6 Simple Ways You Can Make a Stranger’s Day

Your guide to spreading happiness and joy around the world.

Feb 19, 2015
Special Collections: LEND A HAND
Woman walking on streets of London

Make a stranger's day (Shutterstock)

The average American knows 600 people. The world population is estimated at 7.2 billion. So that’s a total of 7,199,999,400 strangers. Needless to say - that’s a lot of people. And when it comes to being kind to strangers, there are a lot of opportunities for good doing.

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This list of ideas can help you to spread happiness and joy around the world - to the people you see on the street, encounter on social media - and to millions of people you may never know, see or meet. Each idea listed below to improve a stranger’s day is easy to actualize, and sure to have a strong positive impact.

1. PLEDGE A GOOD DEED

From giving a compliment to allowing a stranger ahead in line, you can make a pledge to do good as part of Good Deeds Day on April 2, 2017. The funky platform allows you to share your promise on social media, and sends out a personalized reminder ahead of the big day.

Helping a stranger cross the road

Helping a stranger cross the road (Shutterstock)

2. DOWNLOAD AN APP

Your trusty smartphone can serve as the perfect tool to help out your fellow man - from lending your eyes to a blind person to giving assistance to strangers in an emergency. This list of six such friendly apps will get you on the right track.


A man uses his smartphone

Using technology to do good (Shutterstock)

3. SMILE

Simply flashing a smile at a person you pass on the street can change their day. Imagine that - all you need to do is activate a few small muscles in your face, for a matter of seconds, and you can make someone happy. This smiley 59-second video will walk you through the science behind it. Give it a go - you might just make your day, too.

Woman smiles on the street

Smiling at strangers - give it a go! (Shutterstock)

4. DONATE SOMETHING

It could be books you know you won’t read again, clothes your children have outgrown, or even a cash donation to your favorite charity. Either way it’s a win-win - you’ll feel great for helping out, and help someone else in need.

clothes for donation

Clear out your cupboard and make a stranger's day (Shutterstock)

5. PAY IT FORWARD

Popping up all over the world, Pay it Forward chains usually start when a kind-hearted person decides to pay for the person in line behind them - at a coffee shop perhaps, or a drive through. Each happy recipient then decides to return the favor, brightening dozens or even hundreds of people’s days with the good vibes of receiving a gift and passing it on. Next time you’re buying something, consider making a stranger’s day by paying it forward.

Takeaway coffee

One for you, one for a stranger (Shutterstock)

6. GIVE WAY

Keeping zen on the road is a challenge to say the least - making it the perfect place to practice your mindfulness and be kind to strangers. When you’re next behind the wheel, try to be the kindest driver on the road - giving way wherever you can, especially if someone seems to be in a rush. You’ll make their day that little bit smoother - and probably enjoy your drive, too!

Driving in traffic

Help a stranger on the road (Shutterstock)

As well as managing Goodnet.org, Elana writes happy headlines with a particular focus on yoga, meditation and family matters. She has a background in online journalism and web content.
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