30 Foolproof Ways To Cheer Someone Up And Light Up Their Day
From everyday positivity to heartfelt gestures, you can help cheer up friends & loved ones with these foolproof ways to brighten someone's day.
Jul 24, 2018
Do Small Acts of Joy Every Day
Cheering people up doesn’t have to be something reserved for a serious occasion, such as after a breakup, the loss of a job, or a serious illness. We can affect the people around us, particularly our friends and family, every day by our actions, perspective, and mood. Get into the habit of radiating happiness, warmth, and positivity to those around you with these small daily actions.
It can be easy to get into a cycle of negativity but negative attitudes towards life can be contagious and can impact those around you. If friends or loved ones have been going through a hard time, be aware that your words have a more powerful effect on them than usual. Don’t be superficial, but try to focus and vocalize on the positive elements in life. There’s a lot of beauty out there! This can be as easy as saying “What a lovely sunset!” or “Isn’t it a beautiful day?” Simple messages of positivity can help those around you stay positive too.
Don't be Afraid to be Silly
Remember how fun it was to be a kid? There’s no reason to let that time go! If you let your inner kid out, you’ll be surprised at how joyful and fun life can be. Silly moods are naturally contagious — get your office playing capture the flag or set up a giant waterslide. On average, kids laugh more than 300 to 400 times a day, while adults barely make it to 20. Run around, go play on a swing set, roll down a steep hill! Feel free to act funny, silly, and wild! Release your inner kid and encourage others to do the same. You’ll all feel better in no time!
Send Random Funny Texts and Pictures
Just hearing from you can make someone’s day! Let someone know you’re thinking about them with a funny emoji or a cute cat picture. It doesn’t have to be long. Just getting a message from you can be enough to brighten someone's day. If you need to, you can even set reminders for yourself to send someone who's been going through a tough time a kind word or picture every day.
Be A Giving Personality
Buy Someone Flowers
Everyone loves getting flowers! They’re an easy way to cheer someone up. It doesn’t have to be for your just your husband or wife. And they don’t have to be an expensive bouquet of roses, either. Just a simple daffodil or daisy can be enough to bring a smile to someone’s face, particularly after a difficult breakup or if someone's feeling ill. Don’t have the budget for even a small bouquet from the corner store? Borrow from an obliging field of wildflowers or a daisy from your front garden (just not your neighbor's!) And, if you're truly at a loss for where to find flowers, you can always just text someone a rose emoji!
Give Hugs to Friends and Loved Ones
Sometimes you don’t have to say it with words. If someone is feeling down, a quick hug can let them know that you’re there for them. Just a quick show of physical affection, like a hug, can tell someone that you care about them. The best hugs are the ones in person, but thanks to the powerful of smartphones, you can always text a quick hug emoji to someone, particularly if they live far away.
Give Compliments Regularly
Everyone wants to feel supported and appreciated, whether it's your friends, family, husband, or wife. Get into the practice of noticing positive things about the people around you. This can be a great tool for relationships — it lets your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife know that you aren’t taking them for granted. Don’t let it be meaningless- there’s nothing worse than a false compliment. Focus on finding positive elements about the people around you. It can be anything from their clothes or their hair to their actions. Daily compliments can be sent by text too! Who doesn’t like to get a quick message that says “You look great today!”?
How to Cheer Up Loved Ones
Those we are closest to depend on our support and love, particularly in times of stress like during a serious illnuess or after a bad breakup. If someone in your family, your significant other, husband, or wife is feeling down, you can be a huge help in getting them out of the dumps with these easy actions.
Buy Your Husband, Wife, or Friend a Thoughtful Gift.
Just like flowers, this doesn’t have to break the budget, but a small gift, if it’s thoughtful, can brighten someone’s day by reminding them how much you care. Do they love chocolate? Surprise them with their favorite kind of truffle or chocolate bar. Have you been away for awhile on vacation or business travel? Bring something back from the place you visited that reminds them that you were thinking about them while you were away. Even funny gag gifts are great ways to quickly improve someone's mood. But a thoughtful souvenir is the best way to bring a smile to someone's face and show that you've been thinking about someone while you've been away, whether it's been a week or a year.
Exercise Can Be the Best Medicine
Find an Excuse to Take a Walk During the Weekday.
In an age of computers and smartphones, it can be hard to find the motivation to look up from our screens and get moving. But physical activity has been shown to be one of the best natural ways to lift someone’s mood. Even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes, grab a friend or your significant other and take a walk, whether it’s just around the office parking lot or for a quick stroll to the coffee shop and back. Don't let bad weather keep you indoors — find an excuse to get outside and get moving with your friends and family. A walk is also a great opportunity to chat and share things going on in your lives — whether it's good news, like a job promotion, or bad news, like a recent breakup.
Practice Yoga With a Friend or Loved One
Even if you don’t know your downward dog from your pigeon pose, yoga can be a calming and stress-relieving way to work through difficult times. Its emphasis on mindful poses and breathing techniques is a great combination of a mind and body workout. If nothing else, it can be a relaxing time you can spend with someone who has been feeling blue recently.
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Cheer Someone Up Through the Great Outdoors
Enjoy an Outdoor Activity With Your Friends, Boyfriend, or Girlfriend on Holidays or Weekends
You don’t have to go mountain climbing, but a little exercise is one of the best natural ways to improve someone’s mood. If it’s great weather, take a walk in a local park or, if you have the time, go further afield and spend a few nights camping. Or dust off the bicycles and take a quick spin around the neighborhood. Just being out in the open air can be a way to lift someone’s spirits and you’ll have the bonus opportunity to spend some time together doing something new.
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Don't Forget the Power of Romance to Cheer Someone Up!
Write Your Husband or Wife a Love Letter
If you’ve been in a relationship a long time, it’s easy to get comfy and stop doing the little romantic things that got you together in the first place. Cheer up your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife with a special card that reminds them why you love them. Have it sent to their office or leave it for them on the kitchen table. It doesn’t have to be a kitschy card — a handwritten note can often be the most powerful of all! Even if it’s a post-it on the fridge or a quick text during the day, reminding them that you love them — those three little words, “I love you,” can be a great boost to someone’s morale.
Organize a Date Night for Just the Two of You
Especially if you have been in a relationship for years, it’s easy to fall into a routine of sacking out on the couch or just spending the evening at home. Organize a special night for just the two of you. You don’t have to go out to a fancy restaurant — there are plenty of ways to make an evening special. Make the plans specific — let them know that you’re taking care of the arrangements and then stick to a plan. It will allow your significant other to relax and enjoy the evening.
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Plan a Night or Weekend Away
Remember when your relationship was young and you were always planning exciting adventures with your significant other? Sometimes it can be hard to keep the excitement in a relationship after you’ve been together for awhile. Spark the romance by taking your husband or wife away for a day. Whether it’s an hour drive to a country B&B or a surprise luxury trip to Paris for the weekend, a spontaneous trip can be a great way to shake off the blues. Take the initiative in planning. It doesn’t have to be a complete surprise, but let your significant other or spouse know that you’ll take the lead in planning. This way, you won’t add to their existing stress and will let them know that you want to spend time with them. And make sure to focus on your spouse or significant other during the night or weekend away. Don't spend the whole time sending texts to your friends. Focus on them and their needs, particularly if they've been going through a difficult time.
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Initiate a Little Sexy Time
At the end of a long day at work or school, we often can feel too exhausted to get sexy. But couples therapists and marriage experts urge that couples dedicate time to intimate activity. The happiest couples are those who are regularly intimate. Set the mood with candles or a fun nightgown; let them know how much you still find them sexy. It brings you closer together and sex is a guaranteed mood lifter!
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Cheer Someone Up by Setting Aside Quality Time to Spend Together
Friends can be the most important resources we have when we’re feeling down. Although sitting and talking can be a great way to work through problems, organizing activities can also help your friends move through or get away from their stress and worry for a day, even if it’s just an afternoon or an evening. Make sure you’re not ignoring their problems, but take the opportunity to remind them that they have a network of friendly support around them.
Binge Watch Their Favorite TV Show Together
Whether it’s reruns of Friends or the last two seasons of Game of Thrones, there is some great tv out there. And there's no better way to enjoy it than with someone else. You can curl up together on the couch or, if you live far away from each other, you can always plan to watch the same episode at the same time. This way, the next time you talk, you can compare notes on your favorite characters, funny jokes, or the most jaw-dropping plot twists.
Organize a Girls’ Night or Boys’ Night Out
Especially if you’re no longer in school, it can be hard to make time for events with friends. Dedicate some time to hanging with your best buds, whether that’s your twenty closest friends or your oldest friend from grade school. Find some time to shoot hoops or go out to a spa together. Or go for something unusual like axe-throwing or spelunking. You'll be able to create new memories while hanging out in a group. Group events are great opportunities to relieve stress and provide opportunities for people to feel closer. It doesn't have to be a week-long trip to Hollywood. Even if it's just hanging out at a park and chatting about life, hanging with a group of friends can be a great way to cheer up someone who has been down recently.
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Try a New Activity to Brighten Someone’s Day
New activities, whether it's learning a new skill, trying out a new sport, or giving your time to others in need, can be a great source of positivity in life.
Organize a New Activity That You & Your Friends Can Do Together
Take an evening painting class with your best friend or join a rock-climbing gym together. Starting a new activity can be exciting, particularly when you have someone to do it with. A new activity can help people get out of the house and avoid dwelling on work or a recent breakup. It can also help bring you closer together. You don't need to be the next Tiger Woods, you can laugh about how funny your golf swings are together!
A great way to think and act positively is by giving your time to others. Volunteer with your friend at a local soup kitchen together or spend an hour reading to kids at the library. Not only will you be benefiting your community, but volunteering can be an incredibly rewarding, not to mention an instant mood-lifter!
Cheer Someone Up with Food and Drinks
Make Their Favorite Meal
This can be part of any date night strategy, but it can also be a great way to cheer up your significant other, husband, wife, or even a friend. Surprise them when they get home from work or school with their favorite meal. Don’t worry about being healthy for an evening — sometimes a favorite dish from childhood or a meal made with love can be just the ticket for someone who’s suffering from the blues.
Splurge on a Crazy Dessert or Sweet Treat
Crazy milkshakes or mile-high sundaes can be just the ticket to get someone out of the dumps. Forget the calorie counting for a day and share a favorite decadent item together. Sometimes we all need a bit of a sugar kick to shake the blues.
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Grab a Drink Together
Whether you share a love of wine or want to try out the new craft beer bar together, sharing a drink with a friend is a great way to unwind after a tough day and spend some time together. There’s no need to go crazy with an all-night bender, but a Friday night out at an upscale bar or in a noisy beer hall is a time-honored way of forgetting the stresses of the week and celebrating some time away from work.
Music and Movies Are Great Remedies!
Make Them a Mix Tape
The days of cassettes may be long gone, but the art of the mix tape lives forever! Gifting someone a collection of their favorite songs or even a themed collection designed to bring a smile to their face is one of the best medicines around. Themed collections are often the best- try to include notes on why you included each song. Does it remind you of a time you shared together? Try to pick songs that you think the person will enjoy or find funny. It doesn’t matter if you share the mix on an actual cassette tape or just as a collection of music files, or even streamed online — listening to and sharing music together can be a great way to boost someone’s spirits and let them know you’ve been thinking about them.
Watch a Funny Movie Together
This can be a favorite from childhood or the latest blockbuster from Hollywood. Find time to spend a few hours on the couch or out at the local movie theatre. Movies can be an easy way to get away from the pressures of the day. Laughing together over slapstick humor or a classic Disney flick is both a great way to spend quality time together and forget about your problems or stresses.
How to Help Someone Through a Difficult Time
Be Physically and Emotionally Present
Make yourself available to your friends when they need you, particularly after a breakup. Let them talk as much as they want while you listen. You don't necessarily have to say anything, but you can show your support for a friend or loved one by being physically present while they process a breakup, illness, or other major event in their life.
There’s no timeline for how long it takes to process and work through serious events, whether it’s a death in the family, the loss of a job, or other major moment in a person’s life. Don’t rush your friend or loved one. Asking someone why they aren’t over something is not going to do anything for someone’s mood. Be as understanding as possible and know that this process can be a long one. Let them know, as much as possible, that you’re there for them as a source of support and comfort.
Let Them Talk
It can take a long time to process a breakup or other major event in a person’s life. They may want to talk the minute it happens or need a day or week before they’re willing to open up. But let them know you’re ready and willing to listen whenever they want to talk. If you don’t live close by, arrange a time to chat on the phone. Schedule regular times that you can catch up with each other’s lives.
Offer to Help in a Specific Way
Saying “I’m here for you” is comforting but often can be vague. Your friend or loved one may not know or be willing to ask for specific help with something, whether that’s simple errands or a bigger task that they’re dealing with. Offer to do something specific for someone, whether that’s picking kids up from daycare, delivering pizza to their house, or grabbing groceries for their family. Pay attention to their daily or weekly schedule and offer to do something specific that will give them extra time in their schedule.
Cheer Up A Loved One Through Mindful and Meditative Practices
Try Mindful Meditation Together
Mindfulness and meditation has been all the rage for the last few years. A number of smartphone apps, like the Mindfulness App, Buddhify, or Calm, can even help you practice daily reflections and suggest tips for improving your practice. Although meditation can easily be done by yourself, if you know of a friend or loved one in need, you can suggest trying meditation together. Find a quiet spot, either indoors or outdoors, and devote at least 10 minutes to reflection. It can be an activity you do together or it can open the door for them to develop their own regular meditation practice.
Suggest a Gratitude Circle
It’s easy to overlook all the great things we have going for us, particularly during rough times. Gratitude circles can act a communal mood-lifter. Hearing about all the things we appreciate in each other and in the world is a natural way to see the world a little more brightly. Suggest a gratitude circle in a group context- whether that’s at a family meal, a club meeting, or even at the office. You can even organize it by group text! Take turns going around the circle stating one thing you are grateful for. It encourages people to focus on the positive elements in their lives, particularly when you learn what others around you are grateful for.
Know When to Seek Professional Help
Sometimes there is only so much we can do for our friends and families. If your friend, significant other, or spouse is showing signs of persistent depressed behavior or show signs of self-harm, reach out to a trusted and trained professional. In some extreme circumstances, the best thing you can do for someone is to get them the professional help they might need but don’t know how to ask for. This can be a trusted physician, a therapist, even a teacher or professor. If they don't feel comfortable in offering advice, they can be a great source of resources for where someone can turn to get additional help.
Whether it's taking a quick walk around the block or spending a rainy afternoon inside binge watching your favorite tv show, there are lots of simple ways to help bring a smile to the people who matter most in your life. From weekend getaways to cozy romantic nights at home, these are surefire ways to help someone rediscover the fun to life. It’s not always easy to know how to cheer up someone, particularly after a difficult breakup or serious illness, but this list will give you a head start on how to bring some joy and positivity into anyone’s life.