Journaling for beginners, Journaling tips & techniques

A powerful journaling tool – Unsent letters

How writing unsent letters can bring peace and calm back to your life?

Hey my magical beans, I’m so over-joyed with the response from the last week’s topic on forgiveness journal. Journaling for forgiveness is indeed a crucial step towards healing; however, it takes time to go through different stages of forgiveness and finally letting it go. In today’s piece, I’m going old school and guiding you to bring peace and calm through the powerful journaling tool – writing unsent letters.

I used to love writing letters since childhood because I adored birthdays. Whenever there was a birthday of my dear ones, I would write them a letter and even while growing up, I continued the same for my husband. He is strictly instructed to keep them all safe!! Anywho, while I was creating my guided journal; I stumbled upon this beautiful tool of writing unsent letters and decided to dive deep into this art.

At first, I was a little hesitant because I knew there were many raw emotions that would burp on paper and I wasn’t yet ready for that. However, after writing the first few ones, I started experiencing this feeling of settlement; the feeling when the chaos within no longer for some outer validation or closure. This was when I knew how powerful this art of writing unsent letters was and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. Let’s get started:

What are unsent letters?

As the name suggests, unsent letters are the kind of letters that you write without having any intention of sending. These letters are meant for your eyes only and hence you get this opportunity to dig deep and figure out the things that happened.

The unsent letter has no bounds or any rules. You can write these to anyone you wish to and find peace once all your bottled-up emotions find the space to flow. Journaling has always been a personal healing experience for me and this tool – writing unsent letters has served me ‘freedom from my own thoughts’. Here’s why you should write unsent letters.

Why do you need to write ‘UNSENT LETTERS’?

Unsent letters are for gaining clarity, closure, confidence, and calm. Often times when we fail to attend these 4C’s, we become restless. Hence, by providing an outlet and a space through unsent letters, we can bring back peace and calm.

When you practice writing unsent letters, you express and release anger, frustration, and grief better because you don’t have to explain everything in detail. As a result, you provide yourself a space to gain a new perspective and open doors for inner-healing.


Here’re some points to check out if you need to write an unsent letter:

  • You have something inside you that you are unable to say out aloud
  • You feel that your voice is unheard or you feel judged every time you voice your opinions
  • You hold resentment against someone and are not able to render them forgiveness (this can be to your past self as well)
  • You have deep feelings of anger and hurt piled up inside you
  • You feel the urge to communicate something to someone who is no longer with you to provide a closure
  • You are emotionally overwhelmed and desperately need to release those emotions through your journal in a positive and productive way 

Different kinds of unsent letters:

There’re three types of unsent letters that are proven to be super beneficial. Writing letters to departed souls, forgiveness letters, and letters to your future self. Note that there can be ‘n’ type of unsent letters because it’s up to you to decide the intention behind writing and whom are you writing.

1. Letters to the departed souls

Writing unsent letters to dearly departed is the most personal and frequently used form of an unsent letter. When someone you loved or a dear one departs unexpectedly; our heart longs for closure. There’re so many things we wish to tell that person or even do for them, writing a letter provides space to bring out all the emotions instead of masking them.

I recently lost a dear relative of mine and it was totally unexpected and tragic. I had amends to make and so much to share, my mind was not ready to accept this fact that he was no more. However, I’ve been writing unsent letters for everything I wanted to say and it makes my heart feel lighter every time I sit and pen it down.

Here’s the prompt I use for writing an unsent letter to the departed souls I wish I could talk; ‘I wish I could tell you……..’

Poet Donald Hall lost his wife to leukemia and found solace in letter writing after she died. He describes in heart-rending detail how he stopped addressing his wife like you and started writing she. “It was horrible, inevitable, and necessary,” he writes. 

2. Letter to your future self

I love writing letters to my future self and even from my future self. This kind of unsent letter is about providing clarity and confidence. We indeed have so much to say to ourselves, so many wise things and at times some silly talks. What better way to save them than writing a letter!! Write a letter to your future self; a year or 5 from now telling him/her/they about everything you’re going through and how you’re finding the answers. Write about struggle, hope, disappointment, fear, learnings, teachings, and everything in middle.

I found this really cool website that lets you email yourself a future letter. Check this out here. Also, I’m writing more of affirming things from the Universe to my future self to let her know that she is always backed by the higher power and that she is LIMITLESS. (well, so are YOU)

3. Angry letters or letters of forgiveness

Before jumping into this, I would highly recommend checking out my post on journaling for forgiveness. It will help you realize why forgiving others as well as ourselves is so very necessary for healing. To be honest, anger is something I’m trying to manage through journaling and it becomes difficult at times when you have no outlet for the same. This is why I use this method of sending unsent angry letters to someone I hold grudge or resentment against.

Anger is always a substitute emotion and hence it’s crucial to dig deep and figure out the root cause. Writing an angry letter helps to do so. I read about this form of letter when I was studying more about Abraham Lincoln, he used to write these and it provided him immense peace. Similarly, writing letters of forgiveness to someone you hold resentment against can be really powerful.

Here’s a step-by-step process to journal for forgiveness and write a letter for the same. I usually crumble or burn the letter and that provides me a sense of calm. My raging feelings get the space to vent and I no longer have to look for closure from the other end. This week, try inculcating unsent letters in your journaling session. I’m sure you will find so much peace and clarity.

If you’d love to dive deep into journaling; here’s my intensive guided journal; Unravel yourself. The sole purpose of writing her was to help you untangle your truth and unearth your hidden potential. There’re over 200+ prompts on 31 different topics with my life stories and learnings. I cannot wait to see you transform your life through this beauty. Always remember, you have everything you need within. Look for the answers in your depths.

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