The Benefits of an Audio Journal Monday, April 8th, 2019 This is something I started doing recently and found it to be really helpful, so I thought I'd share it with everyone. Maybe others do the same and have posted about it before. I have kept a written journal for about 4 years now, off and on, and it works well to manage fear, depression, and feelings of overwhelm. Additionally it's also a great tool for setting goals, keeping track of progress, etc. But recently I have felt the need to talk out loud when expressing my thoughts and emotions, to get things off my chest that bother me. I'll be honest, I don't have many friends who I can talk to about serious problems. I have a few good friends, but let's keep it real, when you're depressed, or anxious, or having a rough time, most friends don't want to hear about your problems, and I have trouble talking to people about depressing stuff anyway, so the tendency is to bottle it up. In theory friends are supposed to be there for you: "that's what a friend is for" after all, but in reality there is only so much negativity that another person can take before they stop wanting to be your friend. Just keeping it real here. A friend might listen to you for a couple of hours every few months, but they're not going to listen to your shit every day ad nauseum until they themselves get depressed. Not even close family members will do that. And I don't have thousands of dollars to waste on a therapist. But the fact remains that I, like many, struggle with these problems. I get depressed, and lonely, and overwhelmed about life - where I'm going and if there's any chance of me getting there. Entropy builds up, and when the water level breaches the levy, it can drown a man in sorrow and confusion. If you can't take action to reverse the tide of negativity, eventually it surrounds and engulfs you. There has to be a practical way to push back, to confront the negativity within and expel it, and reverse the tide. That's why I started doing an audio journal recently using the Voice Memos app on my Macbook. Voice Memos is a highly underrated app that comes with most Macbooks / iPhones these days. It's very simple to use and stores a low memory file of your voice recording. Other devices have different names for this app, and you can find it pretty much everywhere. Even my crappy Samsung J5 phone has one. I have found that when I'm in a dark place, speaking out my thoughts is a lot more effective than writing them out (writing IMO is more effective for logical planning). The audio journal is great when you're feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or stressed out. It has the same effect as sitting down and talking with another human being, except the computer will listen for eternity and never get bored of you. Speaking my problems into an audio journal feels more natural, spontaneous, and genuine. I'm decent at typing, but sometimes I take too long to express an idea when writing, and the essence of the thought / feeling is gone. Of course you can speak a lot faster than you can write, so you can expel your problems in real time with the audio journal and really get to the heart of what's bothering you. It's a good feeling, getting all the negativity off your chest through talking, and with this audio journal, I can do that whenever I want, for free, and without telling anyone. It's also good to listen to the recording a few minutes later and hear yourself articulate your problems. Being able to listen to yourself is surprisingly therapeutic. It puts distance between you and the person who just spoke - the person a few minutes ago who used to have these issues. For me it also allows me to have compassion for my own problems, which I usually dismiss as stupid and weak-minded. When you focus your thoughts, you put yourself in a state of action, and it's almost impossible to be depressed when you're in a state of action. In a state of action you're confronting the cloud of fear and dispelling it away. Psychologically, you're going somewhere new and leaving the pit of depression behind. Hopefully you'll give this audio journal method a try the next time you want to get something off your chest, but don't have anyone around to listen. I've found it to be a great tool.