How to Write an ‘Open When You Feel Like Giving Up’ Letter


Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Someone you know might feel like giving up due to work pressure, a failed test, relationship problems, or other reasons. Think you might not be around to cheer your friend or loved one up when that time comes? Open When letters are written for someone to open just when they need it most. 

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You might wonder what to say when someone is having a bad day. Follow the steps below and you’ll write a great “open when you feel like giving up” letter for your friend or loved one.

Steps for Writing an ‘Open When You Feel Like Giving Up’ Letter

“Open When” letters are pre-written so you can’t write them after understanding why your loved one feels discouraged. Instead, you write it in such a way that they can take guidance from your words when they are feeling discouraged. Because of this, your letter needs to be equal parts understanding, encouragement, and timeless advice.

1. Gather your supplies 

Before you can write anything, you’ll need to assemble all the things you’ll need to write the letter. You should have the following:

  • Good quality paper
  • Pens or marker (pro tip: use a pen to write your letter and a marker to write over certain words for emphasis.)
  • Envelope 
  • Stamps 
  • Address of the person you’re writing

2. Write labels for the letter

Write a label to paste on the back of the envelope if you’re sending it or the front if you’re handing it to someone. The label can be a simple statement like “open when you feel like giving up” but you can also say things like:

  • Open when you’re feeling discouraged.
  • Open when you’re having a bad day.
  • Open when you’re really stressed out.
  • Open when you want to be done with it all.

3. Begin the letter with an inspirational quote

Quotes can help define your thoughts and feelings in a few words. There are thousands of quotes available that talk about giving up, motivation, and success. A few good ones are: 

  • “Never give up because great things take time.” 
  • “Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel, but that would only make more laundry for me.” 
  • “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” — Elbert Hubbard 
  • “Remember, no matter how much it hurts right now, one day you’ll look back and realize it made you stronger.”
  • “Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton

Choose wise, motivational, or funny survivor quotes to motivate your loved ones. 

4. Talk about life

Give a little pep talk about how life is both a bed of roses and a thorny bush. Mention people like Bill Gates, Charles Schulz, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Edison, who tried again and again until they finally succeeded.  

5. List their best points

Talk about your friend or loved one’s good points. Words like “smart, clever, beautiful, or funny” should do the trick. Encourage your friend’s dreams.

For example, if your loved one is a singer, you can write, “You make music out of thin air and your songs ignite passion. Don’t lose confidence in your dreams because they're gonna take you places!”

6. Include a couple of jokes

Everyone likes to laugh, especially people who are stressed out with life and work. Jot down a couple of jokes you know will make your loved one smile.

7. Dish out wisdom 

Those who want to give up are desperately in need of some good old-fashioned advice and wisdom.

Encourage your loved one to never give up on those dreams and to do things that always bring about peace and joy. Tell your loved one to keep trying because you know the discouragement he’s facing will only last a season. 

8. Keep the letter short and sweet

Long letters are good, but not if they endlessly drone on and on. Make it the appropriate length and engaging enough that you know the person will read it all the way through in one sitting. As a general rule, keep it to one page or shorter and make it encouraging and motivating. 

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9. Explain your ‘open when’ letter 

If this is the first “Open When” letter you’re giving away, include a short explanation of what it is. Include a small note in the envelope that explains: 

  • Why you wrote the letter
  • When your loved one or friend should open the letter
  • What to do with the contents inside

‘Open When You Feel Like Giving Up’ Small Gift or Decoration Ideas

Don’t forget to give a small gift along with the “open when you feel like giving up” letter. 

1. Design the envelope yourself 

Instead of buying pre-made envelopes, you can make one. For this, you’ll need:

  • Colored paper (use the recipient’s favorite color)
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Create engaging patterns, doodles, or drawings on the colored paper. Then trace out an envelope shape, cut excess paper, fold, and assemble. 

2. Make labels 

Design a label if you’re sending it or make an “Open When” label if you’re handing it to someone in person. Color, draw, or print a design onto plain white labels if you’re planning to label multiple envelopes. 

3. Use designed paper 

If you’re not a whiz at design but you don’t want to use white paper, you can still add some color. Choose colorful and creative cardstock already printed with designs.

Make sure that the designs aren’t too distracting. Designs should be colorful but not so bold that your writing will disappear. 


It’s fun to open an envelope and find a little party inside! Confetti always reminds you of happy times in life and it will have the same effect on the recipient. 

5. Bubble wrap

Think about putting a sheet in the envelope for those friends or loved ones who love to pop bubble wrap. Label it as a “destress sheet” and tell them to pop their stress away. 

6. Favorite food

Include favorite comfort foods like chips or candy if you plan to send a care package with your letter.

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8. Cute or funny keychains

Give your friend or loved one something to look at and enjoy. Keychains come in nearly every design imaginable, so choose something you know will make your friend smile. 

9. Emoji stickers

Emoji stickers can make people laugh. Include a sheet or two of stickers. You can find them online at Etsy or stationery shops. Some places even allow you to customize them.

10. Homemade picture book 

Make a picture book to remind your friends or loved ones of people or places they love. To make one, you’ll need to fold three blank pages in half.

Place them side by side and punch two holes inches from their center at the same time. Thread a ribbon through the holes and tie a bow to hold the pages together. You can then paste in pictures, draw funny memes, or write out amusing quotes. 

12. CDs or DVDs

A video often speaks louder than words. Consider including a short video of you offering an encouraging pep talk. You can also include a CD of songs about not giving up.

‘Open When You Feel Like Giving Up’ Letter Examples

Here are two letter templates you can follow to get an idea about how to write an ‘open when you feel like giving up’ letter. They follow the steps mentioned above. 

Example one

Dear [Name], 

I know you must be feeling like the most unfortunate person in the world. You just lost your [insert specific situation — job, boyfriend/girlfriend, spot on the baseball team, etc.] and you feel like life is never going to get better. You probably want to crawl into bed and never come out again. 

It’s okay to feel the pain and hurt over your loss, but don’t let that define you. You’re more than that. You’re a fighter. You have the strength and drive that no one else does. Find it, use it, and let it push you on. Failure and disappointment should never own you. Failure is just a part of life. Don’t ever give up. You’ll see one day that everything will work out for good.

Hang in there!


[Your Name]

Example two

Hey [Name],

I’m so sorry you’re going through a hard time right now. You’re a gem, full of skill and passion. 

You are an amazing person. Did you know that I look up to you? I admire your passion, your love for life, and the way you treat those around you. I love to watch you [insert skill or character trait] and I’m amazed how you always encourage those around you. This setback isn’t going to define your life. This is only going to make you better, stronger, more empathetic. You are going to rise above this and come away ready to take on the world. 

Life is hard. I get that. But remember that it’s not always going to be an uphill climb. You’ll get through this. You have so many incredible things ahead of you and I cannot wait to hear about each and every one of them. You’ve totally got this!

I’m here for you, 

[Your Name]

Advise and Motivate

Your loved ones may sometimes feel disappointed but you can give them some much-needed advice in the form of an “open when you feel like giving up” letter. Even when you can’t physically be with your loved ones, you can help them with your words.

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