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Mental’s 2023 Holiday Guide: 35 Best Gifts for Mental Health

Both fun and functional, chic and caring, these 35 feel-good gifts are perf for the anxiety girlies, fidgeters, skin pickers, wellness lovers, and general needers-of-calm on your list.
Rachel Claire/Pexels

Finding the perfect gift for your most cherished friends and family is deceivingly complicated. Not only do you want to buy them something that conveys how much they mean to you, but you also want to prove that you, their long-time emergency contact (or feasible alternate), knows them exceptionally well.

You also don’t want to completely break the bank, even if gifting everyone on your list a custom embroidered Dior Book Tote would be quite the flex. 

A better alternative? Choosing a gift that they’ll a) get some actual use out of (as opposed to a beautiful tchotchke that will live in some dark corner of their home in perpetuity). And b), one that can help them feel better in a meaningful way. Enter these gifts for mental health. After all, a present should add something positive to your giftee’s life instead of doing little more than collecting dust.

Whether your friends and loved ones prefer a luxe aromatherapy experience (which, according to studies, may help lower stress hormones like cortisol and calm the parasympathetic nervous system) or a brain-tingling fidget puzzle, we can all benefit from these types of feel-good items.

“We all fidget but may enjoy or need different sensations to soothe ourselves, regulate our emotions, and improve attention,” says Lori Davis, Psy.D., clinical instructor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

So, if your best buds deal with anxiety, ADHD, OCD, or just a general malaise about a world that is growing more chaotic by the minute, one of these 35 feel-good gifts for mental health might just deliver. Not a cure, natch, but that sought-after bright spark in an otherwise stressful holiday season. In other words, a dose of calm in a bottle, box, or tissue paper-stuffed goodie bag.

Keep scrolling to kickstart this year’s shopping inspiration.

All products featured on Mental have been selected independently and editorially. When you buy from our links, we may earn a commission.

Art of Play Tangle Sculpture, $60

Have a would-be interior designer in your life with a case of anxiety? This interactive sculpture is perfect for fighting the fidgets while also creating a post-modern design that quickly becomes a personalized work of art for the home. As Dr. Davis explains, “Puzzles and pods that snap together and apart may be ideal for those who prefer this type of repetitive motion to feel calmer.” 

Esker Aromatic Shower Steamer Set, $65 

These water- and vapor-activated steamer tablets are a cool way to bring aromatherapy into the shower. “Some studies have shown that the use of essential oils can lower stress hormones like cortisol, and can decrease heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure,” explains Dr. Davis. “The scents travel from the olfactory nerves to the brain, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system. [which] helps us to relax.” Housed on a stunning hand-carved carrara marble holder, the tablets release calming essential oils (both calendula palo santo and eucalyptus lavender are available) while you cleanse. Comes with 2 tablets.

iplusmile Travel Pill Case, $14.99

Whether you’re managing an SSRI regimen or you’re loyal to a series of vitamins and supplements, keeping your pills neat and organized doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Add some style to your friends’ ingestible routine with this sleek and modern pill organizer, which is compact enough (a little bigger than 3″x3″) to throw in a go-to work bag.  

Winky Lux Watermelon Jelly pH Lip Balm, $17

Like visual dopamine for your lips, this uses pH tech to turn the transparent hue in the tube to your own shade of personalized pink on your lips. The effect is like a popsicle stain, with a happy-making scent reminiscent of a watermelon Jolly Rancher.

Offhours Homecoat, $295

Reframe the idea of “inactive wear” with a housecoat specifically designed to upgrade the experience of being at home. This unisex terry coat—made of cotton French terry, which is smoother than the traditional kind—is the perfect luxe alternative to a ratty bathrobe, while still being stylish enough for afternoon coffee runs. 

Wthn Gold Stud Ear Seed Kit, $45

Fashion meets wellness with this itty bitty gold ear seed kit. Drawing on the tenets of traditional Chinese medicine, the acupressure practice utilizes adhesive 24k gold plated stainless steel beads (which conveniently resemble delicate ear piercings) to restore balance, improve energy, and promote wellbeing. We know it may sound woo-woo, and research on how effective ear seeds are is sparse. However, even the Cleveland Clinic agrees they can help with insomnia, pain, and anxiety. (For the best benefits, have an acupuncturist apply them, and remove after three to five days.)

Inside Then Out Dig Deeper Journal, $34.95

You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy the benefits of a daily or weekly journal practice. If your friends are new to the habit, this guided option provides 180 different prompts to get the self-reflective juices flowing. “Journaling can be an effective way to process tough feelings like anxiety, get perspective on what caused it, and what to do about it,” says Dr. Davis. “It is also a private way to vent and release emotions you may be stockpiling without worry about others’ reactions.”

Smunchies Co. Matcha Squishable Smunchie, $16

Sometimes the best gift for mental health is squeezing the heck out of something, and this twist on the basic scrunchie is a fun, wearable solution. With color options to suit everyone, your giftees will be well on their way to reducing everyday stress, one squeeze at a time.

Snailax Vibration Massage Seat Cushion, $47.99

“I am a huge proponent of massage to promote calm, even 10 minutes at a nail salon,” says Dr. Davis. Help your loved ones bring those relaxation vibes home with a chair massager. “I use [this] for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day to relieve body tension and to get a reset. It’s a great option if you can’t get out for a regular massage,” she adds.

Flamingo Estate The Clarity Set, $198

Give the gift of Shinrin-yoku, or Japanese forest bathing. Found so effective at mitigating stress since it was established in 1982, it has become an essential part of Japanese healthcare. (The practice is recognized as a type of clinical therapy there.) This four-part set—which includes a candle, body wash, fragrance oil, and body oil—aims to invoke the feel of being in a forest with a fresh, herbal blend of fir, vetiver, and angelica root. The scent comes from essential oils, which, as Dr. Davis explains, “have shown [in some studies] can lower stress hormones like cortisol, and can decrease heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.”

Kolege Retro Fuzzy Face Slippers, $25.99

It’s hard to look at these slippers and not have a glimmer of amusement. They’re fuzzy! They have smiley faces! The memory foam sole makes them feel like a cloud! Like a little dose of dopamine every time you look down. (Choose between 7 smiley face colors.)

Broc Shot Pineapple + Mint, $79.99 for 30 packets

There’s zero chance you can scroll through social media without encountering a new supplement brand these days. And we’re usually skeptics. But these, with the hero ingredient sulforaphane, are share-worthy. “Sulforaphane has over 1,000 peer-reviewed articles and studies on benefits ranging from longevity, skin integrity and health, metabolic health, sports performance and recovery, cognitive benefits, gut health, and more,” says Poonam Desai, D.O., an emergency medicine and osteopathic physician. 

D.S. & Durga Be Still Candle, $70

Got friends who like the idea of meditation but enjoy the vibes of the experience more? This candle contains notes of incense and Himalayan cedar to set the tranquil scene at home. Help your loved ones create, as the brand explains, “an aromatic wall” to heighten their meditative practice, or encourage them to explore it for the first time. 

Areaware Goober Candle, $30

If scented candles aren’t your thing—whether you just don’t want your space to be overly aromatic, or you’ve got sensory issues around scent—pick up one of these fabulously squished Goober candles. Available in 4 unscented paraffin wax shapes, the freeform candles make a conversation-starting addition to your giftee’s coffee table display. 

Bearaby Napper Weighted Blanket, $249

As gifts for mental health go, weighted blankets (here are the best and brightest, literally) are worth the hype. “Weighted blankets and stuffed animals work by using deep pressure stimulation,” explains Dr. Davis. “This soothes the nervous system and releases chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, which slows your breathing and heart rate.” This chunky organic cotton option is unspeakably comfortable, especially for peeps who struggle to fall asleep. And you can customize the perfect weight. Experts reco a blanket that’s 10 percent of the person’s body weight. 

Rabanne Eyephoria Handbag Eyeshadow Palette Quad in Paradise Lost, Then Found, $48

Go green this season—or any, really. The hue has been proven to be relaxing, and this palette offers endless ways to wear that calm. Try the yellow-tinged or minty shimmer around eyes’ inner corners; swipe the sage from lash lines to crease; or sub out traditional liner for the deep jade. Then there’s the click of the container. “You can benefit from the sensation of feeling and hearing a satisfying click when you open and close a case,” Dr. Davis says. “This may be a bonus on a night out when you are feeling nervous about a date or work event. You can excuse yourself and head to the restroom for a quick reset.”

Loop Quiet Earplugs, $24.95

For friends who live in big cities, overstimulation is as habitual as bumper-to-bumper traffic. Enter these noise-reducing earplug, which help tone down excessive sounds for greater concentration or deeper sleep, or simply to tune out after a busy day of work. Also good for those with sensory processing issues, autism, or ADHD. Sometimes the best gift for mental health is silence. Shown in Quiet Sapphire and Black; available in 7 additional colors.

The Nue Co Function Fragrance Discovery Set, $96

Unless you know the exact fragrance your giftee wears on repeat, it’s usually best to try a sample set so they can find something they like. Even better if the scents are designed to help the wearer relax, improve their focus, channel some fresh air, and power through moments of high stress. All are just a bit easier with this functional fragrance set, which has plenty of olfactory studies to back up the claims. 

Calm Strips x Mental Bananas, $10.99

“I love Calm Strips sensory stickers,” says Dr. Davis, “which you can put on your phone, computer, or desk. You can touch or scratch them to release energy and regulate feelings like anxiety.” This set, a collab between Calm Strips and Mental, is a physical reminder to breathe during moments of chaos. Grab a few different packs for your friends and family to decorate that new Macbook they’re getting. 

Comme Si The Cashmere Sock, $80

Socks might not seem to be the sexiest gift for mental health, but that’s only because you haven’t tried a cashmere option. Keep your loved ones cute and cozy with a ruby red pair (a definite trend for the upcoming season) and maybe even treat yourself to a matching option, too. Remember: There’s nothing wrong with taking a night to yourself to stay home and veg out if your brain needs it. Prioritize hand washing these socks with a gentle detergent, and they’ll last for the next decade. Shown in Cherry; available in 15 other colors.

J.Hannah Pivot Ring I, $490

For the champion fidgeters in your life, this elegant take on a spinning anxiety ring is a swoon-worthy addition to your most fashiony friend’s jewelry collection. “Some studies have shown that the repetitive and rhythmic motions of spinning, clicking, rolling, twisting, popping, snapping, and squishing have a calming effect on our nervous systems by providing sensory and tactile stimulation,” confirms Dr. Davis. Available in recycled silver, white, and yellow gold, the spinning inner ring will help take the edge off of daily anxieties. 

Ursilver Anxiety Ring, $13.99

If a fine jewelry option isn’t in the budget, this gold vermeil ring is a great alt for less than two Starbucks lattes. The free-moving beads are ideal for channeling anxious energy without resorting to skin picking or hair pulling. It’s also thin enough to add to a pre-existing ring stack—chic. 

Uncommon Goods Therapy Dough, $15

Play-doh for adults is the gift for mental health that your friends never knew they needed—until now. Infused with stress-relieving essential oils, this colorful putty was inspired by art therapy to ease tension and minimize anxious fidgeting. Dr. Davis is also a fan of this type of tool. “I use therapy dough to knead when I am feeling anxious,” she says. “It relaxes me and gives my hands something repetitive to do.” Available in 4 scents.

YSL Rouge Volupté Candy Glaze Lip Gloss Stick, $39

Few lip brands top YSL in terms of color and feel, and this super-shiny, super-hydrating wonder is no outlier. Why does it make our list of best gifts for mental health? Its mango oil provides the most heavenly apricot scent, and engraving on the top of the tube is free, so you can drop in their name, a short affirmation, or a classic “love you.” Shown in Flashing Rosé; comes in 11 other shades.

Turkish Linen Waffle Knit Lightweight Kimono Spa & Bath Robe, $29.99

Even if you can’t gift an entire spa package, a classic linen bathrobe will help recreate the feeling for your friends and family. They might not think a crisp white robe will help elevate their bath time routine, but a) this waffle knit is super soft, and b) once you associate an object with a chill-out experience, research shows you can then use it to induce relaxation later on.

The Lanshin Massager by ACERA, $59

This isn’t your average head massager. The porcelain tool utilizes patented technology to deliver infrared heat energy to the scalp (or really any area of the body that needs a little love). Just fill the massager with warm water and use it a few times per week to increase your overall well-being. 

Ban.do Feel Better De-Stress Ball Mushroom, $8.95

Tell your friends to toss that boring stress ball they keep in the back of their desk drawer in favor of this cute squishy mushroom. Replace that urge to pick at your skin or bite your nails (among other tics) with some de-stressing squeezes throughout the day.

Komuso Classic Shift, $105 

Anyone who struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, or slowing their breath when life gets stressful will appreciate this sleek and functional pendant. Attached to a necklace chain, the breathing tool helps prolong your exhale to eight seconds so you can regain a sense of calm.

Dame Aer Suction Toy, $119 

Give the gift of better orgasms! There are few things—and science backs us up here—that can reduce anxiety, boost your mood, and generally put a little more pep in your step than a soul-quivering orgasm. For your closest friends with a clitoris, this suction device is the gold standard. Shown in Periwinkle; available in 1 other hue.

Tiny Rituals Moss Agate Worry Stone, $32

For the pals that abide by energy healing practices and have a tendency to fidget, this worry stone checks both boxes. It’s a pretty reminder for your loved ones to get out of their head and focus on the physical realm.

Trudon La Promeneuse, $380

Gifting a candle can be risky, because everyone’s olfactory preferences are entirely unique. If you’re splurging, try a reusable—and absolutely stunning—decorative votive. It heats one of the four included scented cameo waxes and contains a separate night light for plenty of old-world glamor. 

We’re Not Really Strangers Anxiety Edition, $12

A gift someone can use alone or with friends, this 50-question pack is a riff on the original cult-favorite We’re Not Really Strangers game, which poses meaningful questions to create genuine connection with fellow players. The cards offer an evening of group reflection, with questions like, “How do you distinguish anxiety from intuition?” and “What is the biggest source of pressure in your life?” Sharing is caring for all involved. 

MoMA Yoshimoto Cube No. 1 Puzzle, $75

We bet you didn’t have a polyhedral dyad on your seasonal gift list, did you? Well, this 3-D puzzle is a winner for people who toil away at a desk and simply can’t stop picking at their fingers, hair, nails, or skin. Give them a functional fidgeting alternative that looks flashy at their work station of choice.

The Good Patch Get Balance Mixed Bundle, $26.98

As much as we wish it was feasible to schedule a daily 9 am yoga-meets-meditation class, wellness can often feel like a time-consuming endeavor. These wearable patches give your your busiest pals a way to multitask. With a mix of recovery, sleep aid, and energy-boosting patches, this set of 12 patches is a fun stocking stuffer.

Susanne Kaufmann Bath Moments, $50

Nobody saying a good bath is going to magically fix depression, but it should not be underestimated! In one study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, bathing by tub for two weeks (for just 10 minutes) left subjects significantly less stressed—with lower “scores” for anxiety and depression—than those who showered. This two-piece set utilizes ingredients like pine, spruce, lavender, and rosemary to soothe both aching muscles and a racing mind

For more great holiday gifts for mental health, shop our Amazon Store!

Ear Seeds: Thinking About Using Ear Seeds? What You Should Know. Cleveland Clinic. December 20, 2021. 
Forest Bathing in Japanese Healthcare: Park BJ, et al. The Physiological Effects of Shinrin-yoku (Taking in the Forest Atmosphere or Forest Bathing): Evidence from Field Experiments in 24 Forests across Japan. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine. January 2010.
Forest Bathing as Therapy: Science and Research. The Forest Bathing Institute
Sulforaphane Benefits: Mangla B, et al. Sulforaphane: A review of its therapeutic potentials, advances in its nanodelivery, recent patents, and clinical trials. Phytotherapy Research. October 2021.
Orgasms to Reduce Anxiety: Mollaioli D, et al. Benefits of Sexual Activity on Psychological, Relational, and Sexual Health During the COVID-19 Breakout. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. January 2021.

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