The 15 Nicest Things You Can Do To Cheer Your Friend Up When They're Feeling Blue

Have you ever noticed that giving a gift to your friend is way more emotionally satisfying than buying things for yourself? Spending money on a new red lipstick totally thrills me, but eventually, that thrill fades away, and I wonder why I don't have other shades of lipstick. Either we're perpetually dissatisfied, or shopping for ourselves just isn't that gratifying in the long run.

When you give a friend a present or do them a favor, you know that your offering is positively affecting their life. That action and its effects probably last longer than anything we could have bought ourselves. In fact, multiple studies have shown that generosity, above all, makes us happier people.

Of course, generosity obviously doesn't just come in the form of dollar bills, because let's face it, not all of us have that much money to be spending. You can be altruistic simply by sharing your lunch, or letting a girlfriend borrow a dress you know she's going to look stellar in.

Random acts of kindness are especially satisfying when directed at your friends. If you have a friend who could use some cheering up, here are 15 of the nicest things you can do for them, completely out of the blue.

buy them a surprise cappuccino

Or one of those caramel apple ciders that they would never buy themselves. Caffeine and sugar in its liquid form is the perfect pick-me-up. The more sugar the better.

Loan them your favorite book

Your favorite books are a big part of you. I know if I lost my copy of Everything is Illuminated or Lolita , I would be devastated. Even though it’s hard to part with them, take the chance and let your book go on a field trip with your best friend. It shows thought and trust. (Same goes for that purse you know she covets.)

Tell them their hair looks fierce

Telling someone their skirt is cute, or that their new bangs look fresh is one way to completely change the direction of a bad day. Never keep a compliment to yourself.

...or even better, Compliment them on their personality

I’m a pretty confident person, but whenever a friend tells me that they like something that I’ve written, I glow like overly-zealous blinking Christmas lights. Even just a "I love how hilarious you are" or "This pasta you made is amazing" can make your friend feel extra special. You might think it's obvious they're awesome, but chances are, they could use their friend telling them so.

send them a handwritten card

Even if you live in the city, giving them the gift of real, adorable non-junk mail is truly priceless. Just think how surprised they'll be when they open their mailbox. Daw.

Take them on a surprise field trip

Take a day trip to the town over, or try new food together from a food truck. All that matters is that you've planned a small surprise, just for them.

ask them how they're doing, and then really listen to the answer

If your friend is going through a rough time, ask her how she's doing, and make it clear you really want to know the answer. I mean, really, really listen. If you don’t want to give advice, that’s okay. Sometimes, all we need is to vent to a human in order to feel better about something.

Make them a mixed CD

This one's a classic for a reason. Make sure to include your favorite songs, or bands they may have not heard of before. Extra points for special themes.

Introduce them to a new tv show

Recommend a show that you know they would love, and that might even speak to where your friend is at. If they're going through a particularly rough time, you can even suggest binge-watching it together over ice cream.

bake them a friendship cake

Or better yet, make them cronuts.

Take them shopping and make them try on the ugliest things in the store

You can each pick out the worst items and make the other person try them on. Selfies abound.

Go get greasy all-kinds-of-bad-for-you food together

Bond over Taco Bell and a milkshake and tell each other it doesn’t count if you take the stairs later.

ask them to help you clean out your closet

They'll find it downright therapeutic pretending to be a host of What Not To Wear. Even better? They can keep some of the stuff you discard, all while feeling helpful. Of course, you can also offer to do the same.

Take them to a pet store

One of my favorite stress-relievers in college was going to the pet store at the mall near campus and playing with dogs that aren't mine. If your friend isn't feeling so hot, bring her to the cute, fluffy things. You can't lose.

Make them smile

Tell them a funny story, like that time you made a fool out of yourself in front of your seventh-grade crush. It will make them feel closer to you and cheer them right up. If that doesn't work, try sending them a few videos you know will do it.

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