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Guest Post: 7 ways to cheer up a girlfriend

Published: July 31, 2011 | Last Updated: June 1, 2020 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

Don’t you love when your friends are there for you? Here are some ways to cheer up a girlfriend and be a better friend.

By Judi Cogan, Girlfriendology*

We all have great days when we want to shout happiness from a rooftop somewhere. We all have days that are neither wonderful nor terrible. Sometimes we have days that are Just Awful. As bad as it is when we have bad days, it is almost worse when a good friend has a bad day. We feel for them and want to help-but often we don’t know what to do or how to help her.

There are all different kinds of days we’d rather not repeat. Bad days range from the bad-hair-nail-chipped-spilled-the-coffee days to days when we get profoundly bad, unchangeable news. How you help your BFF is going depend on the kind of “bad” day she’s having and on her personality (and yours). Here are seven ideas for cheering up a girlfriend on a bad day.

Pick up the phone

Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest.There are days when the phone feels like it weighs a thousand pounds. Usually it’s because we just don’t know what to say in the face of our friends troubles. Remember-this isn’t a stranger, this is your friend. Pick up the phone and call. I often find it useful to check with my friend to see what role she needs from me. Is my job to help solve problems, to distract her and cheer her up, or just to listen?

Send a message

Tweet, text, email, Facebook message —  How you contact your friend doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you find a way to let her know you are thinking of her and sending her a virtual hug.

Or, rather than just send a message, why not send a link to a song? Choose a song that brings back happy memories for the two of you. Or send a song that makes people happy. (I have a friend who says it’s impossible to be sad when you listen to a Sousa march.)

Drop by to visit

Seeing a friendly face can sometimes make all the difference. Stop by to show your friend that there are still smiles in the world. Even if you only have five minutes (perhaps especially if you only have five minutes), that extra effort of showing up in person can make a huge impact.

Help her take action

Sometimes we are so stuck in a bad day that even breathing seems practically impossible. Often the best role you can play is to help your friend find a way to move through the rest of the day by taking action. Small steps lead to big results. So if your friend is overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning her entire home by the weekend, try to focus her on at least getting one room finished by the end of the day.

Take some of the burden

Lending a hand can be huge gift of friendship. Is your friend freaking out about picking up food and flowers on opposite sides of town at the same time? Why not offer to pick up the flowers for her. If she’s stressed about making and wrapping cookies for an event, why not spend some time in her kitchen helping and visiting.


Crank up the tunes, grab your friend, and start dancing. It’s amazing how your mood can improve when you move. So ‘dance it out’ just like the gals on Grey’s Anatomy.

Just listen

Often the best thing we can do for a friend is simply be there to listen. Listen while she shares her day, listen as she works through her struggles, listen as she laments the twists and turns she’s facing. Leave the judgment, leave the solutions, and just listen with empathy and friendship.

How do YOU help friends who are having a tough day?

*  Judi Cogan is the Girlfriendology Chief of Brilliant Ideas and fab mom to Rachel who helped her come up with these great ways to cheer up a friend. Girlfriendology is the online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship. Join thousands of girlfriends on Girlfriendology for girlfriend gifts, advice, stories, wisdom and more.

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Category: Dealing with friends with health and/or emotional problems

Comments (4)

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  1. ginger says:

    I agree that a big bear hug is an instant cheer for me! I love to hug people I care about. Hence my confusion when my ex-friend said she didn’t like to be hugged. Turns out she does like to be hugged casually but not when she’s sad. She said that it makes her feel too vulnerable; it makes the emotional pain worse. I, by contrast, feel that when I get a hug, the emotional pain is lessened. That’s only one way my ex-friend and I were very different. I wonder how many others out there dislike hugs?? I thought it was odd that my ex-friend didn’t like to be hugged but I suppose there are others out there. I would like to hear from you…thanks.

  2. Paedra says:

    Brilliant post! Long overdue! I love the idea of a science dedicated to girlfriendship – Girlfriendology. Isn’t that pure genius? I find giving sad girlfriends a big bear hug and a big squeeze lifts them out of any negative space and instantly puts a big smile on their face.

  3. ginger says:

    LISTENING is the single most important thing a friend can do for another.

  4. Jermaine says:

    I don’t have any “girlfriends” in the way that you describe it here in your post but I undershand where you’re going. Of all the tips you list I must admit that I am a fan of “listening.” Listening is what works best for me when I’m trying to help someone through a tough time. Listening, and asking open-ended questions that further the conversation without trying to solve the problem. Many times if a person is given the opportunity to talk all the way through a problem they end up finding their own answer(s).


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