25 Things to Say Instead of ‘Good Luck’ to a Friend


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There are many occasions in life when we need to wish someone well, such as prior to surgery or a significant school test. Saying “good luck” at those moments may not adequately relay how much you care about the outcome of the event they’re going into. So what can you say to share that you’re rooting for someone, you want the best outcome for them, and you hope everything goes well? 

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If you’re tired of the simple-sounding “good luck,” consider going with some of the creative phrases below to communicate the sentiment instead.

What to Say Instead of ‘Good Luck’ Before a Surgery or Medical Treatment

Example of what to say instead of "good luck" before a surgery over an image of flowers

Getting surgery or medical treatments can be a scary process. If you want to infuse your loved one with more than just “good luck,” try some other sayings to wish them something more than just luck. This is especially helpful when you are wondering what to say before surgery.

1. “I’m rooting for you.”

This positive and springy saying can be nice to use when a loved one is going in for a simple procedure, such as getting a cast removed from their arm. If they’re going for a checkup and already expect good news, this phrase is also appropriate.

2. “All the best to you today.”

Saying something like “all the best to you today” can be a formal way to share good luck, and can be used in a text message to someone you don’t talk to often or are just thinking of them.

3. “I hope everything goes well.”

To make this phrase more personalized, mention the surgery they’re having. For example, “I hope your knee surgery goes well.” Making your well-wishes specific shows the person you’re talking to that you’ve taken an interest in what’s going on in their life and that you care.

4. “I’m praying for you.”

Use this phrase if you and the person you’re talking to are religious or spiritually inclined. This can combine your well-wishes and also offers up a personal motivation for both of you. This also works well if you’re looking for something to say when helping a grieving friend.

5. “Best wishes!”

Saying “best wishes” is a simple way to wrap up your good feelings for someone, wishes for success, and hopes that everything turns out right into one phrase. This is best when written on a small “thinking of you” card that is given to someone before they go into surgery.

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What to Say Instead of ‘Good Luck in Your Future Endeavors’

Life changes may not always be exciting. Sometimes they are planned and plotted down to the very date such as when someone moves or switches jobs. Other times, these changes occur unexpectedly and aren’t desired at all.

Either way, well wishes from friends and family are an important part of the process as someone goes from one chapter of life to the next.

6. “I know you’ll do great at whatever you put your mind to.”

This is a confident way of telling someone you’re sure they’ll succeed. It puts the emphasis on future success rather than the question marks they may have regarding their next move.

7. “You were made for big things. I look forward to hearing how everything goes.”

Encouraging someone with this meaningful phrase can give that extra oomph to someone you are close to. It is especially so when they begin a new job or transition to a new city for employment or a life change.

8. “Everything is going to turn out fine, I just know it.”

Uncertainty can cause stress and discouragement, so consider sharing this with someone who is unsure of the next steps on the journey of life. Hearing someone confidently saying that life will work out can help a person focus on hope instead of the unknowns.

9. “Do your best and God will take care of the rest.”

This phrase is perfect for any religious loved ones in your life. It helps remind them that they’re not alone in life and that as long as they do their best, everything will work out.

10. “Hold your head up as you travel the path ahead.”

People need reminders to stand up and be proud as they walk into the unknown. They don’t need to be afraid or timid but should be sure of themselves and the skills they’ve acquired.

What to Say Instead of ‘Good Luck’ for a Job Interview or Career Change

Example of what to say instead of "good luck" for a career change over an image of the sunset

Job changes, interviews, and significant life events can place stress on anyone. The support of friends and family is especially important during these transitions. “Good luck” may sound like an easy way to wish someone well, but at times it can feel a bit overused. Pick one of these phrases to use in person, in a text message, or on a card that you include with a “thinking of you” gift.

11. “You got this!”

This is a short phrase that is ideal if you see someone in passing who is heading to an interview or as a text message just before they go in for their interview. It’s a quick shot of encouragement right when they need it most.

12. “I hope you get the job!”

Infusing a bit of hope into a conversation can help someone who is nervous before an interview. This phrase is versatile enough to be used as a text, spoken in person, or put on a card or note card for them to read prior to their big moment.

13. “Have faith in yourself. You’ve got what it takes.”

Perhaps a friend needs to shake off those jitters. If they’re feeling unsure about how they’ll do in an interview or feel like they lack self-confidence, say this. Inspire them to be confident in themselves and take life by the horns.

14. “I hope you achieve every single one of your goals.”

Looking toward the future might provide someone with some much-needed encouragement before a big interview. Add this to a card to cheer your loved one on.

15. “You don’t need luck. You’ve got all the talent and skills you need!”

If someone tells you to “wish them luck” before an interview, respond with this instead. You’re sure to bring a smile to their face when they hear you share your confidence in their abilities.

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Funny Ways to Say ‘Good Luck’ 

These phrases will help lighten the mood and possibly give someone a chuckle even if they’re facing something serious such as a test, exam, interview, or speech. It’s worth erring on the side of caution, as you might accidentally make someone more nervous or they might get a little grumpy before the big event. 

16. “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Originating from the 1942 movie Casablanca, this phrase has become a pop culture reference way of saying everything from, “I wish you the best,” and “Good luck,” to “I’ll always be here for you.”

17. “Break a leg!”

This classic theater expression is meant to wish someone well before they go on stage. Use it for actor or actress friends and family in your life.

18. “Live long and prosper.”

Fans of Star Trek will love this one. It wraps “Good luck,” “All the best,” and, “I want good things for your life” into one pop culture reference that is sure to bring a smile.

19. “May the odds ever be in your favor.”

Know someone who can’t get enough of The Hunger Games? Your friend may not be sacrificing themselves to serve on the field of battle for someone else, but they’ll understand that you want everything to go their way.

20. “May the force be with you.”

Star Wars fans will love this reference and well wish that everything in the universe would move to make things work out in their lives.

How to Say ‘Good Luck’ Before a Test, Exam, or School-Related Journey

Example of how to say "good luck" before a test over an image of flowers

Tests, exams, speeches, and school performances are rites of passage everyone has to experience. From childhood to adulthood, these never get any easier, just more familiar. Tests determine an entrance into college.

Papers are submitted to defend a master’s dissertation. Performances are held to determine who receives scholarships. These are stressful occasions that merit a good deal of encouragement from friends and family. Here are a few things you can say to someone who is getting ready to face a test of their skills.

21. “You’re totally going to ace this!”

Say this to show someone how confident you are in their abilities and help them focus on having confidence before a big test. This might just give them the boost of confidence they need.

22. “Fortune favors the bold. Be strong and confident and you’ll do great.”

If someone you know is getting ready to head into a significant physical test, performance, or other activity where their courage will be put on display, use this phrase. This works best when written as a note or in a card.

23. “I hope you do well!”

This is a simple way to wish someone well and let them know you’re rooting for them. You can say this regardless of the test or situation they’re facing, and whether you know if they studied or not. 

24. “You shouldn’t be afraid of the test, the test should be afraid of you!”

Someone who is familiar with Chuck Norris jokes might get a kick out of this funny saying. Take their mind off the stress of the test and encourage them to give the test a roundhouse kick, instead.

25. “Show that test who is boss!”

Say this to someone who has studied hard, memorized all the vocabulary, and knows their stuff back and front. You know they’ll do great.

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Voice Your Support

Everyone needs encouragement, whether they’re facing surgery or a school exam. Help friends and family rise to the occasion by letting them know you’re cheering them on. Your words of affirmation might just be what they need to succeed.

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