Acts of kindness make the world a better place. We shouldn’t just reserve kindness for our inner circles, though. Neighbors who never smile back, coworkers who irk us, and relatives who insult us could all use some kindness, too — perhaps most of all. Sometimes we need to pour some love into a person in order to draw love out.
But practicing kindness isn’t about winning others over with grand gestures. It’s about doing little things with love, even when these things go unappreciated. Any one of these 75 simple acts of kindness is a way to step out of your own shadow to brighten someone else’s. Start with just one and see what happens — odds are, it’ll brighten your day, too.
1. Save the closest parking space for someone else.
2. Write an uplifting comment on a friend’s Instagram post.
3. Take care of a chore that would normally fall on your roommate or partner.
4. Don’t leave a coffee shop without putting a dollar or two in the tip jar.
5. Offer to drive someone to the airport.
6. Enjoyed an exercise class? Let the instructor know.
7. Hold the door or elevator open for someone.
8. Call a relative you haven’t talked to in a while.
9. Offer a glass of water to someone when you’re getting one for yourself.
10. Let a stranger cut in the checkout line at the store.
11. Help a friend pack for a move.
12. Give someone a book you enjoyed reading.
13. Cook dinner for someone in need.
15. Set a reminder to ask a friend about an important deadline, interview, or appointment.
16. Be the first to apologize after an argument.
17. Offer to help a recent graduate with their resume or cover letter.
18. Print copies of memorable photos for the people in them.
19. Write a recommendation for a coworker or connection on LinkedIn.
20. Surprise someone with a magazine subscription.
21. Acknowledge your neighbors with a wave or a friendly nod.
22. Donate the cost of a beer or your daily coffee to a charity.
23. Offer to feed someone’s pet while they’re out of town.
24. Take on a shift for a coworker who needs to adjust their schedule.
25. Buy a cup of coffee for the next person in line.
26. Help your roommate or partner carry in groceries.
27. Mail a card to congratulate someone on a recent success.
28. Bring canned goods to a food bank.
29. Ask someone what the best part of their day has been.
30. Send flowers to a new mother.
32. Write an uplifting note to a friend, focusing on their good qualities.
33. Mentor someone or teach a skill.
34. Offer to be the designated driver.
35. Speak a kind word about someone who’s being gossiped about.
36. Reach out to someone you know is struggling.
37. Distribute food and water bottles to the homeless.
39. Make a playlist for someone.
40. Run an errand for a friend or relative who has their hands full.
41. Pray for a stranger in need, even if they are far away.
42. Post a positive review of a local business online.
43. Invite a new friend over for coffee.
44. Offer to babysit for a friend.
45. Bake a sweet to bring to the office.
46. Let someone into your lane when you’re driving.
47. Praise someone for their hard work, whether it’s your boss, the barista, or the full-time parent.
48. Make breakfast for your roommate or partner.
49. Help someone network.
50. Sign up for the bone marrow registry.
51. Send a care package to a friend who’s moved.
52. Share an article you’ve found helpful.
53. Be optimistic when talking to others — it’s contagious.
55. Ask someone about their passion or interests and really listen.
56. Follow up with a teacher who influenced your career choice. Tell them about it.
57. Leave quarters at the laundromat.
58. Text a friend an encouraging quote or Bible verse.
59. Take a new coworker to lunch.
60. Offer to take other tourists’ photos while you’re on vacation.
61. Bite your tongue when you’re about to snap or criticize someone.
62. Add change to an expired parking meter.
63. Write a note thanking someone in a helping profession, like a counselor, minister, or priest.
64. Share a friend’s project or side hustle on social media.
65. Donate blood.
66. Let your roommate or partner control the TV remote.
67. Compliment a stranger.
68. Bring flowers to a loved one’s grave — or to graves without flowers.
69. Thank a colleague for a quick response to an email.
70. Find a place to spend an hour of your Saturday volunteering.
71. Tell someone you’re proud of them.
72. Venmo a friend $5 and tell them you’re buying them coffee.
73. Smile and make eye contact whenever you pass someone.
74. Tell your loved ones you love them.