In our insanely driven society, it may seem that a quiet, reflective practice like journaling would be mostly a woman's activity. But the fact is, journaling is enjoyed by men at least as much as women.

Brett McKay, for instance, of The Art of Manliness, encourages journaling, noting that the discipline has been a feature of the lives of countless great men in history. Says McKay, " In studying the lives of great men, I’ve noticed a common trait: they were all consistent journal writers. Now, I’m not saying that their greatness is directly attributable to their journaling … But I figure, if great men like these thought it was important to keep a journal, maybe I should, too."

Following on the brilliant example of Leonardo da Vinci, heroes such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and countless others have bequeathed us a peek into their actual lives through their journals.

Noting your experiences and observations in a journal is a way to ensure that your descendants will benefit from your life. Having access to the memoirs of ancestors is a privilege profoundly appreciated by the few who inherit it.

Less formal than an autobiography, journals are truly intimate pictures of a life. Because they're so personal, they can mean much more than books or other legacies.

But in addition to the worth of a journal as an heirloom, the practice of journaling is appreciated by guys just as much as women. Here are a few benefits noted by men who journal:

• Journaling about things you are grateful for can truly change your everyday outlook on life.

• Journaling brings the right and left hemispheres of the brain in contact with each other, promoting clear thinking, feeling, and memories.

• Journaling helps to process interactions with family or colleagues, allowing insight, a sense of personal responsibility, and forgiveness.

• A journal is a safe place to explore difficult emotions, including depression, and to put them in perspective so that positive growth can result.

• Journaling is a mind-body activity: i.e., both mind and body are active when you journal, and this holistic awareness serves to strengthen focus and reduce stress.

• Journaling is a way to prepare for your day, anticipating possible roadblocks and setting up appropriate expectations.

• Journaling is a way to plan and stay focused on your goals, so you don't wander around in a daze.

• You can use your journal to explore ideas and fantasies; to make note of creative thoughts; to make plans or outline possibilities.

• Journaling is a way to become a better writer.

• Some men like to use a journal as a way to center themselves spiritually, to specify affirmations or express prayer.

No doubt about it, journaling's for anyone who can write, whether young or old, male or female. The practice is a way for our experiences to have valuable meaning long after we're gone. And in the present, it's an important aid to physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.

Author's Bio: 

By Mari L. McCarthy - Journal / Writing Therapist. Are you looking for more information on journal writing and the therapeutic effects of journaling? Please visit and my blog at My trademarked program, Journaling for the Health of It! TM, helps my clients live healthier and happier lives.