12 Thoughtful Gifts For Friends Going Through A Hard Time

By Caroline Thompson , HuffPost Cheering someone up is no small task. Whether they’re dealing with the death of a friend or ...

By Caroline Thompson, HuffPost

Cheering someone up is no small task. Whether they’re dealing with the death of a friend or family member, just went through a breakup or divorce, are working through a nasty bout of anxiety or depression, or are just really, really exhausted by the world today, when a loved one is going through a tough time, it’s hard to know what to do or say to make things better for them.

While finding the perfect gift for a friend going through a tough time isn’t going to pull them completely out of the depths of their despair, knowing that you care enough to surprise them with something thoughtful, comforting or just downright silly will remind them that they’re not alone. 

If you need some ideas for gifts to cheer someone up, we’ve found 12 thoughtful ones for people who are really going through some sh*t.

And FYI, HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

This middle finger patch, for the year that deserve an “eff you.”

Etsy / ExtremeLargeness

Sometimes, being there for someone means letting them be pissed off. Help them feel their feelings and flash their frustration with this middle finger patch, the perfect “eff you” to a sh*tty year.


CBD oil, to chill out.


CBD is the non-psychoactive cousin of THC, both of which are found in the marijuana plant. CBD, however, is known to relieve anxiety, soothe minor aches and pains, and relax the mind. (And yes, it’s legal in all 50 states). Grab your friend a bottle of high-quality oil, some CBD-infused chewing gum, or even a celeb-endorsed pain and wellness CBD lotion to help them chill out.


A plant, to brighten up their space.


Plants make people happy. That’s because being out in nature, and greenery in general, makes us feel happier, calmer, more productive and more relaxed. It can also help soothe a troubled mind, but strolling through the park isn’t exactly easy to do during the winter months. Help brighten up a friend’s space and give them some greenery to care for instead. with You can even gift them one that’s already potted or that requires little maintenance, perfect for small spaces.


A weighted blanket, to help them sleep better.


Weighted blankets have been used for years in occupational therapy (particularly for kids with autism), but they’ve hit the mainstream in recent years for their ability to ease anxiety, reduce stress and help insomniacs snag better sleep. This weighted blanket on Amazon has a 4.4-star rating and several positive reviews, making it a promising purchase for your anxious friends and family members.


A pillow with their pet’s face on it.

Etsy / savethedaisies
Anyone who has the privilege of sharing their home with a furry friend knows what a comfort pets can be during times of stress or sadness. Gift your friend a pillow adorned with the face of their beloved pet and they’re sure to crack a smile.

A home-cooked meal, when they need it most.
Motley Fool

When you’re feeling down, remember to eat well (or at all) isn’t your top priority. Help nourish your friend’s heart and soul by whipping up home cooked meals with ingredients delivered right to their door. They can lounge while you prepare a healthy feast for the two of you. Leave them with a clean kitchen, a full belly and a big bear hug.


A card that says the words you can’t.

Emily McDowell

The sympathy card industry is a bit sloshy, which is why artist Emily McDowell’s relatable empathy cards are so genius. They’re inscribed with messages like “I know this day really sucks for you,” and “You’re not a burden, you’re a human.” They’re honest, funny and actually get to the heart of what it’s like to go through a rough time — none of that “Everything happens for a reason” nonsense most people peddle during hard times.


A cheese platter fit for a goddess.


If there’s one sight that can cheer up anyone, it’s seeing your BFF at the door holding an overflowing plate of cheese. Head to the fancy cheese section of your local grocery store and plate up an Insta-worthy cheese platter with an assortment of cheeses, meats, fruits and crackers like you’re trying to impress the queen. Bonus points if you show up with their favorite movies to watch while chowing down.


A subscription box filled with something they love.

LightFieldStudios via Getty Images

If it feels like there’s a subscription box for literally every hobby, interest or passing fancy, you’re right. Whether your friend is into makeup, fashion, murder mysteries or wine, there’s a gift box out there that will give him or her something to look forward to every month. There are plenty to choose from.


A sampling of fruity teas.

World Market

Is there anything more relaxing than curling up on the couch with a hot cup of tea? This Palais Des Thes box set of “fruity indulgence” teas has a flavor for every palate. If your friend is a tea lover, the smell of a brewing pot of apple ginger black tea should perk them right up. If that’s not their cup of tea, treat them instead to a sampling of artisanal brews from Blue Bottle.


A ticket to their favorite theme park.

FooTToo via Getty Images

Screaming can be the best medicine, and nothing makes you scream louder than that first terrifying drop on a roller coaster. Find your nearest theme park, be it Six Flags, Disney, Knott's Berry Farm or Universal, snatch up two tickets and offer to drive you friend. There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush to help distract from your troubles.


A gift set from LUSH.


LUSH bath products are just that — lush. Pull together a gift set to help your pal pamper and primp the blues away with a wide assortment of bath bombs, body scrubs, hair care products and more.


Developed by Julius Choudhury

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