the prompts led to other related thoughts that were, indeed, helpful to process.

If you're looking to start or restart a journaling habit, I recommend this book. For a Kindle price of $5.49, it's definitely worth the investment.

For more information on Mari McCarthy and her 27 Day Journal Challenge check out her website at

But no matter how you do it, keep writing,



  1. Wow this sounds like an awesome way to approach journalling. :-)

  2. I know I need to do a better job with my journal. Maybe this is the kick in the pants that I need? Thanks for sharing this. :)

  3. Thanks for your review Julie. WriteON!

  4. I've always wanted to start journaling but for some reason I never end up getting into any kind of consistent pattern with it. This sounds like it may be just the thing I need to get started, and I can't imagine a better time to try it than at the start of a new year. Thanks for sharing your review, Julie.

    And Happy New Year to you and your family. I wish you all the best and hope you have lots to celebrate.

  5. I'm planning a new journal for the New Year. Such wonderful ideas to keep the flow going!

    Happy New Year Julie, wishing you all the best!

  6. Fantastic review! I love, love, love guided journaling. Because, yes, sometimes the mind just doesn't know where to go. I'm adding this to my amazon wish list. :)

  7. Thanks all for stopping by and reading-- Mari's book is fun to go through and helps you dig into great topics. Happy New Year!


  8. I really like this idea of guided journaling. Thanks for sharing the book and your impression of it.

  9. Hmm...I've never journaled before. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it.

  10. Hi Julie,

    I'm very familiar with this. To get it down it writing, to practice journalling, can have such positive benefits. I actually doing a lot of verbalising that I bring forth in my writing endeavours on my site.

    A peaceful, positive New Year, Julie. Continued happy, fulfilling writing.

    Gary :)

  11. Julie,

    This sounds like a great way to discover yourself, a way to redefine how we live, love and serve others. Additionally, I am sure that it would lead to a clean, healthy self-image with a good chance of lifting others with positive thoughts, actions and emotions. Like pealing back the layers of a onion, I am sure anyone who followed this type of intense journaling will emerge ready to tackle all of life's most difficult challenges.

    Sounds like too much work. Ha ha.

    The only resolution I intend on keeping this year is to wish a Happy New Year to all.

  12. Thanks for the review. I've been free journaling for a while now, but I remember doing guided journaling in high school and college - it can be an interesting and good process. I still like little prompts now and then, but mostly I just like to pour out my thoughts on the page and see if I find any gems amid the junk.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  13. Sounds like it'd be worth looking into, or something I might want to recommend. Like you, I've been journaling long enough that I don' usually have any trouble coming up with things to say, but this sounds like something that would be great for a novice. Thanks for the review!

    1. I think so too, or if you just want to dig a little deeper and be guided a bit. The only other thought I've had as I work through it, is I kind of wish there was one topic per week divided into 7 days of exploration. As it is now, each daily topic is a lot to chew on.


Thanks for being a part of the conversation. I love reading your thoughts and feedback.