How To Make a Gratitude Journal + A Giveaway!

Learn how to make your own gratitude journal and enter for a chance to win! 

This post comes from our blog intern, Monica!

For years, I’ve been reciting a little quote that goes something like this: “It’s not happy people who are grateful, it’s grateful people who are happy.” (source unknown) That quote is always floating around in my head, so much so that it’s become a mantra. It emerges every few days into my conscious thought although, throughout November, it seems always to be on my mind.  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to consider being more grateful. Whether you gather around a holiday feast with friends or family and name those things for which you are grateful, whether you make a mental note or write it down, recognizing what you’ve got is a major step toward living a happier life. According to Harvard Health Publications, “gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships,” so it’s about time appreciate all you’ve got!

I’ve kept a gratitude journal since the beginning of high school, listing the people, places and things that I appreciate. Writing in my gratitude journal has taught me to find the beauty in everything, to recognize that which most people might overlook. Once you begin to recognize the good in your life, your mind will identify more of it. If you’re up for a challenge, take a difficult situation in your life and analyze it. Pick out a few positive things about it. It may be hard at first but, once you consider its true value, you can find the good in anything. I promise it will change your attitude, not just about that difficult thing, but every aspect of your life. It will change your perspective and help you find the beauty in everything, every moment, every experience, and every person.


Tips on how to help you write in your gratitude journal:

1. Don’t set any guidelines regarding length or number. Setting goals like this will make journaling feel like a task. Welcome having repeats on your list, and know you can write as much or as little as you please.

2. Focus on people rather than things. Let those people know how much you mean to them and why you are thankful for them.

3. Keep an open mind and try not to get caught up in self-doubt or self-pity. Make your gratitude journal a positive and uplifting place!

4. Make it a habit. On average, it takes 21 days for a habit to form, so don’t stop journaling just after a few days.  I usually write right before bed or as soon as I wake up, leaving it on my nightstand as a reminder.

Here’s how to make your own gratitude journal:

What you need:

X-Acto knife



15-20 sheets of  8 1/2″ X 11″ paper

decorative paper for the cover

glue or double-sided tape

yarn or any decoration of your choice


1. Cut your 8 1/2″ X 11″ papers in half, creating 30-40 pieces of 8 1/2″ X 5 1/2″ pieces. Fold those pieces in half.Untitled-9

2. Make a mark 1 1/2 inches from the top and bottom. On 15-20 of the folded sheets draw a dotted line in the center, about two inches long, like so:IMG_4203

On the rest of the folded sheets, make two dotted lines 1 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of the page. Cut along those lines with an X-Acto knife.Untitled-7

3. Take an edge-cut paper and roll one side of it up to squeeze through a middle cut paper. Repeat this until all of your sheets are connected in a bunch of mini booklets.


You’ll follow the same technique to connect the mini booklets to create one main book. Just take the top edge-cut paper from one mini booklet and connect it to the bottom middle-cut paper from another booklet. Repeat until the book is assembled.


4. Make the cover! Cut two pieces of your decorative paper, 5+1/2″ X 12″, draw dotted lines on each paper 3+1/2 inches from one side like so:


Cut the dotted lines with the X-Acto knife and fold the decorative paper into the booklet paper, just like in step 3. Glue the decorative paper to itself so it will hold together. Repeat on the other side of the booklet to create the back cover. And voilà — you’ve got yourself a handmade journal!

Step-by-stepUntitled1 IMG_4281

+List three people, places or things for which you’re grateful in the comments to be entered into our GIVEAWAY! We will pick one random winner to receive this journal courtesy of the FP home office!

Follow Monica on Instagram and FP Me!


  1. This is beautiful what a great idea!
    The three things I am most grateful for are:
    – The endless possibilities and opportunities that life has to offers us. Each day provides new experiences and doorways to even more and that is truly wonderful
    – The ability to express myself. As a female, a student, through creative pursuits, my voice, actions. to be able to talk express myself freely and not have to fear my own actions is amazing.
    – Humanities capacity to feel so many emotions. Whether it be others or myself the ability to be able to love and to even feel grateful is a gift we cant even begin to comprehend.
    Love and light to all xoxo

  2. Wow I am so grateful for so much!! Here are the top three (or the ones I thought of first)
    1. My education because I am so so blessed to be going to a great school where I can given many opportunities that will benefit me in the future
    2. My friends and family. It sounds generic but truthfully without them I would NOT be the person I am today. They encourage me and help me and take my side on things which means the world to me.
    3. The ability to do something. In our world, we need people who are willing to take action and help people in need. I go to a school where they are dedicated to making sure that we know about what is going on. We have the great ability to help and decide to help.

    Best of days to all! xx

  3. I have so many things in my life to be grateful for, but if I had to pick three they would be….

    1. My father – I strongly believe he is the most amazing person on Earth and I owe him everything

    2. My best friends at college – they make my experience at college so enjoyable and fun

    3. cOfFeE- it gets me through the day :-)

  4. 1. My mom for her patience while I pursue an unstable artistic life.

    2. My spiritual teachers.

    3. Free People, of course, for filling my life with beauty

  5. 1. My body! I can run, digest, think, and so much more which is incredible.
    2. Education. It is a blessing that I am able to learn so much about the world, while there are those who can’t.
    3. Travel. The world is so huge and so beautiful and I cannot wait to experience it all.

  6. 1. The little, fleeting moments. That moment of lying in a park on a summer’s day and just staring at the blue sky. That moment of sitting on a volcanic beach in freezing temperatures. That moment of riding the train and staring at the sun gleam through the colorful leaves as you fly by. That moment you smiled at a little, old stranger. I could go on and on.
    2. The work ethic my parents have instilled in me. They have worked so hard their entire lives and continue to do so. They have inspired me to do the same.
    3. Old and new friends. I am so grateful to have my best friend from childhood live in a city nearby, but I am ever so grateful for the new friends I have made in each new city I have lived in. It is great to know you have people all over the world you can count on.

  7. There’s so much I’m grateful for, but my top three should be:
    1) My family who has never stopped supporting me
    2) Old besties from high school who left me back home, but I still love ’em and new friends who I’ve met in college
    3) COFFEE <3 It's what keeps this college girl awake during anatomy lectures

  8. This is such an inspiring project. I personally say aloud 10 things I am grateful for every night before I sleep. So today I am especially grateful for….

    1. This sunny fall day filled with bright beautiful foliage

    2. Nicole, a dear friend of mine who sent me an encouraging reminder just a few moments ago to “trust with what is”

    3.Last but certainly not least my wonderful lap cat Andy


  9. Grateful for Free People inspiring me everyday! ;)

    But for real:
    1. My mother and entire family for constantly supporting me and encouraging me to challenge myself and never give up.
    2. My best friend, Nicole, who reminds me to cherish the little things, but also to always dream big!
    3. My boyfriend, Vince, who reminds me to relax, be spontaneous, and never be afraid to try new things!


  10. 1. My life partner
    2. All the traveling I’ve been able to experience in my life. I have been to 30 countries thus far, and all the experiences I’ve had in those countries has made me into the global citizen I am today.
    3. Random acts of kindness from strangers – whether it just be a smile while we pass, or complimenting me on my outfit – those are the moments that really keep me going.

  11. I absolutely love this idea!!
    Three things I am grateful for are…
    1. My family; I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch and it’s so amazing to realize how people will be there for you and support you if you just let them in.
    2. My boston terrier; she makes me smile on a daily basis just by being herself.
    3. This amazing fall weather.. I am from Canada and this week we have been having just the perfect weather, not too mention all the beautiful colours on the trees.

  12. This is a really clever idea, to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and you has been with you on your journey.
    – I’m so very thankful for my recovery. Eating disorders are hell inside your mind, and I never thought I’d be happy to be alive. And I am so happy and thankful for everyone who has been with me. I love breathing, laughing, drinking coffee, eating yummy foods, and living.
    – My boyfriend, (cliche, I know), but he has been so supportive with all of my changes and decisions. He’s my best friend.
    – The people who have left me… Oh, to the people who have left me, you’ve made me stronger than I’ve ever thought possible. While it hurt right as it happened, and some time afterward, I’ve grown to accept everything, even if I still do struggle, I know I can get through it.

  13. Beautiful journal!
    I’m grateful for my family and friends.
    I’m grateful for my beloved pets.
    I’m grateful for being alive.

  14. What a lovely little project. I think I’ll make a few to give out at my annual Friendsgiving!
    1. I’m grateful for having such a strong woman as my mother and best friend.
    2. I’m grateful for my beloved partner, our rescue pups, and our tiny apartment.
    3. I’m also grateful for being able to live a comfortable life. I got behind on laundry this week and had a mountain of clothes and linens to put away. This might be my most hated chore, and I spent the entire morning completing this task. However, in the place of dread, I just had an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness come over me. Who am I to deserve a life that offers more than I need? I have a couple coats to choose from when it’s cold, and could count on two hands AND a foot the number of sweaters I have to choose from each day to keep me warm and cozy. I have socks and shoes to keep my feet dry. It’s so easy to get caught up in want or disregard for what we have. I had a similar thought about my muffin top as I was getting dressed for the day. I’ve never not had food in my pantry, even if I was forced to make throw-everything-you-have-into-a-pot-and-hope-for-the-best soup, or if I’ve had to forego my sacred morning coffee. I’ve never actually gone without. I don’t know if it’s been a change of season, or if I stumbled across some positive energy, but I am so grateful to be in a place where I don’t have to “need” for a thing.

  15. I love this!!

    I am grateful for my amazing family.
    I am grateful for my lovely roommates.
    I am grateful for change that grows me, even though I frequently resist it.


  16. I’m grateful for my mother and all that she has ever done and is still doing for me. I’m grateful for my sister for being my best friend every year of my life, and I’m grateful for my other best friend for understanding my weird interests :)

  17. this is so lovely and such a happy thing.

    -I’ve grown to be thankful for my dance injuries as they have taught me how to be grateful for the simple things like realization that I can wake up every morning and be thankful that I can walk without pain.

    – I’m grateful for the strong and brave women in my life like my grandma, mom, sister, and aunt.

    -I’m thankful for even the simplest of human contact because it is such a powerful and beautiful thing

  18. This is such a great idea! For a long time now, I’ve been Pinteresting ideas for diy notebooks and journals but this is by far my favorite one. I’m doin one right away.
    Especially by listing these things!

    – I am thankful for life! Because it’s and adventire and a longterm lesson opportunity.
    – I am thankful for change, because although many times is good, even on the bad days it can be translated into opportunity, and a reason to grownalñ the more as a human being.
    – i am thankful I have a soul, a chance to feel how amazing life can be, to be able to appreciare my family, my boyfriend, my friends, my baby bunnies, my artistry. Because I am able to dance, to sing, to play, to draw, to love, to eat, to e x p e r i e n c e. And all that, because of a soul.

  19. I am grateful for my mom. Person, who i admire for her power.she gave me a life and she teached am still teaching me a lot about life.

    The second one is freedom,which we have. Not everybody live in a country,where he can do anything what he wants.

    And the third thing is past. Everything what happened, made my own self. I feel that I am alive. Enjoying learning about myself about others.doing a progress together.

  20. So many things are taken for granted in this world, and it’s so important to not get caught up in sources of negative energy & to remember to let go of the things and situations you can’t control!
    Three things I am thankful for:
    1. My parents, of course. My mom, who provides constant love and supports me in everything I do. I don’t know where I would be without her! My father, who has shared his love of travel with me and taken me to incredible places, opening up my heart to all the wonders of exploring a foreign place. This is a very special love, and I am unbelievable thankful for the places I have been and the oppertunities that it has provided me.
    2. My summer camp, that has provided a beautiful second home during summers and provided me with the best friends anyone could have ever asked for. They will always be my forever-friends!
    3. I am thankful for the hardships I have faced in my life. Life has taken me from the highest of peaks to the lowest of valleys, sometimes within months, but I would not change it for a second. Everything I have conquered adds to my overall strength and character, and I have learned so much about myself, including how to grow from my troubles and remain happy, although it has been challenging at times.
    Life is a gift!

  21. I am grateful for tress and nature in general because it gives me oxygen and life and makes me happy just looking at it.

    I am grateful to have faith because it brings me peace in a world of unsteadiness.

    I am grateful to have family that loves, argues, teaches, grows and nurtures because what else is there if not having people to enjoy life with.

  22. I am grateful for God’s grace to help me through the tough times in life and also the good :)

    I am grateful for living on this beautiful planet and all that Mother Nature gives to us :)

    I am grateful to be alive and be kind to myself and everyone I meet :)

  23. I am grateful for:
    1. My husband
    2. My parents
    3. My children

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway.
    ErinLoves2Run at gmail dot com

  24. 1. My family, who loves and supports me no matter what!
    2. Mother Earth and her beautiful natural wonders
    3. Spontaneous adventures that end up being my favorite later on

  25. This is a great idea. I have been thinking about this a lot lately but have not started journaling. I am grateful for:

    1) The warm cozy cat snuggling on my lap right now.
    2)The support of my family no matter what I choose to do.
    3) A wonderful partner who was willing to move to a new city with me so I couls pursue a job.

  26. I love this idea! I’m lucky enough that I have a long long list of things to be grateful for.

    1. I am grateful for my amazing mother, who is both incredibly strong and insanely gentle. She has shown me how important it is to be an independent woman and that you can be strong and stand your ground; all with a smile on your face.

    2. My stepdad for being the father that mine couldn’t be. Do I have to say anything more?

    3. My education! I was the first person in my family to graduate from a university, so my education means a lot to me. No one can take away what is between your ears, and I am truly grateful to live a life that has allowed me to get an education. I know for some people (especially women) receiving an education is only a dream.

    *and for Free People! It has been awesome reading what other people are grateful for as well. So many beautiful souls on this page!

  27. What a beautiful thought, so glad I saw this this morning!

    1. I am grateful for where I live. In a house full of my best friends, I can walk to be by the ocean, In a slow paced beautiful town called Falmouth in Cornwall; it has really opened by eyes up to different and healthy way of living in the past two years I have lived here.

    2. I am grateful that I am studying to do something creative. Being a creative thinker allows me to spend my working time doing something that I love, it allows me to learn new things every day, it allows me to communicate to people.

    3. Most importantly, I am grateful for my mother. It has only been me and you since I was born and you have never left me wanting or needing anything more. I do not feel hard done by not having a father, a brother, a sister or grandparents; you have been all of those to me.

    I am grateful I saw this post today; what an incredible way to put things into a beautiful sense of perspective before you start your day.

  28. What a beautiful giveaway idea, and what a beautiful post! I had a dream about making a gratitude journal about a week ago, and then this pops up on my feed! <3

    1. I am grateful for the heartbreak I experienced this summer. It was unlike anything I'd experienced before and completely tore my heart open – in the best way possible.
    2. I am so grateful for the warm, loving and supportive relationships I have with my family and my close friends. Not everyone gets this blessing in life, and for that I am beyond thankful.
    3. I am grateful for the body I have. It carries me through the day, it allows me to see the beauty in every moment. It has no ailments and carries on even when I abuse it. It is my vehicle, and I am so grateful it's mine.

  29. I am grateful for my love of vintage clothing. I’m grateful for the book characters that made me feel not alone and help me stand up to the bullies (i.e harry potter and charlie from perks) i’m grateful for the person who laughed at my jokes and taught me to be uncritical and loving. i’m grateful for learning to accept being alone which has made me quietly appreciate the world around me.

  30. I am most grateful for my family but in particular the 2 woman who have made the woman I am today. My mother and grandmother have been the ultimate role models and ultimate free spirits. I am grateful for both of my brothers because they have made me into the tough cookie I am and have shown me unconditional support. My best friends that I will be seeing in a couple weeks for vacation or my biggest support system. I am so grateful for the relationships I have and I cant wait to begin to write what im grateful for everyday!
    Hopefully I get to win this notebook!


    thanks free people blog for always inspiring me!!


  31. Three things I’m grateful for:
    1. My parents- for raising me up with good morals and always being there for me
    2. Books- for letting me escape my world to experience new ones
    3. Creativity- for letting me express myself

  32. I. Love. This.
    Coming from a girl who has realized only these past few months how necessary it is to be thankful, be grateful, be happy about everything that this earth has to offer, I could not love this post more.
    Here are my top 3: (though I could go on and on)
    1… My mother. Without her love and support this past year, I would not be where I am today, let alone still on this earth. Her patience and kindness and overwhelming positivity about life has led me out of a dark tunnel into a world of sunshine.
    2… My best friend, Charlotte. It is truly wonderful when you find a friend who just gets you. Charlotte is just that and nobody understands my thoughts about this strange world we live in more than her. I am forever grateful to have met her some 6 years ago.
    3… My art professor, Martha. Though I have only been in her class for a mere month and a half, she has given me the confidence and drive to communicate myself through my work. Without her support and criticism, I would be completely lost in my creative career path.

    Thank you for having my favorite blog ever. I am so grateful for all of the people that work on this blog and would love to have this little journal!

  33. I am beyond thankful for:
    -my family and everything they have done/do for me
    -the opportunity and privilege I have to study my passion (design) at university
    -living in an environment that is safe and feels more like home than anywhere else has (I’ve moved around a lot as a military brat, but my college campus is where home is now!)

  34. I’m incredibly grateful for:
    -The bounty of God’s grace
    -Solitude to keep my head grounded
    -Dancing in the kitchen with my mum!

  35. 1. I am grateful for the unconditional love and support that I get from my family.
    2. I am grateful for the beach and the ocean
    3. I am grateful for laughter

  36. This question is actually a difficult one for me. Over this past year i’ve had to encounter many new obstacles and changes. THrough all of these challenges though i am thankful for: My puppy, keeping me grounded and being the best therapist anyone could ask for. Family is a huge part in my life since they are basically my whole social group. Last but not least, my new house. This is the first time i’ve ever moved and i should be depressed (and i am) but i understand that i am here because, soon i will see the bigger picture for my life.

  37. I am grateful for my young adult children who continuously blow me away. I’m grateful for the circle of women in my life who challenge, nurture and support me. I’m grateful for al of the traumas, wounds, and bottoms….never thought I say this….but I’ve expanded my depth as a person, my consciousness, my sense of compassion, humility and my own emotional scale, through these experiences.

  38. I am grateful for my family and friends
    I am grateful for all the opportunities I have
    I am grateful for animals and nature

  39. a few of many things i am thankful for:

    1. my family which includes my mom and dad and my two little brother. they have all taught me so much!
    2. yoga, for helping me clear my mind of all negativity
    3. art, for opening up my eyes and helping me create

  40. I am grateful first to my husband who keeps me grounded, who is supportive and allies me to be ME! I am grateful for having Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) it allows me to be empathetic to those who have depression, anxiety, and gave me an unknown inspiration at the time to go into the mental health field/women in crisis. Third, being creative, to be able to “see”.

  41. i am grateful for
    a) the amazing church i have grown up in, i owe it my life and everyone i hold dear
    b) my voice, i sing nonstop and could not imagine life without music
    c) growing up in a country where i have the resources to be who i want to be

  42. I am gratefull for
    MY SISTERS.. they are my two most precious gifts in life.
    MY BICICLE.. gives me wings, takes me where I need to go, makes me feel a life, just makes me happy.
    ALL WOMEN IN MY FAMILY… My Grafma, my aunts, my sisters, my mom, my cousins. They are all extremely beautiful people. Strong, sweet, extremely good human beings, everyday heroes. :)

  43. I am very thankful for being alive and GOD giving me two beautiful children who are healthy. Also, my parents for helping me to raise my kids, while I am at work helping the less fortunate that were stigmatize by society not allowing to give them another to live the lives they want.

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