"Well, one the best ways is simply ask what you can do. Give them some options. Say, do you want me to eat a pint of ice-cream with you? Do you want me to listen? Do you want me to help you get your mind of things for a while? Can I cook you dinner?

-Just give them a hug and a list of options to choose from. Tell them you are not going anywhere if they need time alone you will be available when they do call. Don’t try to fix it or say you know exactly what they feel unless you have literally been in that exact same situation. Tell them you still love them when they are miserable. If they ask you to help, make sure it is something you can honestly give before you say yes. Saying no now is better than a betrayal later when you can’t deliver.

Tell them the truth IF they ask for it. Even if they have made mistakes, don’t lecture and don’t judge. Just tell them you believe in them."

 

https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-give-compassion-to-a-friend-who-is-suffering/answer/Mariah-Maury