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16 Gifts That May Be Perfect for Your Friend in Recovery From Self-Harm

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Editor's Note

We hope the products below, all recommended by our Mighty community members, help you or a loved one in your health journeys. Just so you know, The Mighty may collect a share of sales from the Amazon links on this page. Prices and product availability are accurate as of publication.

Article updated August 19, 2019.

Gestures to remind those you love just how much you appreciate them is a good habit to practice all year long, not just at the holidays. For those in recovery from self-harm, these simple reminders you care can be a big boost in their recovery. Finding the perfect meaningful gift that expresses just what you want to say can be difficult. What will provide comfort and a reminder that your friend is loved even when you’re not there?

To find out what gifts those in recovery from self-harm might appreciate most, we asked The Mighty’s self-harm recovery community what they would like to receive, whether it’s the perfect fuzzy blanket, a meaningful hug or a beautiful reminder of their recovery to wear anywhere. These ideas might not work for everyone, but we hope they give you a starting place when searching for just the right gift.

Here’s what The Mighty community shared with us.

1. Fidget Toys

Tangle Jr. fidget toy

“Tangle Jr. fidget toys are my favorite! They’re simple, cute and can be discreet (I would put one in each coat pocket to use while walking and they helped so much!) Plus, when I work with kiddos with disabilities, they LOVE them as well,” said Jessica.

Buy a set of three Tangle Jr. fidget toys featured above for $13.20 from Amazon.

2. Fuzzy Comfort Items

Pink stuffed animal pig and striped, colorful fuzzy socks

“Anything soft, gentle and kind to my skin and body. Fuzzy blanket. … Stuffed animals and things to care for the hurt little girl still inside of me,” said Lucy Fox.

“For whatever reason, I find comfort in fluffy socks,” said Kelly. “Sounds weird maybe, but I do!”

Buy the fuzzy socks featured above for $15.99 from Amazon and the stuffed animal featured above for £5.99 from Amazon UK.

3. Books

Books "If You Feel Too Much" by Jamie Tworkowski, "Reasons to Stay Alive" by Matt Haig and "The Story You Need to Tell" by Sandra Marinella

“Books. Some that have helped me during recovery are: “If You Feel Too Much” by Jamie Tworkowski, “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig and “The Story You Need to Tell” by Sandra Marinella,” said Bree Terrill.

Buy “If You Feel Too Much” by Jamie Tworkowski for $12.13 from Amazon, “Reasons to Stay Alive” by Matt Haig for $7.20 from Amazon and “The Story You Need to Tell” by Sandra Marinella for $12.00 from Amazon.

4. Flowers

BloomsyBox and BloomBox flower subscription service logos

“A lovely postal delivery service offers monthly fresh bouquets. I got one for someone going through a tough emotional time. It isn’t very expensive, but you get a different bouquet every month for three or six months. It really brightened up my friend’s surroundings and helped her know I was thinking of her without her having to talk or explain when that was too difficult,” said Emma Keaveny Fearon.

“Flower/bouquet of the month subscription,” added Jules.

Gift a monthly subscription to BloomsyBox for $39.99–59.99/month or a monthly subscription to Australia’s BloomBox for AUD $46.09–65.90/month.

Check out some other subscription ideas that your friend might also enjoy here.

5. Journal and Pens

Blue and gold celestial-patterned journal and wooden writing pen

“I would love a nice leather journal and maybe a fancy pen,” said Casey Howe.

“A blank journal,” added Peter Vandebogert.

“A beautiful easy-writing pen,” said Ashley Stillwell-Hasan.

Buy the journal featured above for $11.69 from Amazon and the pen featured above for $10.99 from Amazon.

6. Soothing Scents

Bottle of lavender essential oil and colorful bath bomb set

“Bath bombs. The smell is soothing and it helps me cope with anxiety,” said Rachael. “Also, taking a bath helps me take care of my body instead of hurting my body. I really enjoy the flowery smells like lavender, rose and orchid.”

“Lavender essential oil roll-ons that can be made with 10 drops of lavender oil and fill the rest of the bottle with coconut oil as a carrier oil. Also Peace & Calm roll-on from Young Living. [When] put on inner wrists, feet and back of neck [it] can calm you down,” said Keely Petri.

Buy the lavender essential oil featured above for $16.10 from Amazon and the bath bombs featured above for £16.99 from Amazon UK.

7. Personalized Music

Cassette USB mixtape and galaxy patterned sticky note pads

“My fav music because that has really helped me get through life, find inner strength and inspiration,” said Chloe Shalini

“A mixtape of songs my friend knows are special or that turn out to be. Sometimes, you just gotta turn the rest of the world off,” said Alexis McDonald.

“I’d like music that helps me with the anxiety and aggression I feel when I consider self-harm,” said Jennifer Robertson. “Adding a letter of encouragement or reminders of coping skills tucked inside will personalize it further. Often when I’m in distress, I have a hard time thinking of multiple distraction or soothing techniques or any positives, so keepsake notes would be AMAZING.”

Buy the USB mixtape featured above for $15.95 from Amazon and the sticky notepads you can personalize featured above for $7.99 from Amazon.

8. Self-Care Distraction Box

Colorful maze ball and Crayola coloring set

“A self-care box specifically with nice smelling things and coloring books with nice markers or colored pencils. Lots of sensory things to take your mind off the urges,” said Julia Hardesty.

“Anything that makes it so I don’t have to think about the world. So puzzles, word cross, board games, video games, movies,” added Morgan Tippetts.

Buy the maze puzzle ball featured above for £5.00 from Amazon UK and the coloring set featured above for $19.99 from Amazon to start your own self-care distraction box.

9. A Hug

“A really good sincere hug, I feel people who know are almost afraid to touch me,” said Mandy.

“Tight hugs and anything that is healthy for the skin,” said Stephanie Russcher.

“A hug. And someone to be an anchor for me,” said Abigail Conner. “I can happily say that I am in a position to be an anchor for someone else but when I was/am in that place, I wish for someone to lean on.”

“Honestly, a hug and someone to say ‘I’m proud of you’ would mean the world. It would give a reason not to go back into the habit of self-harming,” added Amma.

10. Weighted or Soft Blanket

Gray weighted blanket and red fuzzy blanket

“Weighted blanket,” said Christina.

“A soft, oversized blanket,” said Mel Childers.

Buy the weighted blanket featured above for $79.99 from Amazon and the oversized blanket featured above for AUD $67.68  from Amazon AU.

12. Compression Sleeves

Black compression sleeves with thumb holes and blue patterned compression sleeve

“Compression sleeves in the past have helped with the nerve pain associated with severe self-harm,” said Tara H.

Buy the black compression sleeves featured above for $8.98 from Amazon and the colorful arm sleeve featured above for $12.99 from Amazon.

12. Tattoos

“I would love a tattoo,” said Kayla Slone. “I picked out a small one a long time ago to be a scar cover-up on my arm.”

“Another tattoo,” added Tiffany Baierl. “I have some scars I would love to get covered again.”

“I would love a beautiful tattoo to cover some of my scars but a good tattoo is so expensive. A gift voucher toward my tattoo would mean the world to me,” said Lucy B.


“I’d LOVE to be gifted a tattoo to cover my left arm, which is covered with a multitude of crisscrossing scars,” said Merc Yrayzoz.

“I would love to get a tattoo that shows something that shows you coming out the other side,” added Ree.

You can check in with your local tattoo shop to purchase a gift certificate or consider making a homemade coupon good for a portion of their tattoo to present to your friend.

Head here for some tattoo inspiration from others in self-harm recovery.

13. Bracelets

Stack of colorful friendship bracelets, semicolon bangle bracelet and leather cuff bracelet with quote

“Semicolon bracelet. I always wanted one to have on my arm to remind me of my strength and to look at when I feel the urge to self-harm again,” said Mirena Milotic.

“A bracelet made by a friend maybe with a word or quote or symbol that’s meaningful to us would help me remember I’m not alone,” said Beth Underwood. “My sister made me one, just simple friendship band, and I would play with it … to help to combat self-harm and ground me if I was dissociating.”

“Maybe a bit obvious but: A bracelet big enough to cover the scars,” said Alex Walsh.

“I’ve got into beautiful bracelets or soft wrist wraps, which are popular now,” said Cassie. “My husband bought me a beautiful green watch, which sits near/on my scars. It’s my favorite color and he got it to make me smile when I look at the time. It helps — mostly that he cared enough to do that.”

Buy the semicolon bracelet featured above for $10.68 from Amazon, the colorful friendship bracelets featured above for £12.99 from Amazon UK and the leather wrap bracelet featured above for $34.00 from Porter and Hazel on Etsy.

14. Toys and Treats For Pets

Jackson Galaxy bird wand for cats and hedgehog squeaky dog toy

“I think that for those people who have pets, a gift for the pet such as a new toy, treat, catnip, etc. would be a good idea,” said Cat P. “My cats have been so helpful in maintaining stability that if someone does something to nurture my cat, I feel they understand how important he is to me and are nurturing me too.”

“Taking care of innocent creatures like my cats helps me when I can’t take care of myself. Someday maybe I’ll actually believe that I don’t deserve to be harmed either. Something that helps me love on them would be a great gift,” added Janet Anderson.

Buy the wand cat toy featured above for $11.95 from Amazon and the hedgehog dog toy featured above for $5.99 from Amazon.

Check out our list of other gifts to buy for your friend’s emotional support animal here.

15. A Relaxing Getaway

Massage Envy and Groupon logos

“A local weekend vacation to a place with a spa. Just get to relax and enjoy doing something good for me,” said Adrienne.

“Trip to beach/mountains,” added Ashley Labruyere.

“A gift I would have loved to have received after self-harming would be to have been able to go away to a retreat by the seaside,” said Bridget McClure-Jones. “There would be structured meditation, yoga and 1:1 counseling. Plus lots of time for self-reflection and walks on the beach.”

If you need a hand getting started to find the perfect retreat, look for travel packages available on Groupon and you can purchase gift cards for Massage Envy.

16. Your Time and Support

“Just a simple reminder that I’m am still a loveable person and my scars don’t define who I am,” added Belinda Dowding.

“Mostly I’d just like people to be accepting and non-judgmental,” said Heather Phelps. “I think that’s the best gift someone could give. The time and effort to try and understand instead of assuming one thing or another.”

“Time. To just have someone give me time to tell me they want to understand me and not to try to ‘fix’ me,” said Lisa Gibbs. “Maybe a coupon book with the offer of a coffee (or whatever) date to give me time. I want to be understood and know that to ‘fix’ this I have to come to my own place to be able to get past that physical pain of self-harm being greater than the mental pain I feel. Knowing that someone really is willing to just let me cry or release the mental pain will lessen the need for physical pain.”

Check out our helpful guide (with printable coupons) to make your own personalized coupon book for a friend.

What else would you recommend? Let us know in the comments.

Originally published: November 14, 2018
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