Random acts of kindness

World Kindness Day takes place on 13 November. Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place.1,2,3 You might want to do something for someone else or take note if you experience a random act of kindness.

Not sure where to start? We’ve put together some suggestions to help you out:

At home and in your community

  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Post a card or letter to someone you are out of touch with
  • Send flowers to a friend out of the blue
  • Find out if a neighbour needs any help with shopping
  • Help a friend pack for a move
  • Send someone a handwritten thank you note
  • Offer to babysit for a friend
  • Walk your friend’s dog
  • Tell your family members how much you love and appreciate them
  • Help with household chores
  • Shovel snow for an elderly neighbour
  • Check on someone you know who is going through a tough time
  • Help a friend who wants to get active

At work

  • Remember to say hi to colleagues and ask how they are
  • Offer to make a drink for your colleagues
  • Get to know a new member of staff
  • Lend your ear - listen to your colleague who is having a bad day
  • Say thank you to a colleague who has helped you
  • Praise a colleague for something they have done well

In public places

  • Give up your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person
  • Take a minute to help a tourist who is lost even though you are in a rush
  • Have a conversation with a homeless person
  • Help a parent carrying a push chair down some stairs or hold the door for them
  • Be a considerate cyclist/driver
  • Pick up some rubbish lying around in the street
  • Smile and say hello to people you may pass every day, but have never spoken to before

Evidence shows that being kind really does improve your wellbeing.1 What’s more, the more you do for others, the more they are likely to do for you.4

 

The random acts of kindness challenge

With this in mind, we’re asking you to try and help others once a day for a week and see if it makes a difference to how you feel. Try to keep track of any volunteering that you’ve done, support you’ve given to friends and family or any random acts of kindness that you’ve carried out or that someone has done for you, and make a note of how they made you feel.

Stuck for ideas? Why not pick some from the '50 random acts of kindness' poster. The 50 ideas came from supporters:

50 random acts of kindness PDF

It’s important to remember yourself too:

Be kind to yourself

  • Read more about why it's important to find time for self-care
  • Prioritise some “me” time so you can relax and reflect.
  • Treat yourself to something small like buying or planting yourself some flowers
  • Do something you enjoy like listening to a favourite song or piece of music
  • Spend some time in nature, which is good for your wellbeing
Get involved at the Mental Health Foundation:

We have lots of ways you can get involved! You can contact our fundraising team on [email protected] or call 020 7803 1121.


We are the UK charity for everyone's mental health. If you would like to help support our vital work, please consider giving a donation today. 

I would like to donate towards a world with good mental health for all

References

  1. Curry OS, Rowland LA, Van Lissa CJ, Zlotowitz S, McAlaney J, Whitehouse H. Happy to help? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of performing acts of kindness on the well-being of the actor. J Exp Soc Psychol. 2018;76:320–9. 
  2. Otake K, Shimai S, Tanaka-Matsumi J, Otsui K, Fredrickson BL. Happy people become happier through kindness: A counting kindnesses intervention. J Happiness Stud. 2006;7(3):361–75.
  3. Kerr SL, O’Donovan A, Pepping CA. Can Gratitude and Kindness Interventions Enhance Well-Being in a Clinical Sample? J Happiness Stud. 2014;16(1):17–36.
  4. Fehr E, Fischbacher U. The nature of human altruism. Nature. 2003;425(6960):785–91.