Diary writing was once very common but it seems to have gone out of fashion, with public, online blogs much more popular. A classic Christmas gift was a diary for the new year but that's seen even less now than book tokens. I do remember my heart sinking when I received another Five Year Diary knowing the commitment ahead of me.
Keeping a diary as a teenager seemed much more important and if you ever find your old diaries, they make interesting reading and it's sometimes hard to recognise yourself. You'll also be reminded of events which now seem trivial but were monumental at the time.
Famous diarists I've admired include Samuel Pepys, Bridget Jones & Adrian Mole (aged 13 ¾) who all felt they had something important enough to keep a record. Writing a diary can be self-indulgent but that's sort of the point. It's written for your eyes only and should be the perfect place to express your emotions on paper. It's where you can vent your anger and pour your heart out when hurt. But it's also a place to remember the good times and the special memories that you may well forget with time.
Psychologists reckon keeping a diary actually has health benefits and can make you feel happier as finding a way to communicate your worries eases stress. It's probably healthier than burdening your partner or best friend every time you're frustrated by a problem at work and there's something to be said for writing it all down and then physically shutting a book.
It can be hard to get started in the diary writing routine but think of it as a gift to yourself. Give yourself the time to write each day - ten minutes should be enough - and the gift lasts longer as you can do some self-analysis when you notice patterns repeating (always angry after the sales meeting on Tuesdays, etc). And the gift becomes more long-term as reading the diary in ten years time is a gift to the future you.
To get started, choose a quality book and pen so it feels like a treat to indulge in writing time. Writing by hand has a bigger effect on your emotions than typing, we're told, and men can benefit even more than women by having an outlet for their feelings. Some people give their diary a name as if it's a close friend who hears their hidden emotions that can't be said in public. If your diary is a friend, writing in it can be used for comfort when times are tough.
Give it a go and see if you do feel happier. And if nothing else, you'll have a record of the date the car broke down and when the cat went to the vet. And how it made you feel.