What is the Difference Between Gratitude and Appreciation?

Today I am going to talk about gratitude and appreciation. These two skills have an impact on wellbeing and support in leading a whole-hearted life.

Subsequently, in this post I will discuss –

  • What is Gratitude?
  • What is Appreciation?
  • What is the Difference Between Gratitude and Appreciation?

Let’s get started!


What is Gratitude?

Grat•i•tude (noun):
The state of being grateful; a feeling of thankfulness or appreciation.

Some of the definitions of gratitude include –

  • “a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation” ~ Vocabulary.com
  • “Br. David Steindl-Rast, suggests that two qualities belong in our basic definition of gratitude. The first is appreciation: You recognize that something is valuable to you, which has nothing to do with its monetary worth. The second quality Br. David mentions is that gratitude is gratis: freely given to you.” ~ Gratefulness.org
  • “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness” ~ Google
  • “has been conceptualized as an emotion, a virtue, a moral sentiment, a motive, a coping response, a skill, and an attitude. It is all of these and more. Minimally, gratitude is an emotional response to a gift. It is the appreciation felt after one has been the beneficiary of an altruistic act” ~ Emmons and Crumpler, 2000.


Following is a great video outlining what good is gratitude by Robert Emmons –

What is Appreciation?

According to the following, appreciation is –

  • “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.” ~ Google
  • “a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude” ~ Merriam-Webster
  • “Recognition of the quality, value, significance, or magnitude of people and things.” ~ The Free Dictionary
  • “the feeling you have when you are grateful to someone” ~ MacMillan Dictionary


Stephen Covey says –

“Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival – to be understood, to be validated, to be appreciated.” (p.3993). 

William James is also quoted as saying –

“The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.”


What is the Difference Between Gratitude and Appreciation?

As you can see by the above definitions on gratitude and appreciation, there is a lot of crossover. Personally, I identify the difference as –

  • Gratitude – feeling of being grateful,
  • Appreciation – acting on my feeling of gratitude and showing someone I am grateful.


What do you see as the difference between gratitude and appreciation? Feel free to share your insights below in the comments section 🙂


Here is a lovely clip on gratitude if you ned some support in recognising it for yourself…


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Covey, S. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change. New York, USA: Simon & Schuster.


Page Reference –

I have had many people want to reference this page, so here is the correct reference. Thanks in advance for honouring my work 🙂

Taylor, J. (2019). What is the Difference Between Gratitude and Appreciation? [WWW] Available from: https://www.habitsforwellbeing.com/what-is-the-difference-between-gratitude-and-appreciation/ [Accessed …….. ]


  • Aaron

    Reply Reply June 27, 2021

    Gratitude is an emotional response to the thing that is appreciated toward the source of that thing. Gratitude requires a sentient recipient while appreciation does not.

    • Jane

      Reply Reply July 3, 2021

      Thanks for sharing your insights Aaron!

      • Ann

        Reply Reply July 12, 2022

        I became aware of the word appreciation this morning. It suddenly struck a chord. It gave me a feeling for the things that I’m grateful 🙏 for. Appreciation I realised is an in the moment feeling. I am so grateful 🙏 that I have this feeling.

        • Jane

          Reply Reply July 14, 2022

          Lovely to hear of your experience Ann and thank you so much for sharing. I hope you have many more experiences that you are grateful for and act on with appreciation. With care, Jane

  • Alex Rocha

    Reply Reply June 12, 2021

    Thanks for Sharing that… I think appreciation has an element of recognition of a value, property or behaviour as well as acknowledging it either privately or publicly. Giving gratitude is to be grateful for the value, property or behaviour again either privately or publicly. So we must in a sense appreciate first before we give gratitude ?

    • Jane

      Reply Reply June 14, 2021

      Thanks Alex for your insights – appreciate them. Love the details and obvious thoughtfulness you have gone to! Have a great day 🙂

    • Marwa

      Reply Reply June 30, 2021

      How can i cite this article !!

  • Elizabeth Fryer

    Reply Reply April 13, 2021

    Appreciation is for atheists. Gratitude is for believers.

    • Jane

      Reply Reply April 15, 2021

      Thanks Elizabeth – is that your quote?

  • senthil raj

    Reply Reply November 23, 2019

    Gratitude is an emotion and Appreciation is an act.

    • Jane

      Reply Reply November 23, 2019

      Thanks for sharing!

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