Did writing in the Five Minute Journal make me happier?

The full name of this journal is “The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day,” so this felt like the perfect thing to try; “a happier you” is promised up front for this product. The premise of this journal is that it helps you focus on the good in your life and cultivate gratitude, which has been shown to decrease stress and improve mental resilience, among other benefits. Each day you start with what you’re grateful for and what you want to focus on for the day and end the day with what went well and how it could have been better. Some pages have inspirational quotes and others have a weekly challenge.

I bought this product in August last year and have been writing in it off and on since then. This week, I attempted to write every single morning and night, and while I was able to write every morning, I missed a couple of nights. I have had a very consistent nighttime routine for a long time now, and it was more difficult than I realized to add something to it. Reflecting back on the week, it would have made a huge difference if I had put the journal and a pen on my bedside table so I could have written when I woke up and right before I went to sleep.

My favorite aspect about the journal is writing the three things that would make today great. I noticed that I would remind myself to do whatever it was when I was in the situation I had written it down for. For example, I wrote down “listen more than you speak” for an event I had to go to, and I reminded myself of that during the event when I felt like I wasn’t listening enough or asking enough questions. This made a huge difference in how that went.

I didn’t really notice any differences from the gratitude/amazing things sections of the journal. It was definitely nice in the moment to reflect but they didn’t seem to have a lasting impression on my day or mood in the same way that setting an intention for the day did. Once I finish this journal, my plan is to add a section in my bullet journal for a daily intention so I can carry that through rather than forcing myself to do all the steps in the journal, which felt repetitive over time.

Did writing in the Five Minute Journal make me happier? A little bit. There are aspects that made a difference for me that I will definitely keep doing, but I don’t think it’s necessary to spend the money on this journal, and it didn’t make a huge difference for me like it seems to have done for those who reviewed the journal on Amazon.

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