A creature of your choice that you can see within range regains hit points equal to 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier. This spell has no effect on undead or constructs.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 1d4 for each slot level above 1st.

Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V
Duration: Instantaneous
School: 1st-level evocation

Who can cast Healing Word? Bards, Clerics, and Druids have Healing Word on their class spell lists. Alchemist Artificers get Healing Word for free and always have it prepared.

Player’s Handbook, pg. 250

Healing Word 5e

Long-ranged and incredibly efficient, Healing Word is an excellent support spell in the early game that continues to be useful in any healer’s toolkit. Simple and straightforward, the hardest thing you’ll have to do when casting this spell is think of exactly what Word you’d like to be your Healing Word.

How Does Healing Word Work in 5e?

Healing Word instantly heals an ally within 60 feet for 1d4 + your spellcasting modifier. Clerics and Druids use their Wisdom modifier, Bards use Charisma, and Artificers use Intelligence.

The power of Healing Word comes from its casting time. Because it only costs one bonus action, you can perform other actions, including casting a cantrip, on the same turn.

When upcast, Healing Word heals an additional 1d4 for each slot level above the first.

healing word d&d 5e

How to Use Healing Word in 5e

To use Healing Word to maximum effect:

  1. Take advantage of the range. One of the benefits of Healing Word over Cure Wounds is you can cast it from 60 feet away. Take advantage of that fact. Coupled with the bonus action casting time, you can conceivably get an attack in, run to safety, and then cast Healing Word.

  2. Take advantage of the bonus action. Being able to swiftly cast Healing Word really helps out with your action economy. It’s a big part of why Healing Word stays relevant into the mid- and late-game.

    Cast a cantrip on the same turn, or use another action, like Dodge, Dash, Attack, etc. The ability to do something else AND heal an ally on the same turn is a huge benefit.

  3. Cheesing death. When an ally reaches 0 hit points, all they need is a small heal to get back on their feet and avoid those death saves. Enter Healing Word, the bonus action, long-range, small heal — literally built for just this scenario.

d&d 5e trees and mushrooms

What Are the Rules for Healing Word 5e?

The rules for Healing Word in DnD 5e are as follows:

  • It’s a bonus action. Many new players (and DMs) miss that Healing Word only costs a bonus action. You can only take one bonus action per turn. You cannot cast another spell after casting Healing Word, unless it is a cantrip (PHB 202). Or take the Action action, shove, grapple, Dash, Dodge, etc.

    You cannot take an action in place of a bonus action, as confirmed by Jeremy Crawford, so you MUST use a bonus action for Healing Word.

  • It doesn’t affect undead or contructs. Although I can’t imagine many situations where you’d want to heal such things anyway…

  • You can cast it on yourself. Like almost every spell that targets a creature of your choice, you can choose yourself when casting Healing Word (PHB 204).

That’s about it — Healing Word is a straightforward healing spell. As long as you can see your target, have a clear path to it, and are within 60 feet, you’re good to go. Roll one (or more if upcasting) d4 and add your spellcasting modifier to figure out the total healing value, and then carry on with your action.

Is Healing Word 5e a Good Spell?

Yes, Healing Word is an excellent spell that any dedicated healer should have in their arsenal. At first level, an average spellcasting modifier is +2 or +3. Added to an average d4 roll of 2.5, you can expect Healing Word to restore an average of 4.5 or 5.5 hit points when cast. For low-level players, that represents a significant percentage of a health pool.

Because you’re only adding 2.5 healing for each level slot above the first, the upcast potential for big heals scales off in the middle levels. However, the range, bonus action, and efficient death-reversing potential of Healing Word keep it relevant and good until all the way to level 20.

Healing Word 5e Compared to Cure Wounds

Healing Word is far superior to Cure Wounds because it only costs a bonus action, leaving you free to cast a cantrip (but not another leveled spell; PHB 202), Dash, Dodge, Attack, etc. It also has a range of 60 feet.

Cure Wounds requires the caster to touch the target, but it heals for 1d8 + spellcasting modifier instead of 1d4. It also costs 1 full action, not a bonus action.

While Cure Wounds can provide bigger heals, the short-range and inferior action economy makes it a worse spell all around. Cure Wounds does scale better by adding 1d8 per slot level above the first, and it’s a better out-of-combat cast when you’re out of hit dice or can’t short rest.

But if it’s a choice between preparing Healing Word or Cure Wounds, Healing Word is the better option.

Healing Word 5e DM Tips

Healing Word is an easy spell to officiate, but there’s also some real roleplay potential there. What word do your players speak when they cast Healing Word?

Do they invoke the name of their deity in a solemn tone, shout a silly catchphrase, or enter a trance and speak in tongues? Encourage your players to consider their word and make it their own.

Once it’s a known word, a player can simply speak that word, look at the person they’d like to heal, and gesture in some way. Now, that’s what I call more satisfying than “I cast Healing Word.”

Simple Healing Word 5e Spell Text

Healing Word: (1st-level evocation, 1 bonus action, 60 feet, V) Restore 1d4 + spellcasting modifier hit points to target. +1d4 for each spell slot above 1st.

DnD 5e Healing Word FAQ

Healing word DnD 5e FAQ:

  1. Is healing word better than Cure Wounds? Yes, healing word is often considered better because it’s a bonus action spell, which provides better action economy. It allows you to heal a target quickly while still having your main action available for other actions or casting a cantrip.

  2. Can healing word be used as an action? No, healing word can only be cast as a bonus action, not as a regular action. You cannot substitute an action for a bonus action at will (Sage Advice confirmation).

  3. Can you cast healing word and another spell on the same turn? Yes, you can cast healing word and another spell on the same turn as long as the other spell is a cantrip with a casting time of 1 action.

  4. Can a ranger get healing word? No, a ranger cannot get healing word through their class spell list. To access healing word, they would need to multiclass into a class that has healing word on its spell list or obtain a feat that grants access to 1st-level evocation spells, like magic initiate.