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The world is stressful these days, to say the least. Thankfully, there’s a range of products that may support you on your self-care journey.

Person using a Zen garden for stress reliefShare on Pinterest
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In small doses, stress can be a good thing. But if unmanaged, it can lead to a range of mental, emotional, and physical complications. These days, we could all use a little more “chill.”

According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 67% of U.S. adults have increased stress from the COVID-19 pandemic. To add to that, 49% say their behavior has been affected, from snapping at loved ones to more rapid shifts in mood.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all to combat stress, we hope some of our favorite products can help you find little doses of relief throughout your day.

Google “stress relief products” and you may be so overwhelmed with options that it’s hard to know where to look first. But never fear: We’ve got your back and took care of the research for you, so you have one less thing to worry about on your to-do list.

Here’s how we chose our favorites:

  • ratings
  • reviews
  • features
  • price
  • scientific research

Best meditation app

Calm

Price: $–$$$ (options include per month, per year, or for a lifetime membership)

Sitting in silence may not sound very enticing, but the benefits may change your mind.

Research from 2021 shows that meditation can:

  • decrease your blood pressure
  • lower your heart rate
  • reduce a stress hormone called cortisol
  • disrupt cytokine levels, which are inflammatory proteins in your brain

There’s some research to support the Calm app, specifically, with its range of stress-reducing features, from guided meditations to stretching programs. Don’t forget the library of sleep stories narrated by well-known voices like Matthew McConaughey.

What we like

  • free trial for 7 days
  • intuitive, well-organized app design
  • some features are available without a membership

What to look out for

  • free trial requires payment details

Best face mask

FOMI Lavender Scent Facial Eye Mask

Price: $

When you don’t have the time or the budget for a professional facial, this at-home version might just be the next best thing.

Depending on your mood, this mask can be placed in the freezer or the microwave for hot or cold relief on your face. You can use it for a few minutes during your day or try it right before bed to promote restful sleep.

Plus, it’s scented with lavender, which is well known for increasing relaxation and reducing stress in a range of populations, from students to older adults.

What we like

  • easy to clean
  • leakproof design
  • snug Velcro strap

What to look for

  • don’t leave in the microwave for longer than intended

Best desktop accessory

Enso Sensory Matsu Zen Garden

Price: $$$

If a relaxing getaway isn’t in the cards anytime soon, bring the ancient Japanese tradition of Zen gardening home to you.

This starter kit has everything you need to make a serene desktop version, with sand, stones, and an artificial bonsai tree, a sacred symbol of spirituality in Zen Buddhism.

When you’re feeling stressed, enjoy the calming, meditative effects of raking the white sand in any design that feels intuitive.

What we like

  • container for tool storage
  • looks great in any room
  • endless ways to decorate the sand tray

What to look for

  • keep small parts away from pets and children

Best stress ball

MindPanda Empowering Stress Balls

Price: $$

Stored-up anxiety in the body is no fun. All of that energy needs to be released somewhere — and that’s where stress balls come in.

Instead of biting your nails or chewing on the back of your pens, squeezing a stress ball may help when you’re having a tough moment. In fact, research from 2020 shows that stress balls can have a positive impact on stress.

Along with motivational words to help keep you calm, these balls from MindPanda have an aromatherapy element. Each one has a different scent:

  • jasmine
  • rosemary
  • lemon

What we like

  • multiple color options
  • different strengths and ball sizes
  • tear-resistant fabric

What to look for

  • may not be suitable if you’re sensitive to smells while stressed

Best foot bath

Zircon Pediprime Foot Spa Massager

Price: $$$

Rather than splurge on a spa day, recreate the experience at home as often as you like.

Grab your favorite bathrobe, a good book, and maybe a glass of wine, then dip your feet into this warm foot bath. The raised nodes and bubbles will gently massage your feet after a long, hard day.

If stress makes it hard for you to get some quality Zzz’s, a 2016 study suggests that a foot bath can promote more restful sleep.

What we like

  • can be used with Epsom salts
  • digital temperature control
  • heats water and keeps it warm

What to look out for

  • you must move your feet back and forth to get a massage

Best coloring book

Joyful Inspirations Artist’s Coloring Book

Price: $

Stress relief doesn’t have to be complicated, and coloring is a perfect example of that.

Though it may seem a little far-fetched, coloring has science-backed benefits. One 2020 study showed that coloring can lower anxiety and reduce heart rate. A 2017 study showed that anxiety symptoms may improve within just 1 week of daily coloring.

In this coloring book, the intricate designs are paired with calming words and phrases like “breathe,” “awaken,” and “shine on.” All you need now are some colored pencils.

What we like

  • durable paper, so there’s no bleed-through
  • perforated sheets so you can hang up your work

What to look out for

  • some may find that these detailed designs are too time-consuming

Best oil diffuser

ASAKUKI 500 mL Premium Essential Oil Diffuser

Price: $$

Bring the smell of the yoga studio home with you.

Research from 2021 shows that aromatherapy with essential oils like lavender and rosemary can promote relaxation, called an anxiolytic effect. In addition, research from 2015 suggests that aromatherapy can be a great compliment to other lifestyle adjustments, like nutrition and exercise.

With more than 23,000 ratings and 4.6 stars, this minimalist essential oil diffuser may just be your new favorite accessory for stress relief.

What we like

  • powered by remote control
  • seven rotating or fixed color modes
  • automatic shutoff to prevent overheating
  • can hold 2 cups of water for long-lasting aromatherapy

What to look out for

  • some may find the sound of the motor distracting

Best fidget toy

VCOSTORE 12-Sided Fidget Cube

Price: $

Few things can provide the sensory satisfaction of click, click, clicking a pen, but this fidget spinner may be one of them.

When you need a moment to de-stress, your hands can pull, switch, rotate, and click different buttons and levers for comfort.

While research has yet to validate many of the health claims surrounding fidget toys, you still may find it helpful to add this small, affordable tool to your self-care kit.

What we like

  • small and portable
  • quiet so you can fidget in peace
  • multiple color and design options

What to look out for

  • small parts may be a choking hazard for pets or children

Best art set

The Original Buddha Board

Price: $$$

The Zen way of living is all about appreciating the present moment.

As this blank canvas becomes filled with your art, then you watch it fade away to blank again, you’ll be reminded that all things are temporary — including stress.

Your task here is simple. Dip the bamboo brush into water, draw whatever you’re feeling, then watch your inkless design disappear within 3 to 10 minutes. You can truly let your creative side loose, knowing that there’s no such thing as a finished product.

What we like

  • minimalist design
  • reservoir for water
  • suitable for kids and adults

What to look out for

  • no storage case

Best card deck

Sunny Present Less Anxiety Affirmation Cards

Price: $

We could all use a little pep talk from time to time.

Whether you pick one card a day, or shuffle and draw whenever you’re feeling stressed, this 45-card deck has a positive affirmation ready to support you at any moment.

Each card provides comforting words you can read out loud to yourself, or a loving message to reflect on in your journal or meditation practice. You can even hang these cards up in high-traffic areas, like your bathroom or near your door.

What we like

  • portable
  • beautiful artwork
  • suitable for adults and children

What to look out for

  • bigger than playing cards

Best workbook

A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook

Price: $$

Would you expect to build a house without the proper tools? Of course not.

A calm life is no different. It takes skills, many of which can be learned through this workbook. Through various exercises, you’ll be able to identify the root causes of your stress and replace unhelpful habits with more mindful ones.

This book material is centered around mindfulness-based stress reduction, which is clinically proven to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, panic, and depression.

What we like

  • therapist recommended
  • audio files to support book material
  • rooted in science-backed techniques
  • available as paperback and Kindle

What to look for

  • electronic version doesn’t include logs and worksheets

Stress is on the rise, particularly with the pandemic and other global issues.

While these stress-relief products can’t replace therapy and medication, you may find that they can effectively complement your overall treatment plan.

If stress is interfering with your everyday life, please know that you don’t have to go through this alone. Support is available and healing is possible. By taking the first step to finding professional help, you’ll be better equipped to handle life’s many challenges.

As they say, this too shall pass. Try to take it one moment — one breath — at a time.