How we treat others really does make our world a better place. And right now in a world that feels more divisive and angry than ever, being kind to each other is imperative. But being kind isn’t just about helping others feel better or have a better day. According to the latest research, even performing the smallest acts of kindness make us happier, too.

It’s the ultimate win-win situation.


The more you focus on being kind to others, the happier you are. Yep, it’s that simple. So, instead of chasing happiness through expensive habits or unattainable goals, why not just be a little kinder to others?

According to a study done by Oxford University, participants who performed small acts of kindness every day for just one week had much higher levels of happiness than those who didn’t. And it doesn’t take much to start feeling a whole lot happier. The researchers complied a list of easy-to-do things in order to help people wondering what an “official” act of kindness might be. Below is their list (and they don’t require a lot of money or time)…

  • Give a book, some art, or music — and include a note of kindness
  • Ask someone if you can help them with a problem
  • Meditate on kindness
  • Buy coffee for someone
  • Send a handwritten note or thank you card to someone
  • Share a positive newspaper or magazine story
  • Give a plant
  • Spend time with someone who is lonely
  • Pick up litter from around your home or office
  • Do a favor for a neighbor (i.e. water their garden or trim their hedges)
  • Invite someone to watch a film with you
  • Bake a treat and give it to someone
  • Donate useful items
  • Leave a generous tip
  • Write a positive comment on a blog

Pretty easy, right?

It’s so inspiring to know that happiness doesn’t have to be so complicated. No matter where you’re starting from, there’s always a way to feel better — and it starts by being kind to those around you.

Before you get started, remember that not every “act of kindness” is for you. Your personality dictates what feels good and right versus what doesn’t. If one of the items from the list above doesn’t resonate with you, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of ways to be kind whether you’re extroverted or introverted, have a little extra money or are feeling completely strapped. 

No matter which acts of kindness you choose, it’s good to keep in mind that you never want these acts to feel habitual or too routine. When they start to feel like just “something you do” every single day, then they lose their magic — and their ability to make you feel truly joyful. And always remember how the person on the receiving end of your kindness is feeling. Sometimes even the most well-intentioned act of kindness can leave another person feeling belittled or helpless.

Every act of kindness should be kind to how everyone involved is feeling — including yourself.