Starting the Conversation

Whatever gets you talking

Opening the door to begin a conversation can really help. Not sure where to start? Try one of these opening lines to help make starting the conversation easier.

“Seems like something’s up. Do you wanna talk about what’s going on?”
“I’ve noticed you’ve been down lately. What’s going on?”
“Hey, we haven’t talked in a while. How are you?”
“Seems like you haven’t been yourself lately. What’s up?”
“Are you OK? You don’t seem like yourself lately.”
“I know you’re going through some stuff; I’m here for you.”
“No matter what you’re going through, I’ve got your back.”
“This is awkward, but I’d like to know if you’re really all right.”
“I haven’t heard you laugh in a while. Is everything OK?”
“I’m worried about you and would like to know what’s up so I can help.”
"Is there anything you want to talk about?”
“Hey, you seemed frustrated today. I’m here for you. Want a hug? Or a chat?”
"Hey, where have you been? Missed you at practice.”
“You OK? I noticed you’ve missed class a few times.”
“I feel like something’s up. Can you share with me?”
“Your face is telling me you could use a good talk.”
"You know you can tell me anything. I won’t judge.”
“Seems like something’s up. Do you wanna talk about what’s going on?”
“Listen, you’re my friend, and I just want to know how you’re feeling.”
“Whenever you’re ready to talk, I’m ready to listen.”
“I know life can be overwhelming sometimes. So, if you need to talk, I’m here.”
“Is there anything you want to get off your chest?”

Find a moment to talk

Beginning the conversation doesn’t mean you have to dive straight into talking about mental health struggles or have an intense heart to heart. Consider instead meeting your friend where they are or extending an invitation to hang out. You can even talk about struggles you are going through to give your friend an avenue to open up. Whether it's over a bite to eat or taking a walk, a simple “what’s up” is a great place to begin.

Need some ideas of how to start the conversation? Try one of these:


Ask a friend to play a pick-up game of your favorite sport.


Casually ask while playing an online game together.


Invite them to grab food after class.

Ask “what’s up” in a DM or text.

Have a shared hobby? Use that activity as an opportunity to check in.


Invite them to go on a walk or take a drive around the neighborhood.

Don’t feel like these would spark the conversation?

Check out our additional resources page for ways to navigate tougher conversations about break-ups, anxiety, depression, death of a loved one, or abuse.