Praise Your People!

Write one short appreciative letter or email or text to someone every day – for 30 days!

Take the month-long appreciation challenge! Appreciate your people!

What is this!?

Praise Your People! is a challenge you give yourself (for 30 days!) to put aside a short amount of time every day to write to someone you want to appreciate. You simply write them a short note, a letter, an email, text, WhatsApp message, whatever you like, telling them something nice and true – like how you appreciate them, what they mean to your life, the joy they bring you (whatever you fancy!). Purely and simply, you say Thank You.

Part daily writing practice, part relationship mindfulness, part joy of gifting

And why again?

Life's busy huh? In the rush and tumble of the everyday, we can forget what a gift thoughtful, meaningful communication can be, and the effect it can have on a friend or family member. Especially when the main purpose is to say You Mean The World Because... There's even science behind appreciation: when we receive it, our brain receives a rush of blood (useful for clearer thinking!) and our cortex gets a boost of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, which makes us feel good, ahhh. So by taking the month-long Praise Your People! challenge, we slow down a little bit every day and create pieces of appreciative writing for people we love or who we admire or would like to thank. And that gives us so much in return (so it's win-win!).

Give the brain-and-body-soothing benefits of appreciation

A month?!

It's a bit of a commitment, yes, but it's worth it, and your letters and notes need only be short, so you're just taking a couple of minutes every day to do this. If you don't think you've got 30 people to write to, you might surprise yourself! Plus, you can always write to people a couple of times over the period. (And have a think about who you've not realised contributes so much to your life. It's also a great excuse to write to people you've lost touch with. Still stuck? Join one of our Praise Your People! drop-in sessions for inspiration!) Because you're doing it for a good amount of time, it's a bit like keeping a gratitude journal, but because it's appreciation (rather than just gratitude) you're directing yourself outwards towards other people who get to receive all the brain-and-body-soothing benefits, and that feels great for everyone!

Morning Pages is for you,
this daily writing exercise is for your people.

Who's this?

Praise Your People! is devised by writer and arts practitioner Philip Cowell, author of Keeping A Journal (Sheldon Press) and This Is Me, Full Stop (Penguin). Philip has almost 20 years' experience in arts charities (including Arvon, English PEN and Good Chance) as well as design and sustainability agencies. Philip's poems and essays have appeared in The Guardian, BBC Culture, Poetry Review, POEM, BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Birdbook III, and Wanderful. He's led writing workshops for Write & Shine, Southbank Centre, Normal? Festival of the Brain, Free Word, Wilderness Festival and HMP Durham amongst others, and he once hosted a Letter Writing Club Night in London!

Get out of your own story for a bit - turn your gifted writing into writing gifts!

So, how does it work?

Commit to the challenge of writing to one person every day for 30 days. Email Philip to tell him you're taking part! Let's create a community of appreciators.

Then... write to someone every day for the next 30 days (each letter/email/text contains something appreciative about the recipient but other than that can be about anything or in any form!)

If you like, record who you send your messages to as a log of your achievement (you only need to log date and name of recipient)

You can send letters to the same person more than once! Equally, you can also give a note to someone you met for the first time that day. People find it's surprisingly not difficult to write to someone different every day.

Your month can start any time! Start today!

Missed a day? Don't beat yourself up. Catch up if you can, or start again, or just keep going regardless.

Take part in Praise Your People! drop-in sessions, and other special workshops and events, hosted by Philip, with the chance to practise writing and share stories and experiences

Email Philip to receive free writing prompts!

Don't leave praise to eulogies – it's too late by then. Give your thanks to the living now!

What do you need to get started?

Choose someone right now to write to – and send them an email, letter, text, WhatsApp message, whatever you want, appreciating them for what they bring to your life.

Tomorrow, do the same

And the day after

And the day after

And so on!

For a month!

It's easier than it sounds!

Ultimately it's incredibly joyful and joy-bringing, go for it!!

See what happens?

Email Philip to tell him you've started the challenge!

Log your recipients so you keep a track of who you've written to and appreciate yourself (big claps you!)

Take part in one of Philip's drop-in workshops for support and inspiration

Email Philip to receive free writing prompts!

"I loved receiving this! It was such a lovely surprise. Honestly, it made my day."

Some writing tips

Keep it brief, take the pressure off yourself, just aim to write a few nice sentences that could make someone smile!

Be as detailed as possible! It's lovely to point to a specific skill or trait the person has that you admire, or share a memory of a time you experienced together.

No need to say you're doing this challenge or why you're appreciating them, just go for it!

Mix up your media - write a letter one day, three emails in a row the next three, a WhatsApp text after that and so on...

Email Philip to receive free writing prompts throughout the year!

"It was super nice getting your email. So GOOD to hear from you."

Next Praise Your People! workshop

Just working on setting up a new date! Will keep you posted, meanwhile email Philip to receive updates!

Gratitude to for the image