We could all use a little more positivity in our lives—which is exactly why Harvey Ball, creator of the iconic smiley face symbol, decided to create World Smile Day. Ball didn’t like how his creation’s true meaning had become muddled through commercialization.

friends walking down sidewalk

So instead, he decided to take his newfound popularity and turn it into something genuinely good for the world. Harvey Ball declared the first Friday of October as World Smile Day. The idea behind the holiday is that at least one day a year, we should be reminded to do kind things and try to make someone else happy. After all, change begins with just one, and a simple smile has the power to create a wonderful ripple effect.

How do I Begin?

● First off, don’t overthink it. The simplest of acts can make all the difference in someone’s day.
● Try to begin your own day on a positive note. Do some feel-good stretches in the morning, treat yourself to some coffee or tune into a mood-boosting playlist. It’s hard to extend kindness if you’re depriving yourself of it.
● If the thought of approaching a stranger makes you nervous, no worries. Show kindness to someone you already know and the positive energy will only spread from there. But remember: Sometimes all it takes is a smile to completely change someone’s day.

man giving lemonade to stylish hipster happy woman in sunglasses with red lips. cool boho girl smiling with cocktail at street food festival. summer vacation, space for text

30 Random Acts of Kindness to Try

To kick off the holiday, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of small, yet meaningful, good deeds you can do to celebrate World Kindness Day—and any other day of the year, for that matter. The world needs more positive people, so why can’t you be one of them?

1. Bake cookies for the elderly
2. Participate in a 5K for a cause
3. Give a stranger a compliment
4. Buy flowers to hand out in the street
5. Leave notes of encouragement on people’s cars
6. Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant
7. Hold open doors for people
8. Donate your old clothes to a homeless shelter
9. Pay for someone’s morning coffee
10. Donate your hair to Locks of Love
11. Help give children in need a bed to sleep on
12. Leave a larger than usual tip
13. Send someone a handwritten letter or postcard
14. Get involved in a community clean up
15. Help someone struggling with heavy bags
16. Leave a thoughtful sticky note on your co-workers desk or locker
17. Share your umbrella when it’s raining outside
18. Call a relative you haven’t spoken with in a while
19. Let someone go ahead of you in line
20. Bring yummy treats to the fire station
21. Donate books to a children’s hospital
22. Read those books to the kids at a children’s hospital
23. Smile at everyone you pass (it’s contagious)
24. Befriend a lonely person
25. Say “thank you” a lot
26. Reach out to a person who has made a difference in your life
27. Give recognition to the unnoticed
28. Listen to someone’s life story
29. Send a care package to a soldier
30. Laugh easily (even at your co-worker’s so-so jokes)

Click here to download the list and take it with you when you’re on the go.

Whatever you end up doing, we’d love to hear! Share your #WorldSmileDay experience on social media, and make sure to tag us in it!