January 14, 2022 3 min read

Secret Pal Day is celebrated on January 11th each year, and this holiday is so secretive that you may have never heard of it before! While the origins of Secret Pal Day are an enigma, it’s simply a holiday that is celebrated to remind us all of that one special friend who is your confidant--the one with who you can share any secret and receive support, advice, and love from. For some, this person may also be their best friend, but that’s not always the case.

Group of girls together

Why Have a Secret Pal?

In life in general, it’s important to surround yourself with people who have your back and want what’s best for you. While you may not spill your guts to every single friend, having one or two friends that you can confide anything in is therapeutic. Keeping a secret to yourself is a good way to get bogged down in heavy emotions and get trapped in a cycle of negativity, but when you share with a friend, you no longer have to carry the weight by yourself. It’s like author T.A. Webb says: “A burden shared is a burden halved.”

How to Be a Secret Pal

Having steady friends means that you need to be a good friend to others. There are many ways to be a good friend, such as being attentive, engaging, and intentional. These qualities apply to being a secret pal as well, although there are other key aspects: being able to keep a secret and to listen without judgement. It’s true that sharing a secret can lift a burden off your heart, but realize that when a friend confides in you, that’s their secret to share--not yours. Let them know that you value their trust in you and that you won’t betray that trust.

Women with their backs turned, thumbs up in the air illuminated by the sunrise

How to Celebrate Secret Pal Day

1. Send a Card

It’s becoming more and more rare to receive a card in the mail and makes it all the more special when you get a personal letter. Sending a card--even a simple card-- is a simple way of saying “thank you.” It conveys the message that you appreciate your pal for all that they are to you, and it gives you the chance to return the favor to them.

2. Have a Meet-Up

Life gets chaotic, and friendships sometimes fall on the backburner. Making the time to see your friend face-to-face is yet another way to show them that they are valued and that you enjoy their company. Go to your favorite restaurant, or take a walk in the park, or pursue whatever activities make you both feel fulfilled.

3. A Personal Gift

Your secret pal shouldn’t just be someone that you rant to and then forget about during the good times; it should be someone that you value aside from the cathartic sharing process. Show your friend that you value them as more than just a willing ear and give them a gift that is heartfelt and meaningful.

4. Share a Secret

Secret Pal Day is all about finding friends who can be your confidant and being that friend to others, so take stock of where you stand and think through any burdens that have been heavy on your heart. Take the day as an opportunity to trust your pal with what’s weighing on you.

5. Keep a Secret

This one is something you could do every day because when your friend trusts you with what’s on their mind, they trust that you will keep it to yourself. The best way to celebrate that day and your friend’s trust is to prove that their trust is well-founded and that you are a reliable secret pal.