Whether you start your day off with a “dear diary” or work through stressful periods of your life in more physical ways, most of us benefit from healthy self-reflection. Channeling your innermost thoughts and feelings help you keep emotions in check and put things into perspective. While our random scribblings may never make it into a magazine or newspaper, these celebrity diaries remind us of the impact of our words.
It’s likely that you’ve heard one of Taylor Swift’s catchy songs on the radio or heard tinny vocals coming from her teen fans’ headphones. Her lyrics can get stuck in your head, but did you know that most of her songs come from her own?
Taylor has publicly explained the meaning behind most of her songs, crediting her life experiences with drawing the emotions out of her. While many songs are about people she knows and things that have happened publicly, Taylor has said that she uses music as diary entries.
Of course, angst always makes for meaningful music, but Taylor’s intent is also to make sure that people she wishes she could have told her true feelings to get to hear those words finally. She has taken to the studio to address critics, ex-boyfriends, ex-best friends, and her fans, for whom she always has kind words.
Fortunately for Taylor, the public appreciates hearing her innermost thoughts in prose form, so her diary reveal isn’t as embarrassing as most. Critics may not appreciate Taylor’s honesty, but it’s one of the reasons her fan base is so passionate.
Kurt Cobain, the famous frontman of Nirvana in the 80s, often journaled his personal thoughts in between writing songs and taking notes. But fame was hard on Kurt, and he struggled to maintain his image in public.
Although he dealt with heroin addiction, depression, and other health problems, journaling seems to have helped Kurt deal with the thoughts that raged inside his head. While some pages contain song lyrics or notes about the band, others have phrases like, “your vote counts” and “sue me.”
Kurt began journaling early in life, documenting his first concert where he saw the Melvins perform. But he wrote about life outside his musical interests, too, and showcased his artistic abilities on notebook pages and in collages and sculptures.
His journals highlight an intense sense of self-reflection, a quality that most of us can’t quite achieve in digital means or through social media. Although his life was troubled, Kurt Cobain had a clear sense of his identity and preserved that in the pages of his journals.
No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.
Ernest Hemingway was a Nobel Prize winner and career journalist and author who earned accolades for his work across the world. He traveled prolifically and was present at many of America’s crucial historical moments.
From a young age, Ernest was eager to write and travel the world, according to journals that he wrote at the age of nine. He expressed his love of sports, reading, and studies in English, Zoology, and Chemistry. This glimpse into the famous author’s early years hints at the impact self-reflection and journaling can have.
While you might argue that Ernest’s declaration of his intent to become a journalist and adventurer was pure precociousness, his wishes eventually came true. Knowing what you want out of life is the first step but reminding yourself of your inspiration can help you reach even the most significant goals.
Obviously, Pablo Picasso focused more on his art than his writing, but letters to friends across the world contain not only his musings but detailed drawings, too. Apart from creating paintings, sculptures, prints, and other artwork, Picasso also wrote poetry and plays.
With over 300 poems and two full-length plays on his resume, it’s not surprising that much of Picasso’s writing gives insight into how he lived his life. He made friends while attending school, and he stayed in contact with them through letters over the years, updating them on what he was working on and where he was.
Wherever Picasso went, he carried a notebook with him, documenting interesting things he saw and recording his thoughts. While people today often do the same on social media, writing in a journal can prove cathartic for us just as it apparently was for Picasso.
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
Demi Lovato made headlines not only for her impressive singing career but also for her mental health struggles. Although she has since recovered from past eating disorders and depression, Demi maintains an advocacy position for people going through the same issues as her.
Part of Demi’s recovery and overall health, she says, is using daily affirmations to stay inspired and strong. If that advice isn’t enough, fans can also buy her book, which contains 365 affirmations in Demi’s own words. She also sells a workbook that goes with the book, inviting readers to do their own daily journaling and self-reflection.
By sharing her life story instead of glossing over the negative aspects, Demi inspired trust in her followers and encouraged them to look within for the strength they need to overcome challenges. Judging by its rave reviews, Demi’s affirmation journal struck a chord with fans and survivors who find solace in writing down their thoughts.
But as effective as the pop star’s advice might be, it’s not new. There’s a reason people have long kept diaries and documented their daily lives, and it’s not to find fame or get published.
If you approach journaling as another assignment on your to-do list, it might feel more like work than leisure. And unlike Demi Lovato or Taylor Swift, you won’t earn royalties from documenting your thoughts.
Still, the therapeutic aspect of putting your thoughts down on paper can help you to refocus and frame experiences in a positive light. Then again, there’s also a chance that your innermost thoughts could one day become a top-selling autobiography or inspirational guide, too.