When 15-year-old Kristin's parents divorced, she turned to her most trusted confidante for support: her journal. "I wasn't even sure how I felt until writing it in a journal," she remembers. "I was anxious and depressed, a lethal combination if you let it all hang out. Once I was able to hear myself think by writing it in a journal, I was able to decide more calmly how I wanted to act." "My friend lied to me, embarrassed me, and betrayed me," explained Amy, "and I was so angry I thought I would explode. I knew if I just yelled at her, I'd be sorry for what came out of my mouth. Plus telling her I hated her wouldn't accomplish anything. Writing in a journal gave me a safe outlet that cleared my head enough to have a rational conversation and make her understand how devastated I was." Ask Gwyenth Paltrow or Madonna what a nonjudgmental, forgiving activity writing in a journal can be! No matter the notebook, the spelling, or the writing instrument, whether you are writing in a journal every day, once a month, or twice a year, if you're under a tree, in bed, or at the computer, spending quiet private time writing your thoughts in a journal is always worthwhile. Honest reflection gives you a chance to cope with tragedy, solve love problems, make tough decisions, and become more creative all without risk. Scribbling down anything that's on your mind, including nonsense you make up, is liberating. Writing in a journal what you feel, not what you think someone else wants you to feel, brings comfort...and quite often the answers you never knew you knew. Writing in a Journal —What if you hate to write? There's no doubt about it, writing is hard work —but only if you're concerned with rules and neatness and being judged. None of that matters when writing in a journal. Write quickly and don't worry about messing up. No need to cross out or make corrections. The great thing about spilling your thoughts and pouring your heart out is that it's just for you. Rereading what you've written can help you understand recurring patterns and themes in your life —some good, some you don't ever want to repeat. Make sure you stash your journal in a safe place. Then discover how hearing your own voice, as distinctively unique as your fingerprint, can be an amazing confidence-building activity. Writing in a Journal — How can writing to yourself be good for your health? While it's not difficult to understand how writing in a journal is good for your emotional health, research has shown your body profits as well. Recording thoughts and feelings increases the number of our disease-fighting white blood cells, leading to a strengthened immune system. Another study revealed that those suffering from asthma showed significant improvement after writing about (and so releasing) the stresses in their lives. Writing in a Journal — What if you haven't a clue what to write about? Everyone who writes regularly gets stuck sometimes for ideas. Here are few suggestions to get you started: Think of a situation that remains unresolved. It could be telling a friend who moved how much you miss her, a teacher from last semester how unfair you thought she was, a cute boy how cute he appears in your dreams. Then write him or her a letter you have no intention of mailing. Just commit the time. Doodle, write a poem, make a wish list, record your dreams. Don't be concerned with making sense. When you reread your entries later, you'll be surprised what you'll pick up that you didn't realize when you wrote it. Read about how writing in a journal can help your relationships. Get helpful tips at BeingGirl.com.