Gratitude Helps You Feel Happy and Creative

Arree talks about “people angels” when he's teaching sometimes. They're people who've had a profound impact for good in your life. He has been one of mine. Every now and then, I even tell him so.

I'm grateful for the amazing opportunity that I have to work with our instructors and our students at Storyteller Academy. Therefore, I'm going to give away a book by an instructor (any book by any instructor) and a book by a student (any book by any student) to one lucky winner at the end of this post.

First, though, let's talk about gratitude and how it can help YOU.

Step 1: I want you to take a few minutes and think of some people in your life who make you feel grateful. Write down their names.

Some time ago, I talked about how morning journaling has helped me in a post about creative habits. In the following video, Marie Forleo talks about gratitude journaling: the benefits and how to do it in a way that will have you seeing results.

If you need to skip the video for some reason, Marie said that “the dividends are in the details.” You need to get specific. Instead of making a list of things you're grateful for, pick one thing or person and write five sentences about why you're grateful. And Marie backs that up with research and science. “It turns out that the group who wrote five sentences about one thing were more elated, excited, and alert than the other groups and less tired, sad, and lethargic.”

Doesn't that sound pretty awesome?

Step 2: Pick one of the people from your list in Step 1, and write five sentences about them.

Thinking grateful thoughts will give you a fleeting sense of peace or happiness, but writing those sentences will make the feeling last longer. 

Step 3: If you really want to be happy, though, tell the other person and make them feel happy.

Making them feel happy and appreciated will make you feel all warm and fuzzy in a more lasting way. You can't express real love and gratitude for someone else without feeling real love and gratitude back, even if they don't say anything. You're going to feel it when you act.

Now that we're feeling love and gratitude, I want to share this beautiful TED Talk on gratitude from Louie Schwartzberg and let you find your own  creative inspiration. 

I'm hoping that you really will tell your people angels why you're grateful for them. You'll probably surprise them. 

Book Giveaway!

I'm giving away a book by an instructor (any book written and/or illustrated by any instructor found here) and a book by a student (any book by any student) to one lucky winner. If you have thoughts on people angels, journaling, and/or gratitude, please share in the comments for an entry!

If you share this post on social media, you can earn an entry that way or an additional entry. In fact, you can even earn a third entry by sharing our FREE Black Friday Children's Book Bootcamp on social media. (If you have more than one entry, just comment on your original comment to let me know you shared.) This giveaway closes at midnight on November 23. I'm going to drop some book covers below, but there are hundreds of books you can choose from.

Ben Clanton's Books
Abi Cushman's Books
Vanessa Brantley Newton Books
Miranda Paul's Books
Sage Blackwood Books
Laurie Keller's Books
Jessixa Bagley's Books

Blog Contributors

Instructor Photo: Myrna Foster

Myrna Foster writes and edits content for Storyteller Academy and the WriteRiders Newsletter for SCBWI Nevada. She has spent a lot of time teaching and coaching children, including five years as a preschool teacher. She's also worked as a journalist, and Highlights High Five has published six of her poems. 

Arree Chung is an author/illustrator and the founder of Storyteller Academy. Arree’s Ninja! series has received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal. Kirkus also gave a starred review to Mixed, which recently won the FCGB award. 

Today Arree lives a creative life, making stories for children. Arree spends most of his time making picture books, writing middle grade novels, and sharing his love for art, design, and storytelling with kids and dreamers everywhere.

Follow Storyteller Academy on Social Media

16 thoughts on “Gratitude Helps You Feel Happy and Creative”

  1. “I want to thank all of the people who’ve taken the time this year to tell me when a newsletter or blog post has helped them. You make me feel like I’m making a difference.” — Count me among your very grateful blog readers, Myrna. I’ve learned so much about the craft of writing and how to live a more healthy writer’s life from each of your posts this year. Thanks for the information and inspiration. Continued best wishes to you in 2020!

  2. Thank you, Myrna! You share such gems with us all! The gratitude movie is a favourite of mine, I’ve watched it countless times and it moves me the same way each time and Marie Forleo’s video was hilarious!

  3. I feel grateful to have found the Storyteller Academy – (What font is this? It is so nice). I have no idea how I got to receive that email invitation to the Black Friday Boot Camp, but I was hooked. I had a great time listening to all who presented and could not believe how lucky I felt. I am grateful that I took that leap of faith a got into Makers Plus.
    Inspiration, motivation, laughter, awe, wonder is what I found in all of you, and because I also have it all in me, boom! A star was born. 🙂

    Thank you for this post and for all who make this Team. I know you are special.

  4. My family each secretly writes something we are grateful for every night of November and we put them in a pretty jar. Then come December we read them aloud to one another. It feels like a gift each night when we write them, and then it feels like Christmas morning reading them aloud to one another all at once!

  5. I am thankful for all the inspiring books and people I have come across this year! Sometimes people and books just come into your life at just the right times!

  6. Every evening, my mom, sister, and I text each other 3 things we were grateful for during that day. We’ve been doing this for 4 years now and it’s such a nice practice.

  7. Oh, I agree with the gratitude journaling too—especially when I’m feeling down or discouraged about how my writing is going or being received. I had not known the 5-sentence tidbit though so I will definitely be incorporating that from now on! Love this and signed up for the boot camp too—very grateful for Storyteller Academy!!

  8. Thank you for reminding me to take more time to be grateful. I love the exercise of writing 5 specific things! I am at this moment very grateful I found Storyteller Academy because I’ve learned so much!

  9. My angel person would be my mother who is now with the angels. She did so many unselfish things for me and others. Like my father said about her, “She was always concerned about other people’s feelings and comfort, not herself.” My mom was an angel , and my gratitude goes to her as a reminder of how I should live.

  10. If there is one thing that makes me happy is to express gratitude to people I meet each day and one of them among others is Myrna Foster. I will always be grateful for all the things you do each day. Kind words given to each other helps this world a better place to live and gratitude always come back to you. On this coming Thanksgiving, I am thankful to you Myrna and all SA staff. More power to you all!

  11. I have health issues that are terminal …. in that there are no cures, only treatments to “keep me going…”anyhow I often times find myself wallowing in self-pity and at times that pit gets very dark and very deep and I wonder if one of these times I am not going to be able to pull myself out of this “place.”
    Well, at one of these points….we had no money – all my money was going to keep me alive – medical bills, medicines, etc. We have a chocolate lab and she ALWAYS came first – food, meds, vet appointments and IF there was anything left – we ate. Many a night I went without – but, my sister (by the Grace of God) – worked in a kitchen setting so she always had breakfast and lunch and I am forever grateful to God that she has that job!!! Anyhow, we NEVER said anything to anyone – I guess pride, embarrassment, combination of the two?? Not sure…but, anyhow….a cousin found out – she had a key to our house (for medical emergencies) and one day … I went downstairs to let Bailey out the back door and on the sun porch were boxes and boxes of food!! I sat on the floor and cried because there was butter in one of the boxes – it had been so long since we had any butter. I know it sounds stupid, but it was the most grateful I have EVER felt and in turn… my sister, Linda, and I have paid it forward as often and as many times as possible and I have to tell you – that gets me out of my depression EVERY time!! I always go back to Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up…..and those rewards – for me – how happy and joyful I feel whenever I give!! This cousin is no longer in our lives, but she will forever be a part of our memories and our hearts and we will ALWAYS be grateful for what she did for us!!
    Gratitude is different for all of us – no matter how big or small it is what gives our hearts joy and more so hope. IF we find no gratitude in our lives…how can we move forward. I journal often and a part of that journal-ling is to write down 10 things I am grateful for – that day. Some days the pen just flies…other days I have to struggle to find 5 – and I know it is all in my perception, but I also, know God is trying to convey to me that every day holds so much gratitude – IF we take the time to reflect. God Bless all of you for allowing me to share.

  12. What a beautiful post, Myrna! Your blog post themes always seem so timely and this one is no exception. The year is coming to a close and so is my first year at Storyteller Academy. This school has given me the opportunity to grow as a writer, muster the courage to illustrate, celebrate my book release, and meet like-minded people for critiques, accountability, and friendship. Thanks to everyone here in front of and behind the scenes that make it happen. I look forward to another year!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top