Gifts to Thrive By: Presents Under $50 for Stress Relief

Help them breathe easier with these goodies.

Image by Joamir Salcedo
Image by Joamir Salcedo

Who couldn’t use a little bit of a break during the hectic holiday season? Taking time to reset and recharge, even if it’s just for a small amount of time, can have major effects on our well-being, from lowering anxiety to improving physical health. So no shame if you pick out one or two of the items on this list for yourself while you’re technically supposed to be shopping for others. We won’t tell.

One study found that looking at a picture of a loved one can reduce physical pain and stress. Thankfully, Framebridge takes the stress out of framing by fitting your favorite photos in a sophisticated custom frame and shipping them to you, making your gallery wall a snap to create.  From $39, framebridge.com

Image: Framebridge

The calming benefits of yoga have been touted for centuries, and some studies suggest that yoga practices can reduce perceived stress and anxiety. This lightweight Yoga Design Lab Travel mat is made from recycled water bottles, which means that your giftees can feel doubly great about helping out the planet while they flow. $49, yogadesignlab.com

Image: Yoga Design Lab



Take the adult coloring book trend, which has been said to lower anxiety, to the next level with Kid Made Modern Rock Crayons. The set of 12 smooth, rock-like crayons adds an appealing pop of color to decor when displayed in a dish. And they create unique color combinations that both kids and adults will love experimenting with.  $13, kidmademodern.com

Image: Kid Made Modern


Surya Spa’s Ayurvedic Pitta Cooling Soak, made with rose petals and neem leaves, sounds a little woo-woo, but a new Japanese study suggests that baths are more de-stressing than showers, and that submerging yourself underwater can also increase blood flow and metabolism. $35, suryagoods.com

 Image: Surya Spa



Experts say that that songs with a low pitch and 60 beats per minute, the ideal tempo for synching with your heart and brainwaves, are the most relaxing. Help your giftees cue up their tunes in a bath, at the pool — anywhere — with Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom waterproof wireless Bluetooth speakers, which float in water and play music clearly even when submerged. $50, amazon.com

Image: Ultimate Ears/ Amazon

Studies show that just anticipating a laugh can lower your stress hormones. The Last Black Unicorn, written by actress and comedian Tiffany Hadish, is chock full of funny stories and personal essays that’ll make your giftee belly-laugh again and again. $15, amazon.com

Image by Gallery Books/ Amazon


Your home should be a sanctuary, but a study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women who described their homes as cluttered felt more fatigued and stressed. An easy fix? Throw all the small items on top of the dresser into one stylish box, like this NowHouse by Jonathan Adler stoneware Wink box, which doubles as decor. $30, amazon.com

Image: Jonathan Adler



Much has been written about the soothing, centering effects of meditation. Help giftees tap into those benefits with a Headspace subscription. It’s research-proven (with 65 more studies in the works) to deliver feel-good benefits, which can range from reduced stress to increased focus. $13 per month, headspace.com

Image: Headspace App


Taking time to get a manicure can add a serious sense of calm to your day (for one thing, you’re forced to unplug because your hands are otherwise occupied.) Plus, research shows that even a five-minute hand massage can decrease anxiety. On top of that, Sundays Nail Studio created their own polish collection that’s nontoxic, cruelty-free, and vegan. Classic manicure, $25; polishes, $18 each, dearsundays.com

Image: Dear Sundays


Getting a scalp massage has been shown to reduce stress, and the The Ultimate Detangler brush from Tangle Teezer, which has won almost every beauty award out there, is a lovely way to give a scalp a good rub while you’re shampooing (it’s made for use in the shower) of after. $14, ulta.com

Image: Ulta



Inspirational posters are so ‘90s. Instead, give the gift of a morning mind-clearing session with an enamelware mug that displays an intention that Benjamin Franklin would ask himself in the mornings to help develop his character: “What good shall I do this day?” And don't forget its companion: an evening edition that asks, “What good have I done today?” $24, bestmadeco.com

Image: bestmade.co

Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

Plus: Check out our other Gifts to Thrive By guides:

While all of these items were independently chosen by editors of Thrive Global, Thrive may earn a commission on purchases through these links.


    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    trees-to-relax
    Community//

    How Trees Reduce Stress & Calm Us

    by Foley
    Community//

    These 5 tips can put your stress management in the right direction

    by Ashfaq Ali
    Community//

    Unleash your Inner Superhero with Meditation

    by Sally Kirchell

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.