Have you ever paid for someone’s coffee at your local cafe or complimented a stranger on their outfit, just because? If so, then you know how good it is. Yes, the satisfaction of receiving a smile or even a Thank you can mean the world, but there is evidence to suggest that by helping others, you can experience positive psychological changes in the brain (changes, which yes, have been linked to happiness). Incredible, right? To help you reap the benefits (and put more good into the world), we’ve rounded up our 25 favorite random acts of kindness ideas.
Although Random Acts of Kindness Day falls on February 17, we strongly believe in expressing empathy and compassion all day, every day. Sharing kindness, showing grace, and acting kindly is a year-round job. In fact, erase that – there couldn’t be anything we’d consider further from a chore.
So keep scrolling for 30 creative ways to show kindness this week and every week after. You’ll increase your good karma points, build stronger bonds, and even boost your own self-esteem while you’re at it. These ideas are so simple and rewarding, and you could make someone’s whole week.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
25 ideas for random acts of kindness to share generosity, gratitude and love
Text “just because” to a friend who is going through a tough time. I used to feel uncomfortable when I was out of touch with a friend for an extended period of time. Know this: you can always start over. Share a few notes of gratitude or just send them a note to remind them how much they mean to you.
Daycare offer for new parents. Really, I can’t tell you how much it will mean to them. When you’re a new parent, your life revolves around your baby. And while it’s one of the most rewarding and best things to experience in the world, sometimes all you want is a few moments of peace and quiet for yourself.
Do your roommate’s laundry. Pack up the pile-up and send it for a spin. They will be infinitely grateful to you.
Tell someone they look beautiful today. Because it’s true every day.
Donate your work clothes to Dress for Success. Take some time to sift through your work wardrobe and identify clean and lightly used items to help someone look (and more importantly, feel) their best.
Deliver a batch of cookies. These best chocolate chip delights are a great place to start.
Host a relaxing party. It becomes hottt you all. If your home has air conditioning, invite your less fortunate friends over, crack open some rosé and soak in the blissful cold.
Make soup for someone. Whether it’s a new mom or a friend in need, any soup will do, but this immunity-boosting green soup isn’t just delicious, it’s incredibly nutritious .
Share a friend’s latest project or achievement on social media. Use that social media addiction for good.
Read a story (and do the voices!) for your child. Because it’s fun for you too.
Give a free back massage. While we’ve talked about how good it is to do an act of kindness without expecting anything in return, a hand massage would be a nice bonus.
Take your friend’s kids for the afternoon. Already planning a trip to the pool or a family hike? Give a friend a few hours off by asking if their kids want to come along.
Offer a book. Go to a local bookstore and select a title that you think your friend will love. A little wrapping paper doesn’t hurt.
Give your pet a 15 minute head scratch. They begged him all day.
Send a Starbucks coffee card to your colleague who is doing a great job. Someone did this for me at my last job, and the smile that followed didn’t leave my face for an hour. Maybe more.
Create a Spotify playlist for someone. The same feeling as mix tapes of yore, updated for 2022.
Surprise random friends with flowers. The beautiful nature-inspired gift that keeps on giving.
Offer your partner the last bite of dessert. Even if you really really want it.
Share an Instagram story promoting a sibling or friend. They’re doing amazing things, and while you can’t wait to celebrate them in person, social media can be a great place to spread the word.
Leave a positive note on someone’s desk. Alternatively, you can send a Slack giving kudos for their amazing work (and for being a good person overall).
Offer to help a recent graduate with her resume. You have the experience and perspective to give someone a head start. Bonus: the experience will remind you how much wisdom you have to share.
Pick up the tab at your next coffee date (dinner, movie). Whatever outing you choose, gifting someone can add a little boost of joy and unexpected gratitude for your generosity.
Invite a friend over for a homemade dinner. Ask them for their favorite dish and design a meal around it. They will be touched by the thoughtful gesture.
Write a letter to an old college friend. Because while texting or talking on the phone is amazing, opening a handwritten letter shows that you put time and a lot of thought into your words.
Call your mom and dad just to tell them you love them. Make it a habit.
This post was originally posted on February 17, 2020 and has since been updated.