Your Gratitude Journal: 7 Ideas to Start Journaling

A gratitude journal is proven to have life-changing benefits. Here's how journaling can help you create a more grateful, happy life.


So, you want to start a gratitude journal?

Maybe you want a little inspiration for your journaling practice or you've heard about the health benefits a gratitude journal can offer.

The truth is gratitude journaling is simple, quick, and can have visible, positive effects on both your mental and physical health.

And there's no need to fear the blank page!

We've got guided prompts to help you get your gratitude journal started.

What's a Gratitude Journal?

Your gratitude journal is any space where you can write out what you're thinking about and what you're thankful for. It can be a physical notebook you keep by your bed or an app you take with you to check-in whenever you want.

The only important thing is that it's a place for you and your thoughts that you can come back to easily and regularly.

Don't know what to write? 5 ideas to start your journal →

The Crazy Benefits of Gratitude

Journaling is a chance to be present. So by starting a gratitude journal, you reserve a little bit of time in your day to feel the awesome benefits gratitude has to offer.

Gratitude & Your Health

Gratitude has been proven to have a positive effect on happiness, satisfaction, stress, relationships, and more. A Harvard University study found that those with a written gratitude practice are more optimistic and feel better about their lives.

"[More grateful people] had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy" - Paul Mills, professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine

And it turns out, if you feel happier, calmer, and more fulfilled, your physical health benefits too! A gratitude journal can even help you sleep better at night and lower your blood pressure.

Learn how to journal for better sleep →

7 Easy Ideas for Your Gratitude Journal

So, it's clear why gratitude journaling is a good idea.

This is the part where you may say, "okay great, but what do I actually journal about?"

We've got 7 themes as well as guided prompts to kickstart your gratitude journal. And if you want more inspiration, guidance, or questions, check out the guided journals in the Jour app.

1. Be yourself

Gratitude journaling is - most simply - a chance to realize what you like and appreciate how those things affect you. So, what better place to start than by asking yourself about some of your favorite things, why you like them, and how they make you feel?

  • What's your favorite food?
  • What's your favorite sound?
  • What's your favorite scent?

2. Practice mindfulness

Another easy way to connect with more gratitude is to just notice where you are. Take a minute to realize and jot down in your gratitude journal what you like about the place, how you feel being there, or any memories it brings back.

Discover 5 easy mindfulness exercises →
  • What do you like about where you are right now?
  • What does this place provide for you?
  • What are 3 items around you right now that you're grateful for?

3. Share the love

Studies have found that gratitude is a key to healthy relationships. So, by practicing a little gratitude for the people in your life you care about most, you benefit not only your happiness and health but also the strength of your relationship with the ones you love!

Learn how to improve relationship anxiety →
  • Who's someone you enjoyed spending time with recently?
  • Who's someone you turn to if you need advice?
  • What have you learned from this person?

4. Improve confidence

Your gratitude journal can also be a great tool to improve self-worth and self-esteem. This could be a great source of empowerment for you if you think you could benefit from a little more confidence, if you want to overcome a current obstacle, or if find that you're doubting yourself in the midst of a difficult time.

  • What are 3 things you're good at?
  • What's something you're proud of yourself for achieving?
  • What's your secret talent?

5. Be present

If a tree falls in the woods, but no one sees it, did it actually fall? Similarly, if a good thing happens during your day, but you don't notice the joy it brings you, did that joy really happen?

A daily gratitude journal can help you check-in, notice what you enjoyed or what you're looking forward to, and ensure that you're present for the moments that bring happiness to your life.

  • What's one good thing that happened yesterday?
  • What are you looking forward to tomorrow?
  • How can you be present for this tomorrow?

6. Appreciate growth

Gratitude is all about growth. A reminder that you don't need perfection to find happiness. When we take a moment to appreciate not just who we are, but how we've grown and what we've learned, we remember just how far we've come.

And then we can start becoming more fulfilled and more joyful exactly where we are.

  • What was a past experience that allowed you to grow?
  • What's something you got better at in the last year?
  • What's something you want to learn more about?

7. Overcome stress

A gratitude journaling practice has been proven to reduce stress long-term.

But it can also be a source of calm and perspective when you're in the midst of a stressful or anxious time. By challenging yourself to connect with gratitude - even in a difficult time - you remind yourself that you will continue learning, you will continue growing, and you will make it through.

  • What does this experience have to teach you?
  • How will you grow from this experience?
  • What will this experience help you appreciate more?

Wrapping up

"16 years ago, I started a gratitude journal. And I have to say, it was the single most important thing I've ever done." — Oprah Winfrey

We hope that this has made the gratitude journaling practice feel doable and approachable!

There's no end to where you can find inspiration for your gratitude journal because there's no end to what we can be grateful for.

Keep a gratitude journal to:

  • Feel calmer
  • Sleep better
  • Improve physical health
  • Feel happier
  • Improve relationships
  • Reduce stress

And now it's up to you! You get to decide what you want your gratitude journal to look like. And how often you want to feel the life-changing benefits this journaling practice has to offer.

And if you want a little help or guidance along the way, come on back or find 100's of interactive questions in the Jour app.

Happy writing!