A recent survey found that 90% of Americans believe grateful people are happier. And a similar 90% said they are grateful for family and friends. But when asked if they express gratitude, only about half that number said yes. “We have a big gratitude gap, and it’s causing all of us problems,” said Janice Kaplan, who aims to change it on her new iHeartPodcast Network daily podcast, The Gratitude Diaries.
Lots of daily podcasts focus on the news of the day, but Kaplan — who is a motivational speaker and also the editor-in-chief of Parade magazine — said her goal for the short-form podcast is to offer easy and straightforward tips to close the gratitude gap. “Research shows close to 20% of the difference in people’s happiness can be predicted by the amount of gratitude they express. Right now, all of us could use a 20% rise in happiness,” she said. Kaplan believes focusing on the good things in life is better for mental health than discussing problems. “Making a little change every day is the way to do it, and I promise none of it involves keeping a journal.”
Kaplan promises the podcast will be more than just touchy-feely tips and will include “science-based findings” from research she’s compiled from psychologists, neurologists, doctors and even Nobel Prize winners. That includes how appreciating one’s spouse changes the neurons in the brain, why saying thanks helps executives in every field become more successful, and why showing gratitude can lower blood pressure and stress levels and improve sleep. “Focusing on the good things in your life is actually better for your mental health than discussing your problems,” said Kaplan.
The podcast is published each weekday morning.