Have you ever written a strongly-worded (read: filled with F-bombs and exclamation points) letter to your boss, boyfriend, or professor with no intention of ever sending it to them? Did it feel… kind of amazing? If so, then congrats! You’ve engaged in a form of journaling called “vent writing.” And according to therapists, it can be really good for your mental health and interpersonal relationships. (Yes, really.)
Vent writing essentially involves writing down all of your pent-up angry thoughts and frustrations. Think of it as the polar opposite of gratitude journaling, which has you reflect on the things for which you’re grateful, like family, friends, or the latest season of Love is Blind. By contrast, vent writing invites you to dish about anything and everything that’s currently filling you with rage—an opportunity to share how you *really* feel about getting skipped over for that promotion at work or being ghosted by a recent Tinder hookup. It’s all about airing your grievances, no holds barred.
“Being able to really express what’s on my mind without someone else there to be hurt by it or have an opinion about it feels really freeing for me. I don’t have to censor myself.” –– Meredith Erin, Boredwalk CEO and author of Grievance Journal