8 Best Apps for Daily Wellness Journaling in 2021

Updated: February 2021

Image by Tim Mossholder

Journaling is the act of recording your thoughts and feelings. You can do it through words, images, videos, symbols, or whatever works for you. There are no rules, although it’s best to journal daily to get the most benefit.

Journaling is a healthy way to manage stress, anxiety, and depression by providing a place to express yourself freely and safely. After journaling for a while and looking back on your entries, you’ll start to learn more about yourself. It can help you track your goals, identify stressors and bad habits, and clarify issues in your life. If you let it, it can help you become a better person. It can also improve your writing, creativity, and memory.

If you like the experience of physically writing down your thoughts, you can start an old-fashioned diary or bullet journal. If you prefer the convenience of a digital journal or need guidance to get started, try out these 8 beautifully designed daily journaling apps with a focus on mindfulness and wellbeing.

Jour

iOS only

Jour is a highly personalized wellness tracking app, gathering insights for you after you’ve journaled for a few days. This allows you to identify trends in your life and figure out how to make things better. It provides you with content that is tailored to you based on how you’re feeling and what activities you’ve done that day.

Best for:

  • Those who want a solid app overall with basic guided journaling features and personalized insights

Pros:

  • Daily check-ins
  • Guided journals
  • Motivational quotes
  • Password protected
  • Weekly and monthly insights (premium)
  • Daily personalized tips and advice (premium)
  • Audio guides (premium)
  • Breathing exercises (premium)

Cons:

  • Questions can get repetitive
  • No dark mode
  • Not available for Android
  • Premium version is pricey

Premium Price: $9.99 monthly or $59.99 yearly

Daylio

iOS and Android

Daylio allows you to track your mood without writing anything. Select your mood and activities for the day, and then look back to identify trends. Discover what makes you happy and what you should get rid of.

Best for:

  • Those who don’t have a lot of time and want a simple app to help them log their feelings with a few taps

Pros:

  • Quickly select mood and activities with thousands of icons to choose from
  • Add notes and diary entries
  • Weekly, monthly, and yearly insight charts
  • Set goals and receive achievement awards
  • Back up via Google Drive (premium)
  • Export and print entries via PDF or CSV (premium)
  • Password protected (premium)

Cons:

  • Portrait mode only
  • 1 photo limit per entry
  • No ability to transfer data across platforms
  • Android version is more developed than iOS version

Premium Price: $2.99 monthly or $23.99 yearly

Perspective

iOS only

Perspective’s goal is to keep things simple and accessible. As such, there’s only one version of the app and it’s free. You can write entries including photos, as well as track your moods and activities over time.

Best for:

  • Those looking for a totally free app with basic journaling capabilities

Pros:

  • Everything is included for free
  • Optional journal prompts
  • Track mood and interests visually
  • Add insights on past entries
  • “Life Calendar” view shows your mood across decades
  • Password protected

Cons:

  • Only 3 mood options
  • No search or filter capabilities
  • No dark mode
  • No auto-save
  • Portrait mode only
  • No ability to sync data across devices
  • Not available for Android

Premium Price: None!

Moodnotes

iOS only

Moodnotes is built upon the beliefs of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It aims to help you track your mood and thoughts, identify negative thinking patterns, and develop positive habits to increase your wellbeing over time.

Best for:

  • Those whose main focus is noticing and improving mood through cognitive-behavioral therapy

Pros:

  • Facial recognition to input your mood
  • Lots of feelings to choose from
  • Journal prompts
  • Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly trend charts
  • Export entries to PDF or CSV
  • Password protected
  • Insights based on past entries (premium)

Cons:

  • Poorly designed user interface
  • Portrait mode only
  • No dark mode
  • Not available for Android

Premium Price: $9.99 monthly or $39.99 yearly

Stoic

iOS only

Stoic is more than just a wellness journal app. At the beginning, middle, and end of your day, it provides you with personalized messages and exercises to do. Exercises include guided journaling, visualization, meditation, and breathing.

Best for:

  • Those looking for an all-in-one wellness app or those with an interest in stoicism and its philosophies

Pros:

  • Variety of exercises to help cope with negative emotions
  • Guided and unguided journals
  • Daily quotes from philosophers
  • Daily affirmations
  • Add hand-drawn images
  • Weekly trend reports
  • Export and share your journals (premium)
  • Password protected (premium)
  • iCloud sync (premium)

Cons:

  • Certain questions and exercises may be triggering for some people
  • Grammar and spelling errors can be distracting
  • Not available for Android

Premium Price: $6.99 monthly, $37.99 yearly, or $94.99 lifetime

Grid Diary

iOS and Android

Grid Diary presents your diary entries in a customizable grid to help you focus on the parts of your life that are in need of extra attention. Guided prompts and templates help you get started on those days when you don’t know what to say.

Best for:

  • Those looking for a unique grid diary format complete with several wellness-focused and goal-oriented features

Pros:

  • Short guided diary entries that are easy to fill out
  • Daily affirmations and quotes
  • Stickers and tags to track moods and habits
  • Weekly check-ins
  • Password protected (premium)
  • Sync across multiple devices (premium)

Cons:

  • Pre-selected questions can get repetitive
  • Free version limited to one journal
  • Limited customization with free version

Premium Price: $2.99 monthly or $22.99 yearly

Reflectly

iOS and Android

Reflectly tailors your experience based on what it learns about you and your goals through your diary entries. It harnesses the powers of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you reach a new level of self-care.

Best for:

  • Those who want a highly personalized app that uses artificial intelligence to help you reflect.

Pros:

  • Positive affirmations and motivational messages sent to you throughout the day
  • Daily mood check-ins
  • Personalized journal questions
  • Daily insights
  • Insightful graphs
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly overviews

Cons:

  • Free version is limited
  • Questions, mood options, and messages can be vague
  • Premium version is pricey

Premium Price: $9.99 monthly or $59.99 yearly

Journey

iOS and Android

Journey provides a guided journal with several different coaching programs to follow. The free version offers many capabilities and the paid version syncs beautifully with other devices on their desktop and web apps.

Best for:

  • Those looking for a powerful app that includes tagging, guided journals, and multi-device support

Pros:

  • Add location, weather, activity, mood, and custom tags
  • Add drawings
  • Different entry views (timeline, calendar, map)
  • Personalized insight charts
  • Coach programs
  • Password protected
  • Memory and milestone tracking (premium)
  • Advanced search capabilities (premium)
  • Format text (premium)
  • Add audio recordings (premium)
  • Desktop and web app integration (cloud membership)

Cons:

  • Cannot add photos, videos, and audio to one entry
  • 10 photo, 1 video, or 1 audio limit per entry
  • Portrait mode only

Premium Price: $11.99 lifetime

Cloud Membership Price: $3.99 monthly or $29.99 yearly

Originally published at https://kaylynyee.com.

Writer, travel enthusiast, and human being (not in that order). I help people succeed with engaging, relatable articles about travel and wellness.