Here are 100 easy ways to brighten someone’s day. You may not know the difference your small act of kindness could make for them, and yourself. What goes around, comes around, after all!
1. Send thank you notes to people.
2. Pay for the Starbucks of the person behind you in line.
3. Bring in a Grande White Caramel Latte for a coworker.
4. Bring in a box of bagels for the office, with plain shmear.
5. Return a cart to the station for an older person or a busy mother.
6. Put “I love you” notes in your kid’s lunchbox.
7. Leave love notes in your spouse’s wallet.
8. Leave sticky notes — with thoughtful messages — on the steering wheel of your partner’s car.
9. Start the car in the morning to heat it up for your partner.
10. Deliver printouts and copies to coworkers from the office printer.
11. Write love notes in the foggy mirror while your partner showers.
12. Hold the door open for anyone.
13. Let someone cut ahead of you at the grocery store checkout.
14. Deliver dinner to a new mom in your area.
15. Offer to take a project from someone at work, so they have time to themselves.
16. Surprise your spouse with lunch at work.
17. Tell someone they have a nice smile.
18. Compliment someone’s clothing.
19. Snail mail a handwritten letter. Yes, they still exist!
20. Have flowers delivered to your mom for no reason at all.
21. Make a family member their favorite meal.
22. Send a text to tell someone you’re thinking about them.
23. Write a poem — an uplifting one! — and leave it in an envelope on the sidewalk.
24. Leave a song on someone’s voicemail for when they get home.
25. Change the lyrics to a song for that person.
26. Run and give hugs to someone as they walk through the door — spinning is optional.
27. Leave a more-than-generous tip for your server.
28. Watch your friend’s kids for a few hours. Or more!
29. Leave pennies on the penny horse ride at the grocery store.
30. Say “hi” to a stranger.
31. Bring a “get well” basket to someone who is sick.
32. Bring a meal to the family of anyone in the hospital or on bed rest.
33. Buy a pedicure for someone who would never do that for themselves.
34. Bake cookies or bring fresh fruit to a new neighbor.
35. Leave a note for your partner in their car AT work, so they’ll find it before returning home.
36. Surprise your kid with their favorite dessert.
37. Do a chore that you know your partner has been wanting done to make life easier. Instead of flowers, fix that drawer!
38. Fill up your spouse’s gas tank.
39. Wash and vacuum your spouse’s car.
40. Leave beer on a friend’s porch with a note — and then doorbell dash.
41. Buy a grocery gift card for someone you know is struggling that month.
42. Offer to bring a friend’s kids home from school.
43. Introduce people with common interests. Like matchmaking, but with friends.
44. Leave a note and a “thank you” on the receipt for your server.
45. Tell someone a funny story on the elevator.
46. Volunteer at a charity or animal shelter.
47. Leave a message on a public mirror that says, “You’re Beautiful!”
48. Stick googly eyes in random places to make people smile.
49. Leave a book somewhere for someone else to read. Add a note if you’d like, explaining what you got from the book and what you hope they do.
50. Use the name on a clerk’s nametag. And not in a condescending way.
51. Invite someone to dance — in the kitchen while cooking dinner or in the morning when you wake up your children to get ready for school.
52. Cut sandwiches into shapes, and serve grapes with cute toothpicks.
53. On date night, fill the evening with things your partner would want to do.
54. Do all of your kid’s chores for the day.
55. Take a coworker who is NOT close to you to lunch and buy it for them.
56. Share with someone something that surprised you about them or made you proud.
57. Tell someone how they inspired you.
58. Send someone an ecard!
59. Text or email a funny picture of yourself to someone.
60. Give stuff away!
61. Be extra grateful when others do things for you, like hold the door.
62. Before sending your kids off to the bus, whirl them around and exclaim, “Wheee!!!”
63. Burn a CD of your favorite tunes for a coworker you noticed may have similar tastes! Or if they have awful taste, burn them one to expand their repertoire.
64. Sing and dance in your car at stoplights. When people ogle you, look straight at them, smile, and continue. It will catch them off guard, and they will smile.
65. Share a memory with someone you haven’t communicated with in a while.
66. Offer up hugs to people. Friends, family, or even complete strangers. Free hugs!
67. Ask for someone’s opinion. It will make them feel valuable.
68. Leave a thank you note for the cleaning staff at work. You already tip hotel cleaners, after all.
69. Offer your seat to someone when there aren’t any left. And hey, not just pregnant women and old people.
70. Wave to a child in the car next to you.
71. Repeat something nice you heard about someone else.
72. Leave a joke on someone’s answering machine. Or the photocopier.
73. Forgive a loan. Even just a few bucks.
74. Share your umbrella on a rainy day.
75. Ask a neighbor if they need anything at the store since you’re out anyway.
76. Let your kid win the board game. Or your parent, if they always lose.
77. Ask an elderly person to tell you a story about their past, or ask for their opinion.
78. Ask someone about their children.
79. Brush the snow off of the car next to yours.
80. Leave a piece of candy on a coworker’s desk.
81. Drop off a batch of baked goods at your nearest fire station.
82. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway.
83. Offer to mow your neighbor’s lawn.
84. Bring the neighbor’s newspaper closer to the front door.
85. Pick up litter on the street when you pass it. This makes everyone happier.
86. Prepare the coffee maker for the next person. Whether it’s the water reservoir or tossing the last K-Cup.
87. Listen… even if you’ve heard the story before.
88. Invite someone over to watch a movie…maybe someone who is shy or has few friends.
89. Make someone’s bed. Your kid’s, your parent’s, your roommate’s — but probably not a stranger’s!
90. Bring your neighbor’s trashcans closer to the house.
91. Clip that cat’s nails that keep snagging your mom’s quilts.
92. Walk your neighbor’s dog.
93. Instead of reprimanding your kids for being wild — go on and be wild with them.
94. Change the ringtone on your spouse’s phone to something funny or a song you both love. Don’t tell ’em!
95. Replace something you notice needs replacing. From beat-up house shoes to a rusty can-opener that you’re just asking for a tetanus shot with every use.
96. Buy supplies to encourage someone with a new hobby OR to make them revisit an old one.
97. Empathize with someone, especially a person who’s known to be grouchy. Maybe they need an empathic ear for a change.
98. Serve your spouse where he sits, whether it’s on the couch or up in the bedroom.
99. Share what you know. Send a link. You heard someone wants to go on a cruise? Link them to Groupon Getaways or the name of a travel agent your neighbor used.
100. Ask someone, anyone, how you can help!