Tag Archive for: reflection

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Picture this: you, reclining comfortably, pen in hand, experiencing the heightened state of openness and ease induced by MDMA.

This is the perfect moment to embark on a journaling journey of self-discovery.

Welcome to the transformative world of journaling in MDMA sessions.

In this blog post, we will explore the powerful combination of MDMA and journaling, unlocking a pathway to self-reflection, emotional release, and personal growth. I’ll discuss the benefits of combining MDMA and journaling and offer a few different types of journaling you can try during your roll. And I’ll end by sharing a bit of my experience.

Let’s dive in.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Benefits of Journaling on MDMA

The benefits of journaling are well-documented. They include self-reflection, emotional release, clarity, personal growth, emotional regulation, memory enhancement, problem-solving, creativity, emotional healing, and accountability.

So why the need to introduce MDMA?

Reduced Amygdala Response: Enhanced Openness and Relaxation

One of the notable effects of MDMA is its remarkable ability to reduce the amygdala response. The amygdala is part of your brain that plays a central role in the brain’s processing of emotions, particularly fear and stress.

By reducing amygdala activity, MDMA enables individuals to approach difficult and stressful subjects with a greater sense of ease and openness. It diminishes fear and anxiety, establishing a safe space for self-reflection and introspection. This is what has made MDMA such a powerful tool in the treatment of PTSD and it also creates an ideal mindset for valuable inner work through journaling.

Journaling in this state can be transformative, providing insights into one’s inner world and uncovering the root causes of challenges.

Enhancing Motivation and Focus

If you’re like me, you might not journal as much as would probably benefit you.

The good thing is, with MDMA, can help with motivation and focus.

MDMA has amphetamine-like properties that can boost motivation, as highlighted by Ben Sessa in the Netflix series based on Pollan’s book “How To Change Your Mind.” Sessa pointed out that the amphetamine part of MDMA helps patients participate in therapy by providing a motivating effect.

The stimulating aspect of MDMA can also bring a heightened sense of focus, allowing you to be fully engaged in the journaling process. Similar to how a good cup of coffee can help on a workday. But with an emotional opening and mildly mind-expanding boost.

By tapping into the heightened state of openness and relaxation facilitated by MDMA, combined with the lowered amygdala response and increased focus, journaling during MDMA sessions can become a powerful tool for personal exploration and growth.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Types of Journaling

There are several ways you can incorporate journaling into your MDMA sessions. Here are a few options you might try:

Open Journaling

Keep a journal nearby and jot down any interesting or insightful thoughts that arise during the session. This unstructured approach is a good starting point, especially if you’re new to journaling or don’t want to dedicate the entire session to writing. If you’re sharing the session with someone, you can even share a journal.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) / Parts Work

This modality has gained popularity in the psychedelic world. It involves recognizing that each individual is composed of different parts with conflicting interests. By engaging in parts work, you can bring these conflicting parts together and facilitate a dialogue to find resolution and a path forward. Any internal conflicts or disharmony can serve as fuel for a parts work journaling session.

Journaling Prompts

Thought-provoking journaling prompts can guide your mind in specific directions and prompt you to explore certain topics. Similar to how therapists ask good questions to elicit insights, well-crafted journal prompts can lead to valuable reflections. You can choose prompts related to areas you wish to focus on, such as health, relationships, work, or personal growth.

If you are doing some online course, maybe a homework exercise has some prompts for you that you can use. 

Here are a couple journaling prompts to get you started:
80/20 Life Audit
7 Death Contemplations


MDMA’s mild psychedelic effects and enhanced enthusiasm make it a great tool for brainstorming. Choose a topic, such as ways to improve your life, make money, enhance relationships, or improve your health, and let your mind generate ideas freely. This activity can be engaging and enjoyable during an MDMA session.

Creative Journaling

You can also merge brainstorming with creative projects. Use your journal to brainstorm ideas for a creative or collaborative endeavor. You can create outlines, explore divergent ideas, and let your creativity flow without filtering or judgment. This stage is about generating as many ideas as possible. You can review and filter them later.

Vision Boarding

Sketch or create small images of things you want to manifest or bring to life. This type of visual journaling helps you to visualize your desires and aspirations.


Write letters to yourself, imagined future self, or significant people in your life. You can also use letter writing to work on relationships or express your thoughts and emotions. You can even then decide if the letters (or some, perhaps soberly edited, version of them) are something you would pass on.

My Experience

I discovered the combination of journaling and MDMA during the first lockdown in 2020 when I embarked on my first solo MDMA experience. I was hesitant to try this at first, as I thought that I’d want to be around other people, but a friend of mine had told me he’d done MDMA on his own before, and it was great every time. So I tried it. And he was right, it was great!

I’ve done a bunch of solo MDMA sessions since then. And journaling is always a key part of it. Nowadays, during a typical solo MDMA session, I’ll fill at least 10 pages in my bullet journal. I use all of the above options. Sometimes I’ll plan for some of them, sometimes I leave it open.

If an emotionally tricky topic arises, which would normally be towards the start of a session, then I will often turn to parts work journaling to find some resolution on the matter. Or if it involves another person, I find writing letters to be very helpful.

The content ranges from personal reflections to creative ideas, and fun topics. Journaling helps me gain clarity, connect with my emotions, and approach creative work from a place of inspiration.

Depending on the session, I usually do other things. It may be hanging out with friends, playing some music, or going to see a band play. In which case I usually time it to see the band, and then go home and journal on the tail end before bed.

I’ve found that being offline (or uncontactable) and disconnected from daily responsibilities allows for deeper thinking and exploration of complex issues, so if this is an aim, I’d recommend you go on airplane mode.

Quick Tips

Discern What You Journal

It can be easy to get caught up trying to write everything down, so try to be discerning about what you write down. Aim to capture insights and significant reflections rather than mundane details.

Keep It a Safe Space

Remember that your journal is a safe space for expression, free from judgment or fear. Your journal should be a private sanctuary where you can be your truest self, allowing you to explore your innermost thoughts, dreams, and fears with complete authenticity.

Embrace the freedom to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences without fear of criticism or scrutiny. 

Review Your Notes

Revisit and go over your journal entries within a couple of days of the session. Reflect on your insights, separate the fun from the profound, and transform actionable items into concrete tasks. This integration process enhances the value of your journaling practice.

journal journaling writing mdma creativity inner work

Journaling during MDMA sessions can encompass a wide range of activities, from inner work and emotional exploration to creative ideation. Find the approach that resonates with you and embrace the transformative power of combining journaling with MDMA.

If you have a session coming up, I recommend trying out a bit of journaling. Let me know how it goes!

lsd acid identity psychedelic

lsd acid identity psychedelic


Reality has seemed so petty at times afterwards. The feeling I had transcends the heights and limits of beauty and truth, at once amplifying them and making them seem ridiculous at the same time, or so normal they seem ridiculous. For example, the classical music seemed so beautiful and made so much sense as existing. It was as if every note had existed in that order before anyone ever composed it and, ironically, this also made it seem more everyday/pedestrian, whilst also being beautiful. When someone looks at the ceiling of the Cistine chapel, they may well feel in awe of the craftsmanship and even intimidated by the scale of the talent required to produce it. It may make one feel insignificant. However, if looking at Michaelangelo’s creation on acid, one might feel as if it had always had to look that way, a feeling of natural inevitability, like one could enjoy it’s simple beauty, the colours and shapes and meaning, and not the words of the tour guide. Acid can provide an appreciation of things that is free from the influence of cultural/historical factors long ingrained on the minds of most western industrialised psyches.

The stripping of cultural identity from contemplation, that acid provides, left me feeling that I was not the self that I knew and not even the self I thought I had become, but an empty vessel, a being of energy stretched into a strange shape, as we all are. All the qualities or details that I use to describe myself to people or how I classify myself in my own mind (white, middle-class etc.) appeared to become meaningless, just semantics. I felt sad at first thinking of myself as just space matter; it’s like the film we are the star of in our own heads (and the character we play) never getting to the production phase, forgotten. However, this was also liberating (again, circularity of thought –both sides); the feeling of cosmic insignificance relieves anxiety over status, self-consciousness, social expectations and materialism. The more sombre thinking on mortal insignificance has also, at times, boiled over into a numbing nihilism, but that might just be there naturally(!). I’ll explore this further in the concluding parts…


Epic Realisations

It seemed to me different personalities within my friendship group displayed different reactions to LSD. I would consider myself a classic mix of loner and extrovert which meant at times whilst tripping I was very boisterous and silly and at other times I was withdrawn and a bit out there. My perception was that Chris seemed quite controlled (as he admitted after, very often he was fighting the drug) and went about his trip in a fairly orderly manner, Alex seemed quiet and thoughtful but earnest in trying to go along with the experience, and John was loud, crazy, excitable and highly suggestive and malleable – to me these all correspond with their personalities, almost as if the acid caricatured us. Because of this, the personal nature of the trip seemed to be more so for Chris and Alex as it was harder for me to gauge ostensibly what they were feeling, whereas with John, it was hard to ignore.

At one stage of the trip, I’d just had a freak out, mainly physical. I was coming up hard and had lost all sense of physical being which was scary; “Chris” I appealed, “I feel weird mate”. “It’s OK” he said, “you’ve taken drugs”.

I immediately calmed down and went back to drawing with my crayons. Just then, as if he’d been invisible for centuries I noticed John was lying flat out on a sofa, headphones in, staring up at the ceiling, clutching our acid diary notebook as if he was hanging onto the edge of a cliff. As the psychedelic band Tame Impala whirred through his head he seemed to writhe and convulse rigidly, wriggling feverishly in the sofa as if each contortion brought with it a sublime mixture of agony and ecstasy, revelation and destruction.

Suddenly, my freak out seemed minor. I wanted to be where John was, seeing the truths he was seeing. This feeling was reinforced by his constant cries of; “Epic realisations! Oh my word! Epic realisations!”. What insane mysteries were being unfolded to him? Part of me thought he was hamming it up as he would do sober, but that didn’t seem to matter when perception is all and reality is nowhere. “It all makes sense” and phrases like it kept coming out of John’s mouth. At one point, the craziest his face looked throughout, John sat up, his hair askew on the side that had been continually nuzzled into the sofa during the course of Tame Impala’s back catalogue; “It’s all just a game” he laughed insanely, “It’s all just a game and it goes round and round and round and round.”

It seemed that the real truth lay within each of us. I wanted to experience what John was because of my desire to feel real truth, cosmic truth, whatever that is. After all, trippers are all explorers, cosmonauts, we do it because our minds are hungry, but I knew I couldn’t because any time we tried to impart information to each other it was distorted by perception like cosmic Chinese whispers.

The real world is the same except we have constructed semantics as a short cut to understanding; if someone says they want to eat lunch you assume they want to eat lunch because that is the prescribed thing to say – but this is not necessarily so in acid land. John’s epic realisation was about himself fundamentally, the realisation was his own reaction. More broadly I think the trip showed me how alone we all are as human beings. Understanding that someone wants lunch is one thing, but when the tricky matter of expressing feelings romantically or passionately or seriously in deeper contexts emerges it is far more worrying. How do we ever really know if someone has understood us or whether we really understand what we are trying to impart to others? We think we know, but then we sometimes see something from a different angle. With less change and experiences that offer new perspectives in one’s life, the more hardened, dogmatic, stale and self-affirming/deluding we become, and this role giving/labelling allows society to function, everyone playing the role they believe is theirs, a self-ascribed role.

However, more positively, John and I did have a moment that did seem wonderfully pure and symbiotic. After John’s revelations were subsiding, Chris and Alex de-camped to Alex’s room to do some drawing and chill out. John and I racked the balloons up with nitrous oxide and got into giggling fits, John was now writhing all over the mattress in the centre of the room and laughing his tits off. I joined him on the mattress and noticed we hadn’t tucked into one of the many delights of confectionary that John had brought along for the trip; Head Squirters – it sounds like an 80’s horror B-movie, I know. Head Squirters, or Mr. Head Squirters, more accurately, is a small plastic figure (Sponge Bob-esque) with a removable head (lid), and legs that when twisted proceed to make a greyish blue goo ooze out of a plastic mesh on the figures head, presumably representing his brains; a concept quite representative of an acid trip in itself.

Anyway, after a lengthy investigation into how to actually get some fucking goo out of the thing, John and I marvelled in the product’s novelty, fingering the indeterminate goo into our mouths like creatures lapping it up out of the primordial swamp, laughing hysterically like children. Neither of us seemed to know why this was so funny, possibly because of the silly nature of the product, but it was joyous; I felt free and alive and we both laughed in the moment as if that goo was organic matter itself, ready to evolve in our stomachs. There was something so liberating and vital and plain hilarious about that moment, which genuinely did feel shared as opposed to the moments of solitude I’d experienced. After this, I ventured into Chris and Alex’s den and told them Mr. Head Squirters wished to pay them a visit – they declined to interact.