hsp gift guide

Are you struggling to find a gift for an introverted, highly sensitive friend, spouse, co-worker, or family member? Then this list is for you. Featured here are presents for people who are overwhelmed by social and environment stimuli, are empathic, sensitive to beauty, and cherish privacy and peacefulness. (And don’t forget to treat yourself!)

Presenting: the Highly Sensitive Person & Introvert Gift Guide for 2017! 

(Note: Introverts and HSPs are not the same thing. All introverts are not HSPs, and vice versa. But just for the sake of this list, they are lumped together.)

Here we go!

Spire Mindfulness and Activity Trackerspire tracker

This beautiful little clip-on device is like a Fitbit, but for breathing! Spire measures your breathing and provides feedback to increase focus and calm. When your breathing indicates tension, a gentle notification reminds you take a deep breath. The included smartphone app can guide you in mini-meditations.

Tea Subscription from Plum Deluxe

A monthly tea plum deluxe teasubscription is an awesome gift idea for the tea lover in your life!

Plum Deluxe’s organic Tea of the Month Club is just $10 per month. The recipient will receive 1-2 oz (enough for about 20 cups) of hand-blended, limited-edition tea.


Mini Watercolor Palettepainting palette

Perfect as a gift for journal artists, travel sketchers, students, and beginning watercolor painters, this cute kit includes the convenience and portability of 15 name-brand artist-grade watercolors.



Japanese Suminagashi Marbling Kit
japanese paper marbling

Drip a few drops of the dye into water, swirl it with a utensil, then gently lay your paper (or desired material) on the dye to make beautiful marble designs. Great for kids, too.

Buddha Board

The Buddha Board allows you to feel like an artist even if you have no artistic talent (like me!) The brush makes beautiful strokes and allows you to express creativity with only water. The drawings fade away after a few minutes. (I have the mini version and find it to be too small—get the regular size.) Here’s me drawing on my board:


Secret Sweater
secret sweater

This ladies’ sweater has made it onto my list for the fourth year in a row! The Secret Sweater can be hidden under jackets and blazers without adding bulk (secret sweater, get it?), but it’s cute enough to be worn over a lightweight top or dress. Made of cotton and modal blended interlock fabric, it packs into a small pouch. Great for travelers.



Noise-Canceling Headphones: AKG N60nc

The ambient noise of the outside world can distract HSPs and introverts, sap their energy, and leave them grumpy. At around $150, these are the cheapest among CNET’s 2016 list of top-rating noise-cancelling headphones.

Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets have been making waves lately as being helpful for children with sensory issues or autism. However, ANYone can enjoy a weighted blanket–especially those of us with anxiety or sleeping issues! Who doesn’t like feeling cozy and tightly snug in a blanket? They tend to be quite pricey (around $100) but can be a worthwhile investment.


Aromatherapy Oil Gift Setoil set

I adore certain scents and the way they make me feel. There are lots of great essential oil gift set options out there. (Note: Before buying any “scented” gift for an HSP, first try to notice if they’ve shown that they like scented candles or use perfume or oils. Some HSPs find scents too overwhelming.)



Bonsai Tree
I’ve always wanted one! They are so beautiful and intricate; I feel a peacefulness when I look at them. As a gift, I recommend buying from a local shop, but you can get them on Amazon, too. Here are some tips on which variety to buy, depending on the climate of where the tree will reside.
calm app


Calm meditation app subscription

A 12-month subscription to my favorite meditation app is $60.


Gift an Experience!

  • Float/Sensory Deprivation Tank Experience
    When floating in sensory deprivation tank, your senses melt away into weightlessness. Google or Yelp the nearest tank and buy a gift certificate for a meditative and relaxing experience–they’re great gifts for pregnant women, too. Here’s my float experience.
  • A massage or spa experience.
  • A gift certificate to a class: like a class for cooking, photography, painting, gardening, pottery, language, or jewelry making. HSPs (especially high sensation seekers) enjoy learning and creating things. Select an activity that they’ve previously shown interest in.
  • Tickets to a museum, concert, play, or festival in which they’ve shown interest: Along the same lines, this gift shows you pay attention to what they like.
  • Donate to a cause that’s near their heart. Give money to an animal rescue, a medical foundation, environmental cause, or a charity that you know they care about.
  • Take care of something. Arrange for meals, have their house cleaned, babysit–you get the idea. Take something off their plate.

Treat Yourself!

Sense Sound Machine, Sleep Monitor, and Smart Alarmsense sound machine
If you have difficulty sleeping, this is a great gift for yourself! By monitoring the conditions of your bedroom and recognizing your movements during the night, Sense is able to give you detailed insights into how you can sleep better. It sits on your nightstand and works with your smart phone.


A Year of Gratitude letter kit
HSPs often enjoy expressing gratitude to people in their lives. This elegant box set contains 52 thank you cards—one for each week in the year—and tips for writing meaningful thank you notes, as well as a guided journal to record your experiences. Maybe over this year you will reconnect with someone from your past or brighten the day of someone who feels taken for granted.


A Highly Sensitive Person’s Life: stories & tips for those who experience the world intensely by ME.
Of course I have to mention my own book! This blog-style collection of essays balances humor and sound advice in personal stories and honest reflections. You might see yourself described in these pages and think: “I didn’t know anyone else felt this way!” (Note: the book contains a lot of content from this blog!)

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron
A must-read for those who are trying to understand high sensitivity in themselves or loved ones.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
I interviewed Oliver on my podcast after reading (and loving) this book. If there’s someone in your life who isn’t the most “positive” person, this might be a good gift for them. This book helped me feel a lot more at peace about my “glass half empty” personality. It explains powerful concepts from Buddhism, Stoicism, Eckhart Tolle, Alan Watts, and more, in Oliver’s entertaining, accessible, and lovely writing style.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
According to Dr. Elaine Aron, all HSPs are creative—by definition. “Many have squashed their creativity because of their low self-esteem; many more had it squashed for them, before they could ever know about it.” In Big Magic, Gilbert encourages readers to pursue a creative life “that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”

Gifts for Kids & Teens

It’s All Too Much for Oliver by Leila Boukarim
This is a beautiful picture book written and illustrated for highly sensitive children. Endorsed by Dr. Elaine Aron!

Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain
Susan wrote the mega hit book Quiet, which brought introversion to the mainstream several years ago. Her new book is like Quiet but for introverted kids and teens.

Random Acts Of Kindness Kits
 (Family version) 
This stocking-stuffer kit includes cards with acts of kindness to be performed by your child or the entire family. You may find yourself writing a letter to someone who inspired you, picking up the trash on your street, giving genuine compliments, and more. You can keep track of your good deeds online and see other deeds across the globe. There’s a teen version, too.


What is your ideal gift? Leave a comment and I may include it in this list.

See last year’s list here.

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