The wellness gift guide for your stressed-out group chat

Lead art for 2020 gift guide lists
(Jillian Goeler / For The Times)

We’ll remember 2020 for many things, including as the year when many stopped making fun of “self-care” as a made-for-IG branding ploy and embraced it wholeheartedly as the thing we need right now for our mental health and wellbeing. We curated this list for friends and loved ones who could use a little comfort right now. Consider buying yourself something too. You deserve it.

See the full L.A. Times 2020 gift guide here.

Balance CBD drops by Brown Girl Jane

CBD drops by Brown Girl Jane. $68
(Brown Girl Jane)

Balance CBD drops are good for the person with just too much on their plate, said Brown Girl Jane co-founder and inhouse wellness expert Tai Beauchamp: “Our goal is to help badass women live life fully and holistically.” This tincture is their most popular offering: A daily dropperful — under the tongue — is recommended for those trying to reduce stress and anxiety. “Balance has saved my entire spirit,” reports one user.

$68 | 👉 Purchase here


Millennial Lotería from Poketo

Millennial Loteria by Poketo. $24.95

Lotería is a beloved Mexican card game that encourages lots of laughter with friends and family — all memory-making magic right there. Play is pretty simple: There’s a dealer who calls out cards, and the first to fill out a row wins. Well now, the game has gotten a Millennial update: “I created this series to combat outdated Hispanic stereotypes and bring a more modern and relevant representation of Hispanic-American and their daily life,” says creator Mike Alfaro, who describes the game to newcomers as “Mexican bingo.” Instead of numbers, Lotería squares highlight archetypes. “This set of cards reimagines La Dama as La Feminist, El Catrín as El Hipster, and Las Jaras as La Hashtag,” Alfaro says. You can buy this many places, but we found it at one of our favorite shops: A new “La Shiny AF Edition” is on the way, and can be purchased through Instagram.

$24.95 | 👉 Purchase here

Yoga mat from Toned by BaggedEm

Toned yoga mat from
(Bagged Em)

Toned by BaggedEm was started by sisters Julia and Cornelia Gibson, who made headlines with their game-changing decision to give the boring yoga mat a makeover, and, even better, to inspire those who feel ignored and misunderstood by the fitness industry. Many of the empowering images on their yoga mats (originals were drawn by their mother) celebrate Black women and men as they show off a variety of yoga and meditative poses. And there’s even an affirmations mat: “I am free to be me.” “Our ultimate goal is to create a brand that tells women that we are most beautiful when we push ourselves, you don’t have to be perfect to start and most importantly, it’s OK to sweat,” the founders say on their website.

$59.99 and up | 👉 Purchase here


Fat and the Moon self-care set

Fat and the Moon self-care kit.
(Kat Alves)

This handmade herbal self-care set from Northern California-based Fat and the Moon is the perfect present for anyone who may be feeling overwhelmed (isn’t that all of us?) or under the weather. Each kit comes with a natural bath soak, body powder and body oil. Because the products are made with all-natural ingredients, use within six months for best results.

$58 | 👉 Purchase here

Marfa Brands handsoaps

Marfa Brand Soap Box.
(Chick Rabourn)

This pandemic of ours has turned us into soap snobs. Well, prepare to swoon. The hefty, handcrafted soap bars from Marfa Brands collections are made of luxuriously soothing ingredients such as olive, coconut and avocado oils, and scented with botanicals and essential oils to unusual ends. The Woodsy Earthy Trio soap box includes a “Campfire” blend made with smoky Lapsang souchong tea, a citrus-forward mix of lemon peel and green tea, and a third bar made of goat milk and ground almond meal, for gentle texture. A proper wooden soap dish is included.

$35-40 | 👉 Purchase here


Stylish fitness weights from Bala

Bangles by Bala

Is this workout gear? Or works of art? OK, that might be an exaggeration, but L.A.-based Bala has reimagined weighted workout equipment into lightweight bar and bangles meant to be worn around ankles or wrists. In addition to black, they come in dreamy colors, including lilac, sage, sand and turquoise. This is fitness equipment you won’t mind leaving around in plain sight. They might even inspire you to a little more movement.

$55 for the bars | 👉 Purchase here

Ritual Cleansing Kit from House of Intuition

House of Intuition Ritual Cleansing Kit, $25
(House of Intuition)

Do you know someone who needs a fresh start? A ceremonial cleansing kit from Los Angeles-based House of Intuition says it can help them do just that and cleanse their personal space of “stagnant energies.” Kits includes matches, a sage bundle for burning, salts, an abalone shell to hold them, charcoal tablets, an infused candle and an incense blend curated for a particular intention. (The Healing kit, for example, includes an Iwala incense blend said to help calm the mind and soothe the spirit.) And don’t worry, there are instructions that guide you through it all. Can’t hurt, right?

$25 | 👉 Purchase here

Vuori Energy Top

Energy Top by Vuori. $52

For those lucky enough to WFH, workout wear must be able to jet from the Pilates mat to a Zoom meeting at a moment’s notice (because bosses never seem to want to wait ...) That’s where the lightweight Energy Top from Encinitas-based Vuori comes in. It’s ultra soft and moisture wicking. Many of the five-star reviews (and our tester) raved about the top’s ability to transition between business appropriate when sliding behind a jacket or sweater, and sweat sesh. Comes in XS to XL, and a variety of colors.


$52 | 👉 Purchase here

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The LoveTuner, a mindfulness and meditation tool

LoveTuner by LoveTuner. $59

The Malibu-based maker of the LoveTuner says that by gently and smoothly blowing into it, you create a tone that helps put you in harmony with nature, and the vibration of love. Even if you don’t believe that, you can’t deny that the simple act of pausing, breathing deeply and marveling at the light, airy notes helps take your mind off your troubles for even a moment. And that is mindfulness, right? Plus it just looks like a cool piece of hardware to wear around your neck.

$59 | 👉 Purchase here

Parachute’s classic comfy robe

Classic Robe by Parachute Home. $99

How do you know when a robe is a keeper? When you prefer it over loungewear. Our tester raved over this robe from L.A.-based Parachute, and it’s easy to see why: It’s made of plush 100% Turkish cotton suitable for year-round wear, with two roomy pockets, a shawl collar and a belt that’s got plenty of length. (Don’t get us started on belts that are too short.) There are more than 1,500 four-plus star rave reviews on the website, including: “I jump from the shower into this robe,” says one, and “I wish I could live in it,” says another, calling it the “coziest robe on earth.”

$99 | 👉 Purchase here

Odacite’s moisturizing bath soak

Ayurvedic bath soak by Odacite. $24

Unwind with the Topanga Canyon-based brand’s Mood Cleansing Ayurvedic Bath Soak, comprising detoxifying Himalayan crystal salt with grapefruit and lemongrass moisturizing oils. The company was founded by cancer survivor Valerie Grandury who set out to remove toxins from her life. Could be a nice break from the usual epsom salts after a workout or just to relax.

$24 | 👉 Purchase here

Home jigsaw puzzle by Inner Piece

Peaceful puzzle by Inner Piece in Santa Monica.
(Paul Salveson / Inner Piece)

Meditation meets art. That’s how we describe jigsaw puzzles, which have seen a resurgence in popularity since the start of the pandemic. And it’s easy to see why. It’s the perfect way to step away from the chaos and enjoy a little quiet. L.A.-based Inner Piece says this has been one of their most popular offerings: Home, by Andrew Watch. (Inner Piece also offers to “replace puzzle pieces free for the lifetime of your puzzle.”)

$30 | 👉 Purchase here

CBD-infused Body Oil by Leef Organics

Body Oil by Leef Organics. $50
(Leef Organics)

A teeny tiny bit goes a long way: Skin Balance CBD Body Oil in Orange Blossom from Leef Organics bills itself as a “skin superfood” for whole body wellness, with a subtle scent inspired by the desert. But users rave about the way it hydrates parched skin without leaving an oily residue behind.

$50 | 👉 Purchase here

Memory ME candle by Melody Ehsani

Memory Me -- Candle by Melody Ehsani. $25

This Memory ME signature scent candle by designer Melody Ehsani is made in a lab in L.A. and gives off a sultry mix of wood fire, tobacco and vanilla to help you feel like home and conjure memories of “your true self.” Made of coconut oil, approximately 50-hour burn time, and comes in a reusable clear glass vessel.

$25 | 👉 Purchase here

Goddess facial kit by Angela Caglia

Goddess facial kit by Angela Caglia.
(Angela Caglia)

For the skincare enthusiast in your life, Barbra Streisand’s go-to esthetician — who has spas in Beverly Hills and New York — released the limited-edition Goddess Facial Kit, which includes three sheet masks, a Rose Quartz roller, white headband, and pink cosmetic bag.

$75 | 👉 Purchase here

Aromatherapy eye pillow from Bodha

Aromatherapy Eye-Pillow - Marle Cashmere by Bodha. $38

The eye pillow is deceiving. It just ... sits there. Ah, that is the beauty of it. An eye pillow requires you to settle down while lying on your back — all the better to enjoy deep, relaxing breaths. And you must be still, or else the eye pillow will just plop off. Now, are you following? This made-in-L.A. version from Bodha drapes itself over your face, shutting out all the light. It has just enough heft to it that it feels a bit like a weighted blanket for your face. It’s made in L.A. from soft washed linen, filled with a custom blend of organic buckwheat and lavender and chamomile flowers. The cover is washable. And just like that, you are halfway to a nap or a great night’s sleep.

$38 | 👉 Purchase here

Labyrinth Journal notebook from k-apostrophe

The Labyrinth Journal notebook by k-apostrophe.
(Nicole Albrecht)

Know someone who could use a place to rage away? Or to plot world domination? Or both? Yes, please! These journals from k-apostrophe — from L.A. based mixed media artist K’era Morgan — is the perfect place to let it rip. And the artistic cover won’t reveal a thing, except your good taste.

$24 | 👉 Purchase here

Brown sugar body scrub from C & the Moon

Brown sugar body scrub by C & the Moon. $64
(Linda Sau)

“Love at first sight.” “It’s magic.” “It made my skin feel soooo soft.” These are just a few of the reviews for C & The Moon’s Brown Sugar body scrub, and our tester agreed. If you know someone who complains about winter’s drying elements, here’s the gift to give. A tiny bit goes a long way. And a bonus, in our book: One review said that after using the scrub made of brown sugar, coconut oil and sweet almond oil, “I smell like a snickerdoodle.” The brand says portions of proceeds are donated to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

$64 | 👉 Purchase here

Paint-by-numbers kit from Texture of Dreams

Agave Plant Paint by Numbers Kit (16"x20") by Texture of Dreams. $29
(Texture of Dreams)

Another crafty way to get in some mindful “me” time? Paint by numbers. You don’t need to have an artistic bone in your body, just a desire to follow the rules. Walnut, Calif.-based Texture of Dreams has plenty of canvases to choose from, and the arrive at your door along with a road map — and paint and brushes, of course — to bring your image to life. You can even give them a picture, perhaps of a beloved pet, or of a wedding vow, and Texture of Dreams will turn that into a paint-by-numbers portrait, and you’ll have the perfect sentimental gift to give.

From $29.99 | 👉 Purchase here

BRWNGRLMGC nail kit by Pear Nova

BRWNGRLMGC nail kit by Pear Nova. $50
(Charles Thomas / Pear Nova)

Founded by Rachel James, the brand’s vegan BRWNGRLMGC nail kit includes four neutral shades as beautiful as the women they’re named after: Michelle Our Mama, Dianna Boss, Frida Be Free and Cleo F— Patra.

$50 | 👉 Purchase here

The Silent Night sleep kit from Lather

Bedtime stories gift set by Lather. $50

Fall asleep with ease thanks to the Emilie Hoyt-founded, Pasadena-based brand’s aromatherapeutic Silent Night Gift Set, which includes a lavender bath bomb, pillow mist, relaxing balm, and silk eye mask.

$28| 👉 Purchase here

Hand + foot self care kit by SpaRitual

Hand + foot self care kit with body brush by SpaRitual.

This set from SpaRitual includes a citrus cardamom hand salve and foot balm tucked into a reusable organic cotton pouch and is perfect for anyone who is missing their mani-pedis.


$38 | 👉 Purchase here

Impossible Soap from Detox Mode

The Impossible Soap from The Detox Market.
(The Detox Market)

This handsoap from Detox Mode cleans, of course, but the magic comes afterward: Your skin is left feeling “silky, never stripped.” Our tester agreed, and the scent is dreamy. Credit the fruit oils blend, and the “signature aromatherapeutic blend” of cedarwood, bergamot and sweet almond. With every purchase, a tree is planted.

$22 | 👉 Purchase here

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