Gratitude Journaling 2.0

Robert DunlopBlog, Reflect Better, Self Care Better


  • Training your mind to find gratitude can be challenging.
  • It is especially valuable to seek out those grateful moments during difficult times.
  • Using the app Happyfeed can help set you up for gratitude success.

Sometimes I think it is ironic that I wrote a book. I say that for the reason that I loathed writing as a young boy. It was not until I got a typewriter (I am dating myself there I know) that I realized it was not that I did not like putting my ideas on paper, it had more to do with I did not like my printing.  

I have always been terribly uncoordinated. So much so that they used to call me “Cordo” in high school. This lack of coordination extends all the way to my dexterity and the end result is chicken scratch for writing. My saving grace has always been technology. It has really evened the playing field for me as a writer. 

We need to find ways to train our brains to search out the aspects of our lives that we are grateful for. Not only do we need to find these ways, but we also need to share them with our students. Click To Tweet

Happyfeed - Gratitude Journal App for iPhone and Android

So why am I telling you this?  Because I have always been jealous of people who have amazing handwritten diaries or awesome gratitude journals. I had tried and failed many times as it never ended up looking like I wanted it to. However, while writing a chapter in my book on gratitude (something that I was struggling to integrate into my life), I had a monumental breakthrough…Gratitude Apps!

It aligned perfectly with another goal I had…how do I use my device in a way that makes me happier? So I jumped into that App Store and started downloading. I tried a few that were ok, but then I found it…Happyfeed!

I loved the look of it, the feel of it, and how easy it was to complete. Beyond that, it had some cool features I knew would motivate me to complete entries each day, such as:

  • Notifications (I set mine to remind me at 10:10 pm each night)
  • Keep track of streaks and days completed (I love quantitative data)
  • Daily prompts to help me on the tougher days
  • Ability to attach photos
  • And the Happiness Jar (I’ll explain that one in a bit, my favourite feature)

This app is one of the few routines I have tried to establish, and I can honestly say I have not missed one day.  My current streak is at 1165 days (3.2 years). Throughout this time, I have had some amazing highs and some devastating lows. I have discovered that practicing gratitude daily is most important when the times are tough and things are not going our way. On these days, I have come to learn that even on the worst days there is good.

On particularly rough days, I find myself using the Happiness Jar a lot.  When you shake your phone, this feature will highlight one of your previous gratitude posts. Before, when I was in the hospital waiting room, I would be mindlessly scrolling through social media looking at the best or worst parts of other people’s day.  Now, if you see me shaking my phone followed by a smile, you know what I am doing. I am reliving my best moments of each day using the Happyfeed App. 

The pandemic has been tough on everyone, especially educators and our students. It can be hard to stay positive and optimistic through all of the changes, lockdowns, and setbacks. This is why we need to find ways to train our brains to search out the aspects of our lives that we are grateful for. Not only do we need to find these ways, but we also need to share them with our students to help them with their mental well-being.

A great idea for educators is to create a Happyfeed for the classroom. At the end of each day, complete three entries of great things that happened that day that made them smile. Then at the end of each week, they can have Feel Good Friday where they use the Happiness Jar to look back on awesome memories they shared together. As a gift at the end of the year, you can export these memories to PDF, print them off, and send them home with students as a memory book for the year!

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I can easily say that this app is a game-changer, not just in my life, but in the lives of many of the people I have talked to about it. For instance, recently I talked about it with Rae during a Teach Better Daily Drop-In. Now, the Daily Drop-In is sharing their streaks with me and telling me they are loving it!

Click here to watch!

I think you should give it a try! If you love it and get your own streak going, I’d love to hear about it on social media!  Just tag me (@robdunlopEDU) and the Teacher Better Team (@teachbetterteam) so we can share in your excitement!

For more ideas on how to bring gratitude into your teaching, check out my Staff Wellness page on Gratitude!

About Robert Dunlop

Robert Dunlop is a teacher, speaker and author who has a passion for helping other educators love their careers. His work with thousands of teachers, principals and support staff has given him insight into the importance of happiness in education.

He believes that all students deserve to be surrounded by educators who are passionate and love coming to school each day. To help make this a reality, he has made it his mission to help educators make happiness and well-being a priority.

Recently, he published STRIVE for Happiness in Education and created a free staff wellness program on his website He continues to share his message through talks and workshops.