The effects of a widely used expressive writing intervention on adolescents' somatic symptoms, distress, and positive psychological functioning were evaluated. Eighth-grade (n=106) students were randomly assigned to write about either an emotional or a neutral topic for 3 consecutive days. Students completed measures of somatic symptoms, medical visits, distress, and positive functioning at baseline, postintervention, and 2 and 6 weeks later. Somatic symptoms and medical visits were unchanged as a result of the intervention. However, significant Time Condition effects indicated that optimism scores increased, negative-affect scores decreased, and positive-affect words in student essays increased in the experimental condition. Expressive writing shows promise as a cost-efficient intervention to address the emotional concerns of young adolescents; further work with clinical populations may lead to even more robust results.