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We’ve all been there: a close friend is feeling low, and you helplessly stand by asking, “Is there anything I can do to help?” Its a tough position to maneuver, but with this list of ideas, showing love to your friend can be meaningful, helpful and not-awkward. Some predictable, some unconventional, here are 13 ways to cheer up a loved one who’s seen better days.

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1. Send a handwritten letter.

Do this on looseleaf paper or on beautiful stationery — the important thing is that it puts a smile on your friend’s face and lets her know you’re thinking of her.

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2. Offer to help with chores or errands.

Doing a load of laundry, making a grocery store run, or just tidying up around the house can offer a lot of relief to someone who’s depressed or grieving. She may not express it overtly, but she’ll be very grateful for the help.

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3. Surprise her with games.

Playing cards, board games and word games are a sure-fire way to get your mind off your problems, and most often, they lead to lots of laughter. Bring over your favorites for a relaxed way to pass the time with your sad sister.

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4. Send her an uplifting song or playlist.

Sometimes putting your thoughts into words is tough. Leave it to the pros by deferring to a favorite song, or better yet, a thoughtful playlist. It can be angry, cheerful, nostalgic — whatever your homie needs to get her through a tough time.

5. “Flower Bomb” her.

One bouquet of flowers is sweet, filling your friend’s living room with more beautiful blooms than she can count is awesome. Click here to read how to pull it off.

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6. Send her a worry doll.

This is my favorite easy way to cheer up a troubled friend. According to the Mayan, when you put a worry doll under your pillow, by morning, the doll will have taken your worries away. Does it work? Who knows. Is it a thoughtful gesture? You bet.

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7. Drop off a home cooked meal. 

This is a classic move for a reason. Put your love for your friend into a hearty meal that’ll nourish her body and soul.

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8. Just pick up the phone.

In this world of “likes” and emojis, it feels like we’ve forgotten how much more intimate it is to make a phone call. Hearing your voice and getting carried away in a 30-minute conversation can make all the difference in the world to someone who’s down in the dumps.

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9. Surprise them with an outing.

Though she might say she’d rather stay in, an impromptu movie, hike, picnic, or roller skating date might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Show up at her door and don’t take no for an answer!

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10. Give her animal cuddles.

Pet therapy is a thing — you just can’t beat the love and joy received from a cuddly, furry friend. In Austin, we recommend checking out Austin Pets Alive and Tiny Tails To You.

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11. Get a photo book made.

When a friend of mine unexpectedly lost her dog a few years ago, another friend of ours put together a sweet photo book for her, filled with pictures of her with her pooch. It was a simple and special way to help her through the situation.

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12. Send her a radio shoutout.

It’s old school, but it’s still so dang fun. Next time you’re in the car together or hangin’ out at home, dedicate a favorite song to your bestie over the airwaves. She won’t be able to resist the delight.

13. Have a staycation together. 

Show up with takeout, magazines, pajamas, and no intention of leaving any time soon. She’ll be so glad to have someone to kick back and relax with.

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Comments (14)
  1. 1
    Janet Fazio February 28, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Great ideas! I’m all about moving, so going for a walk is something I love to share with others.

  2. 2
    Holly February 28, 2018 at 10:21 am

    This was such a lovely post to read, I love to make sure I do the best to make my friends the happiest that they can be! Never underestimate the power of a handwritten letter – my friends are all at university and I love to send them little care packages & letters. Love the idea of sending pet cuddles, I had no idea that was a service and think it is so cute!

    Holly from The Art of Being Holly xo

    • Chanel Dror March 2, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Right?! How much would you love to wake up to bunnies on your doorstep?!

  3. 3
    kiara February 28, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Lovely post! So many cute ideas to cheer up a friend, I especially love the flower one and to take a staycation:)

  4. 4
    Fortune Dushey March 1, 2018 at 6:58 am

    This is the sweetest, most thoughtful list of ideas! Love the worry doll for the kiddies too!

  5. 5
    Natalie March 5, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I always find a bouquet of flowers helps!


  6. 6
    Kristin Baylor June 22, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Word of warning. If someone has a mood disorder, this advice can make them feel worse, because they literally cannot cheer up; and then they feel like more a failure or guilty because of that. Please just respect and empathize with how they feel and give them time. If it is just an issue of feeling a little down, then by all means, great ideas!

  7. 7
    avery holland April 13, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you this really helped ALOT .



Chanel Dror