It’s easy to dismiss the idea of using a gratitude journal as part of recovery. If you’re not familiar with one, it may sound like an exercise in faking happiness. This kind of journal does not negate any negative feelings. Instead, it teaches you to count the positives that happen as you work on your recovery.  

Remembering to be Thankful

Dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol can envelop a person in negative thoughts and feelings. Writing down three to five things you are grateful for each day reminds you to take comfort from the positive things that happen. Keeping a gratitude journal is an empowering way to remind yourself that your steps forward are worth noting.

Gratitude Journals Recognize Actions of All Sizes

Not every day will include giant steps to be thankful for, such as reaching a milestone for days in recovery. The big accomplishments are great and worth writing down, but practicing keeping a gratitude journal will also teach you to give a silent thanks for the smaller things that happen. Maybe you ate a tasty and healthy meal for the first time in weeks. It might be that you forced yourself to take a shower and get dressed when you didn’t want to do it. Every step forward counts.

Gratitude Is a Kindness to Yourself

Keeping a gratitude journal helps you recognize your worth and your progress. Start one and see how quickly it becomes a positive habit you look forward to doing at the end of each day.


Alta Loma understands that recovery requires utilizing a variety of methods to treat people who are using or drinking. Recovery isn’t just about pushing yourself during difficult moments. Learning to celebrate yourself and your accomplishments is vital, too. We offer treatment modalities including individual and group treatment, 12-Step recovery, and art therapy. Your recovery continues as you transition to our extended care facility. We help people struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol by providing treatment for residents in a men-only environment. Alta Loma is a recognized leader in treating addiction and mental health co-occurring disorders with a team of experts ready to help guide their patients through the physical, mental, and emotional work needed to achieve a sober and healthy life. Call (866) 457-3843 today for information about how to get started on changing your life or the life of a loved one.