I do think it's important to try a lot of different stress reducing activities - some will work for some types of people better than others. Personally for me journaling just does not cut it. So far I can't meditate when I am keyed up either - this may change when I am more practised at it.
But doing something physical DOES transmute the stress for me - letting out energy in a physical way. Whether it's smushing cans in in the recycle bin, going for a run or hitting a pillow, I don't see much difference in the act itself. It's the releasing of the internal pain in a physical manner.