Word up—The New York Times reports that self-care isn't selfish. Why not spread that gospel to everyone who's having a birthday, graduation, or celebrating Mother's or Father's Day? We’ve talked to therapists, nutrition advisors, physicians, alternative healers and sleep specialists, read through scientific studies and scoured the internet to come up with the best self-care gifts that are bound to make anyone feel better—no matter what is going on in their lives.
What is Self-Care, Anyway?
This slippery term has such currency, it's hard to parse what exactly qualifies. According to Dr. Rami Hashish, a Los Angeles-based body performance and injury expert, "Self-care is the idea of prioritizing your well-being, whether that’s physical, emotional or mental health, or a combination thereof." Hashish goes on to explain that self care "may come at the expense of not prioritizing other components—or even individuals—in your life." Yikes! In other words, it's basically permission to put the oxygen mask on ourselves before we assist anyone else in our lives with their own needs...something that can be tough to remember when we have so. much. to. do. Which brings us to one of the most embraceable aspects of self-care: It can be a mix of the superficial (lash-saving eye mask, anyone?) and the super-deep (talk therapy, for example). Self-care gifts will serve as a reminder to recipients that they need to take care of themselves.
What Are the Best Self-Care Gifts?
For your mom who loves a good soak, CBD bath salts. For the too-busy parent, an essential oil diffuser. And even the forgets-to-eat-regular-meals student will appreciate this high-design blender (which has its own to-go container) so much, they might even remember to make themselves smoothies. Here are 37 of the best "time-out" gifts for your most-loved crew, who you want to support in their self-care on the reg.
1. Lord Jones Hgh CBD Formula Bath Salts
Best for Tub Enthusiasts
The only thing that could make a warm bubble bath more relaxing? Adding CBD to the mix. This blend of epsom and Himalayan bath salts is infused with 240 mg of CBD that will make your giftee feel like they are melting down the drain—in a good way.
2. Figlia Non-Alcoholic Aperitivo
Best for Sobers
When everyone else is drinking Cinar and sangria, those who don't drink alcohol might feel left out of the flavorful spring fun. That's not an issue if there's a bottle of this herbal, floral drink on hand. It's got notes of bitter orange, cloves and flowers, and the pinkish liquid looks festive poured over rocks, mixed with seltzer or enjoyed with ginger ale.
3. ENSO 01 Shampoo and Conditioner for Fine Hair
Best for Beautiful Manes
This cult-favorite hair care company has come out with a new set of luxury shampoo and conditioner that is made to replenish fine locks while lending the appearance of a thicker head of hair. And the jasmine, ylang ylang and yuzu-scented aromatherapy that's left on your locks is so calming.
4. "Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted"
Best for Bookworms
The National Endowment for the Arts has compiled studies demonstrating reading reduces stress, protects our brain from dementia and increases empathy. That last emotional bit is one of the many life lessons from this bestselling memoir, newly out in paperback, which chronicles young writer Suleika Jaouad's battle against cancer. The lack of sentimentality, refreshing honestly and indominable life force in this book makes it a tonic for every reader, no matter their health status.
5. Alo Magnesium Reset Spray
Best for Nighttime Relaxation
Rub a spray or two of this magnesium oil on the soles of your feet and you'll enjoy a faster wind-down period than usual, users claim. The NIH says more study is needed to determine if this is due to transdermal absorption or just a moment of relaxing self-care, but either way, it's a loving before-bed ritual for your giftee.
6. Slip Lovely Lashes Pure Silk Contour Sleep Mask
Best for Lash Enthusiasts
Getting a good night's sleep—and protecting a set of expensive eyelash extensions from falling out after being smashed into the pillow—are both elements in a pampered woman's regimen of taking care of herself. Until this mask, which has contoured spots so that the mask doesn't lie flat against your lashes, there was no way she could enjoy all the light-blocking excellence of mulberry silk without smushing them down. But now, her Bambi-lashed eyes can really enjoy a blackout night of rest.
7. Beast Blender
Best for Breakfast Refuseniks
A basic tenet of self-care is providing one's body with nourishing and balanced meals. New York City-based nutritional advisor and chef Juan Pablo Chavez recommends gifting a power blender for its multi-faceted uses, including whipping up sauces, soups, non-dairy milks and smoothies in a snap. You'll like giving this ingenious blender set-up because it not only has a 1,000-watt motor to do the business, it's designed so that the blending vessel pops off and users can switch the blades for a handy carry top. (Plus, it looks great on the counter.)
8. Affirmators! 50-Deck Affirmation Cards
Best for Aphorism Lovers
Sure, affirmations can be kind of cheesy—but these aren’t. Instead, they’re clever statements that are bound to make your gift recipient chuckle when they read them out loud. Hand this over to your giftee with a little reminder that laughter is a practically free—and pricelessly valuable—part of any self-care practice.
9. Talkspace Session
Best for Therapy Seekers
One of the best ways to prioritize your mental health is, of course, by going to therapy. And online therapy provider Talkspace lets you gift someone 30 minutes of therapy time, to explore their options. Sounds like the perfect present for someone who’s been talking about finding a therapist. (Note: While recurring Talkspace subscriptions are available, a one-time sesh might be more gift-appropriate.)
10. Florensi Meditation Cushion
Best for Meditators
Similarly, a 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that meditation can ease symptoms of anxiety, depression and pain. So practicing it on the reg could actually have a positive impact on mental health. Our advice? Give your best friend who’s always forgetting to use her Calm app a meditation cushion, so she has no more excuses.
11. HigherDOSE Infrared PEMF Go Mat
Best for Backache Sufferers
PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) therapy—basically little zaps of low-dose electricity applied via the skin—has been used by doctors to stimulate bone growth and repair nerve damage since the 1970s. Today, chronic pain suffers and hard workout lovers utilize PEMF therapy to eliminate aches, and a 2020 Danish study even found that PEMF could benefit people with depression. This portable mat is meant to provide a home application of this tech, sending little electrical zaps from the mat to wherever it comes in contact with the body. Plus, it radiates infrared heat, so that's going to feel good, too. Your recipient will also appreciate the design: A bend in the middle of the mat means they can keep it propped up in their WFH chair.
12. Therabox Self-Care Subscription Box
Best for Wellness Enthusiasts
Each shipment of this subscription box contains a research-based therapeutic activity, plus six to eight wellness goodies designed to spark joy and decrease stress. Oh, and did we mention it’s totally curated by therapists? Choose to send a one-time box or spring for multiple months of self-care goodies; either way, you're going to inspire a major exhale in your giftee.
13. Mindfulness Card Set
Best for Mindfulness Practitioners
This colorful box is packed with over 50 different prompts and exercises that fall into one of four categories: Rest and balance, curiosity and joy, insight and awareness and kindness. Each card encourages you to be in the moment, while also introducing you to new self care practices. Yup, your mom’s going to love it.
14. Made by Mary Faith-Fear Disc Necklace
Best for Meaningful Anniversaries
Sometimes, having a little reminder of a positive affirmation on your body, like a meaningful piece of jewelry, is enough to give you a bit of a mental health boost. If you’re shopping for someone going through a difficult time, consider getting them this necklace with the word "faith" written atop "fear." Every time they look down, they’ll be reminded to stay hopeful.
15. GenCrafts Watercolor Set
Best for Visual Artists
Psychotherapist and relationship expert Gin Love Thompson, Ph.D., says that doing anything creative, including painting with watercolors, can help calm the mind. So why not gift this set to your work wife who’s always saying she needs some “me time?” It includes 48 different watercolor paints, two brush pens and 15 sheets of watercolor paper, aka everything she needs to start her new hobby.
16. Mount Lai Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool
Best for Skincare Lovers
Many of us hold tension in our faces—Gua Sha massage can help with that. Gliding this particular stone (it's more contoured than many other gua sha tools, so you can really get into your nasolabial folds and at your jaw muscles) along your face relaxes the facial muscles while also minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and puffiness. It’s basically an at-home spa treatment, so you know your MIL will be a fan.
17. Gaiam Beginner's Yoga Starter Kit
Best for Yoga Newbies
Yoga and mental health are more closely linked than you might think. A 2011 study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that practicing 90 minutes of yoga once or twice a week can reduce anxiety both short- and long-term. Sounds like a pretty good excuse to finally gift someone their own mat, and this one is extra-special because it comes with its own balancing block and carry strap that doubles as a stretching aid.
18. Papier Wellness Journal
Best for Note Takers
This journal has 12-weeks-worth of pages to help your giftee monitor their habits, meals, water intake, sleep patterns and more. There’s also space for them to set an intention for the day and plan out their self-care routine. Bonus: You can customize the cover for a sweet personal touch.
19. Proper Sleep + Clarity Supplement
Best for Insomniacs
Your giftee will like the sound of a sleep aid that promises not to leave a person waking up groggy, like this botanical sleep aid that is reportedly formulated to assist a person in clarity when they wake in the morning. Gift them this supplement on a subscription basis, and Proper will throw in a free consult with a sleep advisor, who'll help address any of their individual issues, including insomnia, restless slumber and too-early waking.
20. Hyperice Hypersphere Mini
Best for People With Jobs on Their Feet
New Mexico-based doctor of Chinese medicine Dr. Janine Mahon tells PureWow that fall and winter are associated with the kidney meridian, a time of honoring detoxification and hibernation. She suggests stimulating the bottom of the foot between the arch and the ball, the most grounding point of the foot that's associated with the kidney meridien, for a few minutes post-bath and pre-bed. We think a roll of this three-speed vibrating massager is just the thing to get in there for your stressed-out family member. We like this massager because while it's small enough to fit in your palm, it packs a low, medium or high oscillation punch, and operates with a simple toggling push button, so even the most tech-challenged giftee will find it intuitive to use.
21. Parachute Classic Turkish Cotton Robe
Best for Lazy Sunday Lovers
Give the gift of instant relaxation with a fluffy robe with slouchy pockets for him or her, along with a note in the pocket that reads: "One gift certificate enabling recipient to hang out in jammies all day Sunday."
Available in sizes XS to 3X
22. The Sill Monstera Deliciosa
Best for Plant Lovers
According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology , interacting with houseplants can actually reduce feelings of stress and make you feel more soothed. Which means not only will this Monstera and planter look great in Gram’s living room, it’ll actually help her feel more relaxed.
23. PSO-RITE Psoas Muscle Release and Deep Tissue Massage Tool
Best for Self-Massage Enthusiasts
The psoas muscle complex (pronounced so-as), a matching band of muscle that curves around our pelvis on both sides, allows humans to stand and walk upright. And when it gets tight or inflamed, it presses against nerves, resulting in backache. That's what makes this 10.7-inch tool such a bullseye for the backache sufferer in your life. Users place it on the floor and lie atop it, driving their hips, lower, upper and mid-back, hamstrings, thighs, calves, glutes, triceps, biceps and chest into it. Just like a sturdy once-over from a masseur, this tool, designed to approximate the hardness of an elbow, can loosen the psoas and ahh, relieve pressure.
24. Intelligent Change the Five-Minute Journal
Best for Gratitude Listers
As the name implies, filling out this journal will take up just five minutes of your stressed-out sister-in-law’s day. Every morning, she’ll be prompted to reflect on three things she’s grateful for and write down what would make the day great, plus an affirmation for the day. Then, in the evening, she’ll be asked to write down three amazing things that happened that day and something that she could have done to make the day even better. According to reviewers, it makes adopting a more positive mindset a total breeze.
25. Womanizer Starlet 2
Best for Sex-Positive Clitoris Owners
Orgasm = frisky self-care. Not only does it feel relaxing, but the increased blood flow to the brain during orgasm gives that important organ a healthful workout, according to a 2017 study co-authored by neuroscientist Nan Wise. Your partner will appreciate you gifting them this rechargeable clitoral suction stimulator, one of the top sellers in the sexual wellness category today, since it has four levels of intensity, is waterproof and is simple to operate with a two-button interface. Its run time is 30 minutes, but users report being done way before then.
26. Moon Pod
Best for Work From Home
The moon is a backache-easing chair, recliner or mattress version of a bean bag chair, but for the TikTok generation. This convertible piece of furniture weighs only 12 pounds and has a small footprint (only 4 feet wide!) so its repurposed polystyrene bead fill can look minimalist cool in whatever room of the house you like. It's great for getting work done, and taking quick rests, too. And, since the National Sleep Foundation stans naps as a way to enhance performance and reduce mistakes, it will make a great gift for your sibling who's killing it in grad school.
27. Hamama Starter Kit With Bamboo Frame
Best for Healthy Eaters
What's delicious and filled with all sorts of nutrients that are missing in many diets? Microgreens grown right on a kitchen countertop in this soil-free seed kit. Your giftee need only fill a tray with water and add the included little coconut bark blankets filled with their choice of a veritable grocery aisle of veggies, such as sweet wheatgrass, spicy daikon radish and earthy clover. A week later, they'll have a blanket of baby greens to use on salads, sandwiches and as an edible garnish on everything.
28. OXO Stainless-Steel Salad Spinner
For the Aspiring Vegan
Nutritional advisor and New York City-based chef Juan Pablo Chavez swears by his salad spinner, and couldn't prepare his healthy plant-based meals without it. "Salad greens, berries, apples, sweet potatoes, zucchini, green beans...it's even great to chill blanched veggies right after cooking," he says. Luckily, this stainless-steel version is sturdy enough for several spins a day to ensure your giftee gets their healthful daily doses of greens.
29. Sagely Naturals Calm & Centered CBD Roll-On Essential Oil
Best for Traffic Jam Sufferers
Essential oils can serve as a reminder to slow down, take some deep breaths and get back in tune with your body, says Lindsey Wirth, LMSW, therapist at Tia. This one is infused wth CBD, which has been shown to improve sleep scores in a 2019 study. Yeah, we’re definitely going to gift this to our partner to calm them down when all the cars creep along.
Buy It ($20)
30. SpaRoom Aroma Bliss Essential Oil Diffuser
Best for Big Families
Someone you know have a boisterous bunch of family members all up under them? Gift them this handsome wood-grain diffuser with a bottle of soothing lavender essential oil; they'll just add water and turn this little baby on to enjoy a calmer household vibe.
31. WILLIAMS SONOMA Brushed Stainless-Steel Spice Rack
Best for New Homeowners
Spices don't just make our foods taste better, they are an important source of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from free radicals and thus help forestall heart disease, cancer and other diseases according to a 2017 report by the National Institutes of Health. Chef Chavez tells his advisees "not to think too much and to add a pinch of this and that to your creations. Antioxidants have never been added so fast and so cheap!" This rotating spice rack holds 20 spices so your giftee will have all the spices handy in their new kitchen, from a little turmeric for their heart health, say, or a dash of ginger for renal support, all marked with pre-typed labels (and you can add your own with a label maker).
32. Breathwrk Subscription
Best for Tension Headache Sufferers
Want to feel more alert while also being more relaxed? Studies say deep breathing is a great place to begin. To make a habit of this, the app Breathwrk has a special offer: Anyone who purchases a pro membership for themselves will receive an additional, complimentary membership to gift. And once you're signed up, you both can begin short, easy-to-follow breathing exercises created for the time of day, purpose and to dissipate stress reactions.
33. Clevr SuperLatte Ritual Kit
Best for the Superfood-Curious
Just plain coffee in the morning is so not today's self-care mojo. Give the gift of creamy oat-milk lattes boosted with superfoody adaptogens, probiotics and mushrooms that the wellness community loves for improving mood, reducing stress and upping energy. This Cali-based company makes multiple formulas—choose three out of four blends (golden, chai, matcha and herbal-accented coffee) to include in a set, along with a travel frother that your recipient can use to mix up a superlatte with hot water anywhere.
34. Amazfit 5 Fitness Tracker
For the Biometrics Buff
Want to give someone a sleep tracker, but not sure how that will go over? According to Kamiu Lee, co-founder of Proper, a science-based sleep wellness company, "some folks do well with sleep trackers or wearables, as it can help remind them to build better habits, such as getting to bed at a certain time and get enough exercise every day." Gifters should be aware these aren't for everyone, though. As Lee notes, "We also see folks that get overly anxious about tracking and it ends up being detrimental to their sleep!" This slender model monitors blood oxygen saturation, stress levels, heart rate and sleep quality throughout the day, as well as tracks 11 sports, including swimming.
35. Ritual Zero Proof Gift Card
Best for Cocktail Lovers
Whether a loved one is trying to cut down on their alcohol consumption for greater mental well-being, cardiovascular health or just to try something new, an alcohol-free alternative to liquor is interesting. And these four formulas—approximating tequila, rum, whisky and gin—are the closest to the real thing you can get without risking a hangover. We suggest gift certificates of $60, so your recipient can choose the two blends they'd like to try.
36. Olive & June Mani System
Best for Nail Biters
One of our favorite ways to de-stress? Whipping out our favorite Olive & June Mani system. The eight-piece at-home kit was designed to give you salon-quality nails from home, and it features all the nail care essentials you need, including a nail buffer, clipper, file, clean-up brush and more.
37. Casper 15-Pound Weighted Blanket
Best for Restless Sleepers
Shopping for your perpetually anxious bestie or your insomniac self? Try a weighted blanket. Its soothing pressure has led users to report lower anxiety, and even non-anxious users like how it feels like a hug.
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