10 Best Gratitude Journals for Better Health and Happiness
A gratitude journal will help you get in touch with the good in your life and find your happiness each and every day
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Why you should start a gratitude journal ASAP
Keeping a gratitude journal is a simple yet incredibly effective way to practice gratitude on a daily basis. While scented candles, a notebook full of gratitude quotes and other types of inspirational books all make excellent self-care gifts, gratitude journals are especially great. According to a review of research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, gratitude is an effective form of self-help because it can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. And another study found that those who practice gratitude are less materialistic and more generous (in this case, donating more funds to charity), while additional research reveals that giving thanks can actually make you happier.
Not only can gratitude journaling lead to an improvement in overall mental health, but it’s also safe to say that gratitude journals and happiness go hand and hand. A 2003 study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology concluded that those who wrote in a gratitude journal weekly for 10 weeks (or daily for two weeks) experienced feel-good effects ranging from positive moods and optimism to better sleep. Best of all, writing in your gratitude journal takes just a few minutes per day (or night), which means it can be easily incorporated into any morning or evening routine.
What to look for in a gratitude journal
A quick online search will turn up hundreds of gratitude journals to choose from, which may feel overwhelming—especially if you’re unsure of what to look for in a gratitude journal. To narrow down your options, think about your individual needs and preferences.
If you’re the creative type, you might want a journal with blank illustrations that you can color in, like an adult coloring book made for gratitude practices. If you’re pressed for time, you might benefit from quick, easy prompts that you can answer in a matter of minutes. All in all, a gratitude journal is one of the best books you can buy, and fortunately, there are plenty of options available!
Here are our picks for the very best gratitude journals on the market:
- Best overall: Good Days Start with Gratitude Journal
- Best for beginners: The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record
- Best for busy people: The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
- Best for self-manifestation: The Book of Dreams Come True: A Journal of Self-Discovery, Goals and Manifestation
- Best for artists: Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart: A 52-Week Gratitude Journal
- Best for teens: Gratitude Journal for Teens
- Best for kids: Today Is Great: A Daily Gratitude Journal for Kids
- Best for list lovers: 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance and Joy
- Best for deeper self-reflection: Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal
- Best for paying it forward: Letters for a Year of Gratitude: Write Now. Keep in Touch Always
Good Days Start with Gratitude Journal
This 52-week guide, which promises to help you cultivate a positive attitude of gratitude, is a fan favorite for good reason. More than 20,000 five-star reviewers on Amazon rave about this journal’s 118 pages of to-the-point prompts, which encourage readers to write down three things they’re grateful for every day, as well as its insightful, inspirational quotes meant to spark creativity and curiosity. In fact, one Amazon reviewer credits this gratitude journal with helping her “continue in a mind frame of abundance.”
All in all, this beginner-friendly gratitude journal is one of the best books you can buy if you’re looking to feel happier at home and try new things—you know, like practicing gratitude.
- Easy-to-fill-out prompts
- Limited room for writing
- Only a year’s worth of entries
Best for beginners
The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record
Gretchen Rubin’s five-year, one-sentence happiness journal is one of the best gratitude journals for beginners who are looking for a quick and easy way to practice gratitude on a daily basis. Just turn to today’s date, write a short reflection and voila! You’ve shown gratitude.
One five-star reviewer wrote, “I was looking for a way to focus on the positive and not need to spend hours writing long passages in a journal. This was perfect, and I love the quotes at the top.” Plus, it’s pretty cool to see how your reflections and thoughts evolve over the course of five years. Just keep in mind that expressing gratitude is just one of the things happy people do every day; consider all the ways you can adjust your lifestyle to improve your happiness.
- Minimal effort required
- Five years’ worth of entries
- Relatively small in size, with not a ton of writing room
Best for busy people
The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
The aptly named One-Minute Gratitude Journal is ideal for those in a time crunch, because it takes just one minute to fill out the simple yet reflective daily prompt. All you have to do is list five things you’re grateful for. It’s really that easy!
The gratitude journal also boasts nearly 7,000 Amazon reviews, including more than 5,000 with five stars. One reviewer remarked, “I love this gratitude journal! I was looking for something that wasn’t too time consuming and to the point. This journal checked those boxes! I like waking up first thing and putting in my entry for the day.” As a bonus, the journal features a cheery mix of uplifting quotes and happiness quotes—plus graphics and blank pages for drawing and doodling.
- Relatively low effort
- Quick and efficient prompts
Not a ton of room to write
Best for self-manifestation
The Book of Dreams Come True: A Journal of Self-Discovery, Goals and Manifestation
This little gratitude journal encourages users to dream big and subsequently turn those dreams into reality via the power of manifestation. Expand your imagination by completing the creative writing prompts, which aim to inspire gratitude and joy. Some examples include thinking up a title for a book based on the story of your (ideal) life and visualizing a situation in which you’re appreciated by everyone around you.
It’s a self-help book that’s fun, creative and practical, which will (hopefully) inspire you to look at your life a little differently. Don’t believe us? Just take it from this Amazon reviewer, who exclaimed, “This journal is packed full of wonderful and positive prompts. […] If you are looking to shift your thought process to be/becoming more positive, the activities in this journal will do just that! Plenty of room to write and transform your future through words.”
- Writing prompts encourage creativity
- Combines gratitude with the power of manifestation
- Beginners may find it a bit overwhelming
Best for artists
Start Each Day with a Grateful Heart: A 52-Week Gratitude Journal
This 52-week gratitude journal is an excellent pick for artists of all skill levels—it’s chock-full of beautiful floral illustrations for users to color. (You’ll need to use your own markers, crayons or colored pencils to do so, though.) So, why should your gratitude journal double as a coloring book? Science says coloring is a great way to naturally alleviate stress, an added bonus in our book (pun intended, of course).
Each daily entry also offers three lines to jot down today’s points of gratitude. Since the prompts are short, you’ll have time to engage in other activities that will bring a smile to your face, whether that’s getting creative with a crafting kit or curling up with an amazing new book.
- Users get to color in illustrations
- Prompts are short and sweet
- A bit pricier than other options on this list
Best for teens
Gratitude Journal for Teens
This 150-page journal was specifically created for teens interested in learning more about the correlation between practicing gratitude and one’s overall state of happiness. It’s worth noting that research points to the fact that early adolescents who practice gratitude experience enhanced overall well-being.
We especially love this gratitude journal for its playful, emoji-filled pages with (mostly) straightforward prompts—for example, track your mood, dance to your favorite song or think about a time you felt angry. It won’t take teens too much time to squeeze in entries while balancing exam prep, extracurriculars, volunteer activities, socializing and scrolling through TikTok.
- Simple prompts
- Won’t take more than a few minutes to complete
- Ample writing space, which may feel intimidating for younger kids or beginners
Best for kids
Today Is Great: A Daily Gratitude Journal for Kids
Designed for children ages 7 to 10, this guided gratitude journal boasts beautiful colored pages, fun illustrations and kid-friendly quotes to help little ones cultivate gratitude. The lighthearted prompts (like “Name one special talent you have” and “What’s your favorite pet?”) provide kiddos with a better understanding of basic gratitude principles to incorporate into their daily lives.
Need a good reason to gift a gratitude journal to your kids? How about this: According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, children who practice gratitude may experience better sleep and improved moods, among other benefits. You may not be able to convince your kids to do a short digital detox, but you can encourage them to put the screens away for the short amount of time it takes to reflect and give thanks.
- Colorful, creative pages
- Fun prompts
- Best for children 7 and up
Best for list lovers
52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journal Inspiration for Positivity, Balance and Joy
Do you love a good to-do list? If so, 52 Lists for Happiness is the best gratitude journal for you. Don’t worry, though: This book is anything but boring. Instead, you’ll find gorgeous illustrations and photography coupled with happiness-inducing prompts. You’ll be writing about topics such as the best opportunities others have given you, the happiest stories you’ve heard today and the things you’re passionate about.
You won’t find any dates in this gratitude journal, so you don’t have to worry about completing it by a specific month or year. It boasts more than 2,000 five-star Amazon reviews, including this one: “I am so grateful for this journal. It totally changes my mindset each morning, and it is different from any other way of journaling that I have tried on my own.”
The stunning packaging—complete with copper foil and a velvet ribbon—is a nice bonus. In fact, it’s a great gift idea, so you might want to pick up two!
- Great for organized types
- Beautiful packaging
- May not be right for those who don’t love checklists
Best for deeper self-reflection
Gratitude: A Day and Night Reflection Journal
For a deeper dive into the world of gratitude, consider this 90-day journal, which you can fill out twice daily (morning and night). Each of the 184 pages is lined and offers ample space for you to record all your guided thoughts. The morning prompts will help you choose your areas of focus for the day and include positive affirmations and cues to discuss what you’re grateful for and excited about. It won’t just encourage you to set goals for gratitude; it’ll prompt you to think about how you plan to achieve those goals. The evening prompts, on the other hand, center on the good things that happened and how they made you feel.
One reviewer even raved, “I have been purchasing this journal every 90 days for the past two years. I love this journal and how it starts and ends my days. This journal helps to keep me grounded and [focused] on having a positive day and set positive [intentions] for each day.”
- Lined pages offer plenty of space for reflection
- Provides a handful of prompts per page
- Space for morning and evening contemplation
- Can get a little repetitive
- Only room for 90 days’ worth of entries
Best for paying it forward
Letters for a Year of Gratitude: Write Now. Keep in Touch Always
If you’re the type to write thank-you notes and just-because letters, this one’s for you. With this unique journal, you can spread the love and express your gratitude to your nearest and dearest. Unlike the other options on this list, this one is meant to be shared. You can tear out each of the 52 pages, which serve as thoughtful letters you can then send friends or family members. It even comes complete with stickers for sealing and hand-delivering, though you can also stick on a stamp and drop it in the mail.
Each page has a unique prompt, such as “What I appreciate about us” and “It’s the little things, like when …” If you want to acknowledge a time when someone went above and beyond, consider pairing your page with a thoughtful gift—it’s certain to give your loved one a wonderful moment of joy.
- Great option for those who love writing letters
- Thoughtful prompts ensure you’re creating meaningful messages
- Not ideal for self-reflection because you’re not keeping your entries
- The Journal of Positive Psychology: “The impact of gratitude on adolescent materialism and generosity”
- Harvard Medical School: “Giving thanks can make you happier”
- Greater Good: “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain”
- Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life”
- Mayo Clinic: “Coloring is good for your health”
- Journal of School Psychology: “Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being”
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America: “The Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude for Kids & Teens”
- Journal of Psychosomatic Research: “Gratitude influences sleep through the mechanism of pre-sleep cognitions”