Best relaxing products

30 Best Stress Relief Products in 2022

1 of 30

Best Essential Oil


Saje Peppermint Halo


Feel a slight headache coming on? Before you pop another Advil, try rolling on this icy-cold oil blend on your forehead, neck, and temples. This stress-relief product is like opening up the windows in your brain and letting some fresh air in.

Saje Peppermint Halo is a longtime favorite product of ours, not just because it smells like mint heaven, but because it imparts a cooling, tingling effect on the skin and lasts for 5 to 10 super satisfying minutes. Its blend includes peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary essential oils.

More: The Best Products for Helping You Get Better Sleep

2 of 30

Calming Bedside Read

Penguin Life

‘Nothing Much Happens’ by Kathryn Nicolai

Now 29% off


Put down the true crime and  instead wind down with the coziest bedtime book there is. Nothing Much Happens, based on the podcast of the same name, is full of tranquil, sensory-rich settings and calming activities that coincide with the different seasons. 

The book itself provides a soothing experience to read, with gorgeous illustrations throughout that help the reader imagine themselves as the main character in its sweet stories.

3 of 30

Get a Little Crafty


La Croix DIY Cross Stitch Kit


If you want to keep your hands busy with a stress-relief product that's productive, satisfying, and utterly impossible to use while scrolling through Instagram, it's time to get into cross-stitching. Yes, really!

This cross-stitch kit (dare we call it a Croix-stitch kit?) comes with everything you need to make a teeny little 5-inch art piece for your gallery wall.

4 of 30

Feel Like a Kid Again


Nintendo Switch With Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con


The Nintendo Switch has legions of fans, and for good reason: It's easy to pick up and play at any time, either in console or handheld mode.  

Whether you want to unwind with simple, soothing games like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, or whether you love leveling up through the Zelda franchise, there are tons of choices for gamers of all levels and interests to enjoy in their off-time.

5 of 30

Prettiest Floral Tea Set

The Qi

The Qi Floral Tasting Collection


Perhaps it's not enough to stop and smell the roses — The Qi's Floral Tasting Collection lets you taste them, too! This gift-worthy set of nine flower tea pods appear to magically bloom when you pour hot water on them. 

The flavors include royal chrysanthemum, Shangri-la rose, and blue lotus, and each one imparts a different, gentle floral flavor to your cup. They provide the opposite of a caffeine fix, as they are meant to soothe the senses with their poetic look, sumptuous smell, and subtle taste.

6 of 30

Give It a Whirl


Dynamis Fat Burning Weighted Hula Hoop for Adults

Now 16% off


When was the last time you took a hula hoop for a spin? It's probably been way too long! Turn up the tunes and get those endorphins flowing with this weighted, foam-wrapped hoop, available in 2. 4- or 3.6-pound options. 

This playful, low-impact exercise provides core strengthening capabilities, a healthy dose of cardio, and a host of other health benefits. When the doldrums hit, it's worth clearing away the living room furniture for a quick workout.

7 of 30

Block Out the Noise


Loop Experience Noise Reduction Ear Plugs


When you're feeling overwhelmed by loud sounds and hectic activity when you're out and about, don't underestimate the power of having a good pair of earplugs on hand. 

Loop's Experience Earplugs help to reduce background noise without completely cutting you off from your surroundings. We like this stress-relief product because the eponymous loops look super cool, almost like jewelry, when they're sitting inside your ear.

8 of 30

Meditation for All Levels


Headspace Meditation App Monthly Subscription


Although the Headspace meditation app is pretty much a household name at this point, you may still feel a little skeptical about giving it a try. If meditating on your own or with a timer hasn't felt effective, opting for a guided practice like Headspace offers can be a great jumping-off point. It can help you become aware of your thought spirals, while fine-tuning your focus and even lowering your cardiovascular risk.

The app is free to download and starts all users off with 10 trial meditations. Once those trial meditations have been completed, subscribers can sign up for a monthly or yearly package, gaining access to hundreds of guided meditations. There's even a dedicated sleep-specific section meant to help those who struggle with insomnia.

9 of 30

Spa-Like Stress Relief

Peter Thomas Roth

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask


Forget cucumber slices on your eyelids — this Peter Thomas Roth mask lets you cover your whole face with the cooling essence of cukes.  

Its jelly-like texture looks and feels incredibly refreshing, and it's packed with hydration-boosting ingredients like cucumber, papaya, chamomile, and aloe extract. If you're looking for something gentle to soothe both your mind and your skin, this mask is worth treating yourself to.

10 of 30

Melt the Tension Away


SHARPER IMAGE Warm & Cooling Herbal Aromatherapy Neck & Shoulder Plush Wrap Pad


This genius wrap from Sharper Image is like a mini weighted blanket — just for your tense shoulders. This stress-relief product helps to soothe sore muscles with aromatherapy, strategic pressure, and a wave of comforting warmth. 

You can heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds, or if you prefer to ice away your pain, it cools within 2 hours in the freezer. When it reaches your ideal temperature, simply sling it around your shoulders. The weighted filling of the wrap will mold right into the tender contours of your upper back, providing some major relief.

11 of 30

Sit With Less Strain


Italic Stress Less Meditation Cushion


If you already have a meditation practice but tend to get super achy and antsy after a few minutes of sitting cross-legged on the ground, a meditation cushion can make a world of difference. 

Traditionally called zafus in Zen Buddhism, these pillows aren't superfluous spendy products — they help improve posture by elevating the hips above the knees and tilting the hips forward so that the spine is in better alignment.

Whether you use a makeshift bolster or this firm but comfy 5.5-inch-high cushion from Italic (that can just as easily double as a throw pillow), the difference in how you feel will be pretty significant.

12 of 30

Not Too Puzzling

Le Puzz

Le Puzz Hot Dog 500-Piece Puzzle


If you love a project but also need to wind down and relax, puzzles are some of our favorite stress-relief products for promoting mindfulness and focus. Whether you enjoy the collaborative nature of working on puzzles with others or the satisfaction of doing one solo, it's a low-stakes activity that you can return to again and again. 

This quirky 500-piece puzzle from Le Puzz is just challenging enough without being too daunting, and it helps that the pup that you're piecing together is too cute for words.

13 of 30

Cuddle Up in Cozy Warmth


Sunbeam Heated Throw Blanket

Now 18% off


One side is silky while the other side is sherpa, so any way in which you want to cuddle with this heated throw blanket is a win. This pick from Sunbeam is equipped with three different heat settings, so not only is it super cozy, it’s also conveniently machine-washable as well.

It's a longtime favorite stress-relief product of ours, and we love it even if the lowest heat setting is plenty warm enough.

14 of 30

Count Your Blessings

Pretty Simple Press

Good Days Start With Gratitude Journal


In times of stress, it's easy to zoom in on the most irritating details about your current situation. But this stress-relief product is all about taking a big-picture approach and expressing daily gratitude for all that is going right in your life.

The concept behind this self-exploration journal is simple: Each daily entry prompts you to jot down just three things you’re thankful for to help train your brain into focusing on the positive. Best of all, it takes just 5 minutes to complete, so you won’t feel burdened by an extra task before bed.

15 of 30

Super Cute Sticker Art

Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker Book

Now 33% off


If you just can't get into adult coloring books, this cute sticker book takes out the color-coordinating guesswork so you can just kick back and relax with it on the couch. Think of this stress-relief product as similar to the paint-by-number kit you had as a kid, but without the mess or stress of perfection.

16 of 30

Light Therapy


Casper Glow Light


Sometimes when your mind is racing at night, it's tough to turn off the lights and make yourself go to bed.  

The Casper Glow Light is a unique sleep tech product that functions as both a dimming night light and sunrise-simulating wake-up light. It may be a little quirky, but it's surprisingly as versatile as it is comforting.

17 of 30

Blissed-Out Bathtime

Lord Jones

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Bath Salts


What's more relaxing than a hot bath? A hot bath infused with these CBD bath salts from Lord Jones, naturally. 

Just one scoop contains 20 milligrams of CBD to help soothe your muscles and mind while you soak. But the floral and cooling herbal scent will win you over: Calendula, arnica flower, eucalyptus, and citrus make for the perfect head-clearing blend.

18 of 30

Stress-Free Strumming


Learn to Play Ukulele Soprano Starter Kit

Now 17% off


We're pretty sure it's impossible to feel angst while you're strumming a ukulele. It's one of the easiest instruments to learn (I've been plucking away on mine for 6 years!), and even if you only know the most basic chords, strumming a few simple melodies can be a fun, yet very cathartic creative outlet.  

Ukuleles are also small, lightweight, relatively quiet, and not terribly expensive, so they don't feel like a major investment of time or space.

19 of 30

Become a Heavy Sleeper


YnM Weighted Blanket

Now 20% off


Weighted blankets are typically used to calm children with developmental and sensory issues, but they're now gaining popularity with anxious adults, too.

This best-selling weighted blanket is available in a wide range of colors, as well as sizes ranging from a child-safe 7 pounds all the way up to adult-ready 30 pounds. Its quilted cotton cover holds a multitude of miniature glass beads inside — the glass is supposed to be smoother, quieter, and less heat-retentive than plastic fill.

20 of 30

Bath-Time Back Rest

Gorilla Grip

Gorilla Grip Original Spa Bath Pillow

Now 49% off


Gorilla Grip's bath pillow is amazing for a lot of reasons: It's inexpensive, easy to dry off and clean, and equipped with two inches of foam. You can even attach it to any hard surface with its seven suction cups on the back. 

This stress-relief product is a small investment for bringing those long and hectic days to a peaceful close.

21 of 30

Add a Gorgeous Glow


Levoit Himalayan Salt Lamp


Sometimes, the best relaxation products are the little touches that you can add to your decor. After all, your too-bright overhead light is probably not helping your stress levels. 

The glowing light of this Himalayan salt lamp simply looks beautiful and calming, and you can even control the brightness with a dimming feature. 

22 of 30

A Personal ‘Do Not Disturb’ Sign


MZOO Sleep Eye Mask

Now 33% off


Block out everything that's keeping you from a good night's sleep with this indented eye mask. Many light-sensitive sleepers wouldn't dream of going to bed without one. 

Comprising of low-rebound memory foam, this stress-relief product gently fits over your head and rests on your face, while the eye holes block out all light without irritating your eyelids.

23 of 30

A Spritz of Calm

This Works

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray


When it comes to de-stressing, scent is key. This pillow spray from This Works smells simply amazing (like lavender, vetiver, and chamomile), helping you slow down and breathe deeply. 

Sure, you could save it just for bedtime, but we like to spritz this calming blend any time of day.

24 of 30

Better Than a Masseuse


truMedic Shiatsu Heated Foot Massager


Experience total bliss on-demand with your very own foot massager. 

This gift-worthy stress-relief product is equipped with three different massage modes (each with a different intensity), and it uses a combination of rolling foot massage and compression for varying sensations. It even has an on/off heat mode!

25 of 30

Blissful Bullet Journaling

Silk + Sonder

Silk + Sonder Monthly Planner Subscription


If you relax by bullet-journaling and planning out your days for maximum enjoyment, consider a subscription to Silk + Sonder's monthly planner service. 

Each month, you'll receive a beautifully designed, spiral-bound planner with a focus on self-care and intention-setting for the weeks ahead. In each, you can track your daily moods and expenses, get inspired by its various journaling prompts, sketch out your feelings, plan your grocery lists and meals, and of course, schedule all of your daily meetings and social engagements. 

We like that this service allows you to start fresh with a new planner each month, instead of just at the beginning of the year.

26 of 30

Enhance Your Bath Ritual

Tree Hut

Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Coconut Lime Epsom Salt


There’s something to be said about the ritualistic nature of drawing a bath, lighting a few candles, soaking in the stillness of warm water, and letting the stress and noise of the outside world just momentarily slip away.

Adding in some of Tree Hut’s Epsom Salts will help to alleviate muscle tension, while also leaving your skin feeling moisturized and silky smooth.

27 of 30

Stretch It Out


BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

Now 56% off


One of our favorite places to find some balance is on the yoga mat. Even if you've never done a downward dog before, this affordable, user-favorite mat is a great stress-relief product because it gives you a cushy, supportive space to stretch out and move your body in a way that feels authentically you.

We recommend the Yoga With Adriene YouTube channel as a great place for beginners to get their flow going.

28 of 30

Game Night for All Ages

Hasbro Gaming

Hasbro Games Trivial Pursuit Family Edition


Enjoy an evening of laughs and togetherness with your favorite people at home. Establishing a regular family game-night ritual can help strengthen your bonds, which is hugely important to your children's development and mental well-being.

Trivial Pursuit Family Edition is a great stress-relief product and family board game to reach for, as it includes questions for both kids and adults, so it's just challenging enough for every level.

29 of 30

Gentle Droning

Adaptive Sound Technologies

Lectrofan Micro2 Sound Machine


Is a silent house (or a noisy apartment building) keeping you up at night? Use the editor-favorite Lectrofan Micro2 Sound Machine to create a gentle whirring sound that'll lull you to sleep while blocking out excess noise. A nice bonus: It also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.

30 of 30

Makes Perfect Scents

Sierra Modern Home

Sierra Modern Home Smart Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser

Now 33% off


We love scenting our atmosphere with clean, all-natural essential oils, and the right oil diffuser can make a big difference. With its seamless smart integration with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, this faux-wood essential oil diffuser powers on and changes color from your commands.

Its proprietary app even lets you program custom schedules, so that it runs at the same time every day with your preferred light scheme. Its 400-milliliter capacity holds more than enough water for a night's worth of diffusing, but you'll still need to refill and clean it between mistings. 

Top Products, Gift Ideas for Stress Relief – Rolling Stone

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

Even the most chill people experience some level of heart-pumping stress. Whether you’re shopping for someone who just nabbed a new high-pressure gig, a pal going through a bad breakup, or a loved one who just needs to loosen up, there really isn’t a bad time to treat someone (or yourself) to the best stress-relief gifts. And given that plenty of last year’s stressors have carried over to 2022 (politics and the pandemic, to name just two), you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t need to indulge in some self-care.

Maybe you’re looking to take the weight off your most overwhelmed friend or family member’s shoulders, or you could use something to dial down your own anxiety. Whatever the reason, we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for stress relief.

From classic squeeze balls and heated slippers, to smart alarm clocks that help the chronically online sleep better, keep reading for our top gift ideas that promote maximum relaxation.

1. Fitbit Sense 2


The Fitbit Sense 2 is built with mental health in mind, according to the brand, for the giftee who’s always talking about wanting to sleep better and get their stress levels under control. There are a bunch of health metrics available, including heart rate monitoring, temperature sensing, blood O2 levels and breathing rate.

For a compact smartwatch that provides advanced health monitoring in a sleek package, the Fitbit Sense 2 deserves a spot on your gift recipient’s wrist.

2. TruMedic InstaShiatsu+ Neck, Back and Shoulder Massager


When they can’t get to an IRL massage session, your white-knuckled recipient can turn to TruMedic’s InstaShiatsu+ heated massager to roll out knots on their neck, back, legs, and any other sore spot.

This cordless and rechargeable device’s pressure and position can be customized to suit each person’s needs, and it also features a reverse mode for effortlessly kneading out muscle tightness. Wrap it around your neck and shoulders for instant relief; some also swear by using it on the balls of their feet, and pulling on the straps to stretch it out while getting a foot massage at the same time.

Editor’s picks

Buy TruMedic InstaShiatsu+ $97.97

3. Pact Room Service Sheet Set


A good night’s rest can bring relaxation in the morning, and that’s where Pact’s organic cotton sateen bedding comes in. These wrinkle-resistant bedsheets feel silky and cool, so they’re a great gift for anyone who in need of decent shut-eye. The set comes with a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, two pillowcases, and a handy laundry bag, and they’re made in a fair-trade factory too, so you can really rest easy.

Buy Pact Room Service Sheet Set $130+

4. Maison Margiela REPLICA Bubble Bath Scented Candle


If your giftee doesn’t have the time (or a properly-equipped bathroom) for a much-needed soak, perhaps the next best thing is to make their room smell like one. Parisian fashion house Maison Margiela’s fresh floral candle promises “comforting clean accords” of white musk, coconut milk, rose, and soap bubbles to create an atmosphere that feels like a warm dip in the tub.

Buy Margiela REPLICA Bubble Bath Fragrance $65

5. Sips By Personalized Tea Box


For those who seek calm in a cup of tea, send them a personalized subscription from Sips By. Your leaf-loving loved one will get a variety of four gourmet teas selected from over 150 brands from around the globe, which to fill anywhere from 15 to 45-plus cups per month. Environmentally-conscious sippers will be happy to know that the company includes usable and biodegradable tea filters, and each monthly box also includes tasting notes, recipes from experts, discounts, and more.


Buy Sips By Personalized Tea Gift Card $36

6. Bespoke Post Drift Box

Bespoke Post

We’re fans of Bespoke Post’s thoughtful themed gift boxes and the fact that they include items from small businesses (which you should be supporting year-round). The company’s sleep-promoting Drift kit includes Gravity’s weighted eye mask, BluBlox’s evening-friendly Lumi Sleep+ redd light bulb, Salt Lab’s magnesium spray oil, and The Good Patch’s stick-on Dream patches (infused with 10 milligrams of melatonin, hops extract, and valerian root), all to guide your most exhausted pals doze off easier.

Buy Bespoke Post Drift Box $65

7. Loftie Clock


While we’re on the topic of slumber, banning smartphones from the bedroom is easier said than done — and Loftie’s smart clock is a great way to give digital addicts the gift of screen-free sleep. For anyone who uses their phone as a morning alarm or for playing white noise or evening meditations, the all-in-one clock, night light, and Bluetooth speaker eliminates the need to use devices (and the sleep-disrupting blue light that comes with them) from rise-and-shine and bedtime routines.

Its two-phase alarm mimics the way we naturally wake up, and Loftie’s ever-changing playlist is filled with soothing sound baths, meditations, breathwork guides, and more snooze-worthy content.

Buy Loftie Clock $119.20

8. Vitruvi Stone Diffuser


Studies show that aromatherapy can help alleviate symptoms anxiety, stress, and depression. Design-minded R&R seekers can rest easy with this essential oil diffuser by Vitruvi. Its sleek silhouette looks handsome on anyone’s nightstand or coffee table, and the matte ceramic cover brings a touch of luxury to bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms of all decor styles. Available in multiple colors.

Buy Vitruvi Stone Diffuser $123

9. MindPanda Empowering Gell Stress Ball Bundle


When all of the high-tech relaxation gadgets aren’t cutting it, sometimes a classic stress relief ball will do the trick. For anyone on your gift list who could use an optimistic reminder or two (or three), this trio of BPA-free gel balls combine aromatherapy, mindfulness, and traditional squeeze therapy to relieve anxiety. Each ball features a different scent and firmness, and the set also makes a cool gift for musicians who want to improve their grip and hand muscles.

Buy MindPanda Empowering Gel Stress Ball $21. 99

10. Lord Jones High CBD Formula Bath Salts

Lord Jones

Whether your relaxation-loving recipient is already on the CBD train or they’re ready to dip their toes into the cannabis ingredient, Lord Jones is continues to be one of our most trusted gifting options. The brand says a heaping scoop of its High CBD Formula Bath Salts (which are also concocted with pink Himalayan salt, Epsom salts, arnica, and calendula petals) can help induce calm and wash away tension. ( You might want to pick one up for yourself, while you’re at it.)

Buy Lord Jones High CBD Bath Salts $50

11. Volt 3V Smart Heated Slippers


If your tense loved one needs to upgrade their standard pair of cozy slippers, give them a smart upgrade with Volt’s heated booties. They’re lined with fuzzy insulation for maximum comfort, and the built-in thermostat automatically adjusts the heat. The rechargeable lithium battery packs promise up to four hours of non-stop warmth, and the sturdy outsole is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Buy Volt Heated Slippers $149.95

12. Saje “Relaxation Room” Kit


If you’re shopping for a busy jet-setter, Canadian wellness brand Saje’s “Relaxation Room” kit will help even the most time-pressed traveler carve out a minute or two to unwind. A sense of calm is just whiff away, thanks to the four-piece set, which includes essential oil blends to help with stress release and to help you stay “present.” Add 10-15 drops to the diffuser of your choice. Everything packs away easily into an included storage box.

Buy Saje Relaxation Room Kit $44

13. Speks Original Magnetic Balls


Forget those unsightly fidget spinners — Speks’ set of hundreds of 2.5-millimeter magnetic balls look great on the desk of anyone who needs a distraction from their day-to-day stress. These versatile magnets help spark creativity and offer a tactile way to express imagination, especially during that three o’clock slump.

Buy Speks 2.5mm Magnet Balls $34.95

14. Walden Meditation Cushion Set


Interior decor-minded giftees can get their dose of zen and design with this sleek meditation cushion and mat set by NYC-based Walden. The cushion is filled with hypoallergenic buckwheat hull sourced from upstate New York, and topped with memory foam padding for extra support. Both pieces are covered with moisture-resistant, antimicrobial fabric that’s easy to clean. Available in multiple colors.

Buy Walden Meditation Cushion Set $245

15. Sound Sleep Cocoon Night Gel Cream


As far as soothing lotions and creams go, Dermatologica’s sound sleep cream is certainly a luxe gift — and it’s worth every penny. This exceptional cream repairs skin as you sleep, and even helps you sleep better in the process. Motion-activated French lavender essential oil, plus sandalwood and patchouli, help provide aromatherapy that helps you experience a deeper, more restful sleep. Meanwhile, Persian silk tree extract reduces the physical signs of fatigue.

Buy Sound Sleep Cocoon Night Gel Cream $84

16. Hypervolt Go 2


Whether your recipient needs to release stress and tension or soothe those tired muscles after a grueling workout, the Hypervolt Go 2 is the only portable massage gun you’ll ever need. It’s extremely portable, weighing only 1.5 pounds, and offers three power modes as well allowing you to choose the intensity of your massage. You can also download the Hyperice app and test out guided workouts for muscle relief, or switch things up with the flat head and bullet head attachment.

Buy Hypervolt Go 2 $169

17. Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket

Sun Home

With a huge temperature range, this Sun Home infrared blanket is great for giftees obsessed with the sauna. It can be adjusted between a mellow 95 degrees and an intense 167 degrees. The temperature, as well as the timer function, is easily adjustable using the blanket’s control panel. The blanket itself is made of a comfortable, easy-to-clean material, and heavy-duty velcro closures do a great job of trapping heat while you get your sweat on.

Buy Sun Home Infrared Sauna Blanket $499

18. CBD Relax Bears


These CBD gummy bears come in fun flavors like “blue raspberry,” green apple, lemon and cherry. Each gummy bear contains 10mg of CBD and Green Roads says the gummies are the perfect way to relax after a stressful day at school or work.

Green Roads gummy bears are made from USA-grown hemp and formulated with the help of physicians to ensure functionality (I.e. they work!). Each jar contains 30 gummies; take one daily to start.

Buy CBD Relax Bears $37.99

19. Apollo Neuro


Wrist watches aren’t just for tracking your fitness goals or even helping you sleep anymore — these days, you can gift a wearable like the Apollo Neuro to help relieve stress.

This wearable works by delivering smooth, gentle vibrations to your wrist or ankle that the brand says activates a nervous system response, helping get you out of a “fight or flight” state of stress. Connect it to the Apollo app, which features seven modes based on how you want to feel, like “Clear and Focused” or “Sleep and Renew”.

Buy Apollo Neuro $399


Luxy Light Therapy Lamp Circadian Optics

One of the easiest ways to boost your mood is with a little bit of light therapy. This UV-free desk lamp delivers a warm, cascading glow to mimic the appearance of sunlight. It’s great for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) or those who need a pick-me-up during the day.

The mood lamp delivers up to 10,000 lux of light; choose from three modes based on your light sensitivities and desired effect. The LED natural light lasts approximately 50,000 hours, so there’s not need for constantly changing batteries.

Buy Luxy Light Therapy Lamp $21.60


Ostrichpillow Heatbag Ostrich Pillow

If you know someone who needs to melt away their stress or recover a little “me” time, this Heatbag should be an essential part of their self-care kit. It’s filled with natural clay, rather than water inside, which is safer to use and stays warm or cold for a longer period of time. The filling is wrapped inside a squishy memory foam cover and lined with a T-shirt-soft jersey material. Microwave the clay for just 30 seconds and zip it inside the cover.

Buy Heatbag by Ostrichpillow $60

22. Sunday Scaries Side Piece Bundle

Sunday Scaries

According to Sunday Scaries, their CBD products are for the “everyday worries” in life, like dealing with your annoying coworkers, rush hour traffic, and yes, even those Sunday night moral hangovers. Sunday Scaries’ CBD gummies contain 10mg of third party-tested broad spectrum CBD, along with vitamin D3 and vitamin B12. The Side Piece bundle also includes their 500mg CBD Oil, for anyone looking for a nighttime calming reinforcement.

Buy Sunday Scaries Side Piece Bundle $43

23. NOVICA .925 Sterling Silver, Copper and Brass Spinner Ring

Novica produces rings with ethical standards and all of their creations, including this tri-tone meditation spinner ring, which is certified fair-trade and handcrafted by artisans. This particular one incorporate real sterling silver, copper and brass, and looks more like a beautiful piece of jewelry than a fidget ring, although the movable “spinning” parts let you use it for anxiety and stress relief too.

24. RENPHO Eye Massager


One of the buzziest stress relief tools on the internet right now is Renpho’s eye massager, gently ‘massaging’ your eyes to provide relief. Renpho’s device uses heat and compression to gently knead your eye muscles and the area surrounding it, delivering a soothing, relaxing massage. Bonus: it’s got a built-in Bluetooth speaker for your recipient who can’t handle meditative silence to listen to their favorite tunes and relax while the massager does its work.

Buy RENPHO Eye Massager $53.19


Everlywell Sleep and Stress Test Everlywell

If you know wants to know what’s at the root of their stress, consider gifting one of these at-home tests from Everlywell. The easy-to-take test measures three vital hormones that are needed for a restful night’s sleep, and the results could help them determine why they’ve been struggling with sleep lately — and how to fix the problem. The test also measures their cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress, and comes with personalized reports and action items based on their specific results.

Buy Everlywell Stress & Sleep Test $159.20


26. Succulent Oil Diffuser


Give them the gift of calm with this succulent oil diffuser which will add their favorite scent to the air around them — just two to three drops of any essential oil will do the trick. You can even add a pack of essential oils to this Christmas gift for the full effect.

Buy Succulent Oil Diffuser $26.50

27. Casper Glow Light


This dimming light is designed to lightly lull your giftee to sleep, according to the brand. It also uses warm light to gently wake you up — without the need for an alarm clock. If they have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, this unique gift is for them. 

Buy Casper Glow Light $129

28. Bearaby Weighted Blanket


Weighted blankets have blown up recently, helping people calm down at night and during the day when anxiety crops up. If you know someone who hasn’t tried a weighted blanket yet, pick up this 10 to 25-pound Bearaby woven Napper, made from butter-soft cotton fabric. The chunky-knit Cotton Napper is not only more breathable than regular weighted blankets, but there are no artificial fillers.

Buy Bearaby Cotton Napper $199+



UGG Tasman Slipper UGG

Slippers are another gifting go-to, and for good reason. The best slippers, like these UGG Tasmans, are something your loved one might not treat themselves to, but will likely slip on every day once they have them.

Buy UGG Tasman Slipper

30. Papier Wellness Journal


Papier’s wellness journal is designed to help relieve stress by getting thoughts out of your head, and onto a page. Each page has different prompts, giving your giftee ample room for reflections. Using a wellness journal is great way to work on self-care every day.

The journal is offered in a variety of styles, and can be personalized with custom text, whether it’s a name, or words of encouragement. If you’d like a thoughtful way to help encourage someone to have a healthier life in 2022, this is the perfect gift.

Buy Papier Wellness Journal $27.58

Chronic constipation: symptoms, signs, causes and treatment of persistent constipation | What to do and how to treat chronic constipation in adults

Author, editor and medical expert - Klimovich Elina Valerievna.

Pediatrician and medical expert - Arutyunyan Mariam Arutyunovna

Views: 401 873

Last update date: 24.11.2022

Average reading time: 16 minutes 9 minutes 9 minutes 9 minutes 9 minutes 9 minutes 9 minutes0012


  • Symptoms and signs
  • Causes of chronic constipation
  • Most common constipation
  • Chronic constipation in children
  • Chronic constipation in the elderly
  • What to do with constant constipation

Probably most of us during our lives at least once faced with constipation caused by errors in nutrition and malfunction of the intestines. However, for some, long "gatherings" in the toilet are becoming commonplace. Presumably, up to 50% of Russians of all ages suffer from chronic constipation: from infants to the elderly 1 . We will talk about the causes of stool disorders and ways to normalize it in this article.

Symptoms and signs

Chronic constipation (constipation) is understood as persistently slow, difficult and systematically insufficient bowel movements, accompanied by discomfort in the abdomen and a violation of the general condition 1.2 .

Signs of constipation:

  • retention of stool for more than 48 hours;
  • decrease in fecal volume up to 35 g per day; nine0030
  • hard, dry, fragmented stools, traumatic anus;
  • sensation of incomplete emptying or "blockage" of the rectum;
  • the need for prolonged attempts, taking more than a quarter of the time from the moment the urge to defecate to the release of feces.

The presence of two of the six listed signs indicates a delay in stool 1 . Chronic constipation is defined as having difficulty every fourth time you go to the toilet for a total of more than 3 months in a 6 month period 2 .

Many believe that the chair should be daily, and its absence is regarded as a problem. However, some people, due to the characteristics of their organism, go to the toilet "in a big way" once every 2 days and do not experience any inconvenience 1 .

Constipation always causes discomfort. Symptoms that may accompany frequent constipation 1 :

  • bloating and heaviness in the abdomen;
  • nausea and belching;
  • dullness, pallor and tan skin tone; nine0030
  • reduced turgor (flabbiness) of the skin;
  • the appearance of dermatological diseases: eczema, pyoderma, urticaria, acne.

Up to content

Causes of chronic constipation

Systematically difficult bowel movements can be caused by a variety of reasons that disrupt the normal functioning of the intestines and the process of excretion of feces 1 .

  1. Peristalsis plays a major role in normal bowel function. To activate it, it is necessary that the intestinal contents be sufficient in volume 1 : a decrease in the amount of feces leads to slow motility and constipation.
  2. Hardening of feces associated with insufficient intake of water in the body and its active absorption in the intestines.
  3. Difficulty moving feces through the intestines may also be associated with:
  • damage to her muscular system;
  • problems of the nervous system involved in the formation of peristaltic waves;
  • failures in the endocrine regulation of the gastrointestinal tract; nine0030
  • "damage" to the defecation reflex that occurs when the rectum is full;
  • mismatch of the pelvic floor muscles, in particular the sphincters of the anus, which regulate the excretion of feces 1 .

The above disorders occur in various types of chronic constipation.

Depending on the causes, there are constipations 1 :

  1. Alimentary (simple) associated with dietary errors, non-compliance with the water regime and a sedentary lifestyle. nine0030
  2. Habitual, arising from a bad habit of delaying bowel movements or the inability to go to the toilet when the urge occurs.
  3. Metabolic and endocrine , which occur against the background of hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, pheochromocytoma, as well as disorders of potassium and calcium metabolism and are accompanied by a decrease in the level of these trace elements in the blood.
  4. Medications developing as a side effect of drugs, for example, antispasmodics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants. nine0030
  5. Neurogenic, caused by diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system: multiple sclerosis, deterioration of cerebral circulation, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, spinal lesions.
  6. Psychogenic due to chronic stress, hypochondria and depression, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa.
  7. Associated with systemic diseases (scleroderma), diseases of internal organs (cholecystitis, pancreatitis), congestion in heart, kidney and liver failure. nine0030
  8. Provoked diseases of the colon : inflammatory, non-inflammatory, neoplastic, including oncological.
  9. Associated with rectal and pelvic floor problems: tumors, weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, prolapse of the pelvic organs, etc. 1.4

Up to contents

The most common constipation

The most common alimentary simple and habitual constipation variants, as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) occurring in the form of constipation, the development of which is explained primarily by psychological reasons 1.2 .


This type of constipation is associated with a slow movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract as a result of a number of factors. These include:

  • A sharp decrease in the amount of food consumed when dieting, lack of appetite, contraindications and obstacles to good nutrition, for example, after surgery, in the absence of teeth 1 .
  • Inadequate fluid intake resulting in dehydration and reduced bowel volume 1 .
  • Excessive infatuation with products that "fix" the stool 3 due to the crushed composition, low fiber content, the presence of astringents and diuretics. This group includes strong broths, pureed soups and porridges, kissels, puddings, compotes from pears, blueberries, quince, strong tea and coffee 3 .

The development of alimentary constipation is also facilitated by an inactive lifestyle 1 . Difficulty defecation occurs due to a decrease in motility and is not accompanied by structural changes in the intestine, characteristic of diseases. Normalization of nutrition and increased physical activity, as a rule, contributes to the normalization of stool 1. 2 .


Persistent constipation in adults and children is often the result of the habit of holding back bowel movements.

The best time to go to the big toilet is in the morning 1.3 . The beginning of physical activity and eating during breakfast reflexively increase intestinal motility and facilitate its emptying. If in the morning rush to postpone going to the toilet over and over again, feces stretch the rectum, and its receptors stop responding to irritation - the defecation reflex becomes mild. As a result, habitual constipation occurs. nine0003

Habitual and persistent constipation is experienced by people who consciously delay going to the toilet when they feel the urge. This happens when a person is picky about the sanitary conditions of public places and cannot go to the toilet while at work or school 1 .

Often problems with excretion of feces occur in people who do not have the opportunity, if necessary, to immediately satisfy a natural need, for example, public transport drivers, teachers, assembly line workers, judges, surgeons 1 .

Fear of defecation is often the cause of unconscious delay in bowel movements due to recurring pain syndrome in the presence of hemorrhoids, chronic anal fissure, inflammatory diseases and rectal cancer 1 . Treatment of these diseases helps to solve the problem of constipation.


One of the variants of this group of disorders is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 1 . It is believed that the basis for the development of the disease is problems in the psycho-emotional sphere 1 . The imbalance of hormones that occurs against the background of nervous overload and chronic stress leads to a change in intestinal motility, and nutritional problems and a sedentary lifestyle exacerbate the situation 1 . A distinctive feature of constipation in IBS is the appearance of abdominal pain, which disappears immediately after the release of feces; a combination of stool disorders with migraine, insomnia at night and drowsiness during the day, sudden hot flashes and palpitations, painful menstruation and other symptoms arising from malfunctions of the nervous system. These manifestations also help distinguish IBS from habitual constipation 1 .

Back to content

Chronic constipation in children

Not only adults, but also children suffer from chronic stool retention. True, the concept of normal defecation in this case is fuzzy. In newborns and infants in the first months of life, feces can be excreted after each feeding, that is, up to seven times a day, and with artificial feeding - once a day 3 . No stool for 36 hours - can already be considered constipation 3 . For children older than 3 years, this period is 48 hours 3 .

Constipation in children in most cases is limited to functional disorders 3 . At present, the immaturity of the digestive and nervous system of the child is considered to be the main cause of irregular emptying of the rectum in children of the first year of life 4 . Severe pregnancy in the mother, premature birth, caesarean section - all this sometimes leads to delays in the development of the baby 3 .

Among the alimentary causes of constipation are the refusal of breastfeeding, the wrong choice of formula for artificial nutrition and complementary foods, insufficient fluid intake 3 .

In older children, habitual constipation is especially common, associated with ignoring breakfast, suppression of the natural morning urge due to haste, deliberate retention of stool caused by shyness and refusal to use the public toilet in kindergarten and school 3 .

"Children's" constipation is mainly accompanied by increased peristalsis and discoordination of intestinal motor activity, leading to spasms, so treatment should be aimed at relaxing the intestinal muscles 3 .

In case of persistent problems with emptying the rectum in children, in addition to recommendations for changing nutrition, doctors prescribe antispasmodic drugs and procedures, as well as drugs that normalize the functioning of the nervous system and prebiotics 3 . At the same time, laxatives that stimulate intestinal motility and inhibit the absorption of water and salts in the gastrointestinal tract are not used 3 .

Up to content

Chronic constipation in the elderly

Elderly people, like children, are a special category of patients who come to gastroenterologists with chronic constipation. According to statistics, in elderly people, stool retention occurs 5 times more often than in young people 4 , and they are associated mainly with reduced intestinal tone and slowing down of peristalsis 4 .

The following factors predispose to regular bowel problems fiber.

  • Decreased physical activity due to muscle weakness, diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the cardiovascular system. nine0030
  • Weakening of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall and pelvic floor due to a general age-related decrease in muscle volume and loss of muscle tone 4 .
  • Decreased intestinal motility due to age.
  • Slowdown of digestion due to decreased activity of digestive enzymes and changes in the composition of the intestinal microflora 4 .
  • Taking many drugs, some of which cause problems with stool 4 .
  • Misuse of addictive laxatives 4 .
  • The risk of chronic constipation in elderly patients is the high risk of fecal stones. Prolonged presence of feces in the intestines and their pressure on the intestinal wall can cause the formation of fecal ulcers and the development of cancer 4 . According to statistics, the risk of colorectal cancer in the presence of constipation is 1.48-2 times higher than in persons without constipation 4 .

    In old age, the so-called "alarm symptoms" require special attention:

    • changes in the thickness and shape of feces,
    • progression of stool problems
    • onset of diarrhea after prolonged stool retention,
    • presence of blood in feces,
    • pale skin due to anemia,
    • general weakness and weight loss.

    The appearance of the above symptoms after the age of 50 is a reason for immediate medical attention. nine0003

    Up to content

    What to do with constant constipation

    First of all, you need to contact a gastroenterologist and undergo an examination that will allow you to determine the causes of violations. Based on the results, the doctor will prescribe treatment, which in any case will include the following activities.

    1. Supply correction.

    In case of constipation, accompanied by a weakening of intestinal motility, it is useful to include foods rich in coarse fiber in the diet: raw vegetables and fruits (at least 200 g per day), crumbly cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat, pearl barley, millet, bulgur and others) and whole grain bread, flaxseed and bran, prunes and dried apricots, dairy products, vegetable fats and meat containing ligaments and tendons 1,3,4 .

    If constipation is accompanied by a decrease in intestinal motility, doctors advise cautiously, within 5-7 days, increase the fiber content in the diet 1 .

    To prevent dehydration and hardening of feces, it is recommended to consume at least 1.5-2 liters of fluid per day 1.4 .

    It is important to observe the diet: be sure to have a hearty breakfast and eat at least 3-4 times a day 3 .

    2. Increased physical activity

    In order to stimulate the work of the intestines, therapeutic exercises, yoga, swimming, long walks, and physical education are indicated.

    Stomach massage 2 and special exercises for the abdominal muscles 3 will help to mechanically increase motor skills, implying their alternating tension and relaxation. 3 .

    Infants with difficult bowel movements are advised to do a special abdominal massage after meals ,3,4 . nine0003

    3. Development of a conditioned reflex

    With habitual constipation, it is important to develop a morning reflex to defecate. To do this, it is recommended to get up a little earlier to avoid the morning rush, have breakfast and then empty the rectum in a relaxed atmosphere. The traditional morning visit to the toilet contributes to the development of a good habit.

    In turn, children should be put on the potty at the same time of day and always in the morning after breakfast. At the same time, it is important that the pot is warm, comfortable, and the process itself is not accompanied by requests to “make everything faster”. nine0003

    4. Laxatives

    In case of chronic constipation, various laxatives are used to empty the intestines:

    • osmotic, retain water in the intestinal lumen, contributing to the softening of stool 2 ;
    • stimulating, irritate the receptors of the intestinal mucosa and increase peristalsis;
    • local, which soften the stool in the rectum 2 .

    However, frequent use of stimulants is associated with a high risk of side effects, such as diarrhea and addiction 2 .

    MICROLAX ® is a combined laxative based on sodium citrate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate and sorbitol 5 . Acting at the level of the rectum, the components of the drug displace bound water from the intestinal contents, attract it into the intestinal lumen, soften the stool and promote defecation 5 .

    MICROLAX ® is available as a microclyster with a special tip for easy insertion into the rectum 5 . Action may take 5-15 minutes 5 . The high safety profile allows the use of the drug for the treatment of constipation in adults and children 5 .

    Back to Contents

    The information in this article is for reference only and does not replace professional medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment, contact a qualified specialist.

    See also:

    Prevention of constipation

    Diet for constipation

    1 According to the instructions for the medical use of the drug Microlax ® P No. 011146/01

    90,000 products that prevent constipation and improve digestion

    in developed countries under 20% of the population suffers from constipation .

    In the last article on this topic, we talked about what constipation is and what are the most common causes of constipation. In this material, we understand why you should not immediately take constipation remedies, but it is better to first pay attention to your diet. nine0057

    If you or your loved ones have occasional or regular bowel problems, read on. You will learn about healthy products that help you go to the toilet in a natural way.

    If constipation lasts for weeks or is accompanied by pain, blood and mucus in the stool, and other unpleasant symptoms, see a doctor.


    • 1. How different types of fiber affect bowel movement
    • 2. Soups: more water and fiber
    • 3. Fermented Foods - Gut Probiotics
    • 4. Stone fruits for constipation
    • 5. Whole grains and bran
    • 6. Legumes in the fight against constipation
    • 7. Seeds for Better Digestion
    • 8. How to eat fiber
    • 9. Important note

    How different types of fiber affect bowel movement

    Photo by Ella Olsson / Unsplash

    Fiber, or plant fiber, helps to make bowel movements regular and feeds good gut bacteria. It comes in soluble and insoluble forms, and both types are equally important for healthy digestion. nine0003

    The human body is unable to digest fiber. The gut bacteria do it for us.

    Soluble fiber absorbs liquid and forms a gel-like substance that facilitates the passage of stool through the digestive tract. It also creates a feeling of fullness.

    Atlas microbiota test helps you understand how bacteria perform this task. Based on the results of the test, every week you will receive a list of products to improve the functioning of your microbiota.

    Soluble Fiber absorbs liquid and forms a gel-like substance that facilitates the passage of feces through the digestive tract. It also creates a feeling of fullness. Foods rich in fiber of this type include apples, oatmeal, citrus fruits.

    Photo by Andre Taissin / Unsplash

    Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and stimulates intestinal receptors to speed up stool elimination. Insoluble dietary fiber also retains water and prevents feces from turning into a dry, lumpy mass. This type of dietary fiber is found in plants of the legume family, nuts, and potatoes. nine0003 Photo by Maddi Bazzocco / Unsplash

    Soups: more water and fiber

    The high fiber and liquid content of vegetable soups makes them an excellent and affordable tool for solving digestive problems. The main thing is not to digest vegetables so that the fiber does not lose its beneficial properties.

    Photo by Gianluca Gerardi / Unsplash

    Milk and cream soups can cause bloating and make you feel bad. For thicker, more textured soups, and to avoid GI side effects, opt for recipes with potatoes. The starch it contains will give the soup a creamy texture. nine0003

    Fermented foods - probiotics for the intestines

    Fermented foods such as kefir or sauerkraut, are rich in beneficial probiotics - lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. In the gut, these bacteria resist dysbiosis and produce short-chain fatty acids that maintain mucosal health and normal peristalsis.

    Fermented foods contain little or no lactose, so people with lactose intolerance don't have to worry about stomach discomfort. If a slight seething after their use nevertheless appeared, the reason is more likely in the probiotic effect than in intolerance. This means that the intestinal bacteria are working hard on the breakdown of fiber, while releasing gases. nine0003 Photo by little plant / Unsplash

    If you are put off by the sour taste and smell of kefir, try other fermented dairy products, such as Greek yogurt, fermented baked milk, acidophilus.

    Available probiotics for vegans are kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, miso paste, cashew or soy based yogurt.

    With the Atlas Microbiota Test, you can check the bacterial composition of your gut and understand which prebiotics and probiotics are right for you. nine0472

    Anti-Constipation Pitted Fruit

    These juicy and fibrous fruits will quickly help you digest your naturally. Some fruits with stones also contain sorbitol, which has a mild laxative effect.

    Apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines are considered the most effective against constipation.
    Photo by Elena Mozhvilo / Unsplash

    If the fresh fruit season is over, you can limit yourself to prunes and dried apricots. It is important to always drink dried fruits with water - if you eat them dry on the go, this will only worsen the condition. nine0003

    Whole grains and bran

    Unprocessed grain retains the outer shell, endosperm and germ. Such grains contain a maximum of nutrients and fiber, so for chronic constipation, whole grains and bran (separated grain shells) should be included in the diet.

    Photo by Christopher Alvarenga / Unsplash

    These include:

    • whole grain toast for breakfast;
    • bran porridge;
    • whole grain crackers for snacking; nine0030
    • brown rice for garnish.

    If you don't like the taste of brown rice, you can buy a mixture of regular brown rice. As for flax crackers, such a snack is not suitable for everyone - dense raw grains may not be digested at all.

    Legumes in the fight against constipation

    Lentils, chickpeas and beans from the legume family contain a lot of fiber - this is what causes flatulence in many people. For this fiber to benefit, you need to add legumes to the diet in small portions and focus on your well-being. In any case, gas is rather a positive sign, which indicates that the intestinal bacteria have something to eat.

    Photo by engin akyurt / Unsplash

    Before cooking, it is recommended to soak legumes in advance for several hours or even overnight in cold water. Canned chickpeas and beans are easier to digest because some of the "gas-forming" substances go into a liquid that can be drained.

    Still available for purchase bean sprouts or get them yourself - they are also easier to digest. The spice asafoetida has been shown to reduce bloating after legumes, according to some studies.

    Regular Digestion Seeds

    Chia Seeds are a trending source of soluble fiber. They also need to be diluted with water or added to cereals, smoothies, yogurts. Chia pudding or chia yogurt is a light breakfast or dessert option that will help keep the moisture in your stool and add the viscosity you need. nine0003 Photo by Ash Edmonds / Unsplash

    Psyllium Husk is sold dry as a natural remedy for constipation. It has a neutral taste and smells almost nothing. When diluted with water, the husk forms mucus, which is necessary for the formation of healthy stools.

    More affordable soluble fiber - flaxseed . They are recommended for irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation and type 2 diabetes . Seeds need to be soaked in water overnight to get that gel-like texture. If you don’t want to wait, you can buy flaxseed porridge in the form of an instant mix. nine0003

    How to eat fiber properly

    Insoluble fiber must be chewed thoroughly and for a long time , otherwise coarse particles will irritate the esophagus and intestines. If it takes you longer to eat a salad than a main course, that's perfectly fine. The better you chew, the better this food will be absorbed and digested.

    Photo by Yoav Aziz / Unsplash

    It is important to drink plenty of fluids. If fiber has nowhere to absorb water, it won't work as a natural laxative. nine0003

    If you have never eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables, start with small portions and give your microbiota time to get used to the new diet.

    There are several signs that you may be eating too much fiber. These are:

    • bloating of the lower abdomen, distension and flatulence;
    • Loose, unformed stools with clearly visible undigested fibers.


    1. A proper diet that includes soups, fermented and whole grains, and various types of fiber can help you improve your stool. nine0030
    2. It is important to remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Sugary drinks and coffee do not replace water.
    3. You can find out which nutrients and dietary fiber your bacteria are missing by taking the Atlas Microbiota Test. You will receive personalized and understandable recommendations that will help improve the functioning of the microbiota and improve digestion.