There’s often the thought that happiness is a place. Once you get that promotion, you’ll be happier. Once this year is over, you’ll be happier. But the fact is that it’s just not true; sustainable happiness is achieved in seemingly small actions you take every day that have a cumulative effect on your life. One of these small actions is cultivating gratitude.
Gratitude is being thankful for what you receive—whether it’s tangible or intangible. We typically think about accepting gifts and saying “thank you” as a form of gratitude—and it is—but the practice of cultivating it in our lives is to look beyond these material objects and to recognize that there are small things to be thankful for every day that we often miss. From the stranger that offered cheerful words to the feeling of a hot cup of coffee in your hands, you will feel better when you take a few minutes each day to recognize them.
That’s where gratitude journals come in. These diaries offer a place to record the things you’re thankful for and space for self-reflection. Doing this is bound to make you happier, and it’s backed by science. In one study, participants who consistently wrote about the things they were grateful for during the week were found to be “more optimistic and felt better about their lives.”
There are a lot of gratitude-focused journals available to buy. While you don’t need a special place to write them down (a bullet journal will do just fine), the dedicated space to record your thoughts will set you up for a consistent practice. Scroll down to see some highly rated gratitude journals and learn about what makes each of them special.
Improve your happiness and gain a new appreciation for your life when you keep a gratitude journal.
The Gratitude Sidekick Journal
Framing itself as a “sidekick” for developing gratitude as a habit, this 66-day guided journal includes many things that will help you stay grateful each day. It includes daily tracking with questions to help you reflect as well as content that will give you tools and inspiration for your practice.
A Year of Mindfulness
Buy this journal for a year of mindful living. It features weekly themes that focus on a different aspect of the practice, 364 writing prompts, and simple exercises you can use to stay in the moment.
52 Weeks of Gratitude
If you consider yourself a spiritual person, then the hardcover 52 Weeks of Gratitude journal might be for you. It is a space to record what you’re thankful for, along with four major themes throughout the book: home, community, faith, and beauty.
The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal
Set a positive tone for your day with The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal. It contains “thoughtful prompts and inspiration” to create an intentional mindset with room for introspection, gratitude, and self-expression.
A Year of Zen: A 52-Week Guided Journal
This diary combines the practice of Zen Buddhism with journaling as a way to live mindfully, gain perspective, and let go of stress. It features 52 weeks of prompts with exercises that bring attention to meditation, liturgy, work, body, study, art, and the world.
Grateful Heart Gratitude Journal
Lamare has created a six-month inspirational journal that wants to help you find happiness in the little things. In addition to writing space, they have coloring pages for you to fill in as you focus on your well-being.
The Five Minute Journal
The famous Five Minute Journal uses the “science of positive psychology” to make you a happier person. It has a structured format that invites you to write it at the beginning and end of your day; you’ll envision your day ahead and recall what went right at the end of it.
Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal
Like The Five-Minute Journal, the Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal invites you to write in it twice a day. It is a 90-day diary with places for not only gratitude but also areas to record positive affirmations, happy memories, and more.
Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal
Good Days Start With Gratitude knows that if you begin your morning writing three things you’re thankful for—coffee, a snuggly pet, the sound of rain—then you’re likely to start your day on the right foot.
The Gratitude Journal
For 52 weeks, The Gratitude Journal will help you focus on being grateful and kind. It aims to offer perspective and invites you to write down three things you’re thankful for each day while additional blank space encourages you to consider how you can pay it forward.
Ink + Volt Gratitude Journal
Known for its planners, Ink + Volt has created a gratitude journal with 60 blank daily entries for you to record and reflect as well as 10 weekly challenges that are meant to enhance your practice.
Let That Sh*t Go Journal
If you are one to hold a grudge, this might be the journal for you. Monica Sweeny has created a delightful—if not a little sweary— book that offers thoughtful prompts to inspire reflection and remind you that there is sunlight among the clouds.