Mental health disorders and substance use disorders often go hand in hand. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, irritability, or stress, emotions are one of the biggest contributing factors to substance abuse. If you do feel that you have mental health issues, you should, of course, visit a therapist or psychiatrist, but there are some things you can do at home to ease a little of the burden. One such activity is keeping a journal and getting all of your thoughts and feelings out on paper (or a screen). Journaling can help you keep track of and understand your emotions so that you can eventually gain control over them. If you’re thinking that you don’t have time to keep a journal – or maybe you’re all about technology and can’t see yourself with a notebook and pen – you’re in luck. There are several apps out there for tablets and smartphones that will let you access your journal any time and in any place.

Depending on what operating system and what kind of device you’re using, as well as exactly what it is you’re looking to get out of keeping a journal, there are plenty of options for journaling apps. The following are some of the most popular.

Day One allows you to not only keep a journal on your device, but to export it as either a text document or PDF. It also has functions for adding more than just text, including photos, weather reports, daily step counts, locations, tags, and more. It’s available for both iOS and Android, and there is a free version, although the premium – which allows you to use all of the features – is $35 a year.

Universum has more features than day one, but the interface is also more crowded. You can include drawings, daily expenses, calendar events, and a mood tracker. It’s only available for Android, and while there is a free version, the premium is only $4.

Momento is only available for iOS. It allows you to incorporate your social media activities, so you can upload data about your day from Spotify, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. It’s also free with a $4 premium subscription.

Journey is perhaps the most flexible, because it can be used not only as an app on iOS and Android but also Windows and macOS through its website. It allows you to include photos, video, and custom tags. You can also choose to share any entries you choose. The premium version allows you to use different interfaces and export more entries at once, and it’s $30 per year.


The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by emotions, before you reach for a drink or let yourself start spiraling into a dark place, try reaching for your phone instead. Sometimes just getting your feelings out instead of keeping them pent up is enough to get them under control.

If you or a loved one need help with quitting drugs or alcohol, consider Asana Recovery. We offer medical detox, along with both residential and outpatient programs, and you’ll be supervised by a highly trained staff of medical professionals, counselors, and therapists. Call us any time at (949) 438-4504 to get started.