Start a Gratitude Journal



I first got the idea to start a gratitude journal from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. In her book, she writes about how this exercise was one of the ways she tried to boost her happiness. In her blog post on the subject she says that “One of the most common happiness recommendations is to keep a gratitude journal.”

A gratitude journal is a journal you keep (in anything really – I kept mine in a Microsoft word document online) and list a certain amount of things that you are grateful for each day. It can be general, involve people or events that happened that day, etc; it’s your journal! With mine, I decided to list seven things each day that I was grateful for and Gretchen was right; the gratitude journal really did boost my happiness!

A gratitude journal is a great way to focus on the positive, rather than what goes wrong with each day. After keeping the journal I started to notice that everyday I would become more appreciative of the small stuff. If the night before I wrote I was grateful that I got to have a great cup of coffee with my mom, the next day I’d notice how nice it was just sitting and watching t.v. with my dad.

Although like Gretchen, I stopped keeping up with my gratitude journal after a period of time, I’m really glad I started one and would definitely consider doing it again.

So does anyone else keep a similar journal or want to add this one to his or her bucket lists? I’d love to hear if anyone has similar practices!

This entry was posted in Kind Acts & Volunteering and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to Start a Gratitude Journal

  1. sow4hope says:

    I have done this a couple times & loved it. A friend of mine that led a ladies home Bible study group gave us all journals she had made for us to fill in. It was in the month November – goal being to focus on what we were thankful for rather than the stresses that can accompany holiday season. We were instructed to attempt to not repeat ourselves. It was an excellent exercise!

  2. I was also inspired after reading her book to do the same thing! I used an actual journal, and admittedly didn’t keep up with it regularly..But I found it was a great pick me up even if I only did it periodically for a few days in a row

  3. acdodwell says:

    yup, have done something similar periodically, inspired by a friend years ago who suggested i make a literal response to the proverbial ‘count your blessings’ idea… I ended up writing a prose version rather than a list, which i’ve still got.

  4. labradorkay says:

    Reblogged this on The Diary of Kay and commented:
    What a brilliant idea! We might give this a go!

  5. I love this idea! Am starting one right now…sometimes it helps to note when the sunshine breaks through the clouds right? 🙂

  6. conjurors says:

    This is such a cool suggestion. It’s one thing to do it in your head, but to see all that you are thankful for on paper is so much more impactful. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’m a firm believer in gratitude journals. Great post – thanks for sharing this!! Celeste 🙂

  8. Where was this picture taken it looks like Bequia.

  9. GlamaMama says:

    Fantastic idea! Thanks so much for stopping by and following my blog! I’m enjoying reading yours and looking forward to following along!

  10. shoedooo says:

    I might try this! Thanks for the tip!

  11. Sean King says:

    Thank you for the reminder. This post alone has made your blog worth the visit, which means every other page that I find of value is just icing on the cake. Have a blessed and beautiful day.

  12. It’s a good idea: Gratitude Journal… very, very well

  13. Nithya says:

    I always thought of starting one, but I never did. Now seems like a good time.

  14. Melissa T. says:

    So true, keeping a gratitude journal helps me focus on the positive. I no longer do this since I accumulate so many books. Lol Now, I’m thinking about doing it online. I have so many things to be grateful in life. Great post!

  15. Ray says:

    I have recently started doing this. Little things like appreciating a gorgeous sunrise, or the smile of a stranger as we pass. It really is the little things in life that matter… 🙂

  16. A couple years ago, I wrote letters to the 5 people who most inspired me in my Christian life. But, this exercise could certainly done in the same way to those who most inspired us in life, mentored us at work, stuck by our side as friends, etc. I found myself tearing up while I wrote the letters and probably got more out of it than the people I mailed them to. It’s great to make our gratitude an action verb and have an outgoing exhibit of how we feel about people internally.

  17. ula77 says:

    I have one on my phone which I have a reminder for so I don’t forget. Do it every night, makes me smile before I sleep and appreciate my days 🙂

  18. Pingback: Gratitude Journal | Sharde's World

  19. I haven’t kept a “journal”, however, I do write out what I’m thankful for at work in between calls. Keeps me positive. I like the idea of a journal, though. It’ll help me remember how much happiness and joy I’ve experienced throughout the year. Thanks for posting this!

  20. klrs09 says:

    I’ve got my ‘memory jar’. Thanks for dropping by and checking it out!

  21. gene3067 says:

    I love this idea. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  22. eplack says:

    I do this and love it! I only do 3 a day but I should definitely bump it to 7, because why not?! It’s great when you’re having a rough day to be able to look back and be reminded of the little things and how blessed you are.

  23. I too this this is a fantastic idea. I connected with Ms Rubin on LinkedIn (because if my interest in writing and photography). Then I started following get blog.
    I think the journal helps you to focus, get idea and practice!
    Like me, I’m old(er), but have wanted to write and take photos for a long time.
    So I will start tomorrow. – not like a diet, it’s just late and I still have my bible study to do….
    Thanks for the reinforcement. I look forward to reading more from you!
    Regards, Cathy

  24. bklynboy59 says:

    I like the idea of that very positive and it sends out positive energy as well.

  25. Dreamer says:

    Hey there!!

    I am a huuuuge fan of Gretchen Rubin and I have this little notebook where I keep jotting down everything worth remembering! My version of gratitude journal!!

    You have a great blog here!! =)

  26. Julie Garro says:

    My gratitude journal changed me. I’m glad you posted this.

  27. Pingback: It’s Time to Journal | CROSStheJORDAN

  28. challenyee says:

    I do journal for for data, ideas and inspirations, and perhaps because I’ve been thinking about your post for a couple of days, I wrote some thoughts of gratitude towards my father to whom I wrote (back in 1996) a “Tribute.” The idea of a “Tribute” was inspired by a book of the same name, written by Dennis Rainey, and is a guide for children to give that special honor back to each parent.
    Thanks for your thought provoking post.

    • Wow, that is so nice to hear! Thank you so much for your nice comment and I think that’s a great idea about writing tributes to people 🙂 I am definitely going to check that book out now and thanks for a great suggestion!

  29. Silvie says:

    You have a wonderful blog! You definitely deserve the awards you have been nominated for. I’m looking forward to your future posts. I also want to thank you for your follow, and I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I know I will enjoy yours.

  30. Watare says:

    Your blog is really amazing 🙂 All your posts have made me smile,especially this one. Thanks for following my new blog and keep spreading the happiness.

  31. Pingback: Clearing Gratitude from Guilt | Soul Fields

  32. terriaw says:

    I write a blog post every Friday called “Thankful Friday” with a list of random things I’m thankful for over the course of the week. Some weeks, it’s a difficult post to write. So I like to idea of keeping a daily journal to capture those smaller moments. It has been a great way for me to let the stressful things in life roll off my shoulders and seem unimportant.

  33. Matt Maldre says:

    A great place to have a gratitude journal is on 43 things. Then you get to participate in a community of people with the same goal.

    (mine are at

  34. too bad most of us focus on things in life that are viewed as essential but really are not. your blog reminds me on that. i especially like putting a good thought in a jar.

  35. Pingback: Kind Acts Bucket List | Turquoise Compass

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s