So many videos on Gratitude! The videos in each category are roughly in order of our rating.
If you’re looking for more video inspiration, there is a collection of our very favorite videos on life and well-being on the Top Videos page.
TED Talks About Gratitude
David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful
Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, meditates and writes on “the gentle power” of gratefulness. He says “In daily life, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.”People think being grateful comes from being happy, and actually being happy comes from being grateful.
Kiss your brain: The science of gratitude
In this talk, Christina connects her experience of living with brain cancer to her field of study in psychology and explains why tools of gratitude can increase our well-being and what is happening in our brains when we experience and express gratitude.
365 grateful project
Instead of a journal, Hailey took a polaroid each day of something she was grateful for. She realized there were so many small things in her life that she would never have noticed had she not been looking. It improved her relationship with her husband, her children, and herself.
My story of gratitude
Tania shares three stories of living a grateful life. The story of her own childhood and the gratitude she felt finding a penny on the ground of the homeless shelter where she lived and being so excited to buy a piece of gum. The story of her husband’s childhood of homelessness and owning nothing but a shoebox of comics and G.I. Joes. And the story of her dog and the gratitude they feel when they go for walks as a family.
More TED Talks…
- My journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee | A.J. Jacobs – Author and NPR contributor A.J. Jacobs set out to say thank you to everyone responsible for his daily cup of coffee — turns out there were hundreds of people to thank. He made the realization that he takes basic things in his life for granted — like water — and spurred him to have a more grateful outlook on life.
- 365 Days of Thank You – After a near death experience, Brian Doyle realized he takes the relationships in his life for granted. For 365 days he called or met with a person to thank them for the role they had in his life.
- Attitude to Gratitude – Dr. Joyoki explains her life story and how she became a doctor. Having an attitude of gratitude eventually helped her find purpose and meaning in life and led her to be a better person and have a more fulfilling career.
- Expressing Appreciation – Appreciation is one of the most desired psychological variables in work and in everyday life
- How gratitude accidentally connected a community – The owner of a small printing business decided to give away free thank you notes to inspire his community to say thank you.
- Remember to Say Thank You – Dr. Laura Trice muses on the power of the magic words “thank you” — to deepen a friendship, to repair a bond, to make sure another person knows what they mean to you.
- How Gratitude & Reflection Saved My Life – After a near death experience, David recovered but had a life altering brain injury, was depressed, and had to give up his dream job. A mental health professional suggested he start a gratitude journal, which may have saved his life.
- How Gratitude Transformed My Life Into a Tale of Wonder – Kathryn shares her story and the fulfillment she experienced when writing fifty letters of gratitude to her “characters,” people (and animals) that impacted her life.
- Giving Unexpected Gratitude to Those Who Need It Most – Ryan Duffy tells a story of gratitude that tugs on heartstrings and resonates with everyone. Dr. Duffy shows us why showing gratitude to those that deserve it least need it most help.
- Moral behavior in animals – Frans de Waal explains that like primates, humans have potential for being nasty and aggressive, but we also have enormous potential for peace and peaceful relationships and empathy.
- The lies our culture tells us about what matters — and a better way to live – Author David Brooks lays out his vision for a cultural revolution that empowers us all to lead lives of greater meaning, purpose and joy.
The Science and Benefits of Gratitude
An Experiment in Gratitude | The Science of Happiness
SoulPancake explains how science has proven that one of the greatest contributors to happiness in life is how much gratitude one shows. The video asks participants to write about a person who influenced them the most, and then call that person and read what they wrote. They found those who were able to call and express their gratitude showed a happiness increase between 4% and 19%.
The Science of Gratitude
Gratitude actually rewires our brain, kickstarting the production of dopamine and serotonin. Research suggests that with regular practice, you’ll train your prefrontal cortex to better appreciate and retain positive experiences and thoughts and to deflect the negative ones.
An Antidote for Dissatisfaction
This video goes more in-depth about what gratitude is, and explains some evolutionary roots to gratitude. The predecessor of gratitude is likely reciprocity, which likely evolved as a biological signal that motivates animals to exchange things for mutual benefit. It became an evolutionary advantage to play well with others and build lasting relationships.
Gratitude Is Good For You
Gratitude is so much more than saying thanks, it is a way of seeing the world that has a positive impact on you and your loved ones. This video outlines some major benefits of gratitude like experiencing fewer illnesses, having a healthier heart, better sleep, and the ability to overcome adversity better.
Hank explains the evolutionary basis for altruistic behavior in animals, including ants, humans, and vampire bats. Scientists believe humans evolved in response to the overwhelming benefits of engaging in selfless behavior.
More on Science and Benefits…
- Gratitude | How Right Now – According to the CDC, practicing gratitude may be the best-kept secret to help reduce stress and feel better. Practicing gratitude every day can have a significant benefit to our physical and emotional well-being.
- The Gratitude Experiment – Does being grateful really help your well-being? WatchWellCast explores Robert Emmons’ claims that gratitude is scientifically proven to make you happier.
- Reciprocity: An Ancient Social Norm of Returning the Favor – Reciprocity firmly states that we’re likely to repay debts of all kinds.
- Social Reciprocity: The Science of Giving – In the Coca-Cola experiment, participants were either offered a coke or not by a stranger. Later, the stranger asked the participant to buy some raffle tickets. Regardless of if the participant liked the stranger or not, the study showed those who were offered a coke bought twice as many raffle tickets on average compared to those not offered a coke. Thus highlighting an innate need to reciprocate
- Whale Protects Diver From Shark – Humpback Whales have been documented exhibiting altruistic behavior — risking their lives against Killer Whales to protect seals and other whales. In this video, a whale pushes a research diver back to her boat to avoid a tiger shark in the area.
- Great Apes and the Gift of Empathy – Frans de Waal explains that like primates, humans have potential for being nasty and aggressive, but we also have enormous potential for peace and peaceful relationships and empathy. There are two pillars of morality: reciprocity and empathy.
- The Amazing Effects of Gratitude – BrainCraft explains a few effects gratitude has on the mind, body, and relationships: Research has found gratitude correlates with activity in brain areas associated with fairness and value judgments. Gratitude improves heart health and quality of sleep, perhaps because it reduces stress. Gratitude has been linked with the secretion of oxytocin, which is thought to play a big role in forming stronger social relationships.
- Generosity Kindness Gratitude & Oxytocin – The more oxytocin we have, the more connected we feel, the more generously we act.
From The Greater Good Science Center
Robert Emmons: Benefits of Gratitude
Grateful people: Feel a sense of abundance in their lives, appreciate the contributions of others to their well-being, recognize and enjoy life’s small pleasures, and acknowledge the importance of experiencing and expressing gratitude.
Sonja Lyubomirsky: Gratitude Brings Happiness
Researcher and happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky explains the Robert Emmons experiment of counting blessings and shows how a simple reminder to count your blessings can have a profound impact.
Philip Watkins: The Social Benefits of Gratitude
In a presentation for the Greater Good Science Center, Eastern Washington University professor Philip Watkins explains how gratitude improves relationships and cognitive processes.“Gratitude enhances well-being by amplifying the good in one’s life.”
Robert Emmons: Cultivating Gratitude
Gratitude expert Robert Emmons offers some tools for cultivating the habit of gratitude. It takes time to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude, and the best way to get there is to PRACTICE.
How Does Gratitude Affect Romantic Relationships?
Sara B. Algoe of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, describes her research into how gratitude affects romantic partners’ feelings for one another, as well as their style of relating to each other. She describes feeling gratitude for her partner going for a run with her after work to keep her company. “It showed me he understood me and he cared.” Moments of gratitude within relationships are important because they remind us just how important specific other people are in our lives.
Fred Luskin: Forgiveness Requires Gratitude
Fred Luskin explains why gratitude and compassion help people look beyond themselves to enable forgiveness. He says: “I teach forgiveness, but at the heart of forgiveness, I see that most of us have issues with gratitude and compassion.” “If we practice every single day: ‘thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you’ … you’d have almost no grudges … because you would be creating a mind-body experience that is healthy.”
More from Greater Good…
- Four Myths about Being Grateful at Work – Researcher Amie Gordon shares four common objections surrounding gratitude in the workplace: It’s too forced, It’s fake, It’s fluffy, and It undermines authority. She then goes on to debunk these myths.
- How Does Gratitude Affect Health and Aging? – At the 2014 Greater Good Gratitude Summit, Dr. Wendy Mendes of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses her research, “Effects of Measured and Manipulated Gratitude on Biomarkers of Health and Aging.”
- How to Talk with Kids about Gratitude – GGSC created a playful animation to highlight the gratitude tool of Notice, Think, Feel, Do.
- Rick Hanson: Taking in the Good – The best-selling author of Buddha’s Brain explains how we can boost our positive emotions and positive experiences.
- Robert Emmons: Challenges to Gratitude – Emmons talks about the challenges to gratitude. These mainly relate to stress and how to combat it.
- Robert Emmons: What Good Is Gratitude? – Emmons explains some of his gratitude research, specifically the effect on our social and emotional well-being.
- Robert Emmons: The Power of Gratitude – Gratitude has the power to heal, energize, and to change lives.
- What Teens Are Thankful For – Greater Good Science Center ran its own gratitude letter experiment with teens and recorded the experience.
- A Teacher Reflects on Teaching Gratitude – Educator Stephen Leeper shares what he learned from gratitude journaling with his students.
- Christine Carter: Why Gratitude Works – Parenting expert Christine Carter explains why gratitude actually provides a significant boost to our happiness and life satisfaction.
- The Trouble with the Science of Gratitude – Alex Wood of the University of Stirling provides a skeptical voice at the Greater Good Gratitude Summit, exploring the scientific obstacles to understanding gratitude.
- Three Research-Backed Tips for a Grateful Workplace – Business professor Ryan Fehr shares three rules for creating a culture of gratitude at work. Build a gratitude habit — create a ritual of thank you in the workplace. Draw from many sources — use resources like benefits, seminars, and volunteer opportunities to offer other modes of gratitude. Guard against negative emotions — gratitude at work can backfire and cause emotions like envy and jealousy, so he suggests getting ahead of these emotions.
How-To: Tips, Meditations, and Practices
- Putting the “You” in Thank You, with Dr. Sara Algoe – Gratitude Researcher Sara Algoe says one thing we can do to make gratitude impactful is to put the “YOU” back into thank you. Why gratitude stands out above other positive psychology practices is because we are able to bring other people into our expressions and associate something someone else did for us with the feelings we are experiencing. In receiving a pair of socks we can talk about how warm and stylish the socks are, AND we can talk about how considerate the other person is in thinking of us when they found these socks and having the nice thought to buy them for us.
- “Thank You” Backfires When Used in This Way – BrainCraft asks: is there such a thing as too much gratitude? And can gratitude ever do more harm than good? Research has found when gratitude is perceived as insincere, the gratitude expressed has no effect on the receiver, or actually has a negative effect.
Cultivating the Attitude of Gratitude
“Every Moment is a Gift” ~ with Br David Steindl-Rast
A Sacred Films ProductionGratitude expert Brother David Steindl-Rast explains “Only if we find peace within ourselves, then we can radiate out to others. First, to those that we meet every day — our families, our community—and eventually the ripple effect of it will go out into the whole world. To find peace, we have to find gratefulness.”
Brene Brown on Joy: It’s Terrifying
“I made a commitment: I will never talk about joy for the rest of my career without talking about gratitude. In 12 years of research, I have never interviewed a single person who talks about the capacity to really experience and soften into joy who does not actively practice gratitude.”
Brene Brown on joy and gratitude
Brene Brown says that “happiness is an emotion reliant on other people and circumstances. Joy is a way of life.” Happiness is fleeting and reliant on the moment. A life of joy, on the other hand, is entwined with the notion of living a life in which we are grateful for the gift of opportunity. When we practice gratitude we are able to move beyond a way of thinking, our attitude, and our thoughts become our actions and behavior. Gratitude becomes not what we are doing, but the way we are living, and joy manifests in every moment.
- Attitude of Gratitude – Motivational speaker Nick Vujicic speaks to students about living every day with gratitude for what you have instead of complaining about what you don’t have.
- How to Truly Be Grateful In Any Situation – Gratitude is the one emotion that is the antidote to what messes up our life. Gratitude is a choice we can make each day. We can look for what’s missing, OR we can consciously direct our focus to find JOY and FULFILLMENT in what we already have.
- ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE! – Guru Gaur Gopal Das explains an attitude of gratitude using the metaphor of something being stuck in a tooth. When we have something stuck between our teeth, our tongue fixates on getting that thing out. Instead of going to all our other teeth and celebrating there not being something stuck, we fixate on the issue. Having an attitude of gratitude involves overcoming the problems in life but also celebrating the positive.
- The Muscle of Gratitude – “What you appreciate appreciates”
Meditations and Tonglen
Pema Chödrön: Tonglen Meditation
Pema Chödrön explains Tonglen and invites us to take a moment to breathe. Chödrön is widely known for her insightful, down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences.
- Pema Chödrön | Tonglen Meditation – Tonglen expert Pema Chödrön guides you through a 10 minute Tonglen meditation.
- How to Do Tonglen Meditation (Guided Tutorial) – A peaceful explanation and guided meditation for practicing Tonglen. “You’re breathing in with the intention that you can take all of their suffering away, as it comes from them, and then melts in the compassion of your heart.”
- Tony Robbins – Gratitude Meditation (5-minutes Guided) – Tony Robbins guides you through a gratitude practice you can make part of your daily routine.
Journaling and Prompts
If you’re looking for inspiration of all kinds on life, well-being, and the big questions, go check out the “Mood” pages of the site:
Real Life Stories of Gratitude and Grateful Living
Inspirational, pianist, Holocaust Survivor, Alice Herz-Sommer – 109 years old
“Every day in life is beautiful. Everyday.” Watch the Oscar winning documentary about Alice’s life here: The Lady in Number 6
We Asked Homeless People: What Are You Thankful For?
The Wally Show asks people in line for a mobile shower and clothes drive: what are you thankful for? “What’s really important is not perfection, but thankfulness.”
- 365 Grateful – Hailey Bartholomew (TED talk above!) created a website to share more about her gratitude journey. Collecting stories from others, the stories section of the site features inspiring films about celebrating life and learning a little gratitude.
- Short: Gratitude Grows – An artist decides to paint 100 paintings for 100 people she is grateful for.
- Gratitude 2021 | Wild in Art – Wild in art installs gratitude statues across the UK to express gratitude to key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore more: This Is Gratitude Art Trail *Including: real-life stories from people across the UK thanking key workers.
- Hack Your Happiness: How learning gratitude is changing an Illinois middle school – Good Morning America reports on a school in Illinois with a year-round happiness curriculum — with one of the key elements being gratitude.
- Students Discover the Power of Gratitude on a Community | Class Act – SoulPancake highlights a school in California that is using gratitude to transform the way students see school and how they interact with each other and the community.
- Maine hiker thankful for first responders after near-death experience – “Just thank the people who help you. I mean, they don’t have to. This is the life that they choose — to help people, to rescue people. They deserve recognition for this, they really do.”
- Thank You, Healthcare Workers (I run for you) – A man starts a running routine in honor of the healthcare workers who saved his life when he was 300lbs and on a vent with COVID-19.
A Moving Story About Gratitude
In this short film, a boy draws a helping hand that he is grateful for and shows appreciation to his teacher. The message of the film reads: Let us be grateful. Not for the material things given to us, but the small ways that we give something to others.
- Gratitude: The Short Film by Louie Schwartzberg – Narrated by words from Brother David Steindl-Rast, this beautiful film reminds us to be grateful for the gift that is today.
- Motivational Videos – My Shoes – Lesson of this video, be always thankful on what blessings you have and work hard if you want to achieve something.
Motivational and Heartfelt
A Grateful Day with Brother David Steindl-Rast – Gratefulness.org
Savor moments in everyday life with this film showing the beauty of nature and life on Earth, narrated by gratitude expert Brother David Steindl-Rast.
- Teacher Appreciation Week 2021 – Microsoft created this video to bring together 6 young poets from across the globe to help say thank you to teachers everywhere.
- First world problems read by third world kids – This fundraising campaign reminds us to have perspective when we talk about our problems.
- College – A college-bound girl says a heartfelt goodbye and thanks to her dad
- P&G ‘Thank You, Mom’ – Using examples of Olympic athletes looking back at the support they received from their moms, P&G highlights: “It takes someone strong to make someone strong.”
- Spoken Word of Thanks – An inspiring spoken word poem that reminds us to give Thanks for the good days AND give thanks for the hard days.
- 4 Thoughts About Gratitude That Could Change your Life – Dr. Maya Angelou, Tony Robbins, Shawn Achor and Anne Lamott explain why feeling gratitude for the small things in life is spiritually and mentally nourishing.
- Count Your Blessings – A Berenstain Bears Episode about gratitude
- DID I EVER TELL YOU HOW LUCKY YOU ARE? by Dr. Seuss – Read along with this classic book about counting your blessings.
- Long Story Shortz – My Gratitude Jar – Written and Narrated by Kristin Wiens – Read along with this story of a gratitude jar.
Grateful Famous People
- Oprah Talks about the Gratitude Journals – Oprah has kept a gratitude journal for over 16 years now, and she claims it is the single most important thing she has ever done. “What I know for sure is that no matter what is going on in your life, I believe if you concentrate on what you have, you’ll always end up having more…. If you focus on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.”
- Ellen’s Tribute to the Obamas – Ellen DeGeneres says ‘thank you’ to President Obama by creating a tribute video of his time in office.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trailer
Kimmy Schmidt: the most naïve positivity there is. Freed from an underground bunker after 15 years, Kimmy moves to New York full of positivity and hope and lacking understanding of the world around her.
The Good Place — Thank You Champagne
Eleanor finds some champagne for her and Chidi’s date with a note that says “Gwendolyn: here’s some champagne for you for thanking me for thanking you for thanking me for thanking you for thanking me for the champagne you sent me.”