What is somatic writing?

Somatic writing can help you feel in tune with your body – let's explore what it can do for you.

Somatic writing refers to a type of expressive writing that emphasises the physical sensations and bodily experiences of the writer. Somatic writing often involves exploring emotions, memories, and other inner experiences by focusing on the physical sensations associated with them.

Somatic writing exercises, such as the ones we’ve listed below, are techniques that combine writing with movement to tap into the wisdom of the body and promote self-awareness, healing, and personal growth.

Yoga or even dance is often paired with writing to promote a deeper awareness of ones self. These movements and other physical practices are thought to enhance the writing process.

This form of writing focuses on the connection between our mind and body. It can be a powerful tool for exploring emotions, memories, and sensations, as well as processing trauma, reducing stress, and improving overall mental wellbeing.

Somatic writing can take many forms, from journaling to poetry to fictional storytelling.

It’s often used as a therapeutic tool to help individuals connect with and process their emotions, especially those that may be difficult to express themselves verbally. By focusing on bodily sensations and experiences, somatic writing can help individuals deepen their understanding of themselves and their emotions. Ultimately, helping self-healing and personal growth.

It’s based on the idea that our bodies are effected by our emotional experiences. For example, if we experience anxiety or fear, our heart races, we feel a tightness in our chest, or we get a sinking feeling in our stomach. Tuning in to these physical sensations, can help you explore your emotions and experiences in a more holistic way.

While somatic writing is often used as a therapeutic tool, it can also be a powerful form of creative expression.

By exploring the physical sensations and experiences of the characters in their story, writers can create more vivid and nuanced depictions of their inner lives, and engage readers on a deeper emotional level.

Somatic writing is a powerful approach to writing for wellbeing that’s perfect for both beginners and experts.


Want to try it out? We’ve listed a few somatic writing exercises below for you to explore. 


Before starting these exercises, place a pen and notepad nearby, or open up the WriteWell digital journal.

  1. Start with a full body scan

    Find a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to centre yourself. Begin to slowly scan your body from head to toe. Focus on each part of your body, paying attention to any sensations, tensions, or emotions that arise. As you do this, write down any physical sensations, images, or memories that come up. Don’t analyse them, just let them pass you by. Allow your body to guide your writing, letting go of any judgments or expectations.

  2. Explore your senses

    Pick an object, such as a piece of stationary, a book, or a piece of fruit, and hold it in your hand. Close your eyes and engage all your senses to fully experience the object. Consider the texture, smell, taste, colour, and any other details. Then, open your eyes and start writing about your sensory experience with the object. Let your words flow freely, describing the object and your sensations in detail. Don’t worry about your writing being perfect. Just write.

  3. Unpack your emotions

    Choose an emotion that you are currently experiencing, whether it’s joy, sadness, anger, or fear. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Allow yourself to fully experience the emotion in your body. Allow yourself to feel any physical sensations, tensions, or movements. Start writing about the emotion, describing how it feels in your body and any memories or thoughts associated with it. Use descriptive language and explore the nuances of the emotion through your writing.

  4. Experiment with free writing

    Choose a word or a phrase that is meaningful to you. Struggling to find inspiration? Take a look at our Instagram from quotes and writing prompts. Start writing continuously without stopping or censoring, allowing your thoughts to flow freely onto the page. Don’t worry about grammar, punctuation, or coherence. Let your writing be a stream of consciousness, capturing your thoughts, memories, and emotions as they arise.

  5. Let your imagination guide you

    Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a peaceful and calming place, such as a beach, a forest, or a meadow. It can even be something more everyday. Picture yourself at home, with a cup of tea in hand if that’s where you feel relaxed. Engage all your senses to fully immerse yourself in this environment. Then, start writing about your experience, describing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations you encounter. Let your imagination guide your writing and allow yourself to fully engage with the world around you.

Remember to approach somatic writing exercises with self-compassion. These exercises are meant to be exploratory and can bring up different emotions and sensations. Take breaks or stop the exercise if you feel overwhelmed. Your writing doesn’t need to be perfect or even coherent, it’s more about the journey that the end product.

Somatic writing can be a valuable tool for self-care, self-expression, and personal growth, and can be incorporated into your regular writing or journaling practice.

Want to build writing for wellbeing into your everyday routine? Reap the benefits of writing, sign up to a free 14-day trial to WriteWell and join us for writing events, prompts, activities and much more! 

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