Gifts to Thrive By: Smart Presents That Improve Your Well-being

If we manage it effectively, technology can offer you and your loved ones some major health benefits. This list will bring you gifting inspiration.

Technology can be a wonderful thing — as long as you closely manage your relationship with it so you’re not spending way too much time on your phone. According to Deloitte research, technology can help people feel empowered to manage their own health. It can also help people eat healthier, improve children’s health care and nutrition, and has the potential to improve mental health.

As you plan your holiday gift list, give someone you love the present of better health with gadgets that make managing their well-being easier than ever.

Smart, healthy habits with style

Research has shown that over 40 million people in the United States have fitness trackers. The benefits of tracking your health are many — you can monitor your heart health, set nutrition and fitness goals, and so much more. We’re loving one tracker in particular: the Oura Ring. Oura is a smart ring that looks like a beautiful piece of jewelry, but has technology that monitors your activity and detects the intensity of your body movement — automatically recognizing when you’re active during the day. You can set daily goals with it, and track your progress so that you can improve across all the most important aspects of your well-being. Help your loved one make their health a priority in 2020 in style!

Oura Ring, starting at $299

Photo memories, without the harmful blue light

Camera phones may come and go, but photo albums are forever — and good for your mental health, too. According to a study conducted by Portsmouth University, looking at old photos and memories can help boost your mood and improve mental health. However, staring into blue light (like your phone screen) is not at all good for you — it can negatively affect your sleep and even potentially cause disease. The solution? Photo albums! Except they can be incredibly time-consuming to make. That’s where Chatbooks comes in, since it’s designed for people who love photo albums, but don’t love the hassle that goes into making them. Chatbooks allow you fill a book with up to 366 pages of pictures from your phone, Google Photos, Dropbox, and/or social media so you can save, cherish, and pass down your memories for generations, without having to stare at blue light to do it. You can make a Custom Book, an Ongoing Series, or sets of “Monthly Minis.”

Chatbooks photo albums, starting at $10

Courtesy of Chatbooks

A stress-free smart wallet

Losing your wallet is incredibly stressful. But the Ekster 3.0 is the world’s first voice-activated smart wallet, and offers worldwide traceability, quick card access, and RFID protection, all of which save people time, money, and a whole lot of stress. That’s a pretty smart wallet, and therefore, a seriously awesome, stress-reducing gift.

Ekster 3.0, $70

Courtesy of Ekster

Guaranteed quiet time

You may have heard of the Google Nest, but the Nest Hub Max is a whole other level, featuring a brand new “downtime” feature. This allows you to silence notifications while keeping your alarms and timers on (an excellent option to better manage your boundaries with technology), and, because it’s voice-activated, you don’t have to look at blue light screen before bedtime! Here are a few things you can ask Nest Hub Max before bed without worrying about the effects of blue light: Set an alarm for 7:00 am tomorrow morning. Play my unwinding playlist. Start a headspace meditation. You can even set a Bedtime Routine that will have your Google Assistant execute multiple actions at once. For example, if you say: “OK Google, bedtime,” your Assistant can set an alarm, turn off the lights, play sleep sounds, and more.

Google Next Hub Max, from $229 

Courtesy of Google

A battery to help loved ones stay connected

Do you have a friend or family member whose phone is always in need of a charge, and who’s constantly stressing about losing power? Good news: We have a solution for you, to give to them. The Skullcandy Stash Portable Battery Bank is perfect for the person always looking for an outlet, providing up to 24 hours of extra charge and a one year warranty. This battery bank is also compatible with tons of products, from mobile phones to tablets to wireless headphones and speakers. The best part? Ten percent of proceeds go towards supporting the nonprofit “Protect Our Winters,” a group working towards systemic political solutions for climate change. So this is really a win/win: You’re helping your loved ones charge their phones, and doing good for the world, too. 

Skullcandy Stash Portable Battery Bank, $29.99

Courtesy of Skullcandy

A stress-reducing wristband

Stress and burnout affect so many people, and it’s only getting worse, with more than 44% of Americans reporting that their stress has increased in the past five years. That’s why this wristband is such a useful gift: Creating silent vibrations that mimic heartbeats, this wristband has the ability to relieve anxiety, and you can where it anywhere — including at work, which is reported to be the cause of 83% of Americans’ stress. Much like listening to a relaxing song, the wristband’s vibrations calm and focus the user, but without the noise or distraction, which can sometimes induce even more stress. Used reactively, Doppel can provide anxiety relief before public speaking, while flying, or simply to keep the user focused during a particularly busy period. Some users prefer to use it proactively and keep the vibrations on throughout the day to provide a constant sense of calm. Whatever your style, this is the perfect gift for anyone in your life who may be struggling with stress.

Doppel Wristband, $219

Courtesy of Doppel

Noise cancellation to help you focus

Perfect for music lovers or people who tend to get distracted, the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 make the superb gift for anyone on your shopping list. Not only does noise-cancellation help prevent hearing loss, but studies show it reduces stress, makes it easier to concentrate, and can even improve the quality of sleep. Plus, these smartphones allow you to talk to either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, as well as answer calls without having to look at the screen.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, $399.95

Courtesy of Bose

A cozy, warm beverage

This mug is so smart that it allows you to set an exact drinking temperature, so your coffee is never too hot or too cold — it’s Goldilocks levels of just right. The mug then maintains your chosen temperature for over an hour. This is an excellent gift for anyone on your list  — from new parents who can’t recall the last time they enjoyed a warm beverage to your chronically microwaving co-workers.

Ember Mug, $99 

Courtesy of Ember

The gift of hydration

Are you drinking enough water? Are you sure? Because dehydration can cause cognitive deficiency and impair executive function, making you less alert and productive, and negatively impacting your mood. Nobody wants that, so gift your friend a reusable bottle that tracks daily hydration and sends regular reminders to help establish essential healthy hydration habits. It works by calculating the optimal amount of water for your body based on your activity level, age, height, weight, local weather, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Bellabeat Spring water bottle, $79.99

Courtesy of Bellabeat

A very smart watch

You may not think of an Apple Watch as a well-being-oriented tech gadget, but you’d be surprised at all the health perks it has. For example, you can get a quick read on your heart rate or check your heart rhythm with the ECG app. The new noise app alerts users when they’re surrounded by noise that’s loud enough to impact hearing. And the watch’s activity ring tracks your progress, inspires you to move more and exercise every day, and even offers the opportunity to compete with friends in exercise challenges! You can also listen to the entire Apple Music Library, along with podcasts and audiobooks, which are the ideal addition to a leisurely (or brisk) walk.

Apple Watch Series 5, starting at $399

Courtesy of Apple

The gift of fresh air

Help your loved ones clear the air this season with the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool air purifier. The Pure Hot + Cool uses Dyson’s latest purifying and filter technology to capture 99.97 of pollutants in the air, destroying harmful and allergy-inducing pollutants like pet dander, hair, plant allergens, and more. Purifying the air will help your loved ones prevent red eyes, itchy skin, dust problems, stale air and other ailments, leaving their workspace and/or home cleaner, and sinuses feeling so much better! Plus, while it cleanses, it produces a steady stream of heat or cooling air, so you can adjust the room temperature according to your preferences (or the time of year). No more freezing before bedtime for the sake of breathing better! What’s more, the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool also has a revolutionary “Auto mode,” which senses pollution in the room, kicking into the appropriate level to get rid of the pollution quickly. There’s also a sleep timer, night-time mode, and an easy-to-clean aperture for convenient operation.

Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Purifier, $449.99

Courtesy of Dyson

Creative inspiration

Studies show that creative hobbies have a multitude of benefits for our mental health and well-being — they can aid in boosting productivity and confidence at work, and help people going through difficult times cope and deal with difficult emotions and experiences. That’s why the Cricut Explore Air 2 is such a splendid gift: It makes crafting and DIY projects fun, easy, and accessible for people of all ages, allowing them to express themselves creatively, and boost their mood and well-being! It’s super easy to use, too: You can play with thousands of images, fonts, and ready-made projects, or create your own design from scratch. You can cut over 100 materials — including glitter paper, cork, and bonded fabric — and create everything from cards to custom t-shirts.

Cricut Explore Air 2, $229

Courtesy of Cricut

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

Gifts to Thrive By: Presents for a Calming Bedtime Routine

Gifts to Thrive By: Presents for a Productive Morning Routine

— reporting by Lindsey Benoit O’Connell

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

Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

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

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...

Community//

Can we trust Technology? A Good, Bad, Ugly reality!

by Nitin Saxena
Well-Being//

5 Wellness Technologies To Up-Level Your Fitness Regimen

by Mandy Murry
Well-Being//

14 Ways to Stay Healthy and Happy in the New Year

by Susan Blumenthal, MD, MPA

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.