40 Refreshing Gratitude Journal Prompts

, Staff Writer
Updated May 1, 2020
notebook with the words "I am grateful for ..."
    grateful spiral notebook
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It has been proven that giving thanks can make you happier. That’s why it is so important to add gratitude journal prompts to your life. Explore 40 gratitude journal prompts for kids, students, and adults.

What Is Gratitude?

In the simplest terms, gratitude is just giving thanks or being happy for what you have right now. Even on your worst day, taking a minute to journal things you're thankful for or just examining something good that did happen can improve your outlook. In the long run, you start to see more of the good and less of the bad. 

Gratitude Journal Prompts for Kids

When it comes to being thankful, there are a lot of different things you can reflect on in a journal. From positive things about you, memories, or people around you, use these gratitude prompts to give kids journaling inspiration.

  1. Who is an under appreciated worker we should be thankful for? Why?
  2. Who is someone you can always rely on for help?
  3. In what ways does your pet make you smile?
  4. List 5 people around you that have had a positive impact on you and how?
  5. Who is your hero and why?
  6. Who is someone that has inspired you in the last week? How?
  7. Who has made you smile today? How can you make someone else smile?
  8. How can you do more random acts of kindness each day?
  9. What is one thing that you love about the sun?
  10. What is something special, unique, or extraordinary about yourself?
  11. What is your favorite toy or device? How does it make you happy?
  12. What is something you’ve done this week to make you feel good about yourself?
  13. Who is someone around you that you couldn’t live without?
  14. What is something about your family that makes them the best in the world?

Gratitude Journal Prompts for Students

For your middle school writing or high school students, you need gratitude prompts that go a little deeper. Use these gratitude journal prompts for students to help them explore the world around them in a positive way.

  1. What is your favorite piece of art or music? How does it make you feel?
  2. How can the sun shining on your face make you feel energized?
  3. How can the sounds of nature bring you peace?
  4. How has your greatest accomplishment so far changed your life?
  5. Where is your favorite place in the world? Explain how it makes you feel using all your senses.
  6. How can a smile brighten your day?
  7. What is one thing that makes a person truly beautiful?
  8. What did the weather look like on your very best or favorite day?
  9. What is one thing about the night that makes it special?
  10. How did you feel when you overcame an obstacle today?
  11. If you could only use one positive word to describe today, what would it be? Why?
  12. What is something that you really appreciate because it makes your life easier?
  13. What is your greatest asset?
  14. Is it more important to do for others or yourself? Why?

Gratitude Journal Prompts for Adults

Journaling isn’t just a good way for kids and adolescents, it’s great for adults too. Explore these gratitude journal prompts for self-exploration.

  1. Why are you thankful for today?
  2. How did you turn a negative moment or time into a positive one?
  3. What is a positive trait of one of your coworkers? How does that make them special?
  4. What is your favorite creative outlet? How can it improve your mood?
  5. What is a family tradition that you value? Why?
  6. What does the quote, “if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door,” by Milton Berle mean? How is it inspirational?
  7. How has your favorite movie changed your life?
  8. What about your favorite book inspires you?
  9. If you needed to smile, what would you do? Why?
  10. What is one goal you think everyone should aspire to achieve? Why?
  11. When and where was the last time you felt totally at peace? How could you recreate it?
  12. What positive memory does your favorite smell invoke?

Why Use Gratitude Journal Prompts?

Journal prompts are great for self-exploration, but when you add gratitude to the mix, it takes your journaling to a whole new level.

Gratitude journaling is great to:

  • Improve happiness: Looking at things you are grateful for helps you to see the positives in even the worst of days.
  • Increase self-esteem: When you look at positive things about yourself, you don't focus on all the things you don’t like, which helps you to see what a great person you are.
  • Reduce Stress: When you explore things you are grateful for on a daily basis, it makes you happier. Being happier can help you to get better sleep and live healthier, which naturally reduces stress.

Being Grateful

The benefits of gratitude journaling are numerous. And journaling itself is a great way to reflect and improve creativity. To add a little variety to your student’s journaling, you might look at tips for effective academic journaling.