Most preteen and teenage girls keep a diary or journal at some point during their adolescence, and many boys do too (although they would never call it a diary). But, according to several different studies, journaling may be more than an act of teenage documentation. It's known that much of history is also documented in the form of journals, an act that has decreased immensely in popularity in recent years since the advancement of social media technology.
According to an article on psychcentral.com, a study done by James Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin found that writing in a journal on a regular basis may have numerous benefits on your health, including positive effects on immunity, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. These benefits are also mentioned in an article on about.com.
Also among the benefits of journaling are reduced stress, increased problem-solving capabilities, and a new perspective on situations. These are mentioned in the psychcentral.com article and the about.com article. The University of Rochester Medical Center released an article that focused more specifically on the psychologial benefits of journaling. According to the article, not only can journaling reduce stress, but it can also help you 'prioritize problems, fears, and concerns,' as well as track symptoms if you have a mental illness so you can learn to recognize your triggers. Journaling also helps people 'identify negative thoughts and behaviors' and learn to redirect them into positive self-talk.
Whether or not you choose to keep a journal is up to you, but the evidence is continually mounting in favor of journaling as a part of a healthy lifestyle. You can make journaling your own, if you do decide to try it, and find a way that works for you. The point of journaling is not to leave a coherent saga for others to read. Your journal is your own, and no one else has to see it if you don't want them to. Keeping a journal doesn't mean you have to write a certain amount every day. You can keep lists or streams of consciousness in your journal, as well of narratives of specific events in your life. Anything can be in your journal. It's yours and for your health only. Give it a shot. You might like the results.