8 free ways to make someone’s day on World Kindness Day

Making other people feel good feels good, and, best of all, it requires little more than a generous heart.

Kindness pays off in dividends: Studies show that people feel happier when they do something kind for another person, and both recipients and good deed-doers can reap the benefits.

Open your heart this World Kindness Day with some small, free ways to make someone’s day.

Learn a friend’s language

Picking up a bit of a friend or co-worker’s first language and speaking it with them shows them you care and take an interest in their experiences. Making someone feel included and respected will feel a greater sense of belonging, an integral component of happiness.

Reconnect with a friend or family member

Reaching out to someone for the first time in a long time can be an instant balm for whatever ails you. It’s as simple as a text, a note or a FaceTime call. Let someone know you’re thinking of them, even after some time apart. Studies suggest strong bonds can improve physical health, too.

Donate your time to an underserved cause

It can be difficult to navigate nonprofits that all serve worthy missions, but there are plenty of local charities that could use some attention. Do some homework, see what help they need and shed some well-deserved light on their cause.

If you’re not sure where to start, CNN’s Impact Your World highlights vetted charitable causes and shares stories of how people make an impact.

Consider the homeless

In most of the US, it’s cold outside. Like, record-breaking cold. Many homeless people are staying outside during inclement weather, so donating coats or nonperishable food would fulfill at least a few necessities. Better yet, ask homeless people and homeless shelters what they need and go from there. Listening goes a long way.

Genuinely compliment someone

A respectful comment that comes from the heart — about someone’s unique hair style, excellent performance in a concert or their incisive solution to a problem at work — might be all it takes to improve someone’s mood. Hearing positive affirmations from someone else could help some people be a bit kinder to themselves, too.

Collect trash you see around your neighborhood

Picking up trash and recyclables off the street beautifies your community and benefits the environment. It might even inspire others to take up the task with you. The environment can’t clean itself, after all!

Cook a meal for someone who needs it

It can be overwhelming to think about food in an anxious rut. Easing that burden for a friend in the thick of it means they have one less thing to worry about, plus a home-cooked meal and a friend to share it with. Eating together can relieve their stress and help them decompress.

Thank the people in your life

The security guard outside of your workplace, the bodega worker you see every day, your mom — without their help, your world might not run as efficiently. Thank people for the things, big and small, that they do that improve your life. Gratitude is priceless.