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Starting a Gratitude Journal

In #GROWEveryDay we introduced the Gratitude Attitude as a way to help improve happiness and health. One way to start to develop our Gratitude Attitude is to practice journaling about the things we are thankful for. This is called a Gratitude Journal.

Why start a journal?

It can help you be more grateful which in turn can make you happier and healthier.

In a small study, children who did gratitude journaling were less materialistic and more generous (here).

In another, gratitude journaling helped high school students eat a healthier diet (here).

A very small study showed that gratitude journaling might help reduce heart risk (here).

Will journaling prevent a heart attack? Probably not. But it could reduce your stress and help motivate you to do other things that might prevent that heart attack. It is a free (if you want it to be) activity that can make difference.

How often should we journal?

Dr. Emmons, a world leader in the science of gratitude, puts it best: "Don't over do it." Daily journaling is probably too much. One to three times a week is enough. Let your own practice develop. If three times a week is too much dial it back. If you love writing and a daily entry stokes your fires then go for it. There is no set magic number.

What should be in it?

You can write about almost anything.

Write about three things you are grateful for.

Write about people you are grateful for.

Write down something that surprised you that day.

Write about what it would be like without some of your blessings in life.

Start simple and add detail as you go.

Use daily prompts like these 30.

What options do I have for my journal?

Holy smokes anything you can imagine. You should find a medium that works best for you.

Do you love the feel of paper and writing than use a paper journal.

Paper not your style then try a web based journal or an app on your phone.

The options are limitless. I have listed a few below (not affiliate links, we do not get anything if you buy from the list below).


Amazon has a ton of gratitude journals with daily prompts.

Check them all out the range from simple to sassy.

Find on that strikes you and go for it.


Try a 14 or 21 day journaling challenge created by researchers in the field of gratitude.

A private online gratitude journal after logging in.


Free section and premium.

Free section and premium.

Free section and premium.

Many, many more in the app store.

Just search "Gratitude Journal" and let them blow your socks off!!

What is my gratitude journal plan?

I am going to start by doing the 21 day journal challenge at

They are the experts and I am hoping they will guide me in the right direction with journaling.

Once I am done with the 21 day challenge I am not sure if I will convert to a paper journal or an app. I will try the apps listed above and see if one hits home. If not then I will switch to a paper journal. Specifically the light green books the US Government likes to pass out in the Army (see below). I have a connection to that book for some reason. I am going to roll with it.

- GolfDoc10

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