The benefits of journaling for Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative journaling is an excellent way to embed the philosophy of AI and keeping an appreciative journal is a key practical element in supporting your AI practice. It’s invaluable in developing your appreciative muscle, practicing your appreciative skills, and supporting wellbeing, flourishing and resilience.

All participants on Appreciating People-delivered AI training receive an appreciative journal and are encouraged to use it as part of their post-course support and work programme.


  • Creating and using a journal contributes to your wellbeing, by making you more appreciative of yourself, others, and the world around you.
  • It has been shown that optimistic thinking increases a variety of physical attributes including life expectancy. (Jackie Kelm, Appreciative Living)
  • Journaling about one positive experience from the previous 24 hours allows your brain to relive it and you to receive the benefits.

Appreciating People has pioneered the use of journaling by creating and continue to create journaling products. We have produced – and are planning:

  • Food for Thought: an appreciative journal (2012)
  • How to be More Awesome: a Resilience and Wellbeing Journal (2014)
  • How to be More Awesome: the student planner edition – a 12-month resilience programme wrapped into an academic year diary (2016)
  • A wellbeing and flourishing journal and workbook for the National Waterways Museums, Canal and River Trust called no and designed for 8 to 13 year-olds (summer 2017)
  • A wellbeing and resilience journal for dementia care givers (2018)

Journal exercise

A simple way to start appreciative journaling is to use a note book and try the following exercise… (You may prefer to take photographs, draw pictures, or make a voice recording. The point is to keep a record in the form that works for you of your observations.)

For 28 days, write down three good things that happened to you on each day. They can be small – like a cup of coffee or a conversation. Then consider:

  • Why did this good thing happen?
  • What does it mean to me?
  • How can I have more of it?

At the end of the 28 days, read through what you have recorded and answer these questions, adding them to your note book:

Q: What have you enjoyed about the process and how has it helped you?

Q: What have you learned about yourself?

Q: What are the changes you have noticed?

If you want to take your journaling further, you can buy How to be More Awesome or Food for Thought from our shop. Recent feedback from experiences with How to be More Awesome have come from a three-year-old and her Dad, and a 70-year-old on a personal journey!


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