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When a loved one is down in the dumps, we’ll do anything to raise their spirits. While there are obvious tried and true methods — such as listening and offering to help — you might need to dig deeper for ways to turn a frown upside down.
There are tons of ideas for how to cheer someone up, regardless of the situation. Today, we are sharing pick-me-up tips from psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, therapists, life coaches, and other experts.
Fun Ways to Cheer Someone Up
A fair warning: Some of these ideas might be cheesy or silly. But didn’t we say we’d do anything to lift their spirits?
- Make dinner or go out to eat together.
Food isn’t just the key to a man’s heart — it’s the key to boosting everyone’s mood, health, and energy levels. According to Thrive Global, some mood-enhancing foods and beverages include fish, raw nuts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Eating together, in addition, builds trust among people sharing the same food. The latter gives your troubled companion a chance to relax and become comfortable sharing their problem.
- Have a movie night.
Gather your friend or family member’s favorite snacks, stay in, get cozy, and watch a feel-good movie together. There are countless movies guaranteed to make someone happy, such as Rent, Clueless, Stardust, and many others. Watching films is a surefire way to distract someone from their troubles, even for a short while.
- Start a creative project together.
Did you know being artistic could put a smile on your loved one’s face? “If your friend has creative inclinations, encouraging or joining them in painting, drawing, collaging, or playing music are great ways to release emotions in a healthy and productive way, leaving the artist with a creation, which is a great way to feel in control, healthy, creative, and positive,” states Sarah D. Lisovich, senior editor at CIA Medical. Being creative doesn’t need to be expensive. A simple, no-fuss art project involves grabbing some paint to sling at a canvas, wall, or piece of cardboard Pollock-style.
- Write a heartfelt note.
Little notes are always a sweet and sincere way to let that friend, who perhaps gets shy and uncomfortable about the emotional stuff, know that you care. “It makes people feel thought of, and you can provide words of affirmation. If they aren’t able to come up with positive qualities about their self you can give them words/mantras to cheer them up and replace their automatic negative thought,” says psychotherapist Kelley Kitley of Chicago. Take a small piece of paper, write something cute, fold it up, and then slip it somewhere for them to find.
- Share a walk and take along a four-legged friend.
A quick stroll through the neighborhood can be precisely what your loved one needs. After all, walking has a multitude of advantages, among them being a stress reliever. And to further reap the benefits of a quick roam, science says walking with a dog can reduce feelings of loneliness, lower blood pressure, increase energy levels, and improve one’s overall well-being.
- Get some ice cream.
Ice cream is a universal pick-me-up (as seen on TV, film, and in real life). Maybe a double scoop of cookies and cream is all they need. Or mint chip. Or the OG chocolate with rainbow sprinkles. Or more exotic flavors like lavender and pickled mango. (Now we all want ice cream!)
- Do whatever their heart desires.
“Taking out at least an hour or two every week for an activity you enjoy can help you relax and de-stress. Coping mechanisms to deal with life stressors are crucial since chronic stress may make one susceptible to depression,” claims Dr. Nesochi Igbokwe, an attending physician at NYU Langone Medical Center. Help your friend or family member feel better by taking the time to do something they love, whether it involves going to the mall for retail therapy, playing video games, or volunteering at a shelter. Again, didn’t we say we’d do anything to cheer them up?