The Science and Benefits of Gratitude
The Gratitude Project: How the Science of Thankfulness Can Rewire Our Brains for Resilience, Optimism, and the Greater Good
With essays based on new findings from this original research and written by renowned positive psychologists and public figures, this important book delves deeply into the neuroscience and psychology of gratitude, and explores how thankfulness can be developed and applied, both personally and in communities large and small, for the benefit of all.
Thanks!: How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier
Scientifically speaking, regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent, while keeping a gratitude journal for as little as three weeks results in better sleep and more energy. But there’s more than science to embrace here: Emmons also bolsters the case for gratitude by weaving in writings of philosophers, novelists, and theologians that illustrate all the benefits grateful living brings.
The Little Book of Gratitude: Create a life of happiness and wellbeing by giving thanks
Easily accessible and available to everyone, the practice of gratitude will benefit every area of your life and generate a positive ripple effect.This book discusses the benefits of gratitude and teaches easy techniques to foster gratitude every day. It also includes an 8-week gratitude plan.
The Gratitude Effect: Shift Your Mindset, Optimize Your Outcomes, and Boost Emotional Well-Being
Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Cavaness explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. At the end of every chapter is an application section to help you learn, apply, and excel.
Expressing Gratitude – Practices and How-To
Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity
This book explores evidence-based practices in a compelling and accessible way and provides a step-by-step guide to cultivating gratitude in their lives. Gratitude Works! also shows how religious, philosophical, and spiritual traditions validate the greatest insights of science about gratitude.
Wake Up Grateful: The Transformative Practice of Taking Nothing for Granted
In Wake Up Grateful, Kristi Nelson, executive director of A Network for Grateful Living, unlocks the path to recognizing abundance in every moment, no matter the moment. With questions for reflection, daily exercises, and perspective prompts, Nelson introduces readers to the benefits of a daily gratitude practice.
Words Of Gratitude Mind Body & Soul
Learning to experience gratitude involves being grateful as an attitude, not as a reaction when good things occur. To be grateful, one does not need to wait until things are perfect. In fact, practicing gratitude makes one receptive to life’s blessings, and these blessings continue as we continue to be thankful.
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace
This book will give you the tools to improve staff morale, create a more positive workplace, and increase employee engagement. How? By teaching you to effectively communicate authentic appreciation and encouragement to employees, co-workers, and leaders. Most relational problems in organizations flow from this question: do people feel appreciated? This book will help you answer “Yes!”
Surviving to Thriving – The 10 Laws of Grateful Leadership
What sets apart an inspired life? That’s the question that electrical engineer Steve Foran set out to answer when he began researching gratitude fifteen years ago.
We all want more—bigger houses, more money, faster cars, longer vacations, happier relationships. What we don’t realize is that each of us already has the key to a successful, thriving life. All you need is a grateful mindset.
More Practices and How-To
- Unlock Gratitude Now!: Your 7 Keys to a Happier and More Successful Life – Pettigrew claims gratitude is the master key to self-transformation
- Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life – Integrating the latest teachings from social science with stories, prayers, and practices from cultures and traditions spanning the globe, she presents a 12 – month plan for making gratitude your foundation for daily living.
- Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results – Provides managers and executives with easy ways to add more gratitude to the everyday work environment to help bolster moral, efficiency, and profitability. New research shows that gratitude boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover, and leads team members to express more gratitude to one another—strengthening team bonds. Studies have also shown that gratitude is beneficial for those expressing it and is one of the most powerful variables in predicting a person’s overall well-being—above money, health, and optimism.
- Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy – Gratitude is a choice. If we fail to chose it, by default we choose ingratitude. And once allowed into the heart, ingratitude does not come by itself, but with other seedy companions that only succeed in stealing joy.
- Count Your Blessings: The Healing Power of Gratitude and Love – You could lead the life you’d love, if only you lived the one you’ve been given!
- Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience – This book is about savoring life―the capacity to attend to the joys, pleasures, and other positive feelings that we experience in our lives. The authors enhance our understanding of what savoring is and the conditions under which it occurs. Savoring provides a new theoretical model for conceptualizing and understanding the psychology of enjoyment and the processes through which people manage positive emotions.
- Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection – Drawing on Eastern tradition, Naikan (“nye-kahn”) is a structured method for intensely meditating on our lives, our interconnections, our missteps. Through Naikan we develop a natural and profound sense of gratitude for blessings bestowed on us by others, blessings that were always there but went unnoticed. This collection of introductory essays, parables, and inspirations explains what Naikan is and how it can be applied to life and celebrations throughout the year.
Journals and Prompts
Kurzgesagt Gratitude Journal
The Team at Kurzgesagt created this journal that is backed by science to help you get into the habit of Gratitude journaling. It contains step-by-step explanations and lots of cute illustrations.
Gratitude Journal and 20 Sided Gratitude Dice with Daily Gratitude Exercises
The Zinsk Gratitude Dice offers a new approach to gratitude that’s different from journaling. The dice allows users to explore daily gratitude through 20 different possible exercises. If you like variety, have gotten bored with traditional gratitude journals, and want to establish a gratitude practice, this dice and journal combo may be a good option for you.
Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal: Questions, Prompts, and Coloring Pages for a Brighter, Happier Life
Rather than a daily journal, this journal allows you to flip to any page and fill out the prompt or color the picture as you reflect on gratitude.
Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life
First published in 1995, Simple Abundance topped the New York Times Bestseller list for over two years and is responsible for introducing two hugely popular concepts — the “Gratitude Journal” and the term “Authentic Self.” With daily inspirational meditations and reflections, the Simple Abundance phenomenon became a touchstone for a generation of women, helping them to reclaim their true selves, find balance during life’s busiest moments, and rediscover what makes them truly happy.
More Journals and Prompts
- A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meals from Buddha to The Beatles – Drawing from a range of religious and cultural practices, the 365 blessings in this book celebrate friendship, love, peace, reconciliation, the body, nature, joy, and appreciation of the moment.
- Gratitude Journal – A daily journal with prompts including 3 things you were grateful for that day and the people you were grateful for that day.
- A Daily Dose of Gratitude Journal – Take note of the things that make you grateful! This gentle journal offers helpful prompts to help you notice the little gifts each day brings.
- The One-Minute Gratitude Journal – This very simple journal has spots for daily entries with the prompt “today I am grateful for:…”
- Gratitude Journal: Papeterie Bleu – This journal has spots for more than gratitude — with space to list challenges and goals for a deeper reflection.
- The Morning Magic 5-Minute Journal: Inspiring Prompts to Set Intentions and Live with Gratitude All Day – Make mindfulness a daily habit with engaging journal prompts that only take a few minutes to complete.
- Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Guide To Cultivate An Attitude Of Gratitude – Incredibly simple journal with 3 lines per day to write 3 things you are grateful for.
- The Gratitude Journal for Women: Find Happiness and Peace in 5 Minutes a Day – The Gratitude Journal for Women helps busy women relieve stress and be happier with small, easy exercises that encourage you to focus on the positive.
- The Daily Gratitude Journal for Men: 90 Days of Mindfulness and Reflection – This gratitude journal for men is a straightforward, thought-provoking collection of prompts designed to help men explore the core components of gratitude―awareness, intention, and action―through short, simple, and insightful prompts.
- Give Thanks: A Journal for Sharing Gratitude – Filled with joyful and inspiring exercises for both the new and advanced student of gratitude, this beautiful Special Hardcover Edition will encourage you to open your eyes and see the many blessings that have been given to you, and lay the groundwork for even more gifts to come.
- A Year of Abundance: Daily Practices and Affirmations to Create Joy, Gratitude, and Connection – This journal doesn’t just focus on gratitude, but also includes affirmations of joy, meditations, and prompts for connection.
- 21-Day Starter Gratitude Journal – The organization Gratitude at Work offers workshops and seminars on creating a work culture of gratitude. Their gratitude journal has an option to come in a pack of 100 to outfit employees with their own journals.
Memoirs and Stories of Gratitude
Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey (TED Books)
A.J. Jacobs decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe, transforms his life, and reveals secrets about how gratitude can make us all happier, more generous, and more connected.
The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life
Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers, Kaplan brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have.
A Simple Act of Gratitude: How Learning to Say Thank You Changed My Life
Inspired by a beautiful, simple note his ex-girlfriend had sent to thank him for his Christmas gift, John imagined that he might find a way to feel grateful by writing thank-you notes. To keep himself going, he set himself a goal–come what may–of writing 365 thank-you notes in the coming year.
Kiss Your Brain: Diagnosis Diaries
This collection of poems was written from the day the author was sent to the emergency room through her first phase of radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Christina uses poetry to share her lived experience as a teacher, a patient, a psychologist, and a neurodivergent person.
Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Every Day of Your Life
In a series of brief, evocative, motivational gratitude essays, international executive coach M.J. Ryan teaches us how to unlock the fullness of life through the simple joy of living from a grateful heart.
Gratitude: A Way of Life
In Gratitude, Louise has gathered the insights and collected wisdom of some of the most wonderful teachers and writers she knows…people who have demonstrated the power of gratitude in their own lives.
More Memoirs & Stories of Gratitude
- Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude: 101 Stories – These 101 revealing stories will show you how to use the power of gratitude to change your life!
- The Way of Gratitude: Readings for a Joyful Life – A hundred famous writers share their experiences, essays, fiction, poems, meditations, and inspired ideas on the joy of being thankful. These honest and heartfelt writings will add gladness to your days. Contributors include Wendell Berry, David Brooks, Joan Chittister, James Martin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Henri Nouwen, Mary Oliver, Richard Rohr, Joyce Rupp, David Steindl-Rast, Rowan Williams, and many others whose spiritual perceptions already bring joy and faith to millions.
- Gratitude: Sacks, Oliver – In the last two years of his life, author and neurologist Oliver Sacks wrote a collection of essays titled “Gratitude” where he details coming to terms with aging, dying, and his life. In one essay, he explains receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis and he writes: “I feel grateful that I have been granted nine years of good health and productivity since the diagnosis.”
- 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life – Cami Walker was burdened by an intensified struggle with multiple sclerosis, a chronic neurological disease that left her debilitated and depressed. Then she received an uncommon “prescription” from South African healer Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Many of Walker’s gifts were simple–a phone call, spare change, a Kleenex. Yet the acts were transformative. By Day 29, not only had Walker’s health and happiness improved, but she had also created a worldwide giving movement.
- The Widowed Dancer: Growing Through Grief With Gratitude – A collection of blog and social media posts from the Author as he processes the grief of losing his partner and being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- A Life of Gratitude: The Autobiography of Margo Fish – Stories from a life lived with compassion and joy.
- Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life: A Memoir – How do you conjure a life? Give the truest account of what you saw, felt, learned, loved, strived for? For Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the surprising answer came in the form of an encyclopedia. In Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life she has ingeniously adapted this centuries-old format for conveying knowledge into a poignant, wise, often funny, fully realized memoir.
Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence
This book is about one simple thing: the hidden power of everyday positive experiences to change your brain — and therefore your life — for the better.
The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want
A comprehensive guide to understanding the elements of happiness based on years of groundbreaking scientific research. It is also a practical, empowering, and easy-to-follow workbook, incorporating happiness strategies, exercises in new ways of thinking, and quizzes for understanding our individuality, all in an effort to help us realize our innate potential for joy and ways to sustain it in our lives.
Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things
Based on the award-winning 10-million-plus-hit blog 1000 awesome things.com, The Book of Awesome is an international bestselling high five for humanity and a big celebration of life’s little moments.
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning
The Happiness Project describes one person’s year-long attempt to discover what leads to true contentment. Drawing at once on cutting-edge science, classical philosophy, and real-world applicability, Rubin has written an engaging, eminently relatable chronicle of transformation.
The Happiness Toolbox: 56 Practices to Find Happiness, Purpose & Productivity in Love, Work and Life
Science-based exercises to change your life. An interactive journaling format helps you learn how to choose happiness by adding simple habits into your daily life – putting you in a long-lasting and fulfilling state of mind.Key skills for everyday happiness: – Gratitude – Compassion – Mindfulness – Savoring – Optimism- Forgiveness
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work
Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.
Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. With insight and humor, Pema Chödrön presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can “start where we are”—embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.
Tonglen, the Path of Transformation
Tonglen is a meditation practice for cultivating love and compassion. It is a gentle, step by step process of opening the heart. By embracing, rather than rejecting, the unwanted and painful aspects of experience, we overcome fear and develop greater empathy for others.
Tonglen For Our Own Suffering
Tonglen is a classic spiritual practice for awakening and strengthening compassion. We expand the heart to embrace everything in the human experience. Swami Girijananda’s approach, which blends elements from both the Buddhist and Hindu tantric traditions, focuses on releasing us from our own suffering through what she calls “breathing in the dark and breathing out the light.” Breaking down the steps of tonglen, she shows us how to face, befriend, and transform our darkness into light.
Novels that help you remember all you have to be grateful for
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.
White Whine: A Study of First-World Problems
From having too much food to eat and desperately needing the latest version of the iPhone to the ever-present inconvenience of having a vacation interrupted by a natural disaster, this book is your opportunity to vent your unrelenting hardships. You’ll recoil in disbelief at all the injustices in the world and recall your own experiences of losing faith in everything around you.
Ru: A Novel
Protagonist An Tinh and her family originally are upper middle class in Saigon, with servants and chefs, but lose it all when the communists arrive. Sewing diamonds into clothes, they buy escape in a dark boat hold, with hundreds of others, to a muddy, ramshackle refugee camp in Malaysia. The living conditions will have you counting your blessings.
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
At age 15, Malala stood up for her chance to receive an education, and almost paid the ultimate price — she was shot in the head and not expected to survive. Now, the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala tells her story and reminds us one voice can change the world.
On Forming Habits
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
This book will give you the simplest and most effective step-by-step process to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your life to the next level.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.
Superhuman By Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time
Our willpower is limited, yet we rely on it every day to get our tasks done. Even if we build willpower slowly over time, it’s never enough to reach all of our goals. The solution lies in habit creation, the method by which we transform hard tasks into easy ones, making them automatic and independent of our will power.
The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It
As noted science journalist John Tierney and Baumeister show in this wide-ranging book, we can adopt proven strategies to avoid the pitfalls that doom relationships, careers, businesses, and nations. Instead of despairing at what’s wrong in your life and in the world, you can see how much is going right—and how to make it still better.
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
A newly revised and updated 25th Anniversary edition of the internationally bestselling spiritual classic, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, written by Sogyal Rinpoche, is the ultimate introduction to Tibetan Buddhist wisdom.
Emotional Success: The Power of Gratitude, Compassion, and Pride
DeSteno unpacks the most accessible and powerful path to grit: our prosocial emotions. These feelings – gratitude, compassion and pride – are easier to generate than the willpower and self-denial that underpin traditional approaches to grit. And, while willpower is quickly depleted, prosocial emotions actually become stronger the more we use them.
- Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life – There are lots of gratitude tidbits in this book focused on finding community and building connectedness for a more meaningful and happy life.
- How Full Is Your Bucket? Anniversary Edition – Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket – already familiar to thousands of people – How Full Is Your Bucket? shows how even the smallest interactions we have with others every day profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health and longevity.
- Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life – With the scientific expertise of Dr. Lilian Cheung in nutrition and Thich Nhat Hanh’s experience in teaching mindfulness the world over, Savor not only helps us achieve the healthy weight and well-being we seek, but also brings to the surface the rich abundance of life available to us in every moment.
Bonus: Childrens’ Books!
Gratitude is My Superpower: A children’s book about Giving Thanks and Practicing Positivity
Little Betsy will learn that happiness is made up of simple things in life, both small and big. With the help of the magic stone, she will begin to feel gratitude for her parents, friends, and toys. But what happens when little Betsy forgets to use the magic of her stone? She will realize that the power of gratitude is hidden in her heart.
Gratitude Attitude: Gratitude for Preschoolers
Children will not only begin to perfect their writing, drawing and coloring coordination, they will also begin to ingrain a strong gratitude practice and a “Grateful Nature”.
Hey Girl! Empowering Journal for girls: To Develop Gratitude and Mindfulness through Positive Affirmations
An Inspiring, Self-Discovery Activity Journal for girls to Cultivate Mindfulness, and Gratitude through Positive Affirmations and to help them grow Strong, Wise, and Confident.
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
A salute to Mother Earth and all her beauty, the “good morning message” is traditionally delivered at the beginning of each day and at special ceremonies. It’s simple, timeless language bears witness to the Native American reverence for the natural world and sense of unity with all living things Drawing on Six Nation (Iroquois) ceremonial tradition, this version is presented by a chief of the Mohawk nation.
More Childrens’ Games
- The Thankful Book – The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, the author inspires readers to remember all of life’s special moments.
- Otis Gives Thanks – Otis is an adorable tractor who is thankful for everything in life.
- We Are Grateful – An extended family takes part in traditions that express gratitude and carry on Cherokee history and culture, such as stomp dancing at the Great New Moon Ceremony, basket weaving, making corn-husk dolls, and playing stickball.
- Bear Says Thanks – A rhyming tale about a bear who wants to show his gratitude to his friends, but finds he has nothing to give. His friends help him realize that he does have a special gift to share after all.
- Ten Thank-You Letters – A cute and simple story of friendship and the importance of thanking the people in your life for the gifts they give you. This story shows how meaningful thank-you notes can be.
- Giving Thanks: More than 100 ways to say thank you – In this cute and playful book, a boy thinks about the people in his life he’d like to thank, imagining all the different ways he could show his gratitude.
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Inspired by Chinese folklore, here’s a timeless adventure story about a poor girl who sets off in search of the Old Man on the Moon to find out how she can change her family’s fortune. This fun fantasy tale for middle school students reveals the evil of greed and the joy found in gratitude. On the 4th grade Battle of the Books list.
- Thankful – This rhyming picture book takes a look at people around us and what they might be thankful for. It’s a simple, gentle message about gratitude and appreciation.
- Penguin Problems (Animal Problems) – Sometimes highlighting the opposite of what you want to instill can be effective – take for example, the grumpy penguin in this story. He complains about everything! A wise walrus encourages him to appreciate the good things in life, but will he truly change? Kids and adults will enjoy and relate to this funny story.
- Andy and the Lion – This beloved adaptation of the classic folktale “Androcles and the Lion” is about friendship, gratitude, and helping others.
- It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folk Tale – Here’s a hilarious tale about a poor man with a large family living in a crowded hut, who goes to his Rabbi for advice. Things go from bad to worse in surprising and silly ways. This humorous story reminds us to be thankful no matter our circumstances.
- The Quiltmaker’s Gift – A talented quiltmaker has many willing buyers, but she decides she will instead give her quilts to the poor. The greedy king, however, insists on getting one of her special quilts. The quiltmaker finally tells him she will make him a quilt if he gives away everything he owns. With each gift he gives, the quilt maker would sew in another piece of his quilt. Finally, the king agrees to give away his things so he can get a quilt, and he has a change of heart in the process.