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Holiday Gift Guide

Show Your Support for Recovery With Your Gift


Updated December 12, 2012

Do you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder and want to buy them a gift this holiday season? These are a few suggestions that keep their situation and recovery in mind. It goes without saying that you will want to keep your loved one’s personality and personal tastes in mind as you choose a gift. If you are completely at a loss as to what to buy, ask them! Many people will tell you what would be most appreciated by them.

Financial Support

Giving money can be a tricky thing depending on your relationship with the person. However, treatment can be really expensive - especially if your loved one has been in inpatient or residential treatment centers. Even outpatient treatment can be several hundred dollars per week if they are seeing multiple treatment providers. If you don't want to give cash, you might consider a gift card or even 'sponsoring' a therapy session or two.

A Journal

Journaling is a great way for people to process their thoughts and feelings. Many of my clients go through multiple ones throughout the year. A nice journal is a thoughtful, useful and reasonably priced gift.

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Relaxation or Meditation CDs

Anyone who has an eating disorder also experiences large amounts of anxiety. CDs with relaxation or meditation exercises can be a great way to help them cope.

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Yoga Classes

Yoga has been shown to help lower anxiety levels and improve body image. If your loved one is healthy enough for exercise and is interested in yoga, purchasing a class pass to a local yoga studio might be a wonderful gift for them.

Art Supplies or Classes

Is your loved one creative? Purchasing supplies for their favorite projects is a great way to support recovery and encourage a healthy coping skill. If you know that they are interested in learning more about painting or another medium, local classes might be a perfect fit as well.

Reading Material

Purchasing a novel or a nonfiction book on a topic your loved one is interested in is a wonderful way to help promote healthy coping skills and provide them with enjoyment. Think about subjects and authors that your loved one likes - or choose a book that you have enjoyed.


Many people say that 'laughter is the best medicine' and unfortunately there may not be a lot of laughter in the lives of people who are in the trenches of an eating disorder or are just beginning recovery. Purchasing a comedy on DVD or Blu-Ray or tickets to a comedy show are wonderful ways to promote happiness and fun in anyone's life.

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Board Games or Card Games

Learning new coping skills and building supportive relationships is a cornerstone of anyone's recovery from an eating disorder. Old-fashioned board and card games are a wonderful way to promote this and provide a bit of relaxation and fun for someone.

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Fresh Flowers or Plants

Almost anyone will appreciate a plant or fresh flowers as a gift. They brighten a room and will remind the recipient of the giver every time they see the gift. Many of my clients who are single or live alone report that plants and flowers are an important way that they are able to make their house or apartment feel like home.


Choosing a gift that pampers the recipient is a great way to tell your loved one that you hope they take care of themselves. This can be something as simple as a candle, lotion and/or bath set in a favorite fragrance or as generous as a gift certificate to a spa. Other ways to pamper someone are with a nice set of new sheets or a pair of cozy slippers.

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