LOUISE O'NEILL: I found the gratitude journal most helpful on the days where nothing had gone according to plan, or when I felt hopeless and despondent

Have you heard of gratitude journals? It’s a diary where you write down everything that you’re grateful for in an attempt to focus your attention on the good things in your life, writes Louise O'Neill.

I have one called the Five Minute Journal which promises to be “the simplest, most effective thing you can do every day to be happier”. As soon I wake up, I write down what I’m grateful for and before I fall asleep, I record the ‘amazing’ things that happened to me that day. (Some days are far less amazing than others, I can assure you.)

I bought one for my father for Christmas and when he opened it, he said in a rather bemused tone, “I’m very grateful for everything in my life already. I don’t need a diary to tell me to do that,” and I said “I’m never buying you anything ever again,” and “you’re not acting very GRATEFUL for this gift I spend ages choosing for you, now are you, Father?”

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