There’s tons of positive psychology research to support a connection between gratitude and wellness. 

Gratitude can help you feel more positive emotions, appreciate positive experiences more fully, and have stronger, healthier relationships. So, it’s easy to see why gratitude is an awesome thing to practice everyday!

But, don’t just take our word for it. Here are five historical figures, dating all the way back to the classical era, who appreciated the value of gratitude.

Dalai Lama

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” 

Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people to the spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet, as well as Buddhist values and traditions. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives in India as a refugee.

Albert Einstein

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist and is acknowledged by many as the greatest physicist of all time. He’s known for developing the theory of relativity, as well as his contribution to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics.


“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.”

Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior chief and persuasive orator. During the colonial era, Tecumseh succeeded in organizing a Native American confederacy, achieving an unprecedented level of inter-tribal unity.

Charlotte Brontë

“For my part, I am almost contented just now, and very thankful. Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.”

Charlotte Brontë was a 19th Century English novelist and poet. Her novel Jane Eyre is one of the most recognized classics of English literature.

G.K. Chesterton

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and critic at the turn of the twentieth century. Near the end of his life, Chesterton was invested as Knight Commander with Star of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great (KC*SG) by Pope Pius XI.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”

Harold Kushner is a prominent American rabbi and popular author. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism. He has written 14 books, including multiple bestsellers.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Protestant pastor and theologian who actively resisted the racist actions of the Nazi regime during the World War II era. In addition to his legacy of anti-Nazi dissent, Bonhoeffer’s theological writings became widely influential.


“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Cicero, in full Marcus Tullius Cicero (born 106 bce, died 43 bce) was an influential Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer during the age of the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic.

Who else?

These are just five examples of historical figures who recognized the importance of gratitude. There’s plenty more! If you’d like to see more quotes about gratitude from influential people through the years, check out this article

It’s easy to get caught up in all the stresses of everyday life—and forget how good we have it sometimes. 

If you’d like to start making more time for gratitude, follow these simple steps.

1. Find gratitude in hard times

Reflecting on negative or difficult situations in your life can actually help you nail down what you’re really grateful for. 

Dig a little deeper into some of these experiences and consider what virtues or strengths they’ve helped you develop or the relationships that have carried you through them. 

Perhaps your job is demanding a lot of you lately. What is there to be grateful for in this situation? Do you have good time management skills? If so, that’s something to be grateful for! Imagine how much more stressful things would be if you didn’t! 

This is just one example of how there’s always something or someone to be grateful for, even in hard times.

2. Start a gratitude journal

Gratitude journals are a tried and true method for practicing gratitude. 

A journal of the things you’re grateful for allows you to keep track of the positives in your life and serves as something you can always refer back to on days when it’s a little tougher than others to feel grateful.

And a gratitude journal can be as time-intensive or laid-back as you want! You can journal everyday or you can set aside a time once a week. 

Still too much of a commitment? Even journaling once a month can be an impactful step on your gratitude journey.

3. Volunteer

For many people, giving back to others in their local community is the key to gratitude, as volunteering can highlight and make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted.

Plus, people who volunteered in the past year are reportedly more satisfied with their lives compared to people who didn’t volunteer. Additionally, researchers have found that people who volunteer at least once a month report better mental health than those who volunteer infrequently or not at all.

4. Say thank you

Expressing your gratitude for the people you care about can boost their happiness and yours!

SoulPancake ran an experiment encouraging people to write a letter to someone they’re grateful for. People who did so experienced increased levels of happiness up to 4%. 

When the same people then made a phone call expressing their gratitude directly, their happiness levels jumped even further: from 4% to 19%.

5. Prayer or meditation

People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude. The app is an awesome resource for people looking to make daily prayer a priority. 

Not your cup of tea? Try mindfulness meditation. For this sort of meditation, people will usually focus on a grounding word or phrase (such as “gratitude”), but it is also possible to focus on a particular aspect of your life that you’re grateful for (such as “family”). 

The Calm app and the Headspace app are full of guided meditations for those needing a little help with the practice.

Let’s get started.

Be patient with yourself as you start your gratitude journey! Studies show that practicing gratitude makes its most positive impact when done consistently over time.

In other words, just a week of practicing gratitude might not make you feel any different. But, don’t let that deter you! Over time, gratitude is sure to help you feel happier and more satisfied with life. 

Good luck!

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation.

There are companies out there that boast holding over 3,000 data points on people like you.

Data points like:

  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Sexual status
  • Political-party affiliation
  • Bankruptcy status
  • Purchasing history
  • Browsing history
  • Personal interests
  • Places you have visited

This data is harvested by online data brokers and often sold to anyone who wants to pay for it.

Using this data, political and corporate organizations act as puppet masters to target people’s interests and vulnerabilities through personalized online ads to influence how you vote, where you shop, and what you buy. 


The Democratic Party buys personal data on potential voters like you to influence how you vote.

In the 2020 elections, they paid data broker Grassroots Analytics more than $2.1 million to more effectively profile potential voters and help ensure their campaign ads would be more likely to influence your decision-making.

The Campaign

We feel strongly that systematically manipulating people based on their vulnerabilities or biases is wrong, and that our elected government officials should not be using these tools to keep themselves in power, nor should our corporations be using them to manipulate people into making purchases.

For Halcyon’s new campaign, we will be circulating a petition demanding stronger laws to protect our right to privacy and safeguard our democracy.

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation. 

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation.

Social media consuming too much of your time and/or zapping your energy? 

Here’s five ways to get your social media use under control, so that it doesn’t end up controlling you.

1. Get your social apps off the home screen

If the Instagram app is the first app you see when you open your phone, then it’s probably going to be the first app you open. 

Rather than having all your social media apps front and center on the home screen, put them somewhere else. On iPhone and Android, you can bundle apps together into folders so they’re not individually visible. Even making an organizational change as small as this could help you reduce your scrolling time!

Or, you can take the apps off your phone entirely. When you delete an app like Facebook or Instagram off your phone, it won’t delete your actual account. So, you’ll still be able to log in to your profiles on the computer. 

Having to sit down at a computer to look at social media prevents you from having the option to use social media in every spare moment of your day.

2. Turn off notifications

You can turn off notifications for specific apps in the settings of your phone. Doing this prevents constant notifications from your social media apps tempting you to open them! 

Not sure how? Here’s your how-to for iPhone and Android

3. Use apps to help you limit your time on social media

Using one app to make sure you’re not spending too much time on another app is definitely ironic, but that’s the world we live in! There are many apps out there designed to help users limit their social media use. Here’s a couple good ones.

If you’re an Instagram user, Instagram itself can actually help you limit your time on the app.

Forest lets you decide the amount of time (say, 30 minutes) that you want to be off your phone. During that time, a digital plant—hence the app’s name—will grow in the app. But if you use your phone before time’s up, your plant will die!

Another popular app for limiting social media use is Daywise. This app lets you schedule when you want to receive notifications and when you don’t. 

If you’re an Instagram user, Instagram itself can actually help you limit your time on the app. Go to “Your activity” in account settings and there you can see how much time you spend daily using the app. Below this you’ll see “Set Daily Reminder” where you can put in how much time you want to give yourself on the app each day, and Instagram will send you a daily reminder once you’ve reached your time limit.

iPhone has a similar function. Go to the “Screen Time” feature under “Settings” for daily and weekly reports on your screen time, as well as the option to set time limits on your phone use. 

Or, if you have Android, you can manage how you spend time on your phone with Digital Wellbeing. Click here for a step-by-step guide!

4. Dedicate time to a screen-free hobby

Pick a screen-free hobby and dedicate a certain amount of time to it each week. Find a yoga class, join a book club, start a garden: anything that doesn’t involve a screen. 

Finding more things you enjoy off-screen will make spending hours and hours glued to your screen and scrolling social media less appealing. 

5. Don’t sleep with your phone

Instead of scrolling through social media last thing before bed, turn your phone off and leave it to charge. And put it somewhere that isn’t right next to you. 

Not only will this keep you from needlessly delaying your own bed time, but it will improve the quality of your sleep, as studies show that the blue light from our phone screens is disruptive to healthy sleeping patterns.

Baby steps! 

Don’t expect yourself to jump from spending two hours a day on social media to 10 minutes in one fell swoop. 

Start by limiting your time by ten minutes a day, then check your progress in a week and go from there. 

You got this!