Positive thinking has a direct impact on your mental, emotional, and even physical health. When you are grateful you will improve your self-image, your life, your relationship with others, and your outlook on life. What you think is what you become so count your blessings and take time to appreciate what you have.
What is a Gratitude Journal?
A gratitude journal is a tool to keep track of the things that one is grateful for. This makes you appreciate positive things or moments that you might not have even thought about. Once you think about something positive you experience good emotions as a result. See the benefits of gratitude.
Oprah Winfrey said that starting a gratitude journal was the single most important thing she ever did. When you are consciously looking for things to be thankful for you are more receptive to the goodness that comes in your life. If you want to change your state of being then start to be grateful. As Oprah says, you have to physically write them down as there is power in the words. Therefore, writing in a journal is more important than just thinking about positive things every day.
How to Start a Gratitude Journal
There are six ways to start a gratitude diary or journal.
- Use a blank notebook and write whatever comes to mind. Try to write up to five things you are grateful for each time.
- Use a gratitude journal template. This is a more structured setup. There are questions, prompts or ideas to get you thinking about what to write. We offer a free printable gratitude journal with 50 pages. You can print any page more than once if you want to repeat it. Put it in a binder or planner and create a binder cover. You can also just staple the pages together or have them bound at your local stationery store.
- Bullet journal gratitude log. Make a gratitude bullet journal spread with our free bullet journal app.
- Print pages from our gratitude list printables to make your own journal.
- Use our online gratitude list. You can add to it each day and access it from any device.
- Try our 30-day gratitude challenge.
Free Digital Gratitude Journal
This free digital gratitude journal PDF has 50 pages with gratitude quotes, gratitude journal prompts and pages dedicated to specific themes. You can use the digital planner with any PDF annotation app such as GoodNotes, Notability, etc.
Free Printable Gratitude Journal
One Year of Gratitude
This journal has 128 pages with space to write 5 things you are grateful for every single day for one full year. The year is undated so you can start any day and complete a full year. Print a new copy for each year. The advantage of this journal is that each day is dated so you won’t skip days. Keep the journal next to your bed and write in it before you go to sleep at night or first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day. If you don’t want a daily gratitude journal then see the version below.
Did you know that Oprah Winfrey kept a daily gratitude journal for a full decade writing down five things she was grateful for every single day without fail? In her journal, she expressed the joy of single moments. Oprah stated that after a decade she let life get in the way and stopped writing in her journal. Even though her life had improved during the time she didn’t write she wasn’t as happy. Oprah explains that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you appreciate what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have. Oprah went back to writing in her journal daily and each time she has a moment of joy.
50 Page Gratitude Journal
This free printable gratitude journal PDF has 50 pages with gratitude quotes, gratitude journal prompts and pages dedicated to specific themes. You can print the gratitude journal example as-is or you can make additional copies of some of the pages. See sample pages below.
Gratitude Journal Template Samples
Here are some of the templates in the free gratitude journal printable. Since there are 50 pages, this is only a small sample of the pages available. Either print them all or only the ones you want to include in your thankful journal.
If you are using a bullet journal, then you can use these gratitude journal ideas and either recreate them or print them and paste them in your bullet journal notebook.
This is a weekly gratitude calendar. You can print multiple copies if you want to continue your gratitude journal over a longer period of time.
Gratitude List Templates
In addition to the gratitude bullet journal above, you can also print individual gratitude list templates on this site. You can select the background, insert and edit the text.
How to Keep a Gratitude Journal
When should you write?
If you have time in the morning to write in your journal it might set the tone for the rest of the day and affect your outlook that day. However, if you don’t have time in the morning then it might be better to make it part of your evening ritual. It is a good way to end the day, wind down, and reflect.
Try to set a time that works for you since consistency is key. This will help you turn gratitude journaling into a habit.
How often should you write?
Once you have set up your gratitude journal, decide how often you will write in it. Try to honor your commitment unless you feel it isn’t effective and you want to change the frequency.
Studies suggest that writing in a gratitude journal three times per week might actually have a greater impact on our happiness than journaling every day. However, this is not necessarily true for each person. For example, Oprah has been keeping a daily gratitude journal for years now. Each day, she writes down five things she is grateful for and she feels that it contributed to her success. You know yourself and what works for you. Start a gratitude journal and see how often it makes you feel good to write in it. Some weeks you might want to write every day and others you might prefer to write only one to three times per week. Do what works for you.
What should you write about?
Write about anything that comes to mind but try to write about things that made you feel good and not just things you appreciate. Try to go into detail and be specific rather than just listing things you are grateful for. If you are not sure what to write about then use the following gratitude journal prompts.
55 Gratitude Journal Prompts
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to identify things you are grateful for. Either download the gratitude prompts printable above or read the questions below for gratitude journal ideas.
- Who do you love?
- What made you smile today?
- Who do you like?
- What are you good at doing?
- Who can you count on?
- What do you love?
- What do you like?
- Where do you like to go?
- What do you enjoy?
- List activities that bring you joy.
- What makes you happy?
- List items that bring you joy.
- What cheers you up when you are feeling sad?
- List people that bring you joy.
- What relaxes you?
- What is your favorite memory?
- Is there anything that you take for granted?
- What is your favorite food?
- Describe one good thing that happened to you this month?
- What is your favorite item?
- Who inspires you?
- What do you enjoy about your daily routine?
- Describe your last vacation?
- What have you accomplished?
- What is your biggest accomplishment?
- Do you have a family tradition that you enjoy?
- What are your good qualities?
- What are your hobbies?
- Is there anything that makes your life better?
- What movie did you like?
- What books did you enjoy?
- Who made you smile?
- Write a nice thing somebody said to you.
- Who do you enjoy spending time with?
- What songs do you love?
- Where is the best place you visited and what do you like about it?
- What have you learned?
- Has anyone shown you kindness recently?
- What do you love about your home?
- What do you love about your country?
- Describe the last gift you received. Who gave it to you?
- What do you like about yourself?
- What do you like about your job?
- In what way is your life better today than it was a year ago or ten years ago?
- What is the nicest thing that someone did for you?
- Describe one of your best days.
- What do you enjoy doing after work?
- What do you enjoy doing as you get home?
- Describe a bad experience that made you stronger.
- What do you have today that you didn’t have as a child?
- Describe a difficulty that you have overcome.
- What would you take to a desert island?
- What makes you special?
- What was the last thing that made you laugh?
- What is your favorite animal?
What are you thankful for?
Positive journal prompts to encourage you to focus on what you have on not on what you don’t have. They are helpful when you are not sure what to write about. See gratitude list.
30 Day Gratitude Challenge
We also offer a free printable 30 day gratitude challenge.
Gratitude Journal for Kids
Teaching kids gratitude can be challenging but it is important to increase their chances of being happy children and happy adults later on in life. When kids are grateful, they appreciate what they have rather than what they don’t have. Expressing gratitude is one of the easiest ways to become happier so what better way to express gratitude than via a gratitude journal for kids.
There are many activities in this free printable journal. Ask your kids to sit for up to 5 minutes every day to write on one page. There is also a daily gratitude list for one week. You can print multiple copies of that page if they only want to write one page per day. The PDF is editable and you can type your entries on each page.