8 Genuine Things You Can Do To Brighten Someone’s Day


It is inevitable that there will be days that the ones you care about will be feeling down. Often, we feel like we must aggressively make sure that they’re okay or do something elaborate to lift their spirits. It is not necessary to throw a large party or elaborate scavenger hunt to make someone feel better. Below are eight easy, genuine ways to make the ones you love feel better during times of melancholy.

  1. Buy them a cup of coffee- It doesn’t have to be a venti triple no foam skim latte from Starbucks, it can be just a cup of coffee from the gas station down the street from your apartment. Just showing someone you care enough to remember whether they like cream or their coffee black will show them you truly listen and care about their needs and wants. Plus, who doesn’t love caffeine?!
  2. Take them to pet an animal- Whether it be a dog park or begging your one friend with dog to borrow it for the day, petting an animal has proven to be therapeutic and is almost guaranteed to better someone’s day…You know, unless they’re deathly allergic to pets or something.
  3. Write them a note- whether it is an email or a post it, just dropping them a few sentences to let them know they’ve crossed your mind will matter immensely to them. My mom sends me The Daily Scroll Teachings from The Secret and although she and I may have differences in life outlooks, just knowing she cares enough about me to think I would enjoy something she loves means a lot to me.
  4. Invite them over to bake something- Even if it comes from a boxed mixed, baking with someone else while Disney movies play in the background is one activity that never fails to cheer me up. Baking supplies are fairly cheap but the joy warm brownies brings the soul is priceless.
  5. Hug them- As obvious and cliche as it may sound, giving someone an encouraging hug is perhaps the most effective way to bring an instant smile to their face. Bear hugs are twice as effective if you need to break out the big moves. If touching isn’t really your thing, a warm smile will suffice.
  6. Take Them Out- If someone is bummed, they may think that sitting around the house is the only thing that will let them clear their head. Take them out Chili’s 2 for 20 deal or go see a movie together. Even a night of dancing at the club will help them forget what ails them, even if it is only momentary.
  7. Call them- You don’t need to physically be near to someone to make their day better. Picking up the phone and just taking ten minutes to see how they’re doing will show them that distance doesn’t matter when you’re showing someone you adore them.
  8. Impromptu Dance Party- Tell me you can’t make someone smile if you blast Get Low by Lil’ Jon and start dancing around them. Blast some music and break out your awkward pseudo-club-ready moves and you’ll have them dancing and laughing with you in no time. 

image –Jogabi Michèle

Read another essay from Shawn Binder in Thought Catalog Books’ new anthology, Boys, here.