I wasn’t familiar with any of Fearne Cotton’s career before getting this journal. But wow, if this is representative of her work, she must be a marvel — because this journal really is. It offers an innovative and engaging design with pastel pages, fine B&W illustrations, full-page inspirational quotes, and a few short lines (mostly, they are 9 blank lines, taking up about a quarter of each page) for a brief, daily entry. Each entry is dated by month and date throughout the year (yet unconnected to a specific calendar year). There are, other nice touches, like the emoticons for each entry, with just a circle and two lines — the emotion is up to you to note down.

Further, most entries are accompanied by motivating and inspiring writing prompts. The prompts are often questions, geared toward encouraging you to write down your concerns, frequently in a list of some sort. For example, January begins with an encouraging full-page quote: “Never be afraid to start again. It’s a chance to rebuild your life the way you wanted all along.”

The prompt for January 6 reads, “I love writing lists to clear my overcrowded head. Write a list of things you need to do here. It could be for tomorrow, for the week or for the whole year ahead.” I really love the direction she gives, without “requiring” too many specifics. It lets my thoughts flow, and in general, I find the process de-stresses my day/week/life while encouraging real growth.

So, by October, the entry for the first reads, “Change can be hard. What upcoming changes are worrying you?” The next day, the prompt is “Change can also be good. What life changes could you make to create some more balance or happiness?” And on October third, she continues, “How might you take steps towards the change you thought of yesterday?” Isn’t that just wonderful, yet so gentle, kind, and helpful? I wasn’t really raised with the sense that my life was my responsibility nor that its course was actually within my ability to change. Yet, I don’t have time, inclination, or (I hope) the need to get regular counseling, but that doesn’t mean I’m perfectly satisfied or couldn’t use some help, direction, and encouragement. This journal really fills that need for me, and I think it’s a genuine help. I’m so grateful for this!