One of the strongest beliefs I hold as a therapist is that we should refrain from using symptom relief as a cure. For example, if you’re feeling depressed, symptoms might be sluggishness, tearfulness, etc. These symptoms are hinting to the fact that something needs to be dealt with in your body. If you don’t they’ll return over and over. Still, relief from your symptoms sure does make finding the cure easier. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of products that improve mental health!
All these items will just calm the symptoms of your mental health difficulties. Nothing on this list will cure depression or anxiety. That’s what you work on with a therapist. However, all these things will make your daily life more manageable, so you have the brain space to devote to deep, real healing.
I do want to let you know that I may make a commission if you make a purchase from this post. However, this is at no extra cost to you, and I only recommend products that I really believe in! Anything else goes against my ethical code as a therapist, so you can truly trust me.
**If you’re interested in more than just symptom relief, try BetterHelp! I’m unable to take on new clients at the moment, but I still want you to have access to good therapy. BetterHelp has thousands of licensed therapists that can meet with you online, for a fraction of the cost of traditional therapy. These links get you a free week to give it a shot!
Affordable Products that Improve Mental Health
1 . Pulse Oximeter– $17.95
Is this a mistake?? Did I mean to put this here?? Yes, I did. Pulse oximeters are among the products that improve mental health because they can help you monitor your body in stressful situations. For example, if your pulse skyrockets or you stop breathing during an argument with a loved one, the pulse oximeter can let you know it’s time to step back. Let your fight-or-flight calm down for a bit.
2. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson- $8.15
This book, one of many awesome expletive-filled products that improve mental health, asserts that we shouldn’t pretend or even try to be positive all the time. While Manson has some tough-to-hear criticism of millennials, we agree on a very important point, which I outlined in my post about IFS therapy: society doesn’t allow us to sit with negative emotions. That’s why we got participation trophies and the like, which, as he’d say, basically f*cked us. We need to sit with negative emotions so we can process them and heal from them, and this push to always be positive doesn’t allow for that. For that reason, I’m with this book.
3. Mood Lamp– $14.34
There is actually such thing as color therapy. For example, people believe the color blue promotes calm feelings, while yellow invigorates. If you want to learn more, check out this introduction to color therapy. If you’re already sold on the idea, this little orb I linked to oscillates between lots of different colors, or you can set it to a cool white for relaxation and ambiance.
4. Mindfulness Journal– $15.32
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware in the present moment. So, mindfulness journals are products that improve mental health because they allow us to slow down and appreciate the good things that happen moment-to-moment. We’re not spending that time worrying about the future or harping on the past. The one I’ve chosen has 365 prompts broken up into weekly themes.
5. Essential Oil Diffuser– $27.99
An essential oil diffuser mixes your essential oils with water and sends a mist with the scent all over a room. Depending on the scent you pick, it’s an easy way to calm down, perk up, relieve tension, and more. I like the look of this wooden one, and the fact that it turns off automatically when it runs out of water for safety purposes.
6. Essential Oils– $17.95 for 8 10ml bottles
Essential oils are liquids that come from naturally occurring things like plants, and they’ve been used as products that improve mental health for hundreds of years. The scents of some essential oils are known to reduce anxiety, improve concentration, help you get better quality sleep, or even energize us! The ones I’ve linked to above are vegan and cruelty free. And affordable.
7. Because We Are Bad by Lily Bailey- $15.99
This book is a stigma-buster for sure. I always say that if you really get to know someone, it’s almost impossible to dislike them, and the pure intimacy Lily shares with us in her memoir is a gorgeous testament to that. We only judge what we do not know. Thanks to Ms. Bailey’s brave and deeply personal story, it’s possible to understand OCD in a way that hasn’t been offered before. I love this book.
8. Weekly Planner– $26.95
I’m organized to a fault. I can admit that. Still, I think that makes me an excellent person to speak to about the right weekly planner. A weekly planner is a great product to improve mental health because it wards off overwhelm. Plus, the one I’ve linked above, The Law of Attraction Life Planner, is famous for being more than just your everyday calendar. It helps you plan your days, but it also has “feel-good lists,” a gratitude section, and STICKERS. Plus, it’s fully eco-friendly and gorgeous.
9. Head Massager– $5.45
These things freak me out– too much sensation for my delicate little head I suppose. But I know a lot of people use them and love them. They’re certainly affordable enough. As a commenter named Calibration pointed out in the reviews section: “Most things that feel this good are either immoral, illegal or cause cancer. This head massager is none of these things. Plus, it’s dirt cheap. Buy one.”
10. Sound Machine– $14.99
A sound machine can improve your sleep by setting the scene of a calm, peaceful place. The one I’ve linked has sounds of the ocean, rainforest, or even just white noise to help drown out what’s going on around you.
11. Foot Massager– $17.95
Well, if you’re getting the head massager, doesn’t it also make sense to get a foot massager? If you end the day absolutely exhausted after being on your feet for 8+ hours, foot massagers are products that improve mental health. Seriously, have you ever felt that kind of relief? For under $20, it’s worth a shot!
12. Unf*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop- $11.99
Clearly I have an affinity for potty-mouthed self-help books. They just feel so relatable! We trust people who curse because they’re like us 🙂 Gary John Bishop’s book reminds you that you’re a f*cking miracle of a human being, and the only thing in your way is YOU.
13. Adult Coloring Book-$4.99
The last of the products to improve mental health are adult coloring books. The one I’ve linked is full of pretty animal designs, and it’s only $5! Coloring has actually been shown to scientifically reduce stress by activating our visual and fine motor cortexes. When those are working, activity in the amygdala, where stress comes from, is reduced. Can’t argue with science, people!! *aggressively colors elephant pictures*