A letter of hope is a positive, simple writing exercise. It’s a way to focus your thoughts into a clear, uplifting message either for yourself or others. Many psychologists back the idea that these types of messages have a lot of positive effects for both the writer and recipient.
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You’ll find letters of hope in all shapes and sizes, and many different campaigns have used this concept to spread positivity. In general, these letters are delivered to those in need when they need it most. We’ve all experienced challenges or hardship, and these letters let someone special know you’re thinking of them.
Words have power, and even the smallest messages carry great significance. You could write a letter of hope to yourself, a loved one, or even a stranger in need. It’s one of the many ways you can put your words to good. In this guide, we’ll share how to write a sincere letter of hope as well as some top examples.
What are Letters of Hope?
Letters of hope are just how they sound—a handwritten letter to someone to get them through a rough patch. Letters of hope don’t take any complex writing skills or research abilities. They’re simply a way to deliver a positive message when someone needs it most.
Letters of hope might include:
- Quotes: There are many quotes about finding hope in the darkest of times that shed light on someone’s day.
- Stories: Few things are as powerful as stories. By sharing your own story and experience, you can reach someone in a new way.
- Positivity: Most of all, these letters of hope focus on the positive. They’re a way to see the world in a night light.
- Forward-thinking: Finally, these letters are also inherently forward-thinking. They remind the recipient that though things might be hard right now, they also will turn around soon.
There are very few rules about letters of hope. These can be written as a letter to your future self, letter to a loved one, or even a letter to a stranger. We all have struggled with some form of adversity in our lives. Whether it was a bout of anxiety, failure, or a bleak situation, a few words of encouragement go a long way.
How to Write a Letter of Hope
If you’re hoping to write a letter of hope for yourself or another person, there are some things to keep in mind. Start with these steps to make the most of this writing exercise.
Step 1: Choose your recipient
First, you need to decide who you’re writing your letter to. If you choose to write to yourself, you’ll likely take on a different tone than if you’re writing a loved one or a stranger. You might even choose to write multiple letters of hope.
If you’re writing to a loved one, consider what they might need the most. What tone works best for them? How can you relate to them on paper vs. in person? Consider the people in your life who might be going through a rough time. How can you make things a little better for them with your words?
If you’re writing to a stranger, it’s helpful to go through an organization. There are many local groups and organizations that offer these types of opportunities to share your letter of hope with someone in need. Some options to consider are:
- Local shelters
- Nonprofit service groups
- Active military or veteran organizations
- Prisons or jails
- Schools or universities
People from all walks of life and experience are in need of hope. If you feel the call to action, reaching out to a local or national organization to see how you can contribute is a great option. Many ask for letters of hope throughout the year for those in need, and this is an amazing way to show support.
Step 2: Create a draft or outline
Before you begin, take a bit of time to collect your thoughts. This is something you want to get right, so take some time to consider your wording and your message before you put pen to paper.
Letters of hope, while they can be any length, are generally short, easy-to-read letters between 1-2 pages. They’re not complicated or hard to understand. Since written real estate is at a minimum, limit your message to a few key points, quotes, or comments.
Creating a draft or an outline is a great place to begin. Write down what you want to say in bullet form or in a formal outline, and then it’s time to put pen to paper.
Step 3: Write your letter
This is the fun part. It’s time to put your words to use and start putting them to the page. This can be challenging, especially if you’re writing a letter of hope to someone else. It’s okay if you can’t think of the “perfect” words. Done is always better than perfect.
Remember to stick to your outline and to stay on topic. Share a mixture of personal experience, hopes for the future, and well-wishes. If you know the recipient personally, remember that this is meant to inspire them. How can you lift them up? What do they mean to you?
If this is a letter to a stranger, keep the same ideas at the forefront of your mind? Have you walked in their shoes? Can you relate to what they’re experiencing? Most importantly, remind them that someone is thinking of them in this time of need. Nobody wants to feel alone.
Step 4: Revise and finalize
Next, edit and finalize your draft. You might want to run it through a spell check service or program if it’s a digital document. If not, read through your writing to catch any errors. These disrupt your reader and remove them from the message, though it doesn’t need to be perfect by any means.
Once it’s ready to go, print your document or fold it carefully. Don’t forget to sign your name unless you’d rather it be anonymous. Use a nice envelope and seal it carefully. Addressing it to the recipient or organization. Wish it well and send it on its way. That’s all there is to it!
Example Letters of Hope
When thinking of how to offer help through a letter of hope, inspiration doesn’t always come easily. These examples below will spark inspiration for all situations.
Example of a letter of hope to yourself
I’m writing this letter of hope to you from the past for a moment when you’ll need it most. Our path is always twisting and turning the most unexpected directions. I know times are tough.
I also know you’ll pick yourself back up and start up again. I know you’re the bravest person I know, even if it doesn’t always feel like that. Just know that things will get better. You’ve survived every challenge until this moment, and you’ll survive this. I’m thinking of you, and so many people love you. You’ve got this.
Example of a letter of hope to a friend
I heard you’re going through a hard time, and I wanted to let you know that I’m always here for you. You bring me so much inspiration every day. I don’t tell you that enough, but you’re one of my heroes.
You’ve made it through so much. Now it’s time to be hopeful in yourself and the future. Things always work out, and I’ll be here with you every step of the way. You’ve never been alone. You have such beauty and joy in your soul. Never forget that. Best wishes, always.
Example of a letter of hope to a stranger
I know we haven’t met, but I’m thinking of you. I know exactly what you’re feeling. I walked in the same shoes all those years ago after I lost my mother to cancer.
She was a strong woman until the end, and a day doesn’t pass where I don’t think of her kind personality. I know the pain you’re feeling. I still feel it’s ache every day of my life. I just wanted to be there to let you know that it does get better. There are brighter days ahead. Hold onto anything you can to pull yourself to that greater tomorrow. I’m thinking of you.
Offer a Small Dose of Kindness
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but words have the power within themselves. While a letter might seem small, it carries a lot of significance in our times of need. We all like to feel heard and understand. We all like to know someone is thinking of us.
By writing a letter of hope to someone you love, yourself, or even a stranger in need, you put a bit of positive energy into the universe. In a way, this helps you as well. Whether you use this as a writing exercise or a form of kindness, know you’re onto something great.