25 Random Ways to Show Kindness
Tune your mind to all things kind.
Have you ever noticed the contagious nature of kindness? When someone goes out of their way to show kindness just because, it spurs others to do the same. It’s a beautiful domino effect that can shift an entire atmosphere from negative to positive. The benefits of kindness are actually scientifically proven! Bring a dose of happy to your slice of the world by participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week, happening now, and Random Acts of Kindness Day, on Saturday, Feb. 17 (And then keep the kindness going in the days, months and years to come!). Check out these 25 ideas to get started.
1: Give your attention.
One of the easiest ways to show kindness is by being present, physically and mentally. Put your phone away, and give people your full attention when you’re with them. Be intentional about eye contact, and share the gift of a smile.
2: Bake for your neighbor.
This age-old neighborly act is a simple way to let neighbors know you’re friendly.
Goodness in a Box
With its endless flavor varieties and low price tag, box cake mix is easily one of the most versatile items in your pantry. Of course it's perfectly fine to use it to just make cake, but it has way more potential. Check out a few of our favorite ways to transform the humble box of cake into delicious sweet eats.
What's not to love about pancakes? Use your favorite cake flavor to make this breakfast staple even tastier! Stir together one box of dry cake mix (we used red velvet), 2.5 cups milk, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup of oil and 2 eggs. Cook on a griddle as you would any pancake and serve with whipped cream and fruit.
This zesty cookie bar is a delicious addition to your brunch or lunch party menu. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix one box of lemon cake mix, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled) and 1 egg. Pour batter into a greased 9x9-inch baking dish and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Top with powdered sugar. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
This is possibly the easiest cobbler you will ever make! Pour two, 21-ounce cans of pie filling into a greased casserole pan. Sprinkle one box of yellow cake mix over the pie filling then top with one cup melted butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The tanginess of sour cream and cream cheese balance the sweetness in this kid-friendly dip. Mix togehter 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup cake mix (any flavor), one cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Garnish with colorful sprinkles and serve with graham crackers.
No Churn Cake Ice Cream
Look out ice cream cake lovers, this one's for you! Crumble half of a 9x13 prepared cake (baked and cooled) and mix with one, 12-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and a 16-ounce tub of whipped topping. Pour the mixture into a pan and freeze for four hours (or overnight). Scoop and serve.
This cake doughnut does require a doughnut pan, but it's worth the purchase. Add 1/4 cup oil, one large egg and one cup of water to a box of cake mix. Spray doughnut pan with oil. Fill each cup with batter about half full. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool doughnuts on a rack and make a glaze with one tablespoon of softened butter, 1.5 cups of powdered sugar and three tablespoons of milk. Dip cooled donut halfway into glaze and top with sprinkles.
Turn your favorite dessert into a mouth-watering breakfast treat. Combine one box cake mix (any flavor), 1-1/3 cups water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup flour and 3 eggs. Pour mixture into a waffle iron and cook as you would a regular waffle. Top with powdered sugar, fruit or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
3: While you're at it, bake for your coworkers.
We all need a pick-me-up every now and then, and who doesn’t like a homemade treat? Package your baked goods individually, and bring them to your coworkers’ desks to ensure a face-to-face interaction with each one.
Pomegranate Blood Orange Tiramisu
Take advantage of in-season blood oranges to make this irresistible dessert that's sure to impress your dinner guests. Sweet-tart oranges and pomegranates pair perfectly with creamy mascarpone cheese. Get the recipe.
Champagne-Glazed Fruit Tarts
These bite-size nibbles are the perfect light ending to a heavy meal. Glaze the mini tarts with leftover Champagne or sparkling wine for a sweet finishing touch. Get the recipe.
This Italian trifle layers coffee-soaked ladyfingers with a rich mascarpone custard. Marsala wine, Grand Marnier and Kahlua give this traditional confection a sophisticated twist. Get the recipe.
Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips
We promise: You can't eat just one. Super-crunchy, salty, kettle-fried potato chips are the perfect canvas for a thick coating of chocolate. A thin layer of caramel and chopped nuts ensures this treat will satisfy all your cravings at once. Get the recipe.
Savory hints of ginger and rosemary add an unexpected flavor to this fresh and fruity dessert while the homemade nut crust is the just-right crunchy contrast to the smooth pastry cream. Get the recipe.
Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Madeleines
These traditional French cookies are the just-right treat to serve at any fall get-together. They're also the not-too-sweet complement to a cup of tea and party of one. Get the recipe.
Lemon Curd Tart
Tangy lemon curd combined with fresh whipped cream, a homemade pie crust and gorgeous berries make this tart one for the record books. The pie crust is super easy to make, so don't fear. And the lemon curd filling will have you licking the bowl. Get the recipe.
Cranberry Bliss Dacquoise Recipe
This impressive, towering dessert combines the flavors of cranberries and almonds with a decadent white chocolate mousse layered between homemade meringues. Make the components ahead of time and assemble just before serving to really wow your guests. Get the recipe.
Maple Nut Toffee
Take the traditional taste of toffee up a notch with the addition of real maple syrup. Topped with a layer of semisweet chocolate, it's hard to resist snacking on just one more piece. Get the recipe.
Carrot Cake Cookies Recipe
This iced cookie recipe is a refreshing twist on the classic cake. Best of all, you can spread the homemade cream cheese icing on top of each cookie or layer them to create a sandwich cookie. Get the recipe.
Pecan Pie Tartlets
Pecan pie is a can't-miss treat. Our twist turns them into mini hand-held tartlets, perfect for treating your guests to a dessert buffet or serving after a large meal when just a few bites are all you need. Get the recipe.
The Perfect Pumpkin Pie Recipe
The pilgrims were onto something — dense, spicy pumpkin pie is a tried-and-true crowd pleaser. Our recipe adds a dash of sea salt to bring out the pumpkin's mild sweetness. Get the recipe.
4: Pay for the person behind you on your coffee run.
DIY Thank You Cards 03:28
Take time to craft a handmade thank you card, and send it via snail mail.
5: Thank a teacher or mentor who impacted your life.
6: Return someone's grocery cart for him or her.
7: Bring dinner to a friend in need.
Cook a homemade meal, and bring it to a sick friend or new parent. Be sure to ask his or her preferences before cooking.
Oven-Baked Chicken Taquitos
Dinner doesn’t get much easier than this! These oven-baked chicken taquitos are made with just five ingredients and are ready in 20 minutes. This healthy spin on the traditional fried taquitos is sure to be a new family favorite. Make a double batch and freeze the extras to use for future suppers or school lunches. Get the recipe >>
It’s quiche...it’s pizza...it’s quichzza! All the foods you enjoy like pizza, quiche and pie rolled into one skillet. Start with whole-wheat pizza dough (you can pick this up in the bakery section of your supermarket), add eggs, whatever veggies you have on hand, your favorite cheese and bake. Is this breakfast or dinner? You decide! We vote both! Get the recipe >>
Turkey Taco Soup
Super satisfying and ready in just 15 minutes, this taco soup uses many canned ingredients like diced tomatoes, black beans, corn and green chilies. Keep a packet of taco seasoning in your pantry and ground meat (like the ground turkey used in this recipe) in your fridge and you’ll have a healthy meal the whole family will enjoy in less time than it takes to pick up takeout. Get the recipe >>
Lightened-Up Mongolian Chicken
Slow-Cooker Jamaican Jerk Pork
Simple ingredients: check! Large quantity: check! Tasty, healthy and freezable: check, check, check! This recipe has it all. Jamaican jerk pork made in the slow cooker is perfect in a sandwich, on top of a bed of lettuce or used as a pizza topping. Best of all, it uses ingredients you likely already have in the pantry and fridge. Get the recipe >>
One-Pan Roasted Whole Chicken With Gravy
Weeknight Chicken Tostadas
Prep the components of this recipe ahead so it can be ready to assemble and serve in less than 10 minutes on a busy weeknight. Use leftover grilled chicken, canned black beans, frozen corn kernels and other grocery staples to customize a family-friendly tostada with all of your favorite toppings. Get the recipe >>
Is your fridge looking a little sparse by the end of the week? Make this frittata with leftover veggies and other ingredients in your fridge that may be on their last leg. Using up ingredients that are about to go bad in a dish like a frittata is a great way to save money and make sure nothing goes to waste. Plus, leftovers can be enjoyed for breakfast or lunch. Get the recipe >>
Oven-Baked Fish Sticks
Weeknight Chicken Curry
5-Ingredient Orange Maple Salmon
8: Offer to do laundry for a friend in need.
The same friends who need a homemade meal may also desperately need help with their laundry. Offer to be their stand-in laundry service, and take care of the dreaded chore. Be sure to launder their items carefully, and bring them back neatly folded. Hesitant about your laundry skills? Read our guide to stain removal, first.
9: Wash someone’s car.
10: Let someone who’s in a hurry skip you in line.
11: Offer to walk your friend or neighbor’s dog.
There's no need to leave your dog at home when you want to go for a bike ride. There are a number of dog leashes available online that are made for biking with dogs, like the hands-free WalkyDog Plus Bike Leash. The leash safely attaches to your bicycle, keeping your dog a safe distance from your bike. It also keeps you in control should your pup stop or pull on your ride.
You could strike a warrior pose on your own, but why not do downward dog with your dog? Doga, as it's called, is yoga for dogs and it's a great way to incorporate your pup into your mind-body routine. Good Dog Pet Outfitters in San Diego, Calif., offers a monthly doga class so dogs and owners can practice mindfulness together.
Get your furry friend involved in your running routine. Start small with a run around the block, then gradually work your way up to a 5K. The book, 5K Training Guide: Running with Dogs, can help you put a plan in place. Set a goal to run a race for dogs and owners, like the Furry 5K in Seattle or the Doggie Dash & Dawdle in Albuquerque.
Dogs love getting out on the water, but you'll want to introduce him to a stand-up paddleboard on land before taking it out on a lake. Practice sitting, standing and paddling on the board before taking to the water to make sure your pup is comfortable. When you're ready to go, strap a brightly-colored life jacket on your dog to keep him safe regardless of his aquatic abilities.
Yes, you can take your dog with you to a fitness boot camp. Chicago-based K9 Fit Club has several dozen locations across the United States and Canada that offer core and cardio classes like Bow Wow Boot Camp and Pupilates. There's even a Waggin' Wheelchair class for dog owners with limited mobility to help increase flexibility and strength while bonding with their pup.
If you like to dance, then musical canine freestyle may be for you. It's actually a competitive sport (you can win trophies!) in which you and your dog dance to a choreographed routine. Imagine burning loads of calories while listening to your favorite songs with your furry BFF. The Musical Dog Sport Association has all the scoop on performance guidelines and upcoming competitions.
Power up your daily walks by incorporating interval training into your routine. You'll not only boost your metabolism, but you and your fur-ever friend will get a lot more out of a neighborhood stroll. Start off with a five-minute warm-up walk, then up the pace to a jog for one minute, then back down to a walk for a minute. The key is to alternate between low- and high-intensity movements.
During the summer, there's nothing better than jumping into a swimming pool, but it's even better when your furry friend can join in the fun. It's also a great way for you to exercise together. Seek out a dog-friendly beach or lake, and make sure your pup is wearing a life jacket. Bring along a tennis ball that he can swim to and retrieve to add to the fun.
Dogs love a good romp in the forest. It's a welcome change of scenery from walks around the neighborhood and oh, all the new smells and views. Numerous studies point to the benefits of nature, including stress relief and enhanced memory function, so go ahead and extend the benefits to your precious pup.
Your stairs may be the most underused piece of workout equipment in your house, yet they are such a simple way to keep you and your pup fit, particularly when weather keeps you inside. Run your dog up and down the stairs, taking two steps at a time when you can. This exercise will engage different muscles than walking or running, helping to tone up both of you.
12: Offer your mail carrier a water bottle or snack.
13: Offer to babysit for someone who needs a break.
Easy Paper Towel Roll Crafts 02:44
(You totally got this.)
Do you know a parent under a lot of stress? Offer them a night of free babysitting. Don’t have any toys? I bet you at least have a paper towel roll to spare.
14: Visit a nursing home.
Block off a couple hours to spend with the residents of a local nursing home. If you’re musically inclined, offer to sing or play an instrument before or after a meal. If not, spend time talking and listening to residents who seem eager to socialize.
15: Compliment someone — anyone!
16: Compliment a parent on his or her child’s behavior.
Often times, this means more than you'll ever know to an exhausted parent.
17: Add coins to a parking meter that’s about to expire.
Stress-Free Moving Tips 01:01
Follow these six tips for a stress-free moving experience.
18: Help a friend move.
19: Offer directions to someone who is lost.
If someone asks you for directions, spend time giving thoughtful, helpful instructions. Or if you see someone staring at a map quizzically, offer a helping hand.
20: Celebrate someone who needs celebrating.
Don’t let the new girl celebrate her birthday alone. Throw a low-key party, and invite your friends to make her feel welcomed.
Sweet and Savory Crostini
Crostini is the perfect appetizer to start out a casual party or get-together. Plus, you can get creative by using as many flavor combinations or assorted toppings that you like. Why not give some of these topping ideas a try?
Rotisserie Chicken Trick
Need to serve your guests protein-packed sandwiches, but don’t have the time or skill set to cook something up from scratch? Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket; then pull it apart and serve it as barbecue chicken sandwiches or sliders.
Eggplant Chips With Cilantro Pesto
Chips and dip is always a party favorite, but for a variation on the classic standby, give eggplant chips a try. The beautiful color and sweet taste pair perfectly with fresh cilantro pesto. Get the recipe>>
No-Bake Gorgonzola Cheese Balls
Nacho-Stuffed Potato Skins
Crispy Tomato Chips
If you grow a summer garden, chances are you have tons of tomatoes just waiting to be eaten. Take advantage of your summer bounty with these tangy tomato chips — perfect for a crowd! Get the recipe>>
Bacon Cheese Balls
Want an instant party hit? Combine two of the world's most popular ingredients: bacon + cheese. Just mix 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 8 chopped, cooked bacon slices, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon. Form into balls and chill. Roll in chopped chives and more chopped bacon.
Roasted Pepper and Mozzarella Bites
It seems like such a pity to not take advantage of nature's bounty during the warmer months. Garden-fresh bell peppers are a must. This bell pepper and mozzarella combination could not get any easier, but sometimes the simplest recipes are also the most delightful. Get the recipe>>
Self-Serve Popcorn Bar
Always a crowd pleaser, popcorn is a budget-friendly way to feed a big group. Add gourmet toppings to take this oh-so-munchable snack to the next level. Find out how to set up a self-serve popcorn bar>>
Self-Serve Potato Chip Bar
Another fun option? Satisfy your guest's salty tooth with a serve-yourself snack station stocked with kettle chips, savory seasonings and gourmet toppings. Find out how to set up a self-serve potato chip bar>>
Feta, Mint and Watermelon Bites
Save money on food with simple, fresh watermelon and feta appetizers flavored with red wine vinegar and mint. With that extra cash, we recommend splurging on a bottle of champagne to go along with these delicious morsels. Get the recipe>>
21: Give up your seat on public transportation.
If you’re able to stand, give your seat to someone just to be kind.
22: Donate clothes you no longer wear.
23: Donate old blankets and towels to an animal shelter.
24: Buy a meal for someone who’s hungry.
25: Brighten someone’s day with flowers.
Five-Minute Flower Arranging 01:46
Here's a quick how-to for arranging flowers like a pro in five minutes.
Make your own arrangement using grocery store flowers, and gift it to someone who needs a pick-me-up.