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Thanksgiving Idea #3: The Power of a Gratitude Letter

November 13, 2022

Gratitude Letters Are Well Researched

It’s no secret that close relationships cultivate happiness and wellbeing in our lives. Studies show that solid and dependable social connections not only help us thrive, but they allow us to navigate tough times with resilience. The gratitude letter is one of the oldest and most well studied positive interventions.


Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of various positive psychology interventions on 411 people, each compared with a control assignment of writing about early memories. When their week’s assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month for both the letter writer and the recipient. A MONTH!

The catch? You write the letter and read it to them IN PERSON.

I know that this can feel vulnerable, but this vulnerability is what leads to greater intimacy and deep connection with others.

So how about it? Let’s write a letter to someone and read it to them in person. I will if you will!

Who’s in?

+This is part of my 10 Ideas for Thanksgiving series+

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