No matter how charmed your life may or may not be, if you’re like many people, there’s a good chance you spend a decent amount of time focusing on what’s going wrong in your life. That’s not a judgment against you. Again, wanting unpleasant situations to change is a common attitude.
However, it may not be a mindset that serves you. Research indicates you may be much better off focusing on things to be grateful for. Even if you initially feel like you have little to be thankful for, you’ll likely discover that’s not the case if you reflect on this topic.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Features Should You Look for in a Gratitude Journal?
- What Are the Different Types of Gratitude Journals?
- Best Gratitude Journals With Prompts From Around the Web
- Best Gratitude Planners From Around the Web
Don’t overlook the value of emphasizing and expressing gratitude. Studies have shown that consistently focusing on gratitude can improve your health and happiness in measurable ways.
You can employ numerous strategies to shift to a more gratitude-centric attitude. One is to keep a gratitude journal in which you write daily entries about what you may be grateful for on that day. The following guide will cover some of the best gratitude journals available to you, making the process of choosing the right one much easier.
What Features Should You Look for in a Gratitude Journal?
The best gratitude journal for one person may not have the same appeal for someone else. This point highlights what may be the most important quality to look for in a gratitude journal: one that appeals to your own comfort and tastes.
For instance, some people prefer gratitude journals that are physical objects they can write in with a pen or pencil. Others are more comfortable with online or digital gratitude journals.
Neither option is universally right or wrong. The best gratitude journal is simply the one you will continue writing in. Other features and qualities you should look for when choosing a gratitude journal include the following:
Option to include photos
You may want to include photos or images that relate to the topics you will be writing about in your gratitude journal entries. Keep this in mind when looking for one.
Privacy (if applicable)
You may find this feature necessary if you’re using an online journaling service but want your entries to remain private. If this is an essential factor for you, be sure to investigate the privacy and security measures a service has in place before deciding to use it.
Space for your entries
The amount of available space in a journal may seem like an obvious point to some, but it can be easy to overlook.
Maybe you want to keep a physical gratitude journal, and you like the idea of having one that you can keep with you at all times. That’s understandable. However, if your gratitude journal is too small, you may fill it up too quickly, forcing you to buy another one sooner than expected. What seemed like a convenient feature (small and portable) of your journal can result in an inconvenience. Consider this carefully as you make a decision.
Some people find the process of keeping a gratitude journal challenging because they don’t know how to start writing an entry.
Don’t worry if you can relate. Many gratitude journals feature prompts, such as: “The experience I’m most grateful for this year is…” to help you start writing.
What Are the Different Types of Gratitude Journals?
There isn’t merely one type of gratitude journal out there. To find the best gratitude journal for you, you should be aware of your options. They include:
- Traditional notebooks
- Private blogs
- Public blogs
- Journals with prompts or self-reflection questions
- Gratitude journals for those with limited time to write entries
- Travel-sized gratitude journals
- Gratitude journal/daily planner combos
Those are a few noteworthy examples. The remainder of this guide will suggest a few specific gratitude journals you may want to consider. Learning more about specific options will help you determine which type is the best gratitude journal for your needs.
Best Gratitude Journals With Prompts From Around the Web
Finding gratitude journals with prompts is very easy in the internet age. Along with web-based gratitude journals, online stores sell plenty of physical gratitude journals with prompts. Here are a few titles to look into:
When searching for online gratitude journals, you may quickly find that many come in the form of apps. Presently is an example of such a gratitude journal.
Presently, a stripped-down gratitude journal app, simply prompts users to list what they are grateful for each day. It doesn’t have many additional features, so it might not be the best gratitude journal for someone who wants a more dynamic experience. But it’s ideal for someone who needs help easing into the process of keeping a gratitude journal.
Bliss is similar to the above app in some capacities, but it’s more feature-heavy while also providing users with the option to exercise greater control over their experience when using the app.
Bliss specifically allows users to choose which type of journal prompt they want to receive based on certain categories. Examples of categories include “Could be Worse,” “Three Good Things,” and “Honoring People.”
3. Tiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal: Questions, Prompts, and Coloring Pages for a Brighter, Happier Life
Are you the type of person who would prefer to write in a physical gratitude journal rather than a digital one? Consider this option if so. Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal is a traditional gratitude journal that helps you start writing with prompts and questions.
This journal is also somewhat unique, thanks to the coloring pages it features. The purpose of this addition is to help you more fully notice the little joys in life that you may fail to appreciate.
That’s important for people who don’t think they have much for which to be grateful. Focusing on the little things can help a person recognize that everyone has some reason to be grateful, even if they don’t immediately realize it at first.
4. The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal
This is an option for those who are VERY pressed for time! The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal boasts a simple concept: Every day, you must write down one sentence in response to the quote corresponding to that day’s date.
Technically, this is not an exclusively gratitude-centric journal, as it does not require that you write about something for which you are grateful. However, it does encourage this, earning the title a place on this list.
5. The One-Minute Gratitude Journal
The One-Minute Gratitude Journal may not seem very different from the Happiness Projects’ similar offering. You read a quote, then spend a minute or two writing a response to it.
That does not mean the two journals are the same. First, this journal focuses on getting users to write about what they are grateful for, instead of responding to the quote however they please. Additionally, the quotes do not correspond with specific dates. Instead, you have the option to date them according to your preferences and schedule.
Some may find this distinction to be insignificant. Others understand that it can be very helpful. Some people feel guilty when they commit to writing in their journal every day but end up missing a day.
This can prevent them from fully experiencing the benefits that a gratitude journal can offer. It’s difficult to feel calm and at peace if you feel like you failed to complete an important task. If you can journal regularly while still giving yourself permission to miss a day or two, maintaining a gratitude journal may prove to be a far more rewarding process than it would otherwise be.
Reflectly is a unique entry for this list. That’s the very reason it belongs here.
The experience of Reflectly begins with describing your mood and writing a few journal entries. Then, the app uses AI to analyze your entries. By doing so, the app is able to generate personalized journal prompts for you.
This feature may be critical for some. Some don’t like the idea of responding to a random prompt that has nothing to do with their life. Knowing the app will tailor its prompts to your needs and preferences might give you more reason to actively use it when compared to some of the other options on this list.
Best Gratitude Planners From Around the Web
As this guide mentioned earlier, some gratitude journals are also daily planners. This is actually a very logical combination. After all, to experience the benefits of expressing gratitude, you need to do so consistently and often. This is easier for some when their gratitude journal is a planner as well as a journal.
The best gratitude journal planners out there include:
7. The Five Minute Journal
The name of The Five Minute Journal is apt. This particular gratitude journal involves spending a short time in the morning setting your intention for the day. At the end of the day, you can return to the entry and write about what you are grateful for and where you can make corrections to ensure your days go as planned in the future.
This is another type of gratitude journal that may be perfect for someone who is just beginning to get into gratitude journaling. Some are reluctant to make the time commitment they fear maintaining a gratitude journal will involve. A gratitude journal that also serves as a daily planner may appeal more to such a person if it caters specifically to those with that very concern.
8. Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude
Good Days Start With Gratitude is another example of a basic combination of daily planner and gratitude journal. Similar to The Five Minute Journal, it asks you to spend a few short minutes at the beginning of the day writing about three things for which you are grateful, then checking back in at the end of the day to take stock of your progress.
The key difference is that this gratitude journal planner specifically requires you to keep writing in it for an entire year. That may sound like a daunting task for some, but ideally, spending 52 weeks writing about what you are grateful for every day will eventually yield some very significant mental and emotional health benefits.
9. Happy Journal, Happy Life
Happy Journal, Happy Life is not exactly a daily planner in the strictest sense, but it can serve as one. It nevertheless belongs here because it offers an alternative to the other items on this list that may appeal to those who do not enjoy writing.
Instead of writing about what you are grateful for, this unique gratitude journal asks you to draw what you are grateful for in your daily life. You could thus use it as a planner by starting your day drawing that for which you hope to experience on any given day. For artistic types, it could be the best gratitude journal out there.
The Best Gratitude Journal is the One You’ll Use
Hopefully, this guide will help you find the best gratitude journal for your needs, goals, and lifestyle. Just remember, a gratitude journal can deliver major rewards if you make a point of writing in it often. Additionally, you may want to check our guide on future self journaling to learn more about a similar type of journaling that can also offer a wide range of benefits.