13 Texts To Send To A Friend Who’s Going Through It

“Remember this day? *Insert photo* Our friendship rules.”

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A person sits on an exercise ball while texting a friend. Reaching out to your friend when they're d...
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You know your friend is having a hard time when you send the most ridiculous dog TikTok you’ve ever seen and they just respond with, “cute.” — or, even worse, “thx.” When your normally bubbly bestie cancels three hangouts in a row, it’s proof positive that they're feeling some type of way. A text to send to a depressed friend might not break them out of their funk, but it'll let them know you're there for them.

"You’re trying to strike the sweet spot of no-strings-attached, non-invasive support," says Grace Huntley, L.M.H.C., a psychotherapist with the mental health platform Alma. Since your friend is less likely to proactively invite you over for a Netflix date if their mental health isn’t in great shape, Huntley says that it can be helpful to reach out unprompted. "Your friend may particularly appreciate you making the extra effort to let them know they’re on your mind, even if they’re not always able to respond," she tells Bustle.

Even science says that texts are good for someone’s depressed brain to receive. According to a 2017 study published in the journal BioMed Central Psychiatry, receiving supportive texts twice a day helps people with depression cope a lot easier than people who don’t receive those, “Hey, you’re awesome” reminders.

When you can tell your pal is in need of a quick sloth .gifs — or a shoulder to cry on — letting them know you’re there for them can look a lot of different ways. If you’re trying to figure out whether a simple emoji or a more emotive vibe will do the trick, check out these 13 texts to send to check in on your depressed friend.


“Just wanted to let you know that you’ve been on my mind.”

Your friend might feel especially alone or forgotten if their depression has made them isolate themselves. Letting them know you’re thinking about them can go a long way toward giving your pal some solace, Huntley tells Bustle.


“Here’s a photo of my puppy.”

If your bestie doesn’t want to talk about how they’re feeling, they might just want to see cute pics without any obligation to actually get into how they’re really doing. In that case, whip out all the dog photos you can.


“Whenever you feel up to it, I’d love to catch up and hear more about how you’ve been doing.”

Huntley says that this text will show your buddy that you want to hear how you’re doing. But it won’t actually pressure them to spill their soul while they’re not feeling ready to.


“Can I call you?”

Sure, actually calling someone might be old-fashioned, but that it’s still a nice gesture. Asking if you can give your pal a ring when they’re feeling blue can make them feel cared for — even if they say they’d rather not talk live.


“If you’d like company, I’m free to come over and chill. No talking required.”

It doesn't have to be all awkward silences to keep your friend company when they’re feeling down, Huntley says. Bring a book or your fully-charged phone, or — if you want to go old-school — AirPods to share.


“Let me know if there’s any way I can be helpful.”

Not sure what your roommate needs when they’ve got a bad case of the blues? Huntley suggests reminding them that you are at the ready should they need or want anything.


“Sending you a hug.”

They might not be up to seeing anyone IRL, but real-life affection isn’t the only way to spread the love. Huntley tells Bustle that a virtual hug can do the trick when an actual hug is out of reach.


“XYZ meal from Seamless is arriving at your apartment/house in 15 minutes. Enjoy.”

Huntley suggests providing tangible help to your depressed friend when possible (and you know they’re able to receive it). Sending them a burrito with all the fixings from their fave Mexican joint is definitely a way to show them that they're important to you. Not sure when they’ll be home or hungry? Another option is to Venmo them enough to cover a pick-me-up lunch or coffee.


“No need to respond, but wanted you to know how much I appreciate having you in my life.”

Depression can make someone feel like they’re low on people’s gratitude lists. So, in order to remind your friend that they make your list every day, Huntley says you can remind your friend that you're thankful to have them.


“Just wanted to let you know that you’re a great friend.”

You’ve told your friend that you understand when they had to raincheck on trivia night, but it might be nice for them to get your reminder that they’re a really good friend — even when they cancel plans.


“Hey, remember this? I love our friendship.”

Scan back through your camera roll to find that one absurd photo you took together at Pride last year and hit send. It’ll give you both a good reminder of how much fun you’ve had together.


"Love you."

Sometimes, Huntley tells Bustle, short and simple is the best way to go. Just don’t be surprised if they respond with “I know.”


Grace Huntley, L.M.H.C., psychotherapist with Alma

Studies Referenced:

Agyapong, V.I.O. (2017) Randomized controlled pilot trial of supportive text messages for patients with depression. BMC Psychiatry,

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