Why burn journals and gratitude books?

Sep 04, 2021

Keeping my journals is a good thing right?

I used to hold onto all the books I poured my thoughts, desires and gratitude into – they filled a shelf, and then another.

I didn’t really notice them there… they became part of the furniture. 

OK, so the journals were self-indulgent, but the gratitude books were generating a pocket of intensely positive energy – that could only be a good thing right?

Um, with hindsight, NO!

YES of course it’s fantastic to write your gratitudes down – it amplifies the power of your words, especially if they are handwritten from the heart. 

I talk about this a lot, and it’s a key part of the Interiors Therapy Masterclass programme I teach online.

However, when a gratitude book is complete, how often do you go back to it? If the answer is never, then they become stagnant energy. 

These books are of the moment, so when the last page is complete, you automatically move forward. And that’s how it should be.

Journals are different. They are often used to record the deepest thoughts.

And let me clarify here, I’m NOT talking about the journals of your travels, your daily diaries or anything you might be planning to use to write your autobiography. You certainly want to keep those, although I’d suggest choosing the location in your home carefully to avoid trapping yourself in the past.

Here I’m discussing the journals used in self-help processes recommended to help individuals through emotional pain and trauma.

The concept of ‘write it down’ to release pressure on a busy mind is well known and recognised for its ability to help ease anxiety or depression. But journaling in self-help is often about dumping everything which makes you feel miserable, stressed, broken and overwhelmed.   

If you are pouring the overflow of a broken heart into a notebook, writing pages of hurt and pain, anger, regret, distress, rejection and feelings of unworthiness – do those notebooks have a place in your life going forward?

To me the answer is a resounding NO!

In fact, the truth is that keeping this amount of negativity in your life can be so detrimental, it will pull you backwards … especially if you are tempted to dip into them and POKE THE WOUNDS you’ve exposed to pen and paper.


Everything in Interiors Therapy is about personal choice. The joy of being able to see possessions from a detached perspective and understand the damage they do is the first step to solving many of the emotional challenges we live with every day.

So if you’re ready to move forward from your past – let it go! 

Personally I love a little blaze – burning is most effective for clearing the energy quickly and the ashes foster new growth. Alternatively, shred or rip your old journals into confetti… say goodbye to the pain and let the good times roll.