a person holding up a sign that says kindness pass it on.

200+ Acts of Kindness to Show Compassion, Kindness, and Love

Rachel Sharpe

We all live in a world caught up in momentum. We go through each day interacting with other people and getting work done without putting much thought into being kind. Acts of kindness are a way for us to be deliberate with our kindness.

What are Acts of Kindness?

An act of kindness is a good deed a person can do to show compassion and love to another person. The gesture is done out of the goodness of a person’s heart, with zero expectation of reciprocation.

Acts of kindness can be done towards someone you know like a family member or friend or even to a complete stranger. A good person might do an act of kindness towards another person to make someone feel happy, appreciated, or valued.

There’s also an element of paying it forward. Sometimes people do acts of kindness to lead by example so that others will follow suit and be kind to others. When you do something kind to another person, often people will tell someone else about it or take action and do something kind for someone else. Thus, spreading a positive message about being kind-hearted.

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When is Random Acts of Kindness Day?

Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th. However, people should make an effort to practice kindness year round.

Why Acts of Kindness Are Important

1. Makes everyone happy

Acts of kindness make people happy

It’s easier to experience a bad or a neutral day than a happy one. But acts of kindness can turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one. Life is filled with hardships as it is. But doing a simple kind act can make someone smile. Depending on how big or small your act is you could really help push someone’s life in a positive direction.

2. Lowers stress levels


Anger, sadness, and anxiety can really weigh us down. When you’re hateful, you hurt yourself more than you hurt others. And to be honest, hateful acts can hurt others a lot too. But when you practice acts of kindness, your energy changes which becomes less harmful to you. Most of your problems are caused by you even if it was simply your reaction to a problem. By putting more positive energy into the world, you get more positive energy back. Thus, acts of kindness can lower stress levels and help you deal with stress

3. Makes people feel appreciated

Acts of kindness makes people feel appreciated

There’s so many people out there who feel underappreciated. Overworked moms, people with disabilities, homeless people. Some marginalized groups of people fail to be treated with respect and dignity. While others might get taken advantage of. Acts of kindness are a thoughtful way to show people that they’re appreciated, valued, and treated like human beings. 

4. People tend to focus on the negative

Name one thing that went poorly today. Now name one thing that went positively today. You probably were able to come up with the negative thing quickly but struggled to think of the positive thing. That’s because people are wired to find threats and dangers. Damn that reptilian brain of ours. It takes about five positive interactions to counteract one negative interaction. So we’ve got to do good over and over and over again to push that negativity aside. 

5. It doesn’t harm anyone

Acts of kindness don’t hurt people. They enrich people’s lives. They make people feel all gooey on the inside. It makes people feel cared for. It’s so easy for a bad mood to spew out hateful words or to unintentionally hurt someone with our actions. But acts of kindness are all good. So spread them around. Try to encourage others to do the same. 

6. Most people are suffering


People don’t always talk about the reality of the world. But truth is, most people in the world are suffering. Some people don’t have clean water, others live on the streets, others are in broken relationships, struggling with anxiety, grieving the death of a loved one. You name it. Everyone has a whole wave of challenges they go through. That’s why acts of kindness are so important. Because for a brief moment, it lets people know that things are going to be okay.

  1. Hold the elevator door open for someone
  2. Leave kind messages on social media posts
  3. Write an appreciation card to your coworkers and friends
  4. Send your friend photos of themselves on their wedding day
  5. Pick up garbage you see on the floor
  6. Help with chores around the house
  7. Check in on a new mom or dad every couple of weeks so they don’t feel lonely
  8. Make sure someone dying of cancer dies with dignity
  9. Smile at strangers
  10. Buy a coffee for the person behind you
  11. Convince your work to collect and donate pop can tabs to charity
  12. Bring muffins and coffees to work one morning
  13. Write a kind birthday message to someone on their birthday
  14. Send a thank you note to your former teacher
  15. Do the thing someone always nags you about
  16. Send a Christmas card to kids in the hospital
  17. Leave extra change in a vending machine
  18. Listen with care to someone’s struggles
  19. Compliment a friend
  20. Buy a food gift basket for the family who recently lost someone
  21. Forgive someone who hurt you
  22. Give a generous tip to those working in the service industry
  23. Call a friend to see how they’re doing
  24. Send positive vibes to your enemy
  25. Leave books in a mailbox library
  26. Throw someone you care about a surprise birthday party
  27. Volunteer at a nonprofit
  28. Leave a positive review for a local business
  29. Donate blood
  30. Cheer on marathoners at the sidelines
  31. Visit an elderly relative at an old age home
  32. Gossip less
  33. Make people laugh
  34. Speak positively 
  35. Love people with your whole heart
  36. Donate your old clothes
  37. Buy lunch for a homeless person
  38. Send someone thinking of you flowers
  39. Tell someone who once helped you that you’re doing well now
  40. Hold the door open for someone
  41. Mow your neighbors law or shovel their driveway
  42. Show up on time
  43. Allow a car to pass in front of you
  44. Bring flowers to a nursing home
  45. Create an 100 Reasons Why I Love You video for someone you care about
  46. Share compliments you hear from other people
  47. Check in on those who’ve lost parents on Mother’s and Father’s Day
  48. Write a long heartfelt message in a birthday or Christmas card
  49. Share photos of a deceased family member that you have
  50. Offer your seat to a person in need on the bus
  51. Post on social media about the random acts of kindness you’ve received from strangers
  52. Donate money to your favorite charity
  53. Send a message to your coworkers boss to tell them a kind thing they did
  54. Buy canned goods for a local food bank
  55. Invite someone over for dinner
  56. Spend time with loved ones
  57. Mentor or tutor someone who needs help
  58. Send a care package to a struggling friend
  59. Put a coin in an expired meter
  60. Teach someone something new
  61. Offer to drive the neighbors kids to school along with yours
  62. Return something you borrowed
  63. Apologize when you mess up
  64. Offer to babysit for a new parent
  65. Don’t hold grudges
  66. Cook someone’s favorite meal
  67. Be someone’s personal cheerleader
  68. Encourage a coworker to go after a promotion
  69. Offer to take care of a friend’s pet when they’re on vacation
  70. Help someone with a project
  71. Be honest to everyone
  72. Give coupons that can be redeemed for your services for free such pep talk, massage, chores, etc.
  73. Always carry a second umbrella on rainy days to give to someone in need
  74. Dedicate a song to someone on the radio
  75. Throw a family party so people can make great memories together
  76. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  77. Write a funny or happy song about someone
  78. Draw someone a picture of themselves
  79. Leave positive messages in your children’s lunch bags
  80. Remind people what they’ve got going for them when they can’t see it
  81. Give someone a high five
  82. Recommend a colleague on LinkedIn
  83. Leave a thank you note for the postal worker
  84. Help an unemployed person get a job
  85. Play with your pet for an extended period
  86. Share the vegetables you’ve grown in your garden
  87. Tell someone “I love you”
  88. Remove hateful graffiti in your neighborhood
  89. Offer to fix something that broke
  90. Start your day by praising people you see
  91. After a wedding donate your flowers to a local nursing home
  92. Send a kind letter to people in need on More Love Letters
  93. Rescue an animal that’s in danger
  94. Put your phone away when you’re with someone
  95. Surprise someone with a bucket list activity
  96. Send birthday flowers to someone with no children
  97. Include someone in a conversation
  98. Stand up against someone being bullied
  99. Print out the book your friend wrote
  100. Help pay for a student’s education
  101. Buy someone in need groceries
  102. Grab someone by the shirt if they cross the street without paying attention
  103. Have a small pack of tissues in case you find someone crying
  104. Surprise someone  who can’t afford Christmas presents with gifts
  105. Donate three month’s rent to someone who just lost a parent
  106. Stay on the phone until the early morning with someone who has PTSD
  107. Help someone with anxiety feel safe
  108. Be there for someone struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts
  109. Bring a special snack for a person with severe dietary restrictions
  110. Tell your kids bedtime stories
  111. Make breakfast in bed for your family
  112. Offer to take pictures of tourists struggling to take a selfie
  113. Leave a comment on a blog post you enjoyed
  114. Introduce two people who should meet each other
  115. Set two compatible friends up on a date
  116. Thank the janitor
  117. Invite a new coworker to lunch
  118. Chat up the lonely or shy person in a room
  119. Buy something from your friend’s new business
  120. Write positive messages in chalk on the side walk
  121. Be patient with a difficult person
  122. Use reusable bags
  123. Bake cookies for your friends and family
  124. Donate toys to a children’s hospital
  125. Donate feminine hygiene to a homeless woman with the Period Purse
  126. Help a domestic abuse survivor feel safe
  127. Put a bird feeder in the yard
  128. Leave positive comments on a YouTube channel that regularly gets a lot of hate
  129. Grab a bunch of friends to do a photo day
  130. Believe in someone who doesn’t believe in themselves
  131. Hide positive bookmarks in random library books
  132. Plant a tree
  133. Donate bone marrow
  134. Be kind to yourself
  135. Thank your garbage man
  136. Send someone a photo of themselves
  137. Gift a picture of someone with a deceased family member on the anniversary of their death
  138. Speak highly of others when they’re being gossiped about
  139. Encourage someone to go after their dreams
  140. Give someone the benefit of the doubt
  141. Foster a child
  142. Adopt a pet
  143. Donate your hair to charity
  144. Check in on someone a few months after they’ve been divorced
  145. Create a scrapbook about your relationship with a loved one
  146. Buy someone dinner
  147. Leave a letter in your favorite book at the library
  148. Leave a book on a bus seat and around town
  149. Ask for the recipe of a delicious meal someone made 
  150. Leave random kindness letters around town
  151. Give $5 coffee cards to homeless people around the holidays
  152. Buy lemonade from a kid’s lemonade stand
  153. Donate to a local charity
  154. Give small gift cards to random people for helping you, doing something kind, or who are just awesome
  155. Do volunteer activities as a family to spread goodness at scale
  156. Give candy at Halloween
  157. Give stickers to your child to pass out to all of his or her classmates
  158. Get to know someone
  159. Donate positive reading material to doctor’s office
  160. Message the wife or husband of a newly married friend telling them how lucky they are to have that person in their life and share a heartfelt story of something nice they did for you
  161. Drop off a gift basket for firefighters or police station with goodies
  162. Turn off the water when it’s not being used
  163. Create kindness jars for your coworkers
  164. Hand deliver a get well card to a friend in the hospital
  165. Do a household chore without being asked
  166. Do a virtual video chat with a friend who recently moved to another country
  167. Buy school supplies for a teacher
  168. Run a marathon for a charity
  169. Create a homemade gift for someone
  170. Give someone who recently moved a tour of the city
  171. Watch someone else’s favorite show with them
  172. Stop complaining
  173. Pay for someone’s bus fare
  174. Leave some spare change on a wishing fountain
  175. Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter
  176. Leave a local business a positive online review, and seek to upvote or thumb up another positive review online.
  177. Offer a bottle of water to your mail carrier or leave them a nice note in your mailbox
  178. Create care packages for friends and family members who work long hours, are struggling in life, or are in school
  179. Register yourself onto a bone marrow registry and potentially save someone’s life
  180. Bring food and water to a local fire station
  181. Give back with community service
  182. Take the neighbor’s dog for a walk or offer to babysit
  183. Leave sticky notes with sweet messages around the house to your spouse or kids
  184. Put random acts of kindness ideas into a jar and pull out a new one every day to try
  185. Donate or give an old cell phone to someone who may need one
  186. Clean up dog poop around the area you live or in parks around your home
  187. Pick up plastic bags left around grocery stores or littered around parks and dispose them
  188. Create a free library for your local community such as a “take a book, leave a book” program
  189. Give your seat to someone random on a crowded bus
  190. Leave a positive comment on a blog post or YouTube video
  191. Make or bring someone in need a warm meal
  192. Leave a surprise note or encouraging note for a fellow colleague struggling at work
  193. Bring someone a hot chocolate or coffee on a cold day
  194. Clear out your food pantry and donate non-perishable food to a local shelter
  195. Check in on an elderly neighbor and offer to fix things around their house or buy them groceries
  196. Write letters of appreciation to companies whose services or products you’ve been enjoying
  197. Offer to clean at a local homeless shelter
  198. Have an extra umbrella available for colleagues at work or strangers on a rainy day
  199. Be generous and give an extra tip to someone working in the service sector
  200. Sign up to be an organ donor
  201. Let a car merge ahead of you in a drive-thru or on a highway
  202. Offer to carry a stranger’s grocery bags to their car
  203. Call or message an old friend you haven’t heard from in a while and check in on how they’re doing


Practice acts of kindness each day and you will dramatically change your life. You’ll remove the hurt and pain you feel on bad days. These kind acts don’t need to be expensive. Even simple gestures can make a difference. Focus on being kind to others to help take the focus off of your own pain and suffering. You won’t believe how helping other people can improve your own daily struggles. 

Which of these acts of kindness will you be trying today? How often do you practice acts of kindness?

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