Elevate Your Mood: 48 Thought-Provoking Gratitude Journal Prompts

UPDATED: December 5, 2023
PUBLISHED: December 4, 2023
Closeup of a woman doing gratitude journal prompts

Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Too often, the day-to-day stresses of life can wear on us. Maybe you’re feeling burned-out at work or are exhausted from managing a busy schedule. If so, it might be time to step back and start practicing gratitude in your everyday life. An easy way to start is to use a gratitude journal to identify and express gratitude for the good in your life. Explore these 48 gratitude journal prompts to help you begin your daily gratitude habit.

What is gratitude journaling?

Gratitude journaling is the process of writing down the things for which you’re grateful. Most people who use gratitude journals write a short entry each day. These daily entries can help you feel grateful for the things in your life—from simple pleasures to complex emotions.

As you build your journal, you’ll notice gratitude becoming a personality trait. Practicing gratitude can ultimately make life easier as you habitually remember to step back and appreciate the good things in your life. In addition, research suggests gratitude journaling can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and even benefit heart health.

You can create your own journal from scratch or use a gratitude journal template to help you get started. Gratitude journal templates or pre-made journals generally include daily gratitude prompts to get your creative juices flowing. There are also many gratitude journal ideas online to help you get started.

Try these prompts to help you feel thankful

When writing in your journal, whether daily, weekly or monthly, try one of these prompts to help you think about what you feel gratitude for in your life:

Journal prompts to help you feel gratitude toward others

  1. Which family member or friend inspires you to be a better person? What traits do you wish to emulate?
  2. Consider the teachers, professors and mentors you’ve had over the years. Which of them are you most thankful for and why?
  3. Express your gratitude for the people you don’t know but who make your day-to-day life easier.
  4. Which person in your life is most reliable? Express your gratitude for their presence in your life.
  5. When was the last time someone expressed thanks to you? What did you do to help them and how did it make you feel?
  6. List three people who make you feel happy. Make a goal to thank them for that in the next month.
  7. Consider a person who you don’t get along with or find it difficult to be around. Write down three things that you like or appreciate about them.
  8. List a few ways you can help a friend, family member or acquaintance who isn’t feeling well or is having a bad day.
  9. If you have a spouse or partner, what are their best traits? If you don’t, what traits are you looking for in a future partner or friend?
  10. How did the people around you shape who you are today?
  11. How has a friend or family member made you smile in the last month?
  12. Explain your favorite piece of advice you’ve been given and why you’re grateful for it.
  13. When was the last time you saw or experienced the kindness of a stranger? How did it make you feel?
  14. Describe the last time someone helped you solve a problem at work or school and why you’re grateful for their assistance.
  15. Think of a time when someone gave you praise. How did it make you feel?

Journal prompts to help you feel gratitude for experiences

  1. What is your happiest memory from the last year? Describe each feeling you get when thinking of that memory.
  2. What was the highlight of your day today? Why are you grateful for it?
  3. Think of your favorite place to travel—near or far. What about that place makes you happy?
  4. Describe a time in your life when you could find a silver lining in the situation around you.
  5. What are you most looking forward to in the next week?
  6. Write a paragraph explaining your favorite time of day.
  7. Name your three favorite times of the year.
  8. What is something you see every day, but it still brings you joy?
  9. What is a new hobby you want to pick up? What steps can you take to make it happen?
  10. What is a small change you can make immediately that will improve your day tomorrow (going to bed earlier, exercising, eating a balanced meal, etc.)?

Journal prompts to help you feel gratitude for things

  1. List 10 things you are thankful for right now.
  2. What is your current favorite song, and what do you like about it?
  3. Look at what’s around you right now. Pick an item you’re grateful for and describe why.
  4. Think about how your favorite book or movie makes you feel, and write why you’re grateful for those feelings.
  5. How does your favorite holiday make you feel? Describe these feelings in a paragraph or two.
  6. Describe the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received.

Journal prompts to help you feel gratitude for yourself

  1. What is something you love about your body?
  2. Describe a time when you laughed without reservation and how it made you feel afterward.
  3. Explain a time you went out of your comfort zone. How did it make you grow as a person?
  4. List the top three skills you want to learn in the next year.
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat and why?
  6. What do you consider to be your best skill or trait?
  7. What are your favorite simple pleasures in life?
  8. Pick a bad habit to kick, and list three small steps you can take.
  9. Describe your ideal self-care routine in detail and why it would help you destress and relax.
  10. What makes you unique?
  11. What are some ways you feel you successfully deal with everyday problems, such as running late or stubbing your toe?
  12. Explain a time when you had to overcome challenges and how it made you stronger.
  13. What is the one thing that can always improve your mood and make you happy? Is there a way to incorporate it into your life more?
  14. What’s something in your life that you wouldn’t trade for anything?
  15. What is your favorite color and why?
  16. What in your life do you most take for granted, and how can you show more gratitude for it?
  17. If you could end one problem in the world, what would it be and why?

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