Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin Reveals Her 10 Favorite Stress Relief Products

Amy's favorite stress-relief products

Verywell / Julie Bang

I spent several semesters teaching a stress management class at Northeastern University. It was a popular class that many students elected to take because they felt stressed out and weren’t sure what to do about it.

One of the things that always surprised students was how much cumulative stress they were under. It wasn’t just the huge exams or the job interviews that stressed them out. Daily life stressors added up over time, making them feel overwhelmed and ill-equipped to manage challenges. 

While you can’t eliminate all the stressful circumstances you face, you can choose how you respond to stress. A key component in healthy stress management involves creating time for stress relief activities on a daily basis. From yoga classes to gardening, there are lots of things you can do to reduce your stress levels. 

While many stress relief strategies are free of charge—laughing with a friend or walking in the park—there are also products that make stress relief convenient and easily accessible.

Of course, you don’t want to just start buying everything that is marketed to cure stress. 

Having too much stuff can add to your stress. Overstuffed closets, cluttered desks, and overflowing storage bins aren’t conducive to good mental health.

I happen to live on a sailboat which means I don’t have a lot of extra space. I’m selective about what products I use to reduce my stress. Here are 10 of my favorite things that spark relaxation, remind me to enjoy the moment, or help me calm my brain and my body. 

1

Muse S Gen 2 Headband

Muse headband

Muse

I’m not usually into tech products that are supposed to relieve stress. Between making sure they’re charged and addressing technical difficulties, I find they sometimes add more stress to my life. 

But the Muse headband is different. It’s something I can put on when I want to meditate and it gives me instant feedback. 

The headband pairs with an app on your phone. You can select a guided meditation to listen to and the band uses biofeedback to give you information on your brain waves—essentially, you can see how calm you were during a meditation session as soon as you’re done. During the guided meditation, the sounds change based on your brain waves to help you get into the best meditative state possible.

The headband can also be used to help with sleep. I haven’t tried it at night yet as I’m one of those fortunate people who rarely has sleep issues

But I find it helpful when I meditate. I’m no longer distracted by thoughts of, “Am I doing this right?” or “Am I actually meditating?” Now, the app tells me how I did afterward so I can learn more about calming my brain and my body.

2

Creatively Paint Kits

Creatively paint box kit

Creatively

I love Creatively paint kits. They provide just the right balance of guidance on how to paint a masterpiece and the freedom to be creative. They offer a great break from my day-to-day life without requiring me to create something from scratch. 

When you order a kit, you receive a blank canvas, paint, a paper easel, and step-by-step instructions on how to paint an image. 

You can even watch an online tutorial about how to use specific techniques or how to paint the image you’re after. 

I hadn’t painted since art class in high school but these kits make it really easy to create something I actually want to hang on the walls. And creating something beautiful on a blank canvas can be a great way to relieve stress.

You could always get together with friends and turn it into an activity everyone can do. Or, you might find painting solo is just the quiet recharge you need. 

If you’re looking for a gift to give someone else who could use a bit of stress relief, consider buying them a three-month subscription. They’ll get a new project mailed to them each month.

3

Hydragun Massager

Hydragun calf massager

Hydragun

I enjoy running and I like lifting weights. But I find getting my sore muscles massaged by a stranger to be more stressful than stress-relieving.

So I especially love the Hydragun massager. It actually feels really good on sore or tight muscles. 

It’s powerful. It’s quiet. And the battery life lasts six hours. It comes in a carrying case with several attachments so it’s easy to store. 

And it’s a great reminder to be more aware of how I’m feeling and how important it is to take care of myself.

4

RENPHO Foot and Calf Massager

Renphro Calf Massager

RENPHO

I spend a lot of time sitting behind my laptop which makes the RENPHO foot and calf massager a great find.

While I’m typing, I can massage the bottom of my feet. Although I’m usually squeamish about anything that might tickle my feet, this massager offers a lot of different options so I can find the right level of pressure and just the right amount of kneading to feel good.

I use it on my calves sometimes too. This feels especially good when I put my feet up on an ottoman. 

And an extra side benefit is that I can set the timer on it. I set it for 30 minutes and during that time, I stay focused on my work while getting a foot massage. When the timer stops, I’m reminded to get up and take a break for a few minutes before diving back in.

5

Verilux Floor Lamp

Verilux floor lamp

Verilux

I like bright light. It wakes me up and helps me feel good. But, the sun in the Florida Keys gets hot when it streams through the windows so we keep the curtains closed on sunny days.

That’s why I like the Verilux floor lamp. The light mimics sunlight and it lets me direct the light exactly where I need it.

So whether I’m painting in the evening or I’m taking notes at my desk, I can shine a spotlight on what I’m doing. The light isn’t harsh on the eyes, however. Instead, it feels like it’s just the right intensity to help me feel good and avoid straining my eyes.

6

Demdaco Blanket

Demdaco blanket

Demdaco

South Florida doesn’t require too many blankets. But some days, the air conditioning gets me a little chilled while I work.

And while there are lots of blanket options that could keep me cozy, the Demdaco blanket is my favorite. It’s by far the softest, most comfortable blanket I’ve ever felt. And there’s just something about curling up under a soft blanket that helps me feel a little less stressed out.

7

Speks Desk Toys

Speks

I’m not much for desk clutter because having too many things near me distracts me from my work. But these days, I spend a lot of time on Zoom calls, and staring at my screen can be stressful.

Having a little something in my hands to play with makes those calls feel more fun. And Speks seems to have found a good combination of small toys that keep your hands busy without making a mess or creating too much noise.

8

Allay Lamp

Allay lamp

Allay

While I do find bright lights help me feel alert during the day, there are times when I also want some ambient light. That’s why I like the Allay lamp. It emits a green glow.

There’s some science behind it. The website offers peer-reviewed studies that show the narrow band of green light calms the neurons in the brain. I find that it gives off just the right amount of light that I can read a book before bed without straining my eyes.

The green glow has also been found to help with headaches. So if you get migraines or stress headaches, you might appreciate this lamp for those reasons too.

9

Scribd Subscription

Scribd

Scribd

There’s tons of research that show reading reduces stress. But sometimes, it’s stressful to pick out a good book!

That’s why I love Scribd. It’s sort of like Netflix for books. A monthly subscription allows me to download as many e-books or audiobooks as I want. And they offer a huge selection of choices.

While I do like to read physical books sometimes, e-books and audiobooks don’t take up any space. And I can listen to audiobooks while I’m working out or read e-books while I’m on a plane. 

10

Himalayan Pink Salt Diffuser

Himalayan Pink Salt Diffuser

Pure Daily Care

It’s not a good idea to burn candles on a boat. So, we love to use diffusers in The Verywell Mind Podcast studio. And I especially love this Himalayan pink salt diffuser.

It has a convenient timer and it also has lights, which makes it look beautiful. We also love the wood look of the diffuser. 

We usually use lavender essential oils as there’s evidence that lavender can reduce stress. Research aside, we can say this diffuser helps us feel good while we’re recording our show.

A Word From Verywell

The stress relief products that work for me might not necessarily work for you. But it’s important to experiment with products, strategies, and daily routines that help you manage stress so you can figure out what works best for you. If you’re struggling to manage your stress on your own, consider talking to a professional if you can. Therapists are well-versed in helping people discover the best ways to manage life’s inevitable stressors. 

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