Ease Your Seasonal Affective Disorder with these 27 Self-Care Essentials

Winter blues got you feeling down? These soothing finds from Amazon, including a mindfulness journal and a bestselling light therapy lamp, will help you take care of your wellbeing this year & beyond.

By Carly Milne, Jenny Lee Dec 24, 2023 4:00 PMTags
Shop Amazon Seasonal Affective Disorder ProductsE! News Illustration / Photos Courtesy of Amazon

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There's a lot that's awesome about winter, but if you're one of the estimated 10 million Americans who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, you may approach winter with a feeling of dread. SAD is more than just the usual lethargy that can kick in when the nights get longer and the weather gets colder. Even though the holidays are finally here and the new year is just around the corner, it's totally normal & valid to feel as though you just can't get into the festive spirit.

For some, experiencing SAD means lower energy and an increased need to sleep, but for others, it can mean a deeper shift in moods and a disinterest in life in general. Commonly, people recommend light therapy to help, but there are a few other things that can help support you depending on how blue you're feeling this winter. Many suggest aromatherapy by way of an essential oil diffuser, while others resort to a good salt bath to ease the tension. A cozy weighted blanket is always a must, no matter what time of year it is. And mindfulness journaling can also help (but don't worry, they're not all deeply earnest and crunchy granola, if that's not your thing).

We rounded up some of the best self-care items from Amazon to help you beat back the winter doldrums. Spring is coming sooner than you think... but in the meantime, these goodies have you covered.

Verilux® HappyLight® Lucent - One-Touch Light Therapy Lamp With 10,000 Lux

As the sun gets shorter, you may not be getting outside as much, which means you'll be lacking in vitamin D. This lamp doesn't replace the sun, of course, but it's the next best thing. Offering the recommended dose of 10,000 LUX, this one-touch LED light therapy lamp offers a large surface and an adjustable stand so you can find the optimal position for you.

Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light

If you don't need the full-on SAD-light option but you still want a little extra seasonal support, this Philips SmartSleep alarm clock will do the trick. When you set your awake time, the clock slowly illuminates to mimic the sunrise, along with optional wake-up sounds. Need help falling asleep? The clock also dims as if it's a setting sun, and those soundscapes are there to help you drift off for the night. 

Norb Smile Full Spectrum Sun Light Bulb

If you're looking for a more integrated lighting option, the Full Spectrum Sun Light Bulb is perfect for you. These bulbs use a unique LED chip to mimic sunlight (minus the harmful UV rays), and they exceed all U.S. codes for color rendering and energy efficiency. They can be used in the office, kitchen, hallway, and essentially anywhere you work or live during daytime hours.

The Mindfulness Journal: Exercises to Help You Find Peace and Calm Wherever You Are

Running away from the blues doesn't help, but shifting your brain in a different direction sometimes can. That's what this mindfulness journal does, using clever prompts and exercises to help you focus on the now and work through whatever is coming up for you, whether you want to follow its guidelines or go rogue and write stream-of-consciousness on its blank note pages.

Oilogic Slumber & Sleep Spray for Babies & Toddlers

Technically, yes, this sleep spray was made for babies and toddlers, but I love this spray and will defend my use of it forever. It's formulated with 100% pure essential oils, including lavender and chamomile, making it super gentle on skin — in other words, no breakouts! It makes for such a wonderful aromatherapy experience that you just can't help but drift off into peaceful slumber.

According to one Amazon shopper, "Bought this for my Mom with dementia to spray on her sheets at bed time. The smell is very calm, soothing and we really like it. Hubby likes it sprayed on our sheets now too! Does it calm her or us down? I don't really know, but we enjoy the scent and will probably buy this again!"

Bedgear Balance Performance Pillow

If you're still having trouble beating the Sunday scaries this winter, an ergonomic pillow may be just the investment you need for yourself. Bedgear's top-rated Balance Performance Pillow features a medium-firm design that provides elevated support for your back and neck, along with three different height choices, airflow technology, and moisture-wicking fabric. Basically, it's everything you could need and want in a good pillow that'll last you years and get you through many winters to come.

According to one Amazon shopper, "Best pillow I have ever used.Bought this one for my husband because he kept stealing mine.If you have a bad neck like I do you will absolutely love the comfort and support of this pillow.You get what you pay for and this was a great price."


Blobs Low Sugar Gummy Candy - Pack of 6

Let's be honest: Sometimes, candy is good for us and our emotions. But, admittedly, it's not good for our bodies — until Blobs. I love keeping a pack in my bag, car, and home stash at all times; they're bursting with flavor, and they only have two grams of sugar (and 50 calories) per bag. This variety pack includes two of the following: orange-peach, pomegranate-apple, and passionfruit-pineapple (all equally yummy).

One Amazon shopper raved, "I got the variety pack and they are all so good but Orange Peach is my favorite! I've always been a gummy candy girl rather than chocolate and these definitely satisfy that gummy craving. Great healthy alternative to my usual Haribo gummies. They don't give me that bad after taste like other brands. The texture is perfect too. Chewy but not too chewy to where your jaw hurts! Definitely recommend trying these!! Love me some Blobs."

Sonage Tulsi Soothing Tri Clay Mask

Putting on a luxurious face mask, sipping your fave beverage, and watching your go-to comfort show or movie is a great way to have a relaxing night full of you-time. This soothing clay mask extracts toxins and impurities from the skin while delivering minerals to reveal a smooth, fresh complexion. It's skincare that's self-care, making it a win-win solution for beating the winter blues.

Zen as F*ck: A Journal for Practicing the Mindful Art of Not Giving a Sh*t

Listen, we get it. When you're in a funk, sometimes the last thing you want to do is get all touchy-feely about it while you chant at the moon with crystals in your hands. In that case, this might be a better journaling option for you. Zen as F*ck builds on the same principle as most mindfulness journals, with prompts and exercises to get you out of your own way. But it does so with tongue firmly planted in cheek, a healthy dose of sass, and just the right amount of encouragement. 

Olukai Ku'i Women's Slipper

Keep the winter chills (& sad vibes) out and get cozy with these shearling-lined Olukai slippers, which come in four gorgeous colors. I have a pair of these in tan/bone, and yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that my feet have basically lived in them all winter long. These shoes a bit of a splurge, but they're 100% worth the investment, and they're a big step above wearing just socks or freezing your toes off during the colder months of the year. 

Urpower 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser with Adjustable Mist

This essential oil diffuser is a multi-tasking wonder. Make the room smell amazing with your choice of mood-lifting scents? Check. Add a little visual interest and mental stimulation with your choice of seven colors of LED lights? Check. Act as a cool air humidifier so your skin stops feeling like sandpaper thanks to the winter chill? Check. It also has a night light and programmable on/off cycles so you can control how much scent is released, as well as an auto shut-off when the water reservoir runs dry.

Dr Teal's Epsom Salt Matcha Green Tea Bath Soaking Solution - Pack of 2

A good soak in the tub isn't just good for a moment of zen. Adding in some Epsom salts can help your muscles melt while easing the grip of depression, even just a tiny bit. This formula includes matcha green tea, which helps with relaxation and focus, while citrus and chamomile essential oils can help calm a chattering mind. A bonus: it also helps to nourish dry winter skin, and is thought to detoxify you on some level... though you may want to take that with a grain of salt.

Fessceruna Womens Pajamas Set - 3 Pieces

Jammies are great, but sometimes you need something that's just a little more... shall we say, presentable to the world while still maintaining your commitment to relaxation and self-care. This three-piece loungewear set should do the trick. Made of soft, lightweight, and comfortable fabric, this cute set consists of a scoop tank top, loose elastic pants, and a long cardigan. It's perfect for cozying up for movie night or stepping out to grab your favorite seasonal latte.

Aemilas Wearable Blanket Hoodie

One of my biggest energy refreshers and moments of relaxation come from long cuddles with my pupper. With this wearable blanket, you and your fur baby will feel like you're being wrapped in a warm hug all day long. It's my preferred choice of attire for WFH days during the colder months... now if only I could bring it (and my dog) to the office.

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Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Full-Zip Polar Soft Fleece Jacket

A popular piece of advice for those experiencing the blues, no matter the season, is to go for a walk to help relax and clear your mind. During the colder months, it can be extra hard to motivate yourself to step outside. To make it easier to get your foot out the door, consider donning this soft, full-zip fleece jacket. It features a close-but-comfortable fit for easy movement, and it's perfect as a finishing touch for a cold-weather look or as a comfy base layer if you need to bundle up more.

Method All-Purpose Cleaner Spray

Sprucing up your space can be a great way to feel refreshed and improve your mood during these monotonous months. This all-purpose cleaner spray has your back in tackling any grime, grease, or dirt on most non-porous spaces in your home, including counters, tile, stone, wood & glass. Bonus: The pink grapefruit scent smells absolutely lovely, adding a vibrant aroma to your home instead of making of you feel bogged down by artificial cleaner smells post-cleaning (iykyk).

California Design Den 100% Cotton Handmade Chunky Knit Weighted Blanket - 15 lbs.

To tell you that having a reliable weighted blanket is nothing short of amazing wouldn't be enough to describe how life-changing this thing is. Handmade from 100% cotton fibers, this blanket is designed to be airy without trading off any of the weighted features you need for a calming, therapeutic deep sleep. Not to mention, the knit pattern of this blanket is cute enough for it to pass as a throw on your couch when it's not in use.

Renpure Plant Based Coconut and Vitamin E Conditioner

Another drawback of this colder, dryer time of year is the toll it takes on our hair. Save your strands from their SAD era with this ultra-nourishing Renpure conditioner. It's packed with coconut and vitamin E to deliver long-lasting hydration to dry, lifeless hair and leave it feeling oh-so-silky smooth. As a bonus, it's formulated with zero sulfates, parabens, dyes, gluten, phthalates, and propylne glycol — trust us. your hair is going to love this.

The Skinny Confidential Hot Mess Ice Roller

Indulge in a little spa-worthy pampering with this aesthetically-pleasing, TikTok-viral ice roller. Ever since a few years ago, I noticed that my face tends to get really puffy and somehow droopy at the same time in the mornings. This ice roller has been a game-changer by visibly helping to contour, tighten, and reduce puffiness & under-eye bags. Also, on the DL, the roller has been a lifesaver for post-cry sessions (because as they say, it be like that sometimes).

Olay Super Serum

For the days when it's hard to go through your entire 10-step skincare routine, the award-winning Olay super serum has you covered. It's concentrated with five powerful, skin-loving ingredients (niacinamide, vitamin C, collagen peptide, vitamin E, AHA) that quickly absorb into your skin for all the hydration and none of the stickiness. In fact, our shopping editor loves this super serum so much, she wrote a full detailed review of it!

Joah Perfect Complexion Under Eye Concealer and Serum

On the topic of mult-functioning beauty that streamlines your daily routine, this dual under-eye concealer & serum is an all-season essential. It comes in particularly handy on days when I don't get nearly enough sleep thanks to late-night doomscrolling — in my experience, it helps visibly smooth skin, cover my ever-present dark circles, and minimize puffiness. Plus, it applies seamlessly onto my face (no cakey makeup vibes here!) and it's super hydrating, making it perfect for these dry winter months.

CraftBarn Paint By Number Kit for Adults

Focusing on a creative activity can help soothe your blues, especially if it's something that walks the fine line between mentally engaging and overwhelmingly challenging. This Paint by Number Kit is a fun, simple, and easy project that comes with all the joy of artistic painting and none of the stress. It comes all the paint, tools, and canvas you need to produce two gorgeous framed paintings that can be hung up on your walls as tasteful decor afterwards.

Deco Miami Nail Art Stickers

If you prefer a different kind of art canvas, brighten up your day and nails with these charming nail art stickers that come in 29 different themes (all equally adorable)! We're especially fans of this Farmer's Market pack beacuse it reminds us of the warmer, sunnier days to come beyond all this winter dreariness.

Pinchoco 2024 Planner/Calendar

When you're dealing with the winter SADs, one of the last things you feel like doing is going out and being social... which is exactly why you should do it. And that's why you should get this 2024 planner/calendar: so you can fill it with things to do. That's not to say you shouldn't process through your feelings as needed, of course. But with all the aesthetic layouts and nifty little sections to fill in events and happenings, maybe it'll inspire you to step out a little bit more than you wanted to before.

Nano-Ojas Liquid Immune Support

If your immune system could use a little extra support to beat the winter blues, this Nano-Ojas everyday wellness spray is worth every penny. According to the brand, this daily immune support spray helps provide multisystem immune support for healthy celluar function, energy & metabolism, healthy aging & more.

According to one Amazon shopper, "We've used this daily for the last three months. We've dodged some serious and not so serious colds and flu bugs. I mix it with my two youngest daughters beverages in the morning ( just a few sprays for each a day). It's a miracle worker. For onset Symptoms like a sore throat from allergies , or ear aches we use as needed in addition to daily intake. My husband has recently started using it in his nose for snoring and it has already made a difference. Won't run out of this spray if I can help it. It's my cure all go to."

Galanz Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

We get it: Sometimes, when the winter blues get you, the last thing you want to do is cook a full-course meal (& then have to deal with all the tidying up afterward). This retro-inspired microwave with 14,300+ five-star Amazon reviews is perfect for those cases where you 1.) want a quick, hot meal and 2.) could use a little extra serotonin (just look at how cute this microwave is!). It's super nifty as well, featuring seven auto-cooking programs and 10 auto-reheat programs for ultimate convenience. Plus, it's available in four colors & three sizes.

Stanley IceFlow Stainless Steel Tumbler with Straw

This final piece of advice really applies to anyone regardless of the weather: drink plenty of water! If you're someone who often forgets to hydrate on the daily or you're always on the go, this Stanley stainless steel tumbler may be just what you need. It can hold 30 ounces of liquid, and it's made of double-wall vacuum insulation so your drinks stay nice and cold for a long time.

If you're looking for more good news to boost your mood this winter, check out these weekend sales that prove it's indeed the most wonderful time of the year (to score major savings).

—Originally published Jan. 14, 2020, at 4:00 a.m. PT