10 Random Nice Things to Do for a Friend

Random Acts of Kindness

Doing small but thoughtful things for a friend goes a long way. When your friend is stressed, sad, or feeling a bit down, a small gesture filled with kindness is sure to make them feel just a little bit better. Doing nice things for a friend will not only give them an emotional lift, but also help strengthen your friendship bond. So you benefit as well as your friend. Here are random acts of kindness ideas you can do for a friend.

Offer to Babysit for a Friend

Your friend will appreciate an offer to babysit.
Your friend will appreciate an offer to babysit. SW Productions / Photodisc / Getty Images

How often does your friend get out without the kids? Maybe your friend and their spouse might like a night out, but don't have a regular babysitter they can call. That's where you come in. This is an especially nice surprise if you combine it with tickets to a movie, or a suggestion to visit a new restaurant in town.

Write a Nice Note to a Friend

A simple, handwritten note can lift a friend's spirits.
A simple, handwritten note can lift a friend's spirits. Moment/Getty Images

No matter what is going on in your friend's life, a nice note will help her feel that much better. Notes are the perfect thing to do if she's feeling down or has something big to celebrate. Jot a few lines down in a card, include a friendship quote, write down a memory, or just tell your friend how proud you are of her.

Invite a Friend to Come Along to a Workout

Two women sitting in a yoga class meditating
Gary Burchell/Digital Vision/Getty Images

This is a kind gesture only if you're not suggesting your friend needs to work out! Don't use an invitation to work out as a not-so-subtle hint that your friend needs to get healthy and lose weight. There is a time and place for that, but it isn't when you're trying to do something nice for them. But if your friend might enjoy a walk, some yoga, or a good cardio class, then invite her along to yours.

Take a Friend Out for Coffee

Working at a coffee shop or restaurant can connect you with more people quickly. Nick Clements/Getty Images

There are coffee shops all over the place which offer comfy chairs and a way to get out of the stress of life and just take half an hour and relax. Going out for coffee can be something you do to:

  • Help your friend shake off the stress her life is going through.
  • Celebrate a friend's success at work or in her personal life.
  • Encourage a friend to talk to you about a problem they are having.
  • Reconnect if you haven't seen each other in a long time.
  • Say thank you for helping you through a rough time.

Any of these occasions work, but then again you don't need a reason! Coffee shops are a good place just to hang out with your friend, too.

Bake Some Cookies

If your friend enjoys sweet treats, baking a favorite recipe or something from scratch will let her know that you're thinking of her. Just dropping off a plate of cookies is a fun way to pop in to say hello, with a promise to meet again when you both have a little more time.

Buy Their Favorite Movie for Them

Newton Daly/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Sometimes you might come across sales at department stores where DVDs are really cheap. This is a good time to see if they have your friend's favorite movie. You can give your friend the movie so he or she can enjoy it alone, or offer to come over with popcorn so you two can bond a little. (Here's a list of fun chick flicks or bromance movies your friend might enjoy.)

Take a Friend to Lunch

Dinner party
AMV Photo/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you work near (or with) a friend and happen to notice that she's having a particularly bad day, offer to take her to lunch. That kind gesture will help give her a lift so she can face the rest of the day, and the bonus is that you two will get some time together as well.

Buy Your Friend a Book

Get that booklover on your gift life something they'll really enjoy. Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A nice gesture might be to give your friend a funny or inspiring book to read. Or, if they prefer, a novel about friendships that gives them a chance to forget about their problems. Books make wonderful little presents because you can write a special note in them that your friend will see every time she opens it.

Ask Your Friend If You Can Pick Up Anything From the Store

Grocery Store
The next time you're at the grocery store, call up a friend to see if she needs anything. Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As long as we're talking about how busy we all are, why not save your friend some time and do an errand for her? Give her a call before you leave to make a grocery run, and ask her if she needs anything. Don't we all have one or two things that pop up on our grocery list the minute we get home from the store? Rather than running out again, you'll save her some time, and since you're going to the store anyways, it won't add too much more on to your trip.

Call Up a Friend and Let Them Vent

Woman browsing Pinterest and sending pins to friends. Zero Creatives/Getty Images

How often do you listen to your friend? Sure, we like chatting with people, but listening where you are focused on them, without adding too much of your own thoughts, can make a friend feel like a load has been lifted from their shoulders. Learning to be a better listener is good for you as well, and can help you at work and in other relationships.