How Do I Cheer Up Someone Sad? 15+ Efficient Tips and Tricks

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Mental struggles, common in youth and teenagers, are often accompanied by isolation, mood instability, and social withdrawal.

In many cases, friendships and relationships can be a supporting medicine to mental problems, or at least mitigate what comes along with feelings of sadness, post-traumas, and so on.

What is my role in this situation? How can I help cheer up my loved ones during hard times?

Here are 16 simple steps that can make a huge difference and light up your dear one’s darkness.

cheering up someone
cheering up someone

You Do Not Always Need To Fix Their Sadness

To begin with, think of the following:

How do you cheer someone up? You sometimes don’t.

Wellness Influencer Gen Judayna reminds us that sadness is a natural emotion that when felt, is accepted and processed, through the experience of “sitting with” and “letting it move through,” and it will hence naturally dissipate in intensity.

The best thing you can do for someone sad is to “be with” the person in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them.

On this matter, Certified Reiki Master Teacher Allie Pratt shares her point of view from her professional experience, mentioning “I have learned the first step to cheering my client’s up is actually not shifting their mood at all.”

They first have to feel safe with you in order to move out of survival mode. You can easily do this by meeting them where they are emotionally.”

Here comes the importance of acknowledging their feelings.

You might acknowledge that the person is feeling sad, and also offer a validating statement. 

Let them know that it’s natural and normal to experience sadness when something upsetting occurs.

CEO/Founder of Best in Ottawa Wishine Ali says that we have a role to play in validating the feelings of your dear exhausted ones and letting them know that it’s okay to feel the way they do. 

You can say things like, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. It must be really tough. How can I support you?”

Teach Them Positive Self Talk

As suggested by Specialist and Writer Tim McCatrhy, there is an activity that is mostly applied in children but can work like magic in lifting up the mood of someone sad.

For adults, you can encourage them to change their emotional state by practicing sayings like “it’s going to be all right”, etc.

Plant positive self-talk in their minds with the things you say, so make lots of deposits into their emotional bank account with compliments and positive affirmations. 

And finally, make them comfortable sharing their self-talk with you so you know what he’s thinking.

positive self talk
positive self talk

Listen To Them

As Miss Vivi Yu, Founder of, advises: It’s of great help to lend a non-judgemental ear in these circumstances and to only ask open-ended questions.

Doing so allows the person to work through their sadness and be able to ask for your advice or opinions.

Altheresa Clark, a licensed clinical social worker, emphasizes the importance of this tip by sharing her personal experience.

She says: “When I was going through the grief of my mother I had an amazing support network who was there when I needed them through that difficult time.”

Often times people who are sad just need companionship and social support. 

Moreover, make sure to listen without judgmentJonas Østergaard Pedersen, International SEM Manager at EcoOnline points to.

When someone is feeling down, they don’t need you to tell them what they should do or how they should feel. They just need someone to listen and understand their feelings.

Just listen, be there, and let them know that you’re on their side

Avoid Offering Advice

In an intention to help, we tend to give our loved ones different advice during their problems.

However, Co-Founder at Roowaad Omar Al Hassan emphasizes that we better avoid offering unsolicited advice or trying to fix the problem for them.

Don’t try to give advice or fix things for them if they don’t ask you to. Instead, focus on listening and providing emotional support. 

Show Small Acts Of Kindness

Founder of Thrivelab Joshua Host shares a tip that is simple, yet very effective.

It states that we can perform small acts of kindness for the person we care for who is experiencing life challenges. 

A great example of an act of kindness is proposed by Jena Ehlers from The Wellness Resolution Blog.

She says: “It always helps to cook for someone, not just buy them some food, but actually cook for them. A home-cooked meal is more thoughtful because it shows you spent not only your money but your personal time.” 

When people are struggling food is comforting and one less thing to worry about.

You can even offer a helping hand, as Michael Sugiura a holistic health practitioner.

Additional examples can be helping with routine duties or responsibilities, such as grocery shopping or housework. This can help relieve some of the stress they may be feeling.

However, when offering a helping hand, you can first ask them what you can do to help, Dr. Jay Serle, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist says.

If they need tangible help, offer it if you can. Sometimes, it’s important for the person to tell you what they need.

acts of kindness
acts of kindness

Be Patient & Positive

For us to help someone revert into a positive mood, we must maintain our positive energy first.

Raju Shahi, a blogger at, notes that we must try to maintain a positive attitude around our loved ones, and offer words of encouragement and hope.

Remind them that things will get better, but at the same time be patient and understanding.

This means giving them time and space to process their emotions and thoughts, and don’t pressure them to “just get over it” as per the words of Luke Lee, Founder and Designer of Ever Wallpaper.

In addition, we must give them actual space by themselves and not overwhelm them with constant attention.

Finding a balance between being there for them and giving them room to process their emotions can be crucial in helping them through this difficult time, Julian Caballero from says.

Offer Them Inspiration

We might not have many uplifting stories to say ourselves, but sometimes, getting inspired by already existing material can help a lot.

Ryan Hetrick, a Therapist, Psychologist & CEO of the Epiphany Wellness suggests that sharing inspiring and uplifting quotes, funny stories, or even movies may provide some much-needed motivation and hope during hard times. 

To emphasize the effect of this little tip, Life Coach, Mentor, and Author Justin Donne refers to his personal experience. 

He emphasizes the importance of funny stories and movies by saying: “Humor is great, binge-watching Robin Williams videos got me thru the worst time of my life.”

Offer Free Hugs!

Apart from the act of listening, for those who prefer it, a physical connection does wonders.

John Crossman from Crossman Career Builders told us about an experience of a friend of his. This friend had gone through losing three pregnancies.

Back then, the friend’s dad used to hug him a lot.

Now, when John knows someone is in a bad place, he tries to give long hugs!

free hugs
free hugs

Compliment and Reinforce Their Positives

Sometimes, small words of encouragement can brighten up someone’s day.

If your friend is sad or mentally struggling, try to occasionally compliment them, Simon Bacher of Ling App says.

Emphasize their good deeds, and remind them of their accomplishments and what they are capable of doing.

However, you must make sure you do not fake or overdo it. When people sense a fake compliment, they do not appreciate what you say anymore, and they do not feel better if they sense people are pitying their situation.

From another perspective, Lisa Honig Buksbaum, CEO & Founder of Soaringwords, pinpoints 

that when negative, ruminating thoughts dominate their perspective, it’s a wonderful opportunity to pause and encourage your loved one to treat themself with the kindness and tenderness they would show to a friend.

Perhaps ask them how they would treat you if you were going through the same situation!

Let Them Journal Their Thoughts

Journalling your thoughts and feelings is helpful.

If the person you’d like to help is creative, maybe they can turn their pain/grief into a story about moving through it.

This tip is suggested by Screenwriter Lisa Hepner, who said that she personally tried it when grieving her mom. 

She comments: “Often, the best works of art are created from a place of pain.” 

journal thoughts
journal thoughts

Do Personal Things Together

Couples/Relationship Therapist Alex Honigman notes that the most effective and thoughtful way of cheering someone else up should be something personal/shared between you and them.

If there is a place you always like to eat, getting and bringing them take out can put a smile on their face.

If they are someone who loves nature take them out to a hike/park etc or bring some flowers or a new plant.

Time together is useful and something personal to them more so whether it is gifts or an act of service. 

Another Set of Activities Includes:

Meditate Together

Peace of mind is what a sad person is looking for, and this can be due to him/her being engulfed by fast-paced problems.

Busy activities do not always work for everybody and can make a sad person more mentally loaded and exhausted. In this case, meditation is the key! 

Griff Williams, Founder of MindEasy, explains the steps:

Introducing someone to meditation, specifically loving-kindness (Metta) meditation, can effectively cheer them up during hard times.

This technique involves directing positive thoughts and well-wishes towards oneself, loved ones, acquaintances, and all beings.”

Practicing Metta meditation generates feelings of love, compassion, and empathy, fostering a sense of connectedness and emotional support, she says.

Create A Cheer-Up Kit

Physician Assistant Gavin Dawson from Global Emergency Medics, poses a great tip that will help alter someone’s bad mood.

This tip suggests creating a cheer-up kit, a thoughtful approach to expressing your concern about someone.

Packing it with items that might offer them comfort or joy, like their favorite snack, a cozy blanket, a tool for their hobby, or a book they’ll enjoy, can remind them of your love and support. 

This gesture can also inspire them to practice self-care, leading to a better emotional state and decreased stress levels.

Try To Laughtercise

To laughtercise is to start with a fake laugh.

A technique adopted by Yoga Teachers Alik & Lauren from Laughing Lovebugs, laughter yoga is the ultimate stress-buster that can enhance the mind and body connection, resulting in overall well-being.

Many people believe that they need to wait for something funny to happen to laugh, but we teach individuals how to choose to laugh to regulate their emotions and improve emotional intelligence.

Unconditional laughter allows one to be present at the moment and improve their overall well-being, they explain.

laugh together
laugh together

Plan A Surprise

Sometimes, a little bit of spontaneity can work wonders. 

Matt Bones from Phoenix Mobile Home LLC recommends planning a surprise outing or a special activity that will give them something to look forward to.

You can even share gifts, as they are proven to be a big mood-changer.

Gifts do not need to be expensive; they better be symbolic and heart-warming. 

Handmade bracelets and small journals are good examples, or simply, whatever this person might wish to own.

Surprises can be as simple as sending cards and letters. Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author mentions.

She says there are many sites exist where people can post pictures, stories, and memories about loved ones, and this type of memorial does help ease the pain of loss. 

These gests prove to the other that they are loved and remembered and that someone is often thinking of them. 

In addition, the feeling of surprise for getting something unexpected, yet sweet, leads to breaking the vicious circle of one’s routine and bringing up change to their days.

Finally, Suggest Professional Help

In specific cases, trying all of the above will not do much, and you must take your actions further.

If you notice your loved one’s situation keeps on deteriorating, and your contribution is not making a noticeable difference, suggest they resort to professional help, Jamie Irwin, Director at Straight Up Search says.

In case they did not welcome the idea or rejected it, make sure to sure your thoughts with their family, while preserving their privacy and respecting their decisions.

Always remember, when it comes to mental health, better safe than sorry.

recommend help
recommend help


Sadness may take time as if it is a journey in it’s natural course.

That path is unique to everyone. When sadness is given space to exist, and to find its own natural way through the unique individual experience, it can heal more fully and in its own time.

Your presence makes a difference, do not underestimate what a simple gesture, a short text, or a quick outing can do to someone passing through gloomy days.

So, next time you know a friend of yours is down, try some of these 16 steps, and I am sure you will thank me later!

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