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Gratitude Journal


Cultivating gratitude is an evidence-based positive psychology technique. This information handout describes reasons to cultivate a grateful attitude and helpful practical steps in developing a gratitude practice.

Gratitude journal exercise There is evidence that it is possible to increase gratitude and well-being through practice. Gratitude Journal Positive Psychology Handout (angled) Want to edit, adapt or personalize this resource? Choose an editable version and customize to suit your client. Gratitude Journal Positive Psychology Handout (Full resource pack)



Full resource pack (PDF)


Exercise only (PDF)


Editable version (PPT)


Translation Template



Gratitude has been described as “the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself and represents a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation” (Sansone & Sanson, 2010). Conceptually gratitude has been viewed as an emotion which occurs after receiving assistance, or as a dispositional “orientation towards noticing the positive in the world” (Wood et al, 2010). This dispositional or trait gratitude is positively associated with a number of measures of well-being and there is evidence that it is possible to increase gratitude through practice – with associated increases in well-being. The Gratitude Journal is a positive psychology worksheet. It describes the concept of gratitude, briefly reports research findings supporting its beneficial associations, and provides recommendations to aid in the completion of a gratitude journal / gratitude list.


This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:

  • Client handout – use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point – use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool – improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource – use as a learning tool during training


  • Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of personality and social psychology, 84(2), 377.
  • Froh, J. J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of school psychology, 46(2), 213-233.
  • Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). Gratitude and well being: The benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 7(11), 18.
  • Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2006). How to increase and sustain positive emotion: The effects of expressing gratitude and visualizing best possible selves. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(2), 73-82.
  • Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical psychology review, 30(7), 890-905.