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Finding Joy In Gratitude This Thanksgiving Holiday

Jill Stratton of Washington University researches the psychology of young adulthood and part of her mission is to help students be happier and successful. Here, she poses with Joy and Sadness from the 2015 movie 'Inside Out.' | 11-26-2019
Lara Hamdan

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time to reflect and share the things for which we are grateful.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Jill Stratton of Washington University in St. Louis. Stratton is known as the university’s “Dean of Joy,” though her official title is associate dean for undergraduate residential learning and special assistant to the provost.

For years, Stratton has researched and taught a course about the psychology of young adulthood. Her interests include figuring out how students can be more successful, happier and joyful.

“Cultivating gratitude can help us be happier,” Stratton said. “Sometimes we think it’s the surface things that make us happy, the circumstances. But there’s a lot of research out there about these things called ‘intentional acts.’”

Intentional acts include surrounding yourself with people you love and having social interaction. 

Stratton’s top recommendation to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Tonina Saputo. The engineer is Aaron Doerr, and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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