Gratitude Journal

I have been keeping a gratitude journal for some time now. Even though it has been in different forms, I have found that I feel empty when I am not using one. I have discussed this briefly in the past, and I think this is a good time to talk about keeping a Gratitude Journal and why it is an awesome thing to done.

What is a Gratitude Journal?

Anything can be a gratitude journal – an old notebook, a loose-leaf folder, a dedicated journal notebook, an electronic document, or even a collection of scraps of paper! There is no correct right answer to that it physically is – whatever works best for you and your lifestyle is what you should use.

Now that you know what it is physically, let me tell you what it REALLY is. A gratitude journal will become one of the most treasured items you possess! Within your journal, you will write down all the things you are grateful for.

Your journaling can be structured, such as writing down all the things for which you are grateful that occurred in the day; this writing can be the last thing you do before going to sleep. Or, as something comes into your mind, you can write it down. You can take time to write down as many things as you think at one sitting, or simply as they come into your thoughts. Your Gratitude Journal should always be readily accessible so when the inspiration hits you, you have the ability to capture the thought!

As you interact during the day, think about what you can journal about – this will often put you in a more gratitude-filled mood. When you are searching for gratitude, you will easily find it. When you spot something, write it down. You can date each entry or keep it free-flowing. If you want to personalize it, you can include pictures you have taken to help immortalize the moment.

If you ever feel like you have had a miserable day and nothing seems to be going your way, open up your Gratitude Journal and start to read what you have written. After reading a few things, your mood and spirit will shift 180 degrees and help put you back into having an Attitude of Gratitude.

If you are skeptical about doing this, try it out for 21 days. Start with a notebook and date each page, starting with today. Commit to writing something for each day. After 21 days, look to see how you are feeling. You will see that by just journaling each day, you will feel like a new person.

Things I have used for my Gratitude Journal:

  • Simple spiral notebook
  • Loose-leaf binder
  • A nice leather binder with exchangeable filler pages (currently in use)
  • I have created a document using Google Docs ( – this was accessible to me no matter where I am (as long as I have an internet connection)
  • There is an iPhone app – Gratitude Journal
  • Create a new Notebook in the Evernote application

What do you use? Leave a comment below!

Be Well.

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Note: This post was updated for relevancy on August 6, 2023.


  1. Paulette on June 30, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    This is a wonderful idea! I have done this as well, but not using the title Gratitude Journal, I call mine just a journal. After going back and reflecting on what I have written, I realize that most of what has been important and positive, is being grateful for something new or different. It really does change from day to day. I have learned not to take anything for granted, I know the universe does not owe me a thing. For this I am also grateful. I am grateful for so many reasons: Most of which many people are also grateful: My family, parking the car in the farthest spot and walking to the store. The sunrise in the morning!(5:00am is still really early! but the trade off is the sunrise!!)

  2. John Marine#70 on August 14, 2010 at 7:59 am

    hi-me too- the sunrise! isn’t it amazing! the sun arrives every morn at the right place at the right time !!!!! amaizng?!!!!!!! hu8h ? it has been traveling thru space at enormous speeds and the earth is revovling at enormous speeds and yet the sun arrives on the horizon at the right place at the right time each morn ==THANKS

  3. John Marine#70 on August 30, 2010 at 8:47 am

    hahaha- my words are here- surprizing !!!! hehehehe- I actually find myself here – thanks for that -still amazed at the fact that the sun arrives each morn at the right time in the right place === AMAZING just amazing – all the sppeed and distance – amazing speed and distances – yet – there it is in the morn at exactly the right place at the right time – AMAZINGAMAZINGAMAZUNG – HUH ?? HAHAHAHAH gotta laugh cuz if it is not there some day we are all *&^%%$ finished – thanks – LOLOLOl at myself

  4. Lisa Ryan on November 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I have been keeping a gratitude journal for over a year now and I can honestly say my life has changed dramatically in the last year. A year ago, I was not a professional speaker. I am today. I am achieving my life’s goals and yet the only thing I changed in my life was my daily practice of gratitude. It works!

  5. SANDRA GRIFFITH on August 19, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    Thank you for the information Paul. I recently purchased a journal haven’t done much with it yet. I realize that it is never too late to embrace new ideas. Never too late to get started.

    • Paul on August 19, 2019 at 11:23 pm

      You are correct, Sandra – it is never too late! WHy not crack it open today and start using it?

  6. Jeanne dowell on October 9, 2018 at 1:07 am

    I’ve been doing a gratitude journal for years. I love it and especially when I’m down.

    I pick out simple things to be grateful for and the reason why I’m grateful for it

    For example: I’m so grateful every day for my dog because she makes me feel so loved and I want to share love with everyone I meet. I always say I’m grateful and why and what it does for me. Thanks everyone

    • Paul on October 9, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Jeanne! It is always funny to look back to see what you were/are grateful for! And a Gratitude Journal is the perfect tool to track them with!

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