Gift Edit 2023

27 Gifts to Get Someone Who’s Had a Rough Year

updated Nov 30, 2023
Apartment Therapy received compensation for this post, which was written and edited independently by our editorial team.
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Credit: Gillian Vann/Stocksy

This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

It has been a tough year for a lot of folks. Chances are, you probably know at least one person in serious need of a little comfort, pampering, and luxury. These gifts are the perfect way to encourage just that, regardless of whether the person in question is experiencing grief, going through a hard breakup, or just seems a little down in the dumps. Whether your loved ones prefer to chill out or tune out, we’ve found the best gifts to help inject some ease and joy into their lives. If they prefer not to socialize, dropping off a couple of these finds at their home is an easy way to show them that you still care and that they’re not alone. So go ahead and pick up a few of these thoughtful gifts for the people you know who are doing it all, day in and day out, and could use some extra support — even if one of those people is yourself.

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From our partner
Five Below

A candle is a foolproof gift no matter the occasion, but this Five Below find is a bit less conventional than your average votive. Not only will your friend be able to light the little succulent candle for some extra tranquility, but they can also move around the mini rake, sand, and river rocks to calm their mind during meditation. It might not solve all of their problems, but this adorable set will at least provide a soothing temporary distraction.

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From our partner
The Company Store
was $299.00

We'd venture to guess your giftee is spending a lot of time in bed, in which case this ultra-soft lambswool blanket will come in clutch. Available in three cozy plaid colorways, the yarn-dyed piece will prove at once luxurious and breathable. What's more, the recipient will be able to use it year-round, as the material will keep them cool in summer and warm in winter.

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Uncommon Goods

This weighted relaxation hoodie gives all the soothing comfort of a weighted blanket — but you can get up and make a cup of tea without dragging an actual blanket around with you. It's a zip-up with extra weight in the shoulders, so it's almost like a continuous shoulder rub.

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Uncommon Goods

Help a loved one rest, like actually lie down and rest, with this calming lavender and buckwheat-filled heat pillow. It can be heated in the microwave or chilled in the refrigerator, whichever is needed in the moment.

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was $217.00

Send some somatic healing with the "As-Is" Theragun Mini Percussive Massager. It comes with attachments that will help the user release tension from wherever they're feeling it. And the small, portable size (not to mention quieter motor) makes it easy to use whenever, wherever.

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During a crisis, little things like preparing daily meals can feel overwhelming. You can help by sending someone a gift certificate for a meal service, like Factor75's ready-to-eat meals. Their meals are designed by dietitians and can be selected by nutritional needs and preferences. The restaurant-quality entrees arrive ready to eat; all you have to do is heat and serve.

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Clevr Blends
was $79.00

Packed with adaptogens and mushrooms, the latte packs in Clevr's starter kit are made to help manage stress and start the day with energy and a copasthetic mood. The kit comes with two packs (with 14 servings each) and a frother — just mix with water for a new morning ritual.

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was $12.95

For people who have progressed on their journey to the point where they're ready to reflect with some distance, Do One Thing Every Day That Centers You is a helpful companion. It's both a collection of advice and a journal for reflecting on daily events and intentions.

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was $15.95

For anyone who's suffered a heartbreaking loss this year, psychotherapist Francis Weller's book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow, serves as a soulful handbook. Weller includes tools and resources for navigating the deep and turbulent waters of grief.

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was $22.89

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken objects with a laquer or epoxy mixed with gold pigment. It's a satisfying, meditative craft that speaks to resilience, healing, and reflects the beautiful imperfection of life itself. This kintsugi kit comes with everything you need, down to the gloves and instructions.

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The Bouqs Co.

Flowers are the quintessential thinking-of-you gift, and this dried bouquet is a stunning spin on a traditional arrangement. Artfully designed with copper pampas, pink sorghum, wheat, and dark pink palms, it gives off a warmth and texture that will make them smile every time they walk in the room. All with no water required!

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was $109.00

A soft, luxurious robe has that magical ability to feel both very fancy and extremely relaxed. This lightweight beauty is the official uniform of at-home spa days, lazy Sunday mornings, and evenings by the fire. Bonus: It has just the right amount of warmth, thanks to its fluffy four-ply gauze and 100% long-staple Turkish cotton.

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Uncommon Goods

Consider this candle for anyone who has recently moved or wants to hit the reset button on their space. Earthy notes of cedar, sage, and lavender combine for a grounding and clarifying sensory experience. It's even finished with a layer of dried herbs and crystals, including amethyst and smoky quartz, for an extra boost of positive energy.

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was $74.99

Massages are a great form of stress relief, but they're expensive, so it's not easy to indulge as frequently as needed. Gift your loved one the ability to work out the stress kinks any time they want with this DIY at-home neck and back massager from Nekteck. With eight deep-kneading nodes, custom speed modes, and a cozy heating function, they'll be feeling like a limp noodle (in a good way!) in no time.

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Uncommon Goods

This inspired card deck is packed with moments of rest, kindness, creativity, and connection. The thoughtful prompts — like "Listen to the body" and "Where is my mind right now?" — are designed to foster a spirit of self-care and acceptance. It's a great introduction to mindfulness or a complement to an existing practice.

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The Sill

Nature is the original pick-me-up. This beautiful houseplant — and its elegant ceramic pot — will add cheerful color and shape to any room. And because snake plants are famously easy to care for, your giftee won't need a green thumb to enjoy its charms.

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Sometimes all it takes to relieve stress and move past a few bad moments (or months!) is getting your thoughts down on paper. This wellness-themed journal from Papier will help your pal do just that, with specific prompts and exercises that will allow even journaling newbies to get to the core of their feels.

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If you could gift a relaxed sigh, it would be this dreamy concoction by one of our favorite bath brands, Osea. The primary ingredient, gigartina seaweed, is packed with skin-softening mineral hydration for a nourishing soak. The best part? You don't even need a bathtub to enjoy it: You can also apply it to the skin and shower for the same serene benefits.

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was $45.76

This thoughtful care package is the next best thing to in-person TLC. It contains a yummy scented candle, an elegant box of matches, a soothing bath bomb, fuzzy socks, vanilla lip balm, and even a hair scrunchie — aka all the ingredients necessary for the ultimate night-in. It's like a warm hug after a long day (or a long year).

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Nothing feels better than slipping into bed after a long day (or week, or month, or...). Luxurious sheets can take that experience to levels you’ve never dreamed of. Made of sustainable and oh-so-soft bamboo, this silky set boasts breathability you won’t find in cotton sheets — and they're hypoallergenic to boot.

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This next pick is like if a stress ball and Play-Doh had a baby — and it's perfect for someone who needs a physical outlet for all the stress that's built up over the past year. Plus, this variety of Therapy Dough has a coconutty scent that will transport them to a beach vacation, which is perfect for when work frustrations hit again.

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Flowers can brighten up any room, and usually boost your mood, too. Treat someone to a fresh flower subscription and keep them surrounded by fragrant blooms. BloomsyBox offers weekly, biweekly, and monthly plans (with multiple options priced at $44.99 per delivery) that ship just-picked blossoms from sustainable farms around the globe directly to your recipient.

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Uncommon Goods

If you know someone who moved away from home this year, or has been longing to return after going through some serious stuff, a Homesick Candle might just be the ideal present. There’s one for every state in the U.S., with each boasting a different scent to remind sniffers of their favorite state (pine for Texas, cherry for Michigan). It might not be the plane ticket home they need, but hey, it’s something.

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When everything feels like it’s going wrong in life, it can be hard to rest or get some sleep — but weighted blankets can help you drift off, even if it seems impossible. This hand-knitted weighted blanket is pretty enough to display on a couch, but honestly, whomever you get it for will probably be too busy catching up on some much-needed ZZZs to ever do that.

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We all know that adequate sleep is key to looking and feeling your best, but getting enough rest is often way easier said than done. With an integrated sound machine, soft-glow reading light, meditation prompts, sunrise alarm, and more, this clever gadget from Hatch is basically like having your own personal sleep coach right on your nightstand.

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was $274.99

Chores are the last thing most people want to do when they’re going through a rough time. Help someone tackle a common — and often hated — to-do on their list: vacuuming. This Wi-Fi-connected version from the brand that started it all offers scheduling and voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. It will even identify high-traffic areas and clean them more frequently.

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If your friend is into herbal blends, this powder — made for mixing into plant-based milk or smoothie — is designed to, well, the name really says it all. It includes ingredients like ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, and raw cacao that taste like minty hot chocolate.

Additional reporting by Terri Pous.