2021 Holiday Gift Ideas for Wellness Enthusiasts

For our 2021 Well Holiday Gift Guide, we share 21 of our favorite things that can make life a little better.

What makes a good holiday guide so special? These are gift ideas that editors, writers, and contributors themselves have bought (or received), used a lot and really loved. Some are practical, some are eccentric, but they help us all live well every day.

You’ll find delicious treats, practical items for the home, gifts to relieve stress and help you sleep, fitness equipment, relaxing indulgences and gifts to inspire family time. We’re publishing a gift guide earlier this year as well, to help you avoid supply and shipping delays before the holidays.

Ditch the single-use sandwich bags and zip storage bags (they’re terrible for the environment and hard to recycle) and give the Stasher bags, a silicone bag that can be reused, cooled, frozen, boiled, microwaved, heated in the oven, and cleaned in the dishwasher — over and over again. This durable bag has the same pressure and seal closure as the disposable bags and comes in a variety of colors. I’ve tried the starter set, but some bags are on the small side. I prefer sandwiches, quart and half gallon and stand up bags for storing things like veggies, tortillas, cheese, and leftovers. I also use Stasher bags to keep my passport and vaccine card safe and as a travel kit for makeup and toiletries. – Tara Parker Pope, columnist, okay
Cost: $37 and up

Everyone loves a gift from the kitchen, especially one that’s delicious and good for you like this homemade oatmeal set. Start with a 16-ounce mason bowl, and use this recipe from NYT Cooking’s Genevieve Ko. You will fill about half the jar with a mixture of aged oats, dried fruit, seeds, and salt. (I use oats, dried apricots, pistachios, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.) Include a gift bag with extra packets of nuts, peanut butter, brown sugar, or maple syrup, along with instructions. (Just stir in 1 cup of regular or non-dairy milk, cover and let cool overnight, then top with nuts or other toppings just before eating.) “I eat overnight oats every weekday morning. I’m a huge fan. I bring it three days in advance sometimes, and it’s still very tasty.” Danny Bloom, Senior News Assistant, okay
Cost: About $5

The beautiful packaging of Boschetto’s Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes a great hostess gift or a tasty gift for the foodie on your shopping list. (We love Boschetto, but you can find lemon-infused olive oil in Italian specialty stores or try making your own.) “It’s delicious on salads, fish, and pasta, topped with fresh mozzarella or crusty bread, or mashed with avocado for the best avocado toast.” I’ve ever tasted it.” – Toby Bellano, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, OK
Cost: $30

Tea always makes a great holiday gift, but Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea is very special and comes in tea bags, tea bags, and tea bags. “It’s not like any tea you’ve ever had. It wakes you up in the morning, but it also replaces dessert after dinner. Coffee drinkers love the bold flavors, and tea drinkers are always surprised how they haven’t tasted anything like that.” – Karen Barrow, Deputy Editor, Storylines
Cost: $10 to $20


Working on a laptop all day can negatively affect the situation and cause you pain. For comfort, try the Oljoy Shiatsu Neck and Shoulder Massager. “On the days when my neck and shoulders are tied, this masseuse works wonders. I don’t have to beg my kids or my husband for a massage, and I can sit back and watch something on my iPad while my muscles knead, almost like a trained masseuse.” — Apoorva Mandavilli, reporter, Science
Cost: $50

Expressive writing has been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing stress and depression, reducing doctor appointments and even improving your memory. “I’m a journalist for life, and I have old boxes that go back to first grade. I travel with my journal, so I’m always on the lookout for journals that are sturdy but not too bulky. Decomposition books have become my favorite. They have beautiful illustrations, and come in a variety of colors, and graphics The intricacies on the cover and inside are perfect for doodling and coloring. — Laurie Leibovitz, Editor, OK
Cost: $8

It turns out that taking long, hot showers before bed helps you fall asleep faster, and taking a shower may be good for your heart. Dr. Tell products, like Epsom salts and lavender bath foam, can make bath time more enjoyable. (Epsom points to the springs in England where the salts are found.) “My mom gave me this bubble bath, and it kept me warm and relaxing on many winter nights.” – Sarah Williamson, Artistic Director, OK
Cost: $5 to $10


Monthly sock delivery from Stance Socks It might motivate someone to move a little more. You can give a gift subscription for 3, 6 or 12 months. “The best thing about this present is that you can choose your own pair of socks every month. You can build great year-round socks that will inspire you and make you want to get out of the house and go!” – Dr. Jordan Metzel, Contributor
Cost: $57 and up

Staying hydrated long-term and cycling can be challenging. The water bottles are heavy to carry. Waist straps are uncomfortable and can slip. Large size water backpacks. The Osprey Dyna 6 1.5L Hydration Jacket (women’s size) or Osprey Duro (men’s size) solves it all. “Hydration jackets are trimmed, lightweight, fit nicely against the chest, don’t flinch on the move, and can hold a phone, some Gu, power rod, rain shell, and other essentials for long runs and cycling. I bought mine as a gift for myself last winter, when I was training for Some trail racing, and I talked to several friends to buy one too.” — Gretchen Reynolds, columnist for Phys Ed
Cost: $110

Wildlife cameras can reveal a hidden world in your own backyard. Wirecutter (owned by The New York Times) recommends one from Wildgame Innovations, or consider the Browning trail camera, which has a video option. “Checking the camera is important in our house. A lot of fun is finding new places to put it. Where do animals like to walk? Male deer is completely in vain and likes to be photographed.” — Eric Vance, Staff Editor, OK
Cost: $100 to $179

If you’re still looking for the perfect water bottle, consider the GSI Microlite 500 Flip thermos/water bottle, which holds about 17 fluid ounces. There is also a larger version that holds approximately 24 ounces. “I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s very easy to clean and has no annoying little parts or absorbents. It’s very lightweight yet can keep liquids cold or hot. Push-button cover is great for those with Germ like me who don’t want an uncovered drinking spout.” – Christina Caron, reporter, okay
Cost: $30

Don’t let the cold weather stop you from exercising. Try the Baleaf fleece-lined leggings. (The company also makes fleece-lined pants for men.) “My winter workout should be fleece-lined leggings. I got them as a gift and thought they would be too hot or maybe bulky, but I felt like I was wearing sweatpants that are comfy. Bonus points because they come in bulk Few for short ladies at very reasonable prices.” – Farrah Miller, Managing Editor, OK
Cost: $30 to $35


Many of us have been cleaning more during the pandemic and, as a result, have noticed the harsh nature of common household chemicals. “I’ve tried every hygienic home cleaning product I can get my hands on and were unimpressed when they all failed the bathroom mildew removal test. But the branch essentials went with flying colors! This starter kit replaced 90 percent of my toxic cleaners. I’m buying these for my mom and friends.” It’s really good for people who are allergic to the chemicals in regular products.” – Jaspal Riet, Art Director, okay
Cost: $69

My old dog’s collar was worn out and it was painful to remove during grooming. In search of a better collar, I found custom If It Barks. These sturdy attractive collars come in a range of sizes and colors and have a variety of customization options. For my dog, Maddie, I chose a feminine and floral “Be Mine Bouquet” pattern, with a sturdy hybrid buckle that can be customized with my dog’s name, phone, and address. It’s the best dog collar ever, and it looks great on it. – Tara Parker Pope, columnist, okay
Cost: $29 and up

Most of us can’t afford a personal assistant, but new online virtual assistant services like Time and others can help with those time-consuming tasks like calling a utility company, planning a vacation, dealing with email, or getting rid of a-to-to-do items. slate. For the handyman and household chores, consider the Task Rabbit gift card. Or you can gift yourself to a friend or family member. A few years ago, a relative of mine offered me a gift of his services. I pointed to several filing cabinets and told him to get rid of the contents – decades of work files – and don’t let me look at what was going down in the recycling.” – Jane Brody, personal health columnist
Cost: $30 and up

Make your child the star of their bedtime story or turn a parent into a superhero with the personalized Wonderbly book. Customization options vary by title. You’ll find evergreen books about friendship, adventure, senior class, grandparents, and bedtime. (Books with winter holiday themes are limited to Christmas.) “You can choose from several stories, designs, and soft or hard covers. My husband was impressed and surprised to see that it was customized. It’s a fun and unique gift.” – Melonis McAfee, Senior Editor, OK
Cost: $35 and up


Modern luxury meets vintage practicality in this cashmere-covered hot water bottle, which you can find from Naked Cashmere or British’s Pink and Ginger. “I bought this hot water bottle after a trip to Ireland, it looks everywhere. I use it for aches, cramps and general comfort. When the temperature drops, I put it under the covers before I go to bed for a warm treat when I go up.” – Tiffany Graham, photo editor, okay
Cost: $45 to $95

The Mighty Bright is a bendable, rechargeable lamp that mounts to your book and can be dimmed so it doesn’t disturb others in the room. “My mother-in-law recommended this reading lamp and it has changed the way we sleep for me and my oldest daughter. We both have trouble falling asleep and need relaxation activities to do this without using screens. Now we can read books to help relax without waking anyone.” – Jessica Gross, parenting columnist
Cost: $30

Electric blankets don’t get as much attention as trendy weighted blankets and plush throws, but they are often an affordable source of cozy comfort. Pro tip: A larger blanket may inspire kids and teens to cuddle with you. Wirecutter recommends the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Heated Blanket. “We watch little TV in the evening to calm down, and that feels great And therefore It’s good to be under a warm blanket.” – Lisa Damore, Teen Columnist
Cost: $99 to $179

For the restless sleeper in your life, Wirecutter recommends the LectroFan Evo, a white noise machine that can mask the sounds of traffic, barking dogs, and loud parties with soothing buzzing, buzzing and buzzing sounds. LectroFan also has two surround sound settings. “Pandemic anxiety has wreaked havoc on my sleep. My white noise machine is a lifesaver. It uses a range of frequencies and hides the worst city noises. It also has a sleek, modern design that is compact and easy to travel with.” – Giulia Calderoni, Senior Editor, OK
Cost: $45

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