Conflict is a necessary ingredient for creating an intriguing story. And conflict is an inevitable part of life. Disappointment, sadness, sickness, and death plague us at different points in time and in different ways.

We all have methods of coping with what we don’t understand, of dealing with painful situations in our lives. One therapeutic technique that helps us heal in times of confusion, broken hearts, and deepest loss is simple but so very powerful—writing.

Journal writing

Photo by Vivianna_love

The Healing Power of Writing

1. Writing allows us make sense of things.

When we don’t know what to do, putting words on paper feels tangible. It’s black and white in an otherwise grey time. When we don’t feel like talking, writing lets us speak in a solitary way. The page is a never-ending space for depositing our concerns and fears and hopes.

2. Writing helps us to let go and accept that we may never find answers.

Exploring our emotions via writing keeps all our questions and possible answers accessible. We make concrete progress over time. We review and rework and eventually move beyond whatever we’re working to process.

3. Writing improves our mental and physical health.

Research proves that writing about troubling issues boosts our immune system and improves our emotional health, which in turn benefits our lives in a multitude of ways. Writing gives us a space to channel, process, and release negative emotions.

4. Writing changes our outlook.

Journaling may be a popular form of therapeutic writing, but anyone who has gotten lost in a novel knows that stories have the ability to transport us. We can evolve our viewpoint through writing a fictional version of an event—perhaps with an alternative ending or from a new perspective—or by crafting a story based on a specific emotion but with a completely different set of circumstances.

How has writing helped you heal?


Write for fifteen minutes about something that bothers you—an event or emotion. Feel free to fictionalize it or change the circumstances as needed in order to feel comfortable sharing your practice.

When you’re finished, please share your practice in the comments section. And be sure to leave a few notes on other people’s comments too!

I know this type of writing is personal by nature, so if you don’t want to post your practice today, please let us know what you think about the healing power of writing instead.

Melissa Tydell is a freelance writer, content consultant, and blogger who enjoys sharing her love of the written word with others. You can connect with Melissa through her website, blog, or Twitter.

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