Your Guide to Random Acts of Kindness

Two girls laughing

Did you know that new research suggests that being kind to others actually makes you happier, too? Teaching empathy through kindness activities is something many teachers of young people strive to employ, but anyone can reap the benefits of doing random acts of kindness.

Incorporating kindness into our everyday lives will not only enrich and deepen our relationships with those around us but also improve our relationship with ourselves. Regularly practicing kindness will bring you happiness, calm, and gratitude.

Let’s take a look at some everyday ways to incorporate random acts of kindness into your life.

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50 Tips

  1. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
  2. Smile at six strangers.
  3. Send a gratitude email to a coworker who did something well.
  4. Pay it forward: pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line, or for the toll of the person behind you on the road.
  5. Learn the names of the people you see every day, and then use them (an office security guard, someone you pass every day at the front desk, your local coffee shop barista, etc.).
  6. Give away stuff you don’t need on Craigslist.
  7. Donate old clothing to a homeless shelter.
  8. Self-kindness: give yourself 30 minutes to do whatever you want to do.
  9. Send a good morning or good night text to a close friend you miss.
  10. Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  11. Put your phone down when surrounded by others.
  12. Bake cookies for an elderly home.
  13. Pick up trash on the beach or at your local park.
  14. Hold the door or elevator for someone.
  15. Make a loved one a special meal.
  16. Recommend your favorite book to someone.
  17. Leave a sticky note on someone’s car wishing them a good day.
  18. Buy flowers to hand out on the street.
  19. Give a stranger a compliment.
  20. Send a letter to a long-distance friend.
  21. Plant a tree.
  22. Become a pen pal for a pediatric hospital patient.
  23. Learn CPR.
  24. Write a thank-you note to your postman.
  25. Help someone struggling to carry their groceries.
  26. On a hot day, do a free lemonade stand; on a cold day, make it hot chocolate.
  27. Write a list of things you love about someone.
  28. Do someone’s laundry.
  29. Make someone a playlist.
  30. Take someone to a movie.
  31. Mow someone’s lawn.
  32. Keep an extra umbrella at work so you can lend it out to someone if it’s raining.
  33. Send someone your favorite recipe.
  34. Bring treats to work.
  35. Give someone a book you’ve read, and tell them why you think they’d like it.
  36. Give someone a hug (with permission).
  37. Teach someone a new skill.
  38. Buy food for the homeless.
  39. Donate extra cat and dog food to an animal shelter.
  40. When someone speaks, choose to listen.
  41. Try and spend the whole day not complaining about anything to anyone else.
  42. Write a letter to a teacher who impacted you.
  43. Let someone cut you in line.
  44. Talk to someone who seems lonely.
  45. Wash the dishes (even if it’s not your turn).
  46. Help someone cross the street.
  47. Let someone check out ahead of you.
  48. Support a local business.
  49. Tell a manager about the wonderful service of an employee.
  50. Write letters to people in the military.

These are just some quick ideas that will hopefully inspire you to think of many more! The key to random acts of kindness is that, well, they are ultimately random — so no overthinking is necessary. The next time you feel compelled to do something good for another person (or yourself), don’t hesitate. Just do it!

We hope that these random acts of kindness help improve your mental health, and if you are dealing with anxiety or depression, help alleviate those symptoms in some way, big or small. Feel free to check out the rest of our website to learn more about how Prairie Health can boost your mental health.


By Ava Ford

Ava Ford is a writer, thinker and mental health advocate.