Your friend is in a pretty dark place, and you want to help.
But what can you do to make a difference?
Everyone goes through tough times, and offering support to a someone you love is a scientifically-proven way to help them with their mental health struggles.
Words of encouragement for a friend can make all the difference in the world.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to say – especially if a friend is dealing with a sensitive or private matter.
The fact that you are wondering how to support a friend speaks volumes about your caring and comforting nature.
What to Consider When Offering Comforting Words for A Friend in Need
Think of your best friend and then your spouse or significant other.
You may not offer each of them similar words of support, even if they were dealing with the same challenge.
Key things to consider when giving a message of encouragement to a friend or family member include:
- Reason: Why is the person struggling? Is it a breakup with a partner or a breakdown of mental health? The reason helps us narrow down our message of support.
- Personality: Is your loved one or friend very independent or co-dependent? How a person approaches life could help you refine your message.
- Severity: Words of encouragement for a friend will differ if it is a more difficult challenge or a real traumatic event.
- State of Mind: People who are already struggling with mental health challenges will react differently than others when facing a crisis. You want to give a message of encouragement to a friend or family member without trying to replace necessary therapy.
65 Words of Encouragement for a Friend Feeling Down
It can help to practice saying these sentences before you offer encouraging words to a friend or loved one.
You want to avoid saying, “Let me know if I can do anything to help,” because sometimes people in crisis have no idea what they need.
1. “We are not defined by one moment in time. Your strength to recover from this is what will define you, and I’m here to support that.”
2. “I want to respect your space, but I also want to help you. Can I just sit here and hold your hand? Speak or be silent; either way, you’ve got me by your side.”
3. “I know you are a strong, independent person. When I went through tough times, you were there for me, and I will always be here for you too.”
4. “I know you are having trouble getting out of bed. I brought your favorite groceries and put them in the fridge. Don’t worry about paying me back. Focus on feeling better.”
5. “You have survived and thrived through every challenge you’ve faced. You will do the same with this challenge.”
6. “You are feeling alone right now, and that makes sense, given how you were part of a couple for so long. You were an amazing and loving person before the relationship, and you’re the same now.”
7. “Can I list the three most valuable traits you have that inspire me each day?”
8. “Let’s do some affirmations. You are enough. You are strong. You are more than this moment in time. You will recover.”
9. “Don’t hold onto grudges or dwell in resentment. It’s like drinking poison and expecting it to hurt the other person, but it only hurts you.”
10. “When we go through our greatest challenges, we find valuable traits that can help us cope and support each other down the road.”
11. “I am honored you allowed me into this private space. Everything we discuss is between us, and I will never violate your trust.”
12. “I know you aren’t just going to get over this, and people who tell you to do that aren’t sure what to say. While you will get over this, it’s important that you heal in a safe space, and I’m honored to be part of that.”
13. “It’s okay to cry. In fact, crying actually helps release feel-good hormones and will actually make you feel better. I can stay or leave if you feel emotions bubbling up, but I’m always going to be here.”
14. “Let’s change your privacy settings on your social media to keep people from seeing your struggles. If you trust me with your phone, I’ll adjust the setting so you can just focus on healing.”
15. “I know you can handle this on your own, but the bounds of friendship make it so I can help you handle this, and it’s less of a burden on you. I am not taking away your strength, I am building the strength in our power of two.”
16. “A bad day or a bad week does not mean a bad life. Your life is filled with so many amazing things. Focus on those for a few minutes.”
17. “I put together a playlist of inspirational songs to help you get through this. Let’s put it on and dance or just sit together and laugh.”
18. “Your heart is broken, but much like with a broken leg, it will heal a little at a time until one day you’re healed and walking toward a new heartwarming experience.”
19. “God will not give us anything we can’t handle. He sees a strength that isn’t always visible to us, and we can use these opportunities to grow closer to Him and each other.”
20. “I know you are sad you lost your job. Remember how upset you were every day with the workplace and the colleagues who didn’t support you? This is an amazing opportunity to redefine your professional life and set important boundaries.”
21. “We can only see rainbows around a storm, so it’s okay to protect yourself from the storm, but never stop looking for rainbows.”
23. “There is always something to live for, even in the darkest hour. My life is better because you are in it, and without you, I’d be lost.”
24. “Everything in life has polar opposites. Top and bottom, up and down, heads or tails, happy or sad, tough or easy – you are just dealing with one polar opposite before you get to the next one.”
25. “Nothing happens to us that we can’t learn and grow from. While that seems impossible now, I’m going to be here to show you how much we’ve learned during this event.”
26. “Love is unconditional and kind. Love offers grace and compassion. During this time, let’s work on self-love instead of ruminating on our feelings towards others.”
27. “Everyone makes mistakes. You are not unique because you are facing a problem. You are unique because you will do anything to overcome it. That’s inspiring and noble.”
28. Write a note to a person who wants to be left alone using a Hallmark card or homemade card. “I know you want to be alone, but you’ll never be alone as long as I’m here in spirit. You are loved and cherished. When you are ready to talk, I’ll be here immediately.”
29. “I’m here, and you don’t have to respond. I just want you to know you mean the world to me, and when you’re struggling, I’m struggling. We’ll get through this together.”
30. “You can’t control the things that happen to you, but you are in full control of how you react to them.”
31. “You get three days to be sad, but then you gotta be a badass.”
32. “You are not overreacting. This is a normal way to process a very difficult time. If you weren’t upset, that would be more concerning.”
33. “I know counseling can help in times like this. Can I look up some therapist options for you and go with you to a meeting?”
34. “I want to thank you for everything you just shared with me. I am honored you trust me so much. Do you want me just to listen, or would you like my perspective and possible solutions? Either way is fine with me.”
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35. “I cannot tell you what to do. This is your decision. What I can do is walk you through the possible solutions and find the one you feel works best for you.”
36. “I respect that you don’t want to talk. How about we write down what we’re feeling right now and exchange it with each other when the time is right? You can pick when that time comes.”
37. “You are not a burden to me or anyone. You are the first person always to support someone in need, and we just want to return the favor.”
38. “Let me turn off my phone real quick because I don’t want any distractions. You are the most important thing in my life right now.”
39. “Nobody ever told us life would be easy. It is worth it, however.”
40. “You write the script for your own life, and you control the plot. The best scripts have ups and downs with glorious triumphs. I know you will have that same triumph.”
41. “You cannot control this outcome any more than you can control the ocean. What you can do is find the best way to navigate the challenge and arrive at a better destination.”
42. “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today? Let’s talk about the positive things in your life and thank God for those and pray for the strength to get through this.”
43. “The odds of you being born are one in 400 trillion. That means you are as rare as anyone else in this world, and you can cope with a situation any way that works best for you.”
44. “When you cannot walk, I will carry you. When you can’t find words, I’ll support you through silence. When you try to give up, I won’t give in.”
45. “Standing still in the middle of chaos, even an emotional disaster, is not helpful. It’s the forward motion that keeps us safe and strong.”
46. “Winnie the Pooh might have said it best – How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbyes so hard.”
47. “There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is only what works for you to express the pain and soothe the emotional toll. When the time is right, we’ll still grieve but turn it around to honor the people we loved and lost.”
48. “This is not all your fault. This is a factor of a million different things you can’t control. This was inevitable as much as your recovery from this challenge is.”
49. “When I look at you so sad, I still see the beautiful person you truly are. The care and compassion you bring to this world make it a better place.”
50. “How you are reacting is totally normal. It would not be normal to be emotionless right now. You are experiencing a major life adjustment. That will come with growing pains and, inevitably, a better version of yourself.”
51. “I know you are dealing with a lot of pain right now, but your bravery in how you handled the situation thus far has really inspired me to be better with the painful challenges in my life. You have always been such a good influence on this world.”
52. “I know you like to handle things in private, and I respect that. I’m going to check on you every few days. You can respond or not respond. I won’t get my feelings hurt. I just want to be sure you know there are people who love you and need you to get better.”
53. “Let’s add the word ‘now’ to the things you just said. You are sad… now. You feel worthless… now. You wish you had never met him… now. With time will come a different perspective. Be open to changing your feelings while respecting this moment in time.”
54. “Just because we are related to someone does not give them the right to disrespect us. You have set boundaries that are for your best benefit, and I am in awe of your strength.”
55. “You don’t have to be strong or tough right now. I got you.”
56. “Just because it didn’t happen for you now doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. It just means there’s another step to get there.”
57. “I’ve seen your strength. Those inner demons you’re battling have no idea how strong you really are, but they are going to find out real soon!”
58. “There is no timeline for recovery. There is only what is best for you to recover. I will handle anything you can’t and shush anyone I need to.”
59. “If every day was an amazing day, how would we know what an amazing day felt like? This will give us a great perspective on other challenges we face and allow us to celebrate amazing days better together.”
60. “You don’t attract bad people. You just see the good in others that not everyone can see. Never stop searching for the good.”
61. “I am always proud to be your friend, even in your darkest hour. If nothing else, let my love light the way out of this.”
62. “It took a lot of courage to do what you did. It will take even more courage to get through this. If anyone is a lion with immense courage, it’s you, my friend.”
63. “You don’t have to be anything but you right now. I love you exactly as you are in every phase of our wonderful friendship.”
64. “There is nothing fair about life and love. There is also nothing stopping you from overcoming this.”
65. “I’m here for you if you need me, but I’m at a loss for words. I’m going to stay here and be out of your way, but know I’m in the other room if you need to talk more about this.”
A message of encouragement for a friend can be spoken, texted, emailed, hand-written, or DM’d. The purpose is to let them know they have support without bulldozing your way into their problem.
Never make a problem or challenge about you. Giving examples of how you overcame something can feel empathetic, but it really focuses on you when it should be about them.
Also, be mindful of facial expressions and hand gestures so you’re being neutral, compassionate, and supportive.