How To Cheer Someone Up: 19 Simple & Creative Ways To Make Them Smile

Everyone goes through sad periods in their lives. So, it is important to be able to understand how to cheer someone up, whether it is a loved one or a work friend.

When you take the time to help cheer people up, it is a sign that you really care for them. Yet cheering someone up isn’t always an easy feat.

When cheering someone up you will need to listen to them, empathize with what they’re going through, and help them gain a bit of perspective. 

Below are some easy steps on how you can lift a friend’s spirit, so you can know how to cheer them up. 

How To Cheer Someone Up, Whether A Friend Or Loved One

1. Listen To Them 

If you want to cheer someone up, your first step should be to listen to them. Sometimes all a person needs is to get the problem off their chest.

Therefore, if you notice a someone needs cheering up, take the time to listen to them. Sometimes a solution may present itself while you are listening and they are talking. 

When you are listening to someone who is stressed, it’s important for you not to interrupt them as they are speaking. Unless they pause in the middle of their story and wait for you to give your input. Make sure that you are always showing concern even if you are unable to relate to their situation. When you are engaged and concerned, your body language will reflect this. 

Lastly, don’t allow your friend or family to feel like they are a burden to you. Most of the time, people don’t share their problems or issues with other people because they don’t want the listener to feel burdened with their issues. Therefore, if necessary, assure the person who needs cheering that they are not a burden at all and you are there for them when they need you the most.  

how to cheer someone up

2. Give The A Hug 

What does Science say about the importance of giving hugs? Well, studies show that hugs make a person healthier and happier. One study showed that hugs help release the hormone known as Oxytocin. Science at times refers to this hormone as the “cuddle hormone” because when we hug someone, this feel-good hormone is released in their bodies. 

As such, it is important to give hugs to your friend or family member when you realize that they are sad. Hugging is a great stress reliever for both parties and can be just as powerful as words. 

3. Ask Relevant Questions 

When you realize that someone is going through a tough time, the last thing we ever want to do is ask them silly questions. Such questions can confuse the person or discourage them from opening up. 

Below are some questions that you can ask to motivate someone to keep talking when you are trying to comfort them.  

  • How does it make you feel? 
  • Have you ever experienced this before? 
  • Is there anyone specifically that you can reach out to for help with this issue? 
  • What do you plan to do about it? 
  • Is there any way that I can help? 

Relevant questions, reinforce that you are listening and there to help ease their pain.

4. Write Them A Note Or Card 

Whether you are near or far, a handwritten card or note is one of the great ways to cheer someone up. It shows that you’re paying attention and thinking of that person. They can refer back to the note or card time and time again, which will bring them ongoing comfort.

It also shows that you cared enough for that person to take the time to write an encouraging message and send it. Take a few moments from your day to let a friend know that you care. 

5. Surprise Them With A Gift 

Gifts are another great way of making someone feel better. For example, you could send your friend a sweet treat or dessert with a note saying, “Even though we’re apart, I’ll never desert you. Hope you’ll have a sweet weekend.”

You can also personalize your gift to the friend you are trying to cheer up. If your friend doesn’t enjoy sweets you could send them flowers instead. Sending a small gift is a generous way to let someone know that you care and are there for them.

6. Try To relate But Make Sure Not To Take The Spotlight

If you have a similar story or experience that you feel you want to share with someone, then by all means tell them. The lessons you learnt can be helpful, especially if they relate to what they’re going through. However, when trying to cheer someone up be careful not to steal the spotlight from them.

Relating with someone is all about the way you say something, not what you say. For instance, if someone says that they feel depressed because their spouse wants a divorce, it’s not always helpful for you to say, “well, if it makes you feel better, I went through a divorce too.” Rather, you can say, “I know how devastating this can be. You see, I went through a divorce too, and it nearly destroyed me. I can only imagine the pain you’re going through now.” 

If the person you are comforting asks for advice on how you made it through your divorce then feel free to share your story with them. However, if they don’t ask for you to elaborate on your personal experience then take this as a sign that they aren’t looking for advice and they simply need to talk.

how to cheer someone up

7. Enjoy A Laugh

Laughter is a good way to lift someone’s mood. It is also a great way to remind them that nothing lasts forever and even the most painful situation will evenly fade. Use jokes, puns, and sarcasm to make them feel better. Depending on what the situations is, laughter may also help them view the situation in a different perspective. Youtube videos and meme’s are also a great way to lift someone’s mood.

8. Help Your Friend Let Go Of Negative Thoughts 

When looking for ways to cheer someone up, it’s essential to help them recognize how their thinking influences the situation. Most people allow negative, repetitive thoughts to linger in their minds. If someone has an “it’s the end of the world” kind of attitude, it’s important to show them that with thoughts like that it makes it hard to come up with a solution.

If the situation allows, you can point out one positive thing about the situation every time they talk about a negative thing. People tend to listen to their negative thoughts more than their positive thoughts. So, sharing positive thoughts may encourage them to look at the situation from a different perspective. 

9. Give Them Advice If They Ask For It 

You can help cheer someone up by giving advice. However, it is important to make sure that the person wants your advice.

After listening to someone:

  1. Take some time to deliberate over the best course of action.
  2. Let them know if you have any ideas that could help them out of the situation.
  3. If you don’t have any ideas, be honest with them and avoid lying to them. You can also recommend that they talk to someone that you know would be better suited to help them with the issue.

Remember that there’s rarely a perfect solution for a problem. Be sure to communicate your idea as one option that they can use. But emphasize that there are other options that they can pursue. You can do this using the words, “perhaps, might, maybe, etc.” 

Be honest with the person you are providing advice to. The worst thing you can do is lie to them when they have come to you for help. If you are discussing a matter with serious consequences, in a gentle way tell them the truth even if it hurts.

On that note, you should be careful not to give your friend unsolicited advice or advice when you don’t understand the severity of the situation. That’s because if they follow it and your advice doesn’t work, they could end up blaming you. This will cause tension in your relationship with them.

10. Tell Them You Love Them 

Nothing lifts someone’s spirits like telling them that you love them. People at times feel alone and lonely, and letting them know that you care can quickly cheer them up. There are a so many ways to tell someone that you love them.

You can start with the phrase, “I love you.” You can hug them or show physical affection. For instance, you can rest your hands on their shoulders or rub their back as they talk to you. Spending time with them also a great way to also show them that you love them. 

11. Try To Take Their Mind Off Of The Problem

Now that you’ve listened, offered advice and even given them a note or gift, the next step is to try and take their mind off it. Avoid saying, “Anyway, whatever, let’s talk about something else” or “I think you need to just get over it”. These types of phrases undo everything you’ve done so far to help them. Instead, give them some time to get their bearings and then say, “Would you like to hear a funny story?” and see how they react. It may be the perfect moment to distract them and make them laugh.

Utilize your social savviness to gauge whether your approach is working. If your friend is angry and seems too involved in the issue, it may not be the best time to ask them if they want to hear about your day or if they want to hear a funny story. However, if they’ve just had an argument with a loved one or someone else and seem to have cooled down a bit, it might be the perfect time to change the topic and ease their tension.

Remember to be sensitive to the person and how they are feeling because timing is important. 

12. Remind Them of Happy Memories 

One way that you can cheer up a person is by reminding them of happy memories. The goal of sharing happy memories with them is to help them see that situations are temporary and things pass and get easier with time. For example, if your friend has lost a loved one, you could encourage them to share the happy memories they had with that person, or you can remind them of a funny story that you’ve all experienced together.

13. Throw Them A Dance Party 

Depending on the situation, you can throw a party to cheer someone up. For instance, if someone is going through a breakup, a bad day, or a minor issue, a small dance party can lift their spirits. The party could just be the two of you dancing your cares away. This approach is a healthy way to cheer someone up as dancing helps the body release feel-good endorphins. 

how to cheer someone up

14. Make Them Dinner 

Another way to cheer someone up is by making them dinner or a meal. A good meal can help relieve stress. Furthermore, sharing a meal with someone helps them feel more comfortable sharing their problem and helps them relax. You don’t have to go all out and prepare a meal that only Martha Stewart can pull off. You could order take out or make them a a simple meal that they will appreciate and get their mind off the issue. 

15. Go For A Walk 

Sharing a walk with someone is a great way to relieve stress. You can walk around the neighborhood or go for a hike amongst nature. A walk is free and getting a bit of fresh air is always beneficial. Walking also soothes the nerves and helps the person relax, which can help them cheer up. 

16. Create The 100 Reasons List 

One way that you can cheer someone up is to create a list of 100 reasons why you love them. It will take time to come up with such a long list. But, the fact that you sacrificed time to make the list makes the gesture even more valuable.

If you did this for a few of the people you care about, you may end up cheering people up that you didn’t even know needed a boost. Everyone gets sad sometimes, and we all need some cheering up from time to time. An easier way to do this would be to create mason jars specific family members or friends and every time they do something awesome, you can add it to the jar. You can start this at anytime and give them the jar during the holiday season. 

17. Do Whatever They Want To Do 

Another way to cheer someone up is by taking some time off to do whatever they want to do. Spending time with them will build your relationship and also help them relax and destress. You could do what they enjoy doing; perhaps it’s playing video games, cooking, watching a movie, a spa experience, or going for a drive. 

18. Volunteer Together 

Studies show that volunteering helps build self-esteem. There’s a sense of thrill that we experience when we help others and shift our minds away from our own personal issues. Volunteering also helps give perspective. You could think of an organization that resonates with your friend or family member and suggest to volunteer there. Plus, you’ll have the additional benefit of a shared experience with someone who needed a distraction from their current situation. 

19. Help Them Reimagine Their Future 

Another way to cheer someone up is to help them find hope again. One of the greatest challenge when someone is feeling down is to help them reframe their mindset. Usually what happens when someone is down is that they don’t believe that the situation can get any better and that in actual fact, they believe that the situation will continue to get worse.

They often feel completely hopeless because of this. However, the truth is that things can get better. A person whose heart is broken can find love again. Those who are unemployed can eventually find work. We all heal eventually from the challenges life throws at us. So you can encourage them to reimagine a new and brighter future. 

How do you comfort someone over text?

There are instances where the person you want to cheer up is physically far from you. In that case, it is a good idea to send them a text. Send them a text where you express your words of comfort. It is important to be genuine with the person in the text and communicate your willingness to help them if they need anything. 

Try to avoid cliches, like “Everything happens for a reason.” Instead, simply volunteer to help them and express your sadness upon hearing about the issue or the news. 

When you text a grieving friend or family member, it is important to send a text where you:

  • Acknowledge their loss (I’m sorry to hear about Frank passing)
  • Say the deceased’s name (this gives a form of validation for their grief)
  • Express sympathy/offer condolences (“I can’t imagine what you’re going through)
  • Support them by offering to help or assuring them that you’re there for them. 

You can also go further and let them know that if they are up for it you can call them for a chat. However, if you are only able to text them, consider that it’s more challenging to convey your tone via text rather than a face-to-face conversation. Try to communicate a compassionate, calm and understanding tone in the text. Generally, try to calm the person down. After you have calmed them down, allow them to talk and, after they have finished talking, communicate empathy with their situation. 

Depending on the situation, you can try and help the person see the bright side. However, use your your knowledge of the person to determine whether it’s the right time to help them see the brighter side. It isn’t always appropriate to do this in every situation.

how to cheer someone up

Also, if they are unhappy or down but can’t fully express why they feel that way. You can try to help them get to the root of the issue. When you understand the root of the situation, you can help them avoid viewing the issue as a catastrophe. You can also help them find the best solution.

It’s still possible to lighten the mood or make someone laugh via text, depending on the situation. You may have inside jokes between the two of you that you could refer to. Or lighten the mood by telling them about something random that happened to you that do.

When it comes to understanding how to cheer someone up via text, all of the previous strategies mentioned in this article are still applicable. However, the most important thing to remember is that you remain engaged with the conversation, don’t take days to respond to their text messages and try your best to convey an empathetic and comforting tone when you message them. This can be done through using emoji’s or GIFs.

The Bottom Line

Understanding how to cheer someone up is important because it is a natural part of having a meaningful relationship with someone. These strategies will enable you to be equipped when a tough time arises for someone you care about.

It is important to understand that being there for people, listening to them and helping them develop solutions mean a great deal to the friend or family member who requires cheering up. At times, there are no right words for the situation. But a hug, a gift, or a handwritten note can help you show the person that you care for them and that you are there. 

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