Relationship

11 effective ways to cheer up your girlfriend

Is your girlfriend feeling a little down? In this post, you'll find 11 tips to help cheer her up when she's having a bad time!

Dating Expert David Hall September 28, 2022 • 12 minutes read
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There are many reasons why your girlfriend could be feeling down. Maybe she is having a bad day or is stuck in a dark phase. It’s hard to see her so upset and not be able to help.

You might feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. It’s great that you want to help — it can really mean a lot to your girlfriend that you’re there for her and even improve your relationship.[1] Providing support or showing you care in small ways can make a big impact on psychological and relationship well-being.[2]

If you want to know how to cheer up your girlfriend, there are some things you can do to make her feel better. Here are some ways to cheer up that special girl in your life.

1. Give her a hug

Sometimes, all it takes to cheer your girl up is a nice hug. Hugging your girlfriend will help her release oxytocin, a chemical that reduces stress and makes people feel relaxed. It can also lower blood pressure, [3] and serve as a buffer against negative emotions.[4] So go ahead and give her a big hug!

This is the same effect that taking a warm bath or making love with someone you love has. So go ahead and give her a big hug for an instant mood boost.

Just make sure you know your girlfriend well enough that she wants to be hugged. If she doesn’t feel like being touched, hugging her might not help or even make things worse.

2. Cook her favorite food

Cooking your girlfriend’s favorite meal is an excellent way to cheer her up. If you want to be the prince charming of your girlfriend’s dreams, learn how to cook her favorite meal. Food offering is often seen as an act of love, and has interpersonal effects on both the giver and the receiver.[5]

Your girlfriend will appreciate the effort you put in and the fact that you were thinking of her. It will make her feel loved, cared for, and boost her mood.

Plus, nothing beats the taste of your girlfriend’s favorite food! So break out that apron and impress her with your cooking skills.

Want to know how to make your girlfriend happy? Here are some tips that will help you keep her smiling from ear to ear.

3. Spend time doing things she likes

Spending time together doing the things your girlfriend loves is a great way to cheer her up and show you care. If you two like watching TV, why not watch that sci-fi movie she’s been dying to see? Or if you’re both big fans of a certain band, go to one of their concerts together! Better yet, surprise her with tickets to see them live.

No matter what it is that your girlfriend loves, make an effort to do more of the things she likes. Spending time engaging in creative or leisurely activities can significantly improve her well-being and mood.[6]

You don’t have to spend hours and days doing these things. Simply find ways for you two to spend quality time together in her favorite activities. Look for more opportunities to do the things she enjoys, and you’ll build a stronger relationship with your girlfriend over time.

4. Surprise her with a gift

Surprising your girlfriend with a gift is an excellent way to show her how much you care. When your girlfriend is feeling down, she might need something to pick her spirits up, and gift giving — which has been seen as a symbolic communication of social exchange can be just the thing.[7] 

Start by thinking about what your girlfriend likes and making it into a gift or activity. Is she obsessed with your hometown’s baseball team? Get her tickets to their next game. Does she love reading fantasy novels? Pick up the last book in the series at the library and read it with her. Find ways for you two to spend time doing some of these activities together, or give her something that ties into her favorite hobby. She will greatly appreciate the gesture, especially if her love language is receiving gifts![8]

5. Watch her favorite movie together

It doesn’t matter if it’s a romantic comedy, action movie, or horror movie, as long it is a movie she loves. This strategy has the same effect as cooking her favorite meal or doing things she likes: you’re spending time together and having fun! It also makes your girlfriend feel like she can relax and not worry about anything for a couple of hours.

In fact, watching a movie that your girlfriend loves is even better than cooking her favorite meal or doing things she likes because it’s a shared activity. Instead of just thinking about what you want to do, you’re putting yourself in your girlfriend’s shoes and finding out her preferences. This way, you have an opportunity to show her how much you care.

6. Give her a massage

Turn on some relaxing music, dim the lights and give your girlfriend a nice massage. Find out what kind of pressure your girlfriend likes and use some oil or lotion to make the massage more pleasant. You can use your hands or use a back massage pillow to make the experience even better for her.

Doing this can help improve your girlfriend’s mental and physical well-being.[9] Your soothing touch and caring attitude can really lift her spirits, no matter how upset she is feeling. This will leave your girlfriend feeling calm and relaxed as well as valued by you because of all the effort you put into cheering up her mood.

The frequency with which you should give your girlfriend massages depends on your relationship. If your girlfriend doesn’t like being touched too much, only give her a massage when she needs one. However, if your girlfriend enjoys being touched more often, you can give her massages every once in a while (like after a long day of work).

7. Make silly jokes

Say some silly jokes and try to get her to laugh. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a comedian; just say something that will make your girlfriend crack a smile because everyone loves a good laugh. Laughter is an excellent way to reduce stress and promote positive emotions.[10]

Don’t try to be a comedian if that’s not who you are. The important thing is to make sure that a joke is appropriate for the situation. This means avoiding jokes about breaking up, insulting your girlfriend, or any subject that might make her feel uncomfortable.

Jokes that are a bit corny but ultimately innocent and playful will help your girlfriend smile and let go of all the stress she’s been feeling. If you’re having trouble thinking of a joke to tell, just think about what you both normally find funny. Does she enjoy stand-up comedy? Maybe she would like to watch a show with you that has a lot of comedic moments.

If your girlfriend doesn’t have any particular interests or sense of humor, showing her a meme or video from Reddit might be able to make her laugh through the relatable situations presented in them.

Just remember to show your girlfriend you care by saying something that will make her smile, instead of saying something she would find insulting. Even if your joke isn’t particularly funny, it will still be appreciated because you took the time to think about what she might enjoy and made an effort for her sake.

8. Surprise her with her favorite chocolates or ice cream

If your girlfriend has a sweet tooth, surprise her with a nice treat. You can give her a box of chocolates, ice cream, or anything else you know she likes from the convenience store down the street.

Surprising your girlfriend with her favorite snack will make her feel special because you took the time to get something she likes. Even if you can’t afford expensive chocolates or gourmet mochas, getting your girlfriend her favorite snack is better than buying some flowers because it shows that you actually care about what your girlfriend likes.

Looking for some fun and creative ideas to make your girlfriend feel special? Check out these 14 things you can do that are sure to please her.

9. Go on a mini-vacation

Take your girlfriend on a day trip to somewhere in the area. She will appreciate this gesture because you took time out of your busy schedule and spent money to cheer her mood up.

It might be difficult for you and your girlfriend to go on a full-length vacation in the short term, so taking a day trip is a great alternative. This way, you can still have fun together without losing all of your time for the rest of the week and still reap its temporary benefits on health and well-being.[11]

A mini-vacation could be visiting a nearby town or city that you’ve always wanted to check out. Do some research on places in the area that are historical, artistic, or just interesting in general. Look at what amenities each place offers so you can decide which one to visit. Make sure that the place has affordable but decent accommodations, activities, and food.

This way, your girlfriend will be able to enjoy herself because she’ll be in an environment where she feels comfortable and safe with you by her side. She will also feel valued because of all the effort you put into planning the trip and making sure that she feels good.

10. Plan a night out

If you can’t afford a mini-vacation, then plan a night out on the town. Date nights can be just as rewarding as vacations, if not more so. This is because it gives you and your girlfriend time to focus on each other without any distractions.[12]

Make sure to pick a place that your girlfriend would like. It could be a restaurant, bar, club, or anywhere else she enjoys going. If you want to make the night even more special, you could buy her a small gift or make reservations in advance.

Planning a night out for your girlfriend will show her that you’re willing to put in the effort to make her happy. She will also appreciate being able to spend some quality time with you without having to worry about anything else.

11. If all else fails, give your girlfriend some space.

When someone is upset or stressed, they need time alone to process their feelings and come up with a solution to the problem. While you may be tempted to try cheering up your girlfriend if she’s feeling down, it might just make things worse in the long run—especially if she doesn’t want to be cheered up.

When your girlfriend needs time alone, just give her what she needs. Let her know that you’re there when she wants to talk, but don’t push her into talking if she’s not in the mood. She’ll appreciate that you care about her wellbeing, even when it means giving her space when she is in no mood for company.

So, these are some of the ways how to make your girlfriend happy. It really depends on the person what will work and what won’t. Just try different things and see what makes her feel good. And don’t forget to tell her how much you love her!


The best relationship books to help you survive and thrive

Whether single or in a relationship, it can be tough to navigate the waters of love. These books offer advice and guidance from experts and real-life couples alike, giving you the tools you need to make your relationship work. These books will surely provide some valuable insights if you are looking for a way to spice up your love life or simply learn how to better communicate with your partner.

  1. Love: The Psychology of Attraction: A Practical Guide to Successful Dating and a Happy Relationship
  2. Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age
  3. The Power of Four Bases for Relationships: Can You Hit a Home Run in a Relationship?
  4. Communication and Relationship: A Guide to Deeper Connection, Trust and Intimacy to Improve Communication and Strengthen Your Bond as a Couple
  5. Couple's Bucket List: 101 Fun, Engaging Dating Ideas

References

  1. Brock, R. L., & Lawrence, E. (2009). Too much of a good thing: Underprovision versus overprovision of partner support. Journal of Family Psychology, 23(2), 181–192.
  2. Cohen, S. (2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist, 59, 676-684.
  3. Light, K. C., Grewen, K. M., & Amico, J. A. (2005). More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. Biological psychology, 69(1), 5–21. doi.org
  4. Murphy, M., Janicki-Deverts, D., & Cohen, S. (2018). Receiving a hug is associated with the attenuation of negative mood that occurs on days with interpersonal conflict. PloS one, 13(10), e0203522. doi.org
  5. Hamburg, M. E., Finkenauer, C., & Schuengel, C. (2014). Food for love: the role of food offering in empathic emotion regulation. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 32. doi.org
  6. Morse, K. F., Fine, P. A., & Friedlander, K. J. (2021). Creativity and Leisure During COVID-19: Examining the Relationship Between Leisure Activities, Motivations, and Psychological Well-Being. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 609967. doi.org
  7. Caplow, T. (1982). Christmas gifts and kin networks. American sociological review, 383-392.
  8. Mostova, O., Stolarski, M., & Matthews, G. (2022). I love the way you love me: Responding to partner's love language preferences boosts satisfaction in romantic heterosexual couples. PloS one, 17(6), e0269429. doi.org
  9. Field T. (2016). Massage therapy research review. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 24, 19–31. doi.org
  10. Yim J. (2016). Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter in Mental Health: A Theoretical Review. The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine, 239(3), 243–249. doi.org
  11. de Bloom, J., Geurts, S. A., & Kompier, M. A. (2012). Effects of short vacations, vacation activities and experiences on employee health and well-being. Stress and health : journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 28(4), 305–318. doi.org
  12. Harasymchuk, C., Walker, D. L., Muise, A., & Impett, E. A. (2021). Planning date nights that promote closeness: The roles of relationship goals and self-expansion. Journal of social and personal relationships, 38(5), 1692–1709. doi.org
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Dating Expert

David Hall

David Hall is a self-taught dating expert who works as a freelance writer to help people improve their love lives. He has always been interested in dating, physical attraction, and …

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