Journaling as an expressive arts practice for self-care

AT2018 - Sep Journaling-03

Journaling as we know it to be – autobiographical – began around the 1600s and has since become the vessel of creative and anthropological records. We owe our knowledge of past prominent figures (and the world through their eyes) to the availability of their handwritten, hand-drawn personal records, from Leonardo da Vinci, to Sylvia Plath, and those that have epitomized the brand of journal staple Moleskine: Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Bruce Chatwin.

Today, the proliferation of social media has transformed the way we do self-documentation. There’s a place online for everyone: the writers and poets, the photographers and videographers, social commenters, meme creators, visual and performing artists, and many more. But when was the last time you documented something for just yourself? Is it even relevant in this contemporary life that’s fast-paced, ever-changing, and filled with three too many to-do lists? Is the practice of journaling saved for those who are “real” writers, those who are crafty and organized, those who are creative?

First, we talked about mental wellness. Are you ready to take responsibility for it? As a part of the #HeadOn series of events for mental wellness, here’s an opportunity to help you start. Join us for this special workshop with Belle O. Mapa as we talk about the art of journaling, discover how it can help with the wellness of your mind, and, with the help of a wonderfully-analog system, how it can change the way you live – regardless of how creative (or uncreative) you think you are.

In this workshop, you will:

  1. Learn about the relationship between the expressive arts and mental wellness
  2. Learn about the benefits of maintaining a daily reflective practice and planning practice through journaling, to increase self-awareness
  3. Learn how to start your own bullet journal through a practical workshop session
  4. Apply new learnings about expressive arts by responding to journaling prompts
  5. Meet new people and experience the support of a creative community

The workshop provides:

  1. 1 dotted journal
  2. Use of shared art materials (feel free to bring your own!)

Workshop fee:

PHP 2,000



Belle O. Mapa (@bellemaps) is a lifestyle writer, journal-keeper, mental health advocate, and self-professed millennial Tita of Manila. In 2015, she began bullet journaling to battle depression and manage the chaos of creative block. Through journaling, she found strength, sanctuary, and structure — a self-empowering magic she wishes to share with the world.

Belle has previously partnered and workshopped with Fully Booked and Moleskine Philippines, Commune Café, Fringe MNL, as well as mental health organizations Silakbo PH and Tala: Mental Wellness. She also currently manages public relations and communications for Filipino youth-centered mental health organization, Spring Philippines.

Belle’s written work can be found on, Scoutmagph, and Preen. Follow her on Instagram and subscribe to her YouTube channel at @bellemaps.