Daily Gratitude Journal Prompts to Improve Happiness
Over the past few years, it has become common knowledge that gratitude practices can aid in increasing a person’s emotional, mental, and even physical health with long-term positive results. While we often have a massive list of things to be grateful for, pinpointing them can sometimes be tricky. This can be especially true when we have been practicing daily gratitude for a while and run out of ideas or don’t feel like repeating ourselves. That is why I have compiled a long list of daily gratitude journal prompts to help spark your creativity, engage those happy feelings, and recognize all there is to be grateful.
The Science of Gratitude
Before you dive into writing, I want to take a brief moment to share the science of gratitude – the “why” behind the numerous benefits of this practice. Numerous studies have shown that gratitude practices aid participants in various mental, physical, and emotional benefits.
Mayo Clinic reports that gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, and difficulties with chronic pain and the risk of disease. Greater Good magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley, reports that gratitude helps people detach from negative emotions and connect with positive emotion words. Another source, Mindful.org, reports that gratitude practices can boost self-esteem and enhance life satisfaction. As you can see, the data supporting gratitude practices is both deep and reputable.
If you want to learn more about all the benefits of gratitude, I encourage you to check out my past podcast episodes. There are dozens of episodes on the benefits of gratitude!
There are a few caveats, of course.
First, you have to find a rhythm that works for you. For some people, attempting to write daily gratitude journal prompts may be overwhelming. You may be better off writing three ideas once a week. I encourage you to find a practice that best suits your lifestyle and capabilities.
Second, gratitude takes time. Yes, you will likely get a little jolt of happiness after writing your daily gratitude journal prompts, but long-lasting gratitude benefits take time to accrue. It could take months for those good feelings to sink in, so stick with it.
Third, you don’t have to share if you don’t want to. Some people choose to write and send gratitude letters, but if you want to keep your gratitude private, that is perfectly fine. Studies show that sharing or not won’t affect how much happiness someone can get from the practice.
Gratitude vs. Appreciation
Sometimes the concept of gratitude can trip people up. Rather than getting caught up in the concept of gratitude, you can replace it with appreciation. Entrepreneur made an excellent comparison that I want to share with you.
“Gratitude is simply defined as "the state of being grateful." It is a social emotion that expresses our appreciation for what others have done for us.
On the other hand, appreciation can be defined as recognizing the value and meaning of something. It can be an event, a person, a behavior or an object. Feeling a positive emotional connection to it shows appreciation toward the thing.”
Many of the coming prompts are a mix of gratitude and appreciation concepts, so if you cringe at the thought of writing a gratitude journal, think of it as an appreciation journal instead.
100 Daily Gratitude Journal Prompts
As you scroll further down, you will see a fat list of daily gratitude journal prompts. We have sectioned them off into different categories to make it easy to scan and find the right kind of prompt that you need for today. I encourage you to use the ones that speak to you; you don’t need to force yourself to answer every question.
Acknowledgment of What You Have:
Take some time each day to actively assess what you are grateful for right now at this moment. Think of things big or small — any positive thought that puts a smile on your face will do!
1. What is one physical attribute about myself that I appreciate?
2. What aspect of my health am I grateful for?
3. What is my favorite item on my desk?
4. What is one tool in my kitchen that I love to cook with?
5. What are three things that I love about my home?
6. What was something yummy that I ate today?
7. What is my favorite thing in my town?
8. What gift have I received this year that I appreciate?
9. What is a lovely place my car has taken me?
10. How does my phone make my life easier?
11. What is something that I can do today that society couldn’t do 25 years ago?
12. What positive emotion does my favorite song bring me?
13. What is a recent improvement I have made to my life?
14. Where do I feel most relaxed?
15. What is one possession that you own that brings you joy and why?
People Who Made Your Day Better:
From personal relations to strangers that pass us by, we have countless interactions every day. As we know, social connections are a key driver to happiness. A friend, colleague, family member, or even a stranger may have had an impact on how you experienced the present moment.
16. Did someone do something nice for me today?
17. Who is someone I don’t personally know who has inspired me to be better?
18. What is my favorite quality of my best friend?
19. What is my favorite memory of my best friend?
20. How does my best friend make me feel?
21. What is a kind thing I witnessed my coworker doing today?
22. What is one thing that connects my coworker and me in a positive way?
23. How did my significant other bring me joy today?
24. What did my children do that made me smile?
25. What is my favorite trait of my spouse?
26. What is my favorite childhood memory of my mother/father?
27. Did I receive a compliment? What was it?
28. What social interaction brought me unexpected happiness?
29. How did I connect with a client/customer today?
30. Who can I rely on to be there for me in tough situations?
31. What is one relationship in your life that you appreciate and why?
Reflection on Your Past Achievements, Appreciating Milestones, and Looking Forward to the Future:
When it comes to being thankful for our past achievements, these don’t necessarily have to be major victories — write down anything, big or small, that made you feel accomplished.
32. What minor task did I complete today that I’m proud of?
33. What is something new that I learned today?
34. What is one part of my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything?
35. What is my favorite life lesson that I still use today?
36. How did I overcome a challenge today?
37. How did I solve a problem today?
38. What is one milestone I achieved today towards a larger goal?
39. What is something stressful that happened today? What did I do to overcome that?
40. What is one thing I am looking forward to this weekend?
41. When did I laugh so hard that my stomach hurt?
42. What is one opportunity that you have been given that you are grateful for?
43. What is one thing you have accomplished recently that you are proud of?
44. What skills or talents do you possess that have opened up opportunities for you?
45. What is one way that an opportunity has helped you grow or learn something new?
46. What is one opportunity that you hope to have in the future, and why are you grateful for the possibility of it?
47. What is one opportunity that you almost missed but are now thankful for having taken advantage of?
48. What is one opportunity that someone else gave you that you are grateful for?
49. What is one opportunity that you created for yourself that you are proud of?
50. What is one way that you can make the most of the opportunities available to you right now?
How You Contributed To Someone Else’s Life Positively:
Being grateful doesn’t have to mean focusing solely on yourself! Taking some time each day to assess how you might have been able to assist others or contribute in meaningful ways over the course of your day helps to put others’ perspectives at the forefront and remind us all of how interconnected we really are as human beings.
51. What was something nice that I did for a stranger today?
52. Did I give someone a compliment? How did they react?
53. How did I treat my spouse kindly today?
54. How did I make my children smile today?
55. How did I make my parent happy today?
56. How did I bring a friend joy today?
57. How did I make a positive social contribution to my workplace today?
Simple Acts of Kindness Around You:
Sometimes it can seem easier to be thankful for larger-scale events than simple daily interactions. However, all small actions accumulate together along with bigger successes. I encourage you to notice random acts of kindness that are happening around you, even if you are not a participant in the interaction.
58. Did I see someone do something nice for someone else?
59. How did a child do something kind for an adult?
60. What is one kind thing someone did for you today that you are grateful for?
61. What is one kind thing you did for someone else today that you are grateful for?
62. What is one small act of kindness that someone did for you in the past that you are still grateful for?
63. What is one small act of kindness that you did for someone else in the past that you are still grateful for?
64. What is one kind gesture that a stranger did for you that you are thankful for?
65. What is one kind gesture that you did for a stranger that you are thankful for?
66. What is one way that you can show kindness to someone else today?
67. What is one kind act that you can perform for yourself today?
68. What is one way that you can spread kindness and positivity in your community today?
How Nature Brings Unexpected Joy:
Studies have shown that the appreciation of nature, or simply being outside, can drastically improve one’s happiness. I encourage you to bring the outside in by recreating it in your mind and on paper by answering the following.
69. What is one beautiful thing I noticed on my last walk?
70. What is my favorite type of flower? What positive emotion does it bring me?
71. What is my favorite thing to look at when I look out the window?
72. What feeling does my favorite outdoor activity initiate in me?
73. What is one outdoor activity that you enjoy and are thankful for?
74. What is one moment in nature that made you smile or feel happy today?
75. What is one aspect of nature that you find peaceful or calming, and why?
76. What is one way that you can connect with nature today that will bring you joy?
77. What is one unexpected encounter with wildlife that you are grateful for?
78. What is one natural wonder that you have seen or experienced that you are still grateful for?
79. What is one way that nature has helped you feel more centered or grounded recently?
80. What is one way that you can show appreciation for nature today?
81. What is one way that you can give back to the environment today?
Remembering Happy Moments & Experiences:
One of the greatest joys we can bring into our gratitude is appreciating past experiences. By noting those happy memories, we can relive that joy all over again. Now, there is one caveat for these, and that is to keep them short and sweet, such as a couple of sentences or points. Studies have found that writing about happy memories extensively can take some of that joy away, so keep it short and sweet. What is one happy memory from your childhood that you are grateful for?
82. What is one memory of a loved one who has passed away that you treasure?
83. What is one memory from your school years that you are thankful for?
84. What is one memory of a special event or occasion that you are grateful for?
85. What is one memory of a place that you have visited that you are thankful for?
86. What is one memory of a kindness that someone showed you that you appreciate?
87. What is one memory of an accomplishment or achievement that you are proud of?
88. What is one memory of a difficult time that you overcame, and what are you thankful for in that experience?
89. What is one memory of a spontaneous moment of joy or laughter that you cherish?
90. What is one memory of a conversation that changed your perspective or taught you something new that you are grateful for?
Happiness through Self-Care:
Self-care is an essential part of overall well-being, and practicing gratitude for the things you do to take care of yourself can help you cultivate a positive and nurturing relationship with yourself. By reflecting on your self-care practices and expressing gratitude for them, you can build resilience, reduce stress, and promote a sense of balance and harmony in your life.
91. What is one thing you did today to take care of your body that you are grateful for?
92. What is one thing you did today to take care of your mind that you are thankful for?
93. What is one self-care practice that you have adopted recently that has brought you joy and relaxation?
94. What is one self-care ritual that you do regularly that helps you feel centered and grounded?
95. What is one healthy habit that you have developed that you are grateful for?
96. What is one way that you have learned to manage stress or anxiety that you are thankful for?
97. What is one activity that you enjoy doing that helps you recharge and replenish your energy?
98. What is one person in your life who supports your self-care practices, and why are you grateful for them?
99. What is one way that taking care of yourself has positively impacted other areas of your life?
100. What is one way that self-care has helped you cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation in your life?
Did any of those daily gratitude journal prompts light your hair on fire? Well you don’t have to constantly come back to this blog post to see them. You can download our free printable PDF today with ALL of these daily gratitude journal prompts.
AND what’s your favorite daily gratitude journal prompt? Let me know in the comments or share it on socials and tag us over at Everyday Happiness!