Nice Gifts for Shitty Situations

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bathtub tray

When a friend or a loved one is going through shit, the worst thing you can do is nothing. A bouquet of flowers, a casserole delivered to their doorstep, or an offer to watch their puppy for a few hours is a powerful assurance that whatever they’re going through, they’re not alone.

When you’re offering your time, take ownership of a task and be specific. While offering “whatever you need” is all well and good, it puts the onus on your friend to reach out and ask for help when something comes up, which can feel difficult. It’s much easier to accept someone’s direct offer to mow your lawn at 10:30 on Saturday or to watch your kids while you’re at an appointment.

Although a condolence gift is less about the gift than the fact you are there, we like to match what we give someone with the specific ways they cope with difficult times. We’ve gathered some ideas below—along with florists who ship nationally and the goop recipes we turn to when we want to drop off food to a loved one.

  1. For the Self-Carer

    Me time speaks to this person. Bubble baths, face masks, and comfort TV may be involved.

  2. This oaky, nutty elixir is formulated with adaptogenic reishi and ashwagandha.

    Wylde One Yoga in a Cup

  3. Have them pop the whole pillow in the microwave for a minute and drape it over their shoulders.

    Ostrichpillow Heated Neck Wrap

  4. Something soft to slip on their feet.

    Morihata Washable Leather Room Shoes

  5. This bath soak is made to take the edge off with oils and extracts from chia seed, valerian root, Australian sandalwood, wild-crafted frankincense, and myrrh.

    goop Beauty “The Martini” Emotional Detox Bath Soak

  6. These eye gels are incredibly soothing—even more so if you keep them in the fridge.

    Jillian Dempsey Hydrating Eye Mask

  7. This diffuser, plus a set of essential oil blends, is our go-to gift for most occasions.

    vitruvi goop-Exclusive Stone Diffuser

  8. Something frothy, warm, and uplifting to sip.

    Golde Cacao Turmeric Latte Blend

  9. Call it a game, call it active meditation—it’s easy to get sucked in to this puzzle and forget about everything else for a while.

    Piecework Puzzles Forbidden Fruit Puzzle

  1. For the Person Who Always Sweats It Out

    It can be healing to drop out of your head and into your body—here are a few things that can help.

  2. To help them release tension and relax their body.

    OPTP LoRox Aligned Roller

  3. These wrist weights add a little extra challenge to exercise—and they’re cute. This gift pairs well with an offer to walk with them whenever they want.

    Bala Weighted Wrist Bangles

  4. A foundation for whatever movements feel good right now.

    goop x Puma Yoga Mat

  5. Nothing like crying in spin class.

    Classpass Gift Card

  1. For the Venter

    Letting it all out can be a powerful way to process emotion, whether that means
    dumping thoughts onto a piece of paper or finding the right listening ear.

  2. Drop by with your friend’s coffee order, lace up your sneaks, and hit the pavement…

    Porter Ceramic To-Go Mug

  3. goop Fair-Trade Specialty Coffee

    Fair Trade
    Specialty Coffee

    goop, $28


  4. Or sink into the couch together with a bottle of their favorite Pinot…

    SommSelect Wine of the Day

  5. Or nibble on something sweet as you hash it over.

    FX Chocolate FX Exhale

  6. Talkspace does gift cards for online therapy sessions and unlimited instant messaging with a therapist.

    Talkspace Therapy Gift Card

  7. A pretty notebook for expressive journaling doesn’t hurt either. (A practice to suggest: this writing exercise to purge emotions.)

    Magic of I Vegan Leather Journal

  1. For the Spiritual Traveler

    If they feel more themselves after an energy healing, they might find something meaningful in these gifts.

  2. Give the all-purpose Inner Compass cards to someone looking for a little direction. (There’s a deck specific to love and relationships, too.)

    Inner Compass Cards Inner Compass Cards

  3. Inner Compass Cards Inner Compass Love Cards

    Inner Compass Cards
    Inner Compass
    Love Cards

    goop, $55


  4. A little something for their altar.

    goop x Cinnamon Projects goop-Exclusive Agate Burner Incense Set

  5. Option A: tickets to a local sound bath. Option B: a singing bowl they can play at home to move stuck emotions.

    Incausa Large Standard Singing Bowl Set

  6. Breathwork teacher Andrew Smart has a practice for whatever they need right now—calm, clarity, energy, emotional catharsis…

    Chronicle Books Breathwork

  7. Vancouver-based spirit communicator Mimi Young travels to unseen worlds to contact your guides, heal past lives, and clear spiritual entanglements. (She does medium readings as well.)

    CEREMONIE Remote Shamanic Reading

  8. Author Mari Andrew’s self-illustrated essays celebrate the strong feelings that make life whole.

    Mari Andrew My Inner Sky

  1. When In Doubt, Send Flowers

    A bouquet of flowers is the default for a reason. It lets someone know you’re thinking
    of them while adding a small moment of joy or beauty to their day.

  2. Popupflorist ships its gorgeous dried bouquets (and floral sage bundles) nationwide.

    Popupflorist Dried Bouquet

  3. Floom works with local florists across the country to deliver fresh stems as soon as the same day.

    Floom Bouquet

  4. Venice-based florist Spencer Falls puts together these earthy arrangements.

    The Unlikely Florist Bouquet

  5. Tiny Feelings to soothe big feelings: These bright and cheery bunches are available in NYC.

    Tiny Feelings Bouquet

  6. For more local blooms, check out our guide to the best florists in every city.

  1. The Next-Gen Casserole Drop-Off

    If making dinner is something you can take off their plate, do. Each of these recipes is great fresh but also freezes well. Which is helpful for your recipient: When something bad happens, people tend to get inundated with fresh food at the beginning. When those deliveries start to drop off, they’ll have this stash in their freezer.
    (And a gift card to their favorite takeout joint? Wonderful idea, too.)

  2. Deliver with a loaf of sliced sourdough (if necessary, that can go in the freezer as well) and you’ve got a whole meal.

     Vegan Cashew Tomato Soup

  3. These dumplings take some time on your end, but they’re worth it.

     Chicken Cabbage Zucchini Dumplings

  4. This recipe makes a lot of lasagna. It’s rich and comforting and makes for amazing leftovers.

     Lasagna with Sausage Ragu

  5. Something sweet for them to munch in the a.m.

     Buckwheat Banana Bread with Salty Butter

We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.

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