What Is A Kindness Album — And Why You Should Start One

It’s important to regularly acknowledge how appreciated you are.

Woman starting a kindness album to remind herself during the chaotic times at work that she is doing great 1001Love, AleksandarNakic | Canva

Last March, I was having a particularly rough day at my former job. You know, one of those days where the projects keep coming and you’re drowning in a sea of priorities, unsure how it’s humanly possible to swim to shore. Yeah, one of those days. 

I sat with my back to my chair, the double forces of anger and anxiety simmering to a boil in my chest. My jaw clenched up and my face grew warm. I knew I had to put my head down and power through for a few hours, but I couldn’t concentrate.


Out of nowhere, I received a message from a coworker I hadn’t spoken to much. I braced myself, thinking it might be another “urgent” request. Instead: “Hey Brina, I see how much you’re tasked with. I just wanted to reach out and send you so much love and support!”

I exhaled. Then smiled. My colleague’s message was so sweet and unexpected, and though she wasn’t capable of reducing my workload, the fact that she reached out made my mood a little lighter. I looked back at her message throughout that week, each time feeling buoyed by her encouragement.

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Throughout last year, I received similar words of encouragement and praise. Some were about work, others were writing-related, and a few were simply heartfelt messages of appreciation. Looking back, these little pieces of love — some big, some small — have always been there. But I didn’t start appreciating them until last year, a particularly difficult one.

I decided to keep these messages somewhere I could regularly turn to. A little folder where they could all live, ready to lift my spirits after a rejection or during a day that feels like it’ll never end. 

So, I did just that.

@itsme_reba Keep a list of all the nice things people say about you.The card someone wrote you.Reference back to the list.Let it remind you that you can do it!! That you are smart, beautiful and talented.Go shine your light.☀️ #howtobepostive #howto #benicetoyourself✨ ♬ original sound - ItsmeReba

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I now have a “Kindness” album on my phone, with screenshots I’ve saved from Slack messages, texts, emails, and Instagram DMs. I also have a “Medium and Substack Kindness” album on my laptop, where I save sweet messages from readers I’ve corresponded with.

Every so often, I’ll flip through and my heart expands with so much joy and thankfulness. I think to myself, How did I get so lucky?! It’s magical and contagious, making me want to spread a little cheer to others in return.

This could be considered a gratitude practice, which myriad scientific studies have touted for its benefits to our physical and emotional well-being. And speaking anecdotally, it feels wonderful to shift from that dark, negative headspace to a freer, more illuminated one. In a world that’s always reminding us what we’re lacking, we must embrace the abundance that’s available right here, right now.

@kyliegrows also a reminder that nice things you say to people at work make an impact 🥰 @alexschudy was the inspo 🥰#corporatetiktok #worktips #corporatelife #fyp #melboune ♬ original sound - kylie

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It’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong or the next problem we have to solve. Or even feel like our efforts aren’t amounting to anything. But it’s important to remember how much is already going well — how much we’re appreciated just as we are.

When we make time to acknowledge how much we mean to others or the difference we’ve made in their lives, it can give us the extra energy to jump over inevitable hurdles. And that is pretty powerful.

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Brina Patel is a writer from Northern California. Her work has appeared in several outlets, including Well+Good, Verywell Mind, Business Insider, and Metro.