Best Gifts For Depressed People To Make Your Special Someone Smile :-)

How To Help A Depressed Person
Gifts For Depressed People
September 7, 2016

Choosing a gift for someone with depression is a tricky task. When you ask them what would make them happy, “nothing” is the most common answer. But, in reality, receiving nothing for Xmas or birthday is no fun either… The problem is that someone who’s depressed very likely suffers also from anhedonia, and feels little or no pleasure when receives a present. So, what are the best gifts for depressed people that will lift your loved one’s mood?


Best Gift Ideas For The Depressed

I have prepared for you a list of some safe options – things that I wouldn’t mind receiving myself. My criteria was that gifts for depressed people have to be fun, show your affection, and help with recovery from depression at the same time.

If you aren’t looking for a gift for someone else because you are depressed yourself and have no idea what to ask for, don’t hesitate to share this list with Santa via email or social media! Even he cannot read minds, so that’s the only way to make sure that you will get what you dream of:-)


Something Custom Made Or DIY

When we have enough money to purchase ourselves what we need, we appreciate best the gifts that somebody invented and crafted just for us. Even if you suck at painting, crocheting or knitting, you can still get something custom made, for example, a custom-made calendar with your photos showing fun moments together. People with depression need to be reassured that they are loved and cared for, so I believe it’s a great way to do that.

Quality Time Together

Giving your time and attention is the best way to show that you care about your special someone. People suffering from depression feel very lonely and they will surely appreciate  It doesn’t have to be extremely entertaining though. A dinner in his or her favorite restaurant is just fine, and it gives a great opportunity to talk and listen. If it’s a gift  delayed in time, and you want to avoid coming empty-handed, you can make a fun DIY voucher and give it to your friend or partner.


Best Gifts For Depressed People restaurant


A Good Book

I love receiving books, especially when they are entertaining and well written! Self-help or good psychology books make a great gift for someone with depression. There are plethora of inspiring books to choose from.

Don’t you forget about writing a heart-warming message inside! Personalization matters.

Read also: Self-Help Books For Depression & Anxiety That Actually Helped Me


A Coloring Book For Adults

Coloring is not only for children. Adults love it too! It reduces stress, helps to manage anxiety, and boosts creativity and self-esteem. And, on the top of it, it’s fun, which is why so many people got addicted to it. You can read more about benefits of therapeutic coloring in this post.

There is a great variety of coloring books for adults available on the market: beautiful flowers, oriental patterns, animals, mandalas, Harry Potter themes… Even nasty SWEARWORDS that will let you color out your rage and frustration. In addition to a coloring book, you can get a set of crayons, coloring pens or gel pens.

Click here to see more coloring books.


An Audiobook

In the middle of a serious depressive episode it’s hard to concentrate… An audiobook may be a great alternative to a traditional book for those who have trouble focusing on anything.


A Meditation CD

Mindfulness meditation is a great and effective way to beat depression naturally. Whether you are a beginner or a regular practitioner of meditation, you will surely appreciate 21 Days Meditation Challenge by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. The CD includes 21 guided meditations with beautiful, soothing music. It really helps to calm down and achieve deep relaxation. I have one myself and I must confess I’m a great fan of Deepak & Oprah!

Check reviews for 21 Days Meditation Challenge on Amazon.


A Light Therapy Lamp

A light box in not only a nice gift for someone with depression, but also a very effective treatment.  The importance of sunlight exposure in recovery from depression cannot be overlooked, especially in winter, which makes it an awesome gift for Xmas or Valentines day.

Why is it one of the best gifts for depressed people? Well, they don’t have to do anything to benefit from it. It’s enough to put it on the desk or shelf, and switch it on for 30 minutes a day.

There are many different models varying in size, price and quality. I have examined all the options and chosen this one for myself.

Verilux HappyLight Liberty 10,000 LUX Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp

  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 6.2 x 13 inches ; 2 pounds
  • UV protection
  • Two options: 5,000 lux and 10,000 lux
  • Nice, modern design
  • Flicker-free technology (eye-friendly!)

Check reviews for this light box on Amazon.


WARNING: Make sure your special someone doesn’t suffer from bipolar disorder, because light boxes may trigger manic episode.


For more information on therapeutic light boxes, read these posts:

Bright Light Therapy For Depression: The Ultimate Solution For Mood Disorders?

Buyer’s Guide To Light Boxes For Seasonal Affective Disorder & Depression


Gifts For Someone With Depression


A Little Something With An Inspirational Message

A gift doesn’t have to be expensive to tell someone how much you care for them. On Amazon you can find many inexpensive items with inspirational messages that touch one’s heart: mugs, posters, jewelry…

Click here to get this inspirational necklace, or browse other gifts!





What Not To Buy: Worst Gifts For Depressed People

Okay, we’ve already seen the gifts for depressed people that are highly desirable. Now, what about things to avoid?

Under no circumstances you should give a depressed person:

  • Socks & Ties: It’s the kind of gift that tells somebody you don’t bother.
  • Gift Vouchers: Depressed people have trouble to make a decision… and also, it conveys a message: “I don’t want to spend time trying to find something just for you”.
  • Clothes in general: Depression affects eating habits. There is a great chance that someone with depression has gained or lost weight, and the clothes won’t fit.
  • Useless sh*t: Things that I neither beautiful nor useful. They simply occupy one’s space. In this category of worst gifts for depressed people we can find candles, fluffy wine warmers (I got one a couple of years ago… no comment),  giant teddy bears and  lots of other related stuff. I won’t list it all, but you get the idea.
  • Pets: Having a pet is a great responsibility for years. Even though contact with an animal alleviates depression, you shouldn’t take for someone else the decision to adopt a pet. No, not even a turtle.
  • Alcohol: Drowning one’s sorrows is a very short term strategy to cope with depression. You don’t want your friend to develop an addiction, do you?


What are you going to ask Santa for? Is there anything else you would like to add to this list? Drop me a comment below, I’m dying to read you gift ideas for the depressed!

Take care,


You Might Also Enjoy Reading

Loneliness Depression
As Lonely As An INFP In An Extrovert World…
May 22, 2017
How To Help Someone With Depression
12 Tips On How To Help Someone With Depression (& Preserve Your Sanity)
November 1, 2016
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy: Learning To Enjoy The Here & Now
September 29, 2016


  1. Joanne says:

    This is an awesome post – thank you so much. I am bookmarking it for future reference as well.

    I really think you hit the nail on the head as the saying goes. I think hand-made gifts to give, and receive, are some of the best ever.
    You gave some outstanding ideas and I hope “givers” read this and take it to heart.

    Flowers always make me happy!

    ps – side note: been going thru challenging times and discovered my supposed best friend is only a “fair-weather friend”. What a disappointment. Texted her if she knew of any big fat trees along the road that she knew of (to drive into), her reply, “I’d miss you” with almost no follow up. Yikes! It was just a cry for help and support on my part, but it certainly showed me what and who I can count on.

    This site is a big help – keep it up!

  2. mary says:

    You can also check out elephant packages – they design care packages for adults and children with a range of mental health disorders.

  3. lex says:

    dont know why but the good book seems the best bet for me, because a good book brings a good read which changes the mindset of the depressed person, thanks for highlighting things that shouldnt be given to depressed people also.

  4. Sainab says:

    This is a great list of gift ideas for depressed people. I think they’ll also work for people who aren’t depressed.

  5. Well said gift vouchers are not very thoughtful . I like the idea of a homemade gifts and spending quality time together.

  6. Roy Miller says:

    I like the idea of audiobooks. There is nothing like getting lost in a good story to take your mind off of depressing thoughts. Inspirational items are good also. Someone can read something inspirational and get a boost in their spirit.

  7. Kimberly c. says:

    I think there is nothing better than quality time. Its priceless and shows you really care. Very thoughtful post.

  8. fatima says:

    These are indeed some great tips! Gifts are always awesome and everyone loves getting them.

  9. Tiina A says:

    Fantastic tips! Giving quality time is my fave, but the others are great as well. A light therapy lamps is so good and makes a difference – I know!

  10. Something custom made is perfect. I wasn’t feeling so good about my self these past few months. Friends of mine really did something special for me. They know that I love cooking and had a special wooden food cutting board made for me with my name carved in it. That really made me feel good 🙂

  11. Ana OJHA says:

    Some great list! Coloring book for adults sounds like a nice idea! Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us!

  12. John Rico says:

    Perfect! I have my depressed friend and I really want her to be happy since it Christmas season. I was thinking about treating her somewhere but when I found this guide I will gift her something diy or book because she loves to read books. But I have a question though how many books should I gave her?

  13. Marlaine says:

    These are simply excellent ideas. I would never have thought of buying audio books or light therapy lamps for a friend who’s down, but they are brilliant ideas.
    I think it’s important if you do a “I’m taking you out to dinner” or “we’ll do this together” to pick a date together immediately so it seems like a DATE as opposed to a “maybe some time in the far distant future we’ll go out and I’ll pay for your meal” thing. But it’s also important to be understanding if your friend really, truly, isn’t up to it that day.
    I appreciate also the list you wrote of “don’t buy these gifts for depressed friends”. Very helpful. You know what you’re talking about, I can tell. (Did you really get given a fluffy wine warmer??)

    • Marta says:

      Thanks Marlaine for your feedback! I didn’t get the fluffy wine warmer myself, but some of my family members did, and I will remember their you-must-be-f*cking-kidding-me facial expression forever xD

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INFP. A sensitive, yet adventurous soul on a never-ending quest for the meaning of life and the reasons behind human behavior. Sometimes, a I'm frolicking unicorn pooping rainbows. On other occasions, I can be as deep as the Mariana Trench. After some psychotherapy and medication, I am seeing my depression as a source of positive changes and self growth. If I could choose any superpower I wanted, it would be healing.

INFP's Self-Growth

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