Thnx4 is an online gratitude journal that makes it easier to say thanks, enjoy the benefits of thankfulness, and see what happens when you strengthen your habit of feeling and expressing gratitude.
Thnx4 was created by the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley. It draws on two decades of research suggesting that people who regularly feel grateful:
- report better health, reduce their risk of heart disease, and get better sleep
- strengthen feelings of connection and satisfaction in their relationships
- feel more satisfied with their lives, more joy and optimism, and less anxiety.
How does it work?
Registering for Thnx4 launches a 10-Day Intensive or 21-Day Gratitude Challenge (your choice!), where you'll be prompted to document and share your gratitude either daily on weekdays for two weeks, or every other day for three weeks.
- After you first register for Thnx4, you'll receive an email confirming your registration and inviting you to complete a pre-Challenge survey, which will help measure how your social and emotional well-being changes during the Challenge.
- If you are participating in Thnx4 on your own, your 10-Day or 21-Day Gratitude Challenge will start right away.
- If you are part of an organization that has partnered with the GGSC, your Gratitude Challenge will begin on the Start Date indicated in your confirmation email and on the Countdown page you'll see when you log in. (You must select your organization from the Group membership menu on the Register page)
- Once your Challenge begins, you'll receive an email either daily on weekdays for two weeks (10-Day Challenge) or every other day for three weeks (21-Day Challenge), inviting you to share when and why you felt grateful recently. Every time you make an entry in your gratitude journal, you can choose to make that entry public, share it with your group or organization, or keep it private.
- The emails will also ask you to "Check In" by indicating how you've been feeling over the past couple of days.
- After 10 or 21 days, you'll receive an email inviting you to complete a post-Challenge survey, which will measure how your levels of gratitude and well-being have changed over the period of your Gratitude Challenge.
- Once your Challenge concludes, you can select how you'd like to receive reminders to use Thnx4 moving forward: daily, weekly, monthly, or self-paced.
Why does it work?
When we consciously focus on feeling and expressing gratitude, we start to notice the positive people and events in our lives that we might otherwise take for granted.
Robert Emmons, perhaps the world's leading scientific expert on gratitude, explains that gratitude carries powerful benefits to our mental, physical, and social health because "it's an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we've received."
What's more, he says, when we experience gratitude, "we acknowledge that other people—or even higher powers, if you're of a spiritual mindset—gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives."
Gratitude strengthens our relationships, he says, "because it requires us to see how we've been supported and affirmed by other people."
Why did we create Thnx4?
The goals of Thnx4 are to promote the practice of gratitude and raise awareness about the research-based benefits of gratitude. In so doing, it aims to engage the public in a larger conversation about how to foster more gratitude in everyday life.
Thnx4 is based on two decades of research on gratitude, and the benefits of gratitude journaling in particular, which suggest that regularly expressing thanks can have profound benefits on one's social, emotional, and physical well-being. Thnx4 makes it easier to keep a gratitude journal and record moments of thankfulness right when they happen.
The Thnx4 platform can also be used by researchers or organizations to see how keeping a gratitude journal can impact people on a wide scale. (More on that below.)
How will your information be used?
All of your pre-Challenge and post-Challenge survey and "Check In" responses are kept confidential. Every time you record an entry in your gratitude journal, you can indicate whether you'd like to keep your entry private as well; if not, it will show up in the feed of entries in our public gratitude journal.
Though we do collect your email address to send you reminders to journal, we will never share your contact information. Our team analyzes the gratitude entries to see how keeping a journal impacts people over time, but we only look at this data anonymously and in the aggregate, stripping it of any details that link it to individuals.
Similarly, if you are part of a research study or participating organization, the data for your study or group will only ever be viewed in the aggregate, considering the group as a whole but not looking at any specific individuals. Thnx4 records IP addresses to improve the user experience, but again, all of this data will remain confidential. All data on the site is encrypted.
Your participation with Thnx4 is completely voluntary, and you may withdraw at any time. To stop receiving email reminders or delete your account, log into the site, click the "My Account" link in the upper area of the screen, and follow the instructions for Cancel account.
Are you a researcher?
For researchers, Thnx4 can provide a systematic, user-friendly, highly scalable, free platform for prompting people to journal and share their gratitude—and yield anonymized data for investigating the effects of gratitude. It can provide demographic and daily use data (e.g., frequency of gratitude experiences, targets of gratitude, etc.), measure day-to-day well-being, as well as pre/post scores on measures of dispositional gratitude, life satisfaction, resilience, and loneliness.
Any use of Thnx4 for research purposes requires IRB approval from the researcher's organization. If you would like to learn more about Thnx4's scientific capabilities and how you can incorporate it into your research, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to run a Thnx4 Gratitude Challenge in your organization?
If you would like to organize a Gratitude Challenge for your school, workplace, or other instition, please consider the following: 1) Choose a date for your Thnx4 group challenge to begin, which should be at least two weeks from the date that you announce the challenge within your organization (Thnx4 Group challenge participants must register and indicate group affiliation prior to the challenge start date) and three weeks later than when you first contact email@example.com, 2) Decide upon a Thnx4 group challenge length, either 10-Day Intensive or 21-Day for your organization members, and 3) Determine whether you would like to embed a custom organizational logo into the emails for your Thnx4 Group Challenge, and have it ready to send to us. Once you have these details in hand, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with Group Challenge Request as the Subject Line. We will send you a brief form to fill out, set up your group challenge on the back end, then provide you with a code that your members can use when they register. A Thnx4 group challenge enables your group to collectively strengthen and share gratitude and see how levels of gratitude, happiness, and more change over 10 or 21 days accross the group.
Who are we?
UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center catalyzes, reports upon, and sponsors groundbreaking scientific research on social and emotional well-being—and turns this research into multimedia resources for a happier life and a better world.
It created Thnx4 as part of its Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude project, which is funded by the John Templeton Foundation and aims to deepen the scientific understanding of gratitude and promote evidence-based practices of gratitude in homes, schools, workplaces, and beyond.