36 of the Best Gratitude Journal Prompts
Implementing a gratitude practice can provide many benefits, from feeling happier to lower to stress to better sleep. There’s a few ways to invite more gratitude and less stress into your life and a daily practice can have amazingly positive effects. For example, improved sleep is a huge benefit of gratitude practice, read more about the benefits here.
How to Start a Gratitude Journal
All you need to start a gratitude journal is your thoughts and a way to record them--either a physical journal notebook and pen, or a dedicated digital space like your documents on your laptop.
There’s no right or wrong way to journal and no specific length that needs to be achieved. Most times my gratitude journal entries are less than 50 words. I don’t write a lengthy journal entry, I simply make a bulleted list of the things I am or could be grateful for from the day.
Targeted Topic or Anything Goes?
The two main ways to journal about what you are grateful for are using a specific gratitude prompt to reflect on a topic or event OR simply tracking various things you are grateful for with no boundaries or limits.
There’s a time and place for each type and they both provide wonderful value to the journaler (I think I just made up a word).
Targeted topics or journal prompts are an excellent tool when you are feeling a bit blocked or even bummed out. The wonderful thing about journaling is there is no wrong way to do it. Prompts just help focus your mind on something specific. Then you can start writing. Journaling can be incredibly effective because you may start thinking you don’t have much to write, but as you write, more and more ideas can come to mind.
Anything goes is an excellent and easy way to do a gratitude journal that is very much focused on the present day. I find it easiest to keep short list of specific things throughout the day. I usually do it once at the end of the day, but stopping to notice and appreciate things while they are happening is even better!
What tools to use for your gratitude journal
There’s a lot more available to use than pen and paper. Pen and paper are still fantastic, but may not be for everyone. Here is a list of tools to try out. Remember, if one doesn’t seem to work, try something else!
Using Writing Instruments
Standard notebook (5”x7” or larger) with blank pages that you can fill
Pocket notebook (2”x3”) that you can easily carry around
Planner or calendar where you can jot down things that come up on particular days
A dedicated Gratitude Journal that includes prompts and encouragement
Note cards, use 1 for each day and then go back through them later
- There’s an app for that - plenty to look at in the app store
- Notes app on your device
- Camera on your device, capture what you are grateful for visually
- Transcription app like otter.ai, speak into your device and otter will transcribe what you say into written text
- Create art that depicts what you are grateful for. Watercolors, colored pencils, paint and more can be used to tap into your creative side while creating something beautiful
Now for the fun part, here are 36 of my favorite gratitude journaling prompts to use when I’m feeling a bit stuck, down or scattered.
36 Gratitude Journal Prompts
- Who is someone who makes you laugh?
- What’s something you have today that you didn’t have 1 year ago?
- What are you most looking forward to about the holiday season?
- What’s something in your current environment you are grateful for?
- What is a smell that you love?
- What are three things you couldn’t live without?
- What’s a happy memory that you are thankful to have made?
- Whats your favorite book/movie/series?
- What is one activity that you get to do that you are grateful for? (working out, Saturday afternoon naps, PTA)
- What part of your job are you grateful for? And yes, looking for a job or being a mom is a job.
- What technology or app(s) are you grateful for ?
- What are you looking forward to this weekend?
- What life hacks have made your life easier once you found them?
- What is an activity or event you are looking forward to?
- Who are you grateful for, who has made you feel special or helped you during a tough time
- Where is your favorite place you’ve visited?
- Who is your favorite musical artist or best concert you attended, or are looking forward to?
- What’s your favorite piece of clothing?
- What is one thing you are grateful for TODAY
- What’s your favorite food that you love to savor?
- What is a simple pleasure that you enjoy?
- What is a product or service you use now that you didn’t use 1+ years ago
- What’s the last thing you bought? Why?
- What is something you’ve accomplished this year?
- WHO are you grateful for TODAY?
- What do you love about the person whom you are closest to?
- Look outside. What’s the weather like? And what can you find to be grateful for about it
- Name something you’re looking forward to THIS WEEK.
- What about yourself are you grateful for?
- What is something great that happened to you YESTERDAY
- Who or what always makes you smile?
- What experiences have impacted who you are?
- Is there a time your intuition has guided you towards something or someone that you are grateful for?
- Who has or currently inspires you personally or professionally.
- What is a favorite hobby?
- What is something you’ve learned recently
Gratitude is just like anything else you start learning to do. It takes practice. You will forget, or have a bad day, or have a great day and still not remember to really think about it. That's OK. Set yourself a reminder and if you aren't a writer, start with a short bulleted list. You'll be more likely to be successful if you set achievable goals. Perhaps every other day is a good place to start. Eventually, you'll be doing it all the time and experience the magic that comes along with it.