This post contains some of the best gifts for people with depression to show support.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase
Best Gifts for People With Depression
When someone is experiencing depression, it’s important to approach their well-being with care and sensitivity.
While material gifts may not be a substitute for professional help and support, here are some thoughtful suggestions that can potentially provide comfort and encouragement:
Books can be a great source of comfort, support, and knowledge for those who are struggling with depression.
There are many options available, ranging from memoirs by individuals who have experienced depression to self-help books providing guidance and coping strategies.
These books can help the recipient feel less alone and offer valuable insights into their own mental health.
Light therapy has been shown to have numerous benefits for individuals with depression by mimicking natural sunlight and encouraging the production of serotonin, a hormone that boosts mood and promotes feelings of happiness.
These compact lamps are designed to provide the necessary light exposure and can be easily carried and used anywhere.
They emit a bright, white light that helps combat the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) symptoms commonly experienced by those with depression.
Whether used in the morning to simulate sunrise or throughout the day as an energy boost, a portable light therapy lamp can provide a sense of comfort and relief for your loved one.
Additionally, its compact size makes it convenient for travel, allowing your friend or family member to bring their source of light therapy wherever they go.
3. A weighted blanket for relaxation and better sleep
Designed to provide deep pressure stimulation, a weighted blanket can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, which are often challenges faced by individuals with depression.
The added weight of the blanket creates a gentle, comforting sensation that can help soothe anxiety and calm the mind.
By mimicking the feeling of being hugged or held, a weighted blanket can provide a sense of security and comfort, easing feelings of restlessness or agitation.
It can be especially beneficial during periods of heightened stress or when feelings of sadness or loneliness are overwhelming.
Additionally, a weighted blanket is a practical gift that can be used daily, offering ongoing support and a tangible reminder that their well-being is valued.
4. Aromatherapy diffuser for a calming atmosphere
One excellent gift option is an aromatherapy diffuser, which uses essential oils to create a soothing atmosphere.
The diffuser releases tiny particles of the selected oil into the air, allowing the recipient to breathe in the gentle, therapeutic scents.
Certain essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, are known for their calming properties, making them ideal choices for individuals with depression.
Not only can aromatherapy help reduce stress and anxiety, but it can also improve sleep quality and enhance overall well-being.
5. A mindfulness or meditation app subscription
These apps offer a variety of guided meditation exercises, breathing techniques, and relaxation tools that can help individuals manage stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
By subscribing to such an app, you are providing your loved one with a convenient and accessible resource to incorporate mindfulness practices into their daily routine.
They can explore different meditation styles, choose sessions based on their needs or preferences, and even track their progress over time.
This gift encourages self-care and empowers individuals with a positive tool to cope with their emotions.
6. A plant or flowers to brighten up their space
Plants and flowers have been shown to have a positive impact on mood and mental well-being.
The presence of greenery and vibrant colors can create a soothing and calming environment that promotes relaxation and reduces stress.
Additionally, caring for a plant can provide a sense of responsibility and purpose, helping individuals with depression to find joy and satisfaction in nurturing and watching something grow.
For instance, a low-maintenance plant such as a succulent or a peace lily can be a great choice, as they require minimal effort to thrive.
7. Puzzle books or brain teasers to distract and engage the mind
Solving puzzles or working on brain teasers can offer a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with depression.
These activities can also provide a much-needed break from negative thought patterns and offer a sense of focus and concentration.
For instance, a crossword puzzle book, Sudoku, or even a challenging jigsaw puzzle can be great choices.
Additionally, these gifts can be enjoyed alone or with others, providing an opportunity for social interaction and connection.
8. A cozy blanket or throw for comfort
A cozy blanket or throw is an excellent choice as it provides physical warmth and emotional comfort.
The softness and warmth of a blanket can create a soothing sensation, helping to calm anxious thoughts and promote relaxation.
The simple act of wrapping oneself in a cozy blanket can bring a sense of security and coziness, offering a respite from the challenges that depression can bring.
Additionally, a blanket can be a versatile gift, suitable for various situations – whether it’s for curling up on the couch during a movie night or providing an extra layer of comfort during sleepless nights.
9. A guided journal specifically designed for managing depression
This thoughtful gift not only shows your support, but also encourages self-reflection and provides a tool to navigate through difficult emotions.
The guided journal provides prompts, exercises, and spaces for personal reflection, helping individuals with depression explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe and structured way.
It can serve as a source of solace and empowerment, allowing them to express themselves without judgment or pressure.
For instance, the journal may include sections for gratitude practices, mood tracking, goal setting, and positive affirmations, all tailored to aid in managing depression.
The act of writing can be therapeutic, offering a creative outlet for processing emotions and fostering self-discovery.
10. Inspirational wall art or motivational quotes
These gifts have the potential to uplift and inspire individuals during difficult times, serving as constant reminders of their strength and resilience.
Inspirational wall art includes beautiful prints or paintings featuring motivational quotes or positive affirmations.
These pieces can be displayed in living spaces, bedrooms, or offices, creating a serene and encouraging atmosphere.
Motivational quotes, on the other hand, can be found on posters, framed prints, or even custom-made signs.
By choosing quotes that resonate with the person’s struggles or aspirations, you can provide them with a source of daily inspiration and encouragement.
For instance, a quote such as “You are stronger than you think” or “Every day is a fresh start” can remind them of their inherent strength and the possibility of positive change.
11. Scented candles or bath products for relaxation
Scented candles, known for their calming properties, can create a soothing atmosphere and help reduce stress levels.
The gentle glow of the candlelight can also provide a sense of tranquility.
Additionally, bath products such as bath salts, bath bombs, or essential oils can enhance the overall bathing experience by releasing lovely scents and relaxing aromas.
These products can create a spa-like ambiance in the comfort of one’s own home, encouraging moments of self-reflection and rejuvenation.
The act of slowing down, unwinding in a warm bath, and enjoying the pleasing fragrance can contribute to a sense of calmness and peace.
12. A box for self-care or wellness items
This type of gift allows the recipient to prioritize their mental well-being and practice self-care at their own pace.
Consider including items such as scented candles, bath salts, journals, coloring books, soothing teas, and stress-relief toys.
These items can help create a calming and relaxing atmosphere, offering a gentle escape from daily challenges.
Personalization is key, so think about the individual’s preferences and tailor the contents accordingly.
13. A fitness tracker or yoga mat to encourage physical activity
Exercise has been found to have numerous benefits for individuals suffering from depression, as it helps increase the production of endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones.
A fitness tracker can be a wonderful tool for monitoring daily activity levels, setting fitness goals, and providing motivation to stay active. It can track steps, heart rate, and even provide reminders to move throughout the day.
Additionally, a yoga mat can be a fantastic gift for someone with depression, as it offers a space for them to engage in a calming and soothing practice.
Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms.
14. A gratitude or affirmation jar filled with uplifting messages
This unique present allows the recipient to have a tangible reminder of positive thoughts and affirmations whenever they need a boost.
The jar can be filled with small notes that express gratitude, encouragement, or simply kind words.
For example, one note might say “You are loved and cherished,” while another could say “Remember that you are strong and capable.”
These messages serve as gentle reminders that there is hope and support available to them, even during difficult times.
The act of reading a positive message from the jar can provide comfort and remind them that they are not alone.
Additionally, this gift encourages self-reflection and gratitude, which can be helpful in managing depression.
15. A cozy pair of slippers or socks
Whether someone is struggling with depression or any other mental health issue, feeling comfortable and warm can make a significant difference in their overall well-being.
The softness of the slippers or socks can provide a gentle touch and a sense of comfort during challenging times.
These items can also serve as reminders that self-care and relaxation are essential when managing depression.
Additionally, they can be a great way to encourage individuals to engage in activities that promote self-soothing, such as reading a book, watching a movie, or simply taking a moment to unwind.
16. A soothing herbal tea assortment or a tea infuser
Herbal teas have been known for their calming properties and may help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety levels.
By offering a variety of herbal tea options, you can give the gift of choice, allowing the recipient to explore different flavors and find their favorites.
Moreover, a tea infuser can be an excellent addition to their tea collection, making it easier for them to brew loose leaf teas and enjoy the full flavor and benefits they offer.
The act of preparing and sipping on a warm cup of tea can create a comforting ritual that can help soothe the mind and encourage moments of relaxation.
17. A gift certificate for a therapeutic massage or acupuncture session
These treatments can provide much-needed relief from the physical and emotional symptoms of depression by helping to relax tense muscles, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality.
For someone going through this challenging time, having an opportunity to indulge in a rejuvenating massage or experience the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture can be truly uplifting.
Additionally, these treatments offer a modality for individuals to take time for themselves and focus on their own self-care, which is crucial for managing depression.
Coloring books have gained popularity as a therapeutic tool, allowing individuals to engage in a calming and creative activity.
By combining this with positive affirmations, the recipient can immerse themselves in a world of uplifting words while expressing their creativity through coloring.
This type of book encourages mindfulness, which is the practice of being fully present in the moment. It allows the person to focus on the task at hand and divert their attention from negative thoughts or worries.
The act of coloring can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance overall mental well-being.
Moreover, the inclusion of positive affirmations further enhances the experience.
Affirmations are powerful statements that aim to shift negative self-talk into positive self-belief.
As the person colors each page, they have the opportunity to internalize these affirmations, reinforcing self-compassion and nurturing a more positive mindset.
19. A gift card for online therapy sessions
Depression can be an isolating and overwhelming experience, and professional help can make a significant difference in someone’s well-being.
Online therapy provides the convenience of accessing therapy from the comfort of one’s own home, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may find it challenging to leave their house due to depression.
With a gift card for online therapy sessions, your loved one can connect with a licensed therapist who specializes in treating depression.
They can schedule sessions at their convenience and receive the support they need on their own terms.
20. A weighted stress ball or fidget toy for anxiety relief
These therapeutic tools can be immensely helpful for individuals experiencing depression as they offer sensory stimulation and a physical outlet for pent-up emotions.
The weighted nature of these stress balls provides a calming effect by engaging the muscles and promoting a sense of grounding.
Fidget toys, on the other hand, can help divert attention away from negative thoughts and redirect focus to the present moment.
For instance, a stress ball filled with gel or sand combines the benefits of tactile stimulation with the soothing effect of pressure.
Similarly, fidget cubes or spinners enable users to engage in repetitive motions that can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
21. A soft and comforting stuffed animal or plush toy
These toys provide comfort, companionship, and a sense of security to those struggling with depression.
The gentle texture and huggable nature of these items can offer emotional support, serving as a source of solace during difficult times.
Additionally, they can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and anxiety that often accompany this condition.
For instance, a plush teddy bear can become a trusted confidant, offering a listening ear and a non-judgmental presence.
The act of cuddling or holding a stuffed animal can release oxytocin, a hormone associated with feelings of relaxation and happiness.
This can help reduce stress levels and promote a sense of calm in someone battling depression.
Furthermore, the availability of various animal designs, sizes, and colors allows for personalization, making it easier to select a toy that resonates with the individual’s interests and preferences.
22. A relaxing sound machine for better sleep
These devices can be incredibly helpful in creating a soothing and calming atmosphere, particularly when it comes to improving sleep quality.
Sleep disturbances are a common symptom of depression, and finding ways to promote a restful night’s sleep can greatly benefit individuals dealing with this mental health condition.
A sound machine or white noise generator works by producing various sounds such as rain, ocean waves, or gentle melodies.
These sounds can help mask disruptive noises and create a tranquil environment that encourages relaxation and sleep.
Many devices also offer customizable features, allowing users to adjust the volume, intensity, and type of sound according to their preferences.
They can easily fit on a bedside table or be packed in a bag, ensuring that the individual can benefit from their calming effects wherever they go.
Additionally, many sound machines come with additional features such as built-in alarm clocks or nightlights, offering added functionality to enhance the overall sleep experience.
23. A handwritten letter expressing your support, love, and encouragement
In the digital age, where most communication happens through technology, receiving a heartfelt letter can be a refreshing and meaningful experience.
By taking the time to sit down and put pen to paper, you are showing that you care deeply about the person’s well-being.
In the letter, you can share your genuine feelings of empathy and understanding, letting them know that they are not alone in their struggles.
Offering words of encouragement and reminding them of their strengths can help uplift their spirits during difficult times.
Be mindful of striking a balance between showing concern and avoiding assumptions or minimizing their experiences.
Personalize the letter by including specific memories or instances where their resilience and strength shone through.
Highlighting these positive moments can serve as reminders of their capabilities and give them a sense of pride.
Additionally, consider offering reassurances that you are there for them, ready to listen without judgment whenever they need someone to talk to.
Remember, these suggestions should be seen as additional supports rather than a solution to depression.
Encouraging them to seek professional help from a mental health provider is essential for their well-being.
Other Ways to Support People With Depression
Here are some additional ways to support people with depression:
1. Educate yourself
Learn more about depression, its symptoms, and treatment options.
This knowledge will help you understand their experiences better.
2. Be patient
Recovery from depression takes time.
Avoid pressuring them to “snap out of it” or make quick progress.
Show patience and understanding throughout their journey.
Related: Best 10 Postpartum Books
3. Offer practical help
Help with daily tasks they may find overwhelming, such as cooking, cleaning, or running errands.
These small acts can alleviate some of their stress.
4. Validate their feelings
Depression can make individuals feel like their emotions are unwarranted or invalid.
Assure them that their feelings are real and understandable, and avoid dismissing or trivializing their experiences.
5. Encourage self-care
Remind them to prioritize self-care activities such as getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities they enjoy.
Offer to join them in these activities if they’d like the company.
6. Stay connected
Regularly check in with them, even if it’s just a simple text or phone call.
Let them know that they are not alone and that you are there to support them.
7. Respect their boundaries
Everyone copes with depression differently, and individuals may have specific boundaries or preferences during difficult times.
Respect their need for space but maintain consistent contact to ensure they feel supported.
8. Avoid giving advice unless requested
Instead of offering immediate solutions or advice, focus on active and empathetic listening.
Sometimes, people simply need to be heard and understood.
If they specifically ask for guidance, then provide suggestions or recommend seeking professional help.
Related: Best 10 Books On Validation
What should I avoid saying to someone with depression?
When communicating with someone who has depression, it’s important to be mindful of your words and the impact they can have on their well-being. Here are some things to avoid saying:
1. “Just snap out of it” or “Cheer up”: Depression is a complex mental health condition, and it is not something that can be simply overcome by willpower or a change in attitude. Such statements can trivialize their experiences and make them feel misunderstood or guilty for not being able to “get better” instantly.
2. “You have nothing to be depressed about” or “Others have it worse”: Comparing their situation to others or invalidating their emotions can minimize the seriousness of their depressive symptoms and further isolate them. Depression is not solely based on external circumstances or comparisons.
3. “You’re just seeking attention”: Implying that someone’s depression is a cry for attention can be hurtful and dismissive of their genuine struggles. It’s essential to validate their feelings and provide support instead of casting doubt on their intentions.
4. “You should try harder” or giving unsolicited advice: Although well-intentioned, pushing someone to “try harder” can be counterproductive. Depression affects individuals differently, and recovery is a complex process. Offering advice without being asked may come across as dismissive or patronizing.
5. “It’s all in your head” or “You’re just being dramatic”: These types of statements undermine the reality of their experience and can cause them to feel ashamed or guilty for their emotions. Depression is a valid medical condition that goes beyond momentary emotions.
6. “I know exactly how you feel”: While empathy is important, claiming to understand their experience completely might invalidate their unique struggle. Instead, focus on listening empathetically and acknowledging that you may not fully comprehend their emotions.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences with depression are unique, so it’s crucial to tailor the gift to the individual’s needs and preferences.
If you’re unsure about how to best assist someone, don’t hesitate to ask them directly.
Open communication is essential in supporting someone with depression effectively.
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.