01/07/2015 03:30 pm ET Updated Jan 07, 2015

How Saying Thank You Can Make You Happier This Year

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It's a new year and a new you. But, when we look at things we want to change from resolutions about weight and money, think about the power of words. There are two words in particular that can really make a difference in your life. And we are probably not saying often enough, right now. I know, I forget to say them as I walk through life. Two little words that might just change your life: Thank you. The thing is, up to this point, and for many points moving forward, you have needed and you will continue to need your friends. They made a conscious effort to help you through your time of crisis; it's up to you to let them know how much you appreciate it. So say "thank you."

But how? How you express your gratitude has a lot to do with how far your BFFs went for you. If they were talking you off a ledge or chasing you with a butterfly net, then you might want to do a little more than stop at the Hallmark store. In any case, they've been an ear for your problems and a shoulder to cry on. They went the extra mile for you. Now, go the extra mile for them.

Here are five ways to let your friends know you appreciate them.

1. Spend time together, talking about them. You don't have to even let them know you are doing it. But a simple cup of coffee along with your time is more than any expensive give can give.

2. Offer to help them with watching their dog, childcare for a day or a night so they are freed up to do what they want. In this world we are so busy with ourselves, we forget how good it feels to help someone else.

3. Be different. It's easy to send cards or a cookie bouquet -- but be a little original. I love to send macaroons from this amazing shop in the West Village. People don't usually spend money like that on themselves and it is seldom forgotten.

4. Remember the little things people say. My friend Diane who helped me through my divorce
loved this chocolate store in London -- I happened to be there in the throws of my divorce and went by and sent her a surprise of chocolate from London. It wasn't her birthday or anniversary, it was just me saying I remember you and love you like you have loved me.

5. Dinner's on you. But don't be cliché. One night I invited three of my dearest friends to my house to say thank you. I made a huge pot of pasta, the wine was flowing and I set up a cheese table with all sorts of cheeses on it to choose from (my sister-in-law's idea). We played a board game and told stories and had a blast. To this day, it's the night everyone talks about. It was special and it was all about them.

By the way, saying "thank you" actually makes you happier, too. According to a study by the John Templeton Foundation, 64% of women say they say thanks simply because it makes them feel good.

Happy New Year!