Confession: The idea of journal-writing makes me cringe. I was never the teenager who kept a diary stashed in her bedside table, filling it nightly with hopes and dreams or doodling hearts around my crush's name. In fact, in high school, when I had to keep a journal for English class, it was always the homework assignment I left for last. Give me calculus equations to solve or term papers to pen, but writing down my feelings? No thanks.
Here's the thing, though — journaling is actually good for you, and not just in the Chicken Soup for the Soul way. Research shows that expressive writing can lower stress, improve sleep, and increase immune response. So, this year, I'm giving journaling a second chance.