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Morning Pages Throughout Recovery

man writes in recovery journal

What’s the first thing you do after your eyes pop open in the morning? You might groan and roll back over. You might pick up your phone and scroll through your notifications. Have you ever thought about journaling, though? Writing down your morning thoughts can be extremely beneficial for those of us in recovery. Sara Tasker, author of “Pen for Your Thoughts” in In The Moment magazine, writes that “[Morning journaling was] first offered as an aid to writers, painters, and potters in the early 90s, but it is still every bit as relevant now, in the fast-paced, ever-connected age of digital creatives.” Tasker explains that the idea of morning journaling came from author Julia Cameron’s book for creatives, The Artist’s Way. Continue reading to learn more about how morning journaling can be beneficial to you during your recovery. 

The rules of “morning pages”

Tasker explains that the regulations of Cameron’s “morning pages” are simple: “Three pages of freehand, free-form writing, every morning, first thing.” Tasker continues, “You don’t need to make sense, spell correctly, or even write particularly legibly. In fact, in my experience, morning pages are best forgotten or disposed of immediately after the fact. The idea is that it’s an exorcism, an emptying out of the mind and all of its clutter and noise.” Morning pages are for you to manipulate and work with. They may not make sense to someone else, but that doesn’t matter. They should be helping you and you alone. “Clearing space for the create day ahead” is the goal of morning pages, says Tasker. 

Journaling for recovery

Journaling is such a great tool to have in your recovery toolbox because it helps get the things that are in your head out and onto paper. Often, people in recovery bottle up their thoughts and feelings until they explode. Journaling helps avoid this inevitable explosion because you are letting out your thoughts and emotions day by day. It’s important to remember that there is no good or bad journaling. “[It is] only done,” says Tinker about journaling. “And even if it means writing three pages of ‘I don’t have anything to write about today, why is this taking so long?’ — ‘done’ is an objective, achievable deadline that is always accessible to reach.” It may look different for everyone, so try not to compare your journal to someone else’s. This is why it’s useful to journal in a beautiful and quiet space, then dispose of or put aside your journal until the next day. 


Journaling for recovery gives you the freedom to get your mind out on paper instead of bottling up your feelings. Freedom feels great. You can simply be, without thinking of it as a race or a competition. There are “no standards, rules, expectations, or judgment.” It’s just freedom. 

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help keep you on the right track during your recovery. This right track includes journaling. Call us today for more information about the programs we offer at 844-413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you!