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Therapy in a Subscription Box? I Tried it Out!

My last cartoon column rang a bell with a lot of people: Has your poor relationship with your brother soured your love life?

Instead of a cartoon this week, I thought we’d take a detour to another fun thing – subscription boxes! Monthly boxes with all sorts of goodies have been bubbling underneath the surface for several years, and have now become so common that most everyone has at least heard of them. Specialized contents are all over the map: food, cooking, beauty, dogs, kids, lifestyle, home, clothes, serial killer books (what?), you name it.

I’ve subscribed to a bunch of them on and off for over a year, and I recently discovered one I thought I’d try to share with you: Therabox. ūüôā

all the goodies

Therabox is curated (yes, that really is the word box companies use to describe the box planners!) by a practicing therapist.

TheraBox was founded with one mission in mind:

to inspire happier lives through practical joy boosting activities and thoughtful products! Each box is curated by therapists to increase your happiness using activities and products inspired by research in neuroscience, positive psychology, health, & wellness!

This box was sent to us for review purposes. All views in this review are the opinion of the author. We will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box.

Each box includes one happiness-boosting activity, and 4 to 6 wellness goodies. The Cost: $34.95 for the month to month subscription. Save by subscribing for 3, 6, or 12 months at a time. The shipping rate is $4.99. This was the July box.

It’s not vital to have the box itself well-designed (from the Sound of Music: “brown paper packages wrapped up with string” work just as well!), but I was quite taken with the fun illustrations and quotes all over the box. This will be saved and re-purposed!

There’s an info flyer in the box that has the theme, thoughts of the curator, and detailed descriptions of each product included in the box.¬†(Because the introductory flyer is so important,¬† I have to add, as an artist, white space is a designer’s friend when setting type. :))¬† I always read them for more information, especially on tips for new products (which sub boxes have a lot of.) One flyer says:

It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority.

Now, it would be easy to flick that aside as some ta-ta by a marketing person, but I immediately thought: a therapist wrote that. This could be true. I realize that I trust a therapist to be honest and straightforward, so I trust her choices.

info on theraboxAs you can see, the box was full, and it smelled so fragrant! That’s a good sign. I was thrilled to see¬†Your Tea-Tea Face Healing Hydration Scrub¬†in the box, as I had read great reviews about it.

your tea faceThe tea comes in an embossed glass jar, in a pink box, and smells so sweet, yet not overpowering.

tea in glass jarUnfortunately, I might have gotten an extra dry jar, or maybe they weren’t prepared for the arid climate here in Los Angeles. It seemed to be dried tea, with no oils. It wouldn’t really stay on my face well, and couldn’t be used longer, as a mask.

It felt good the few seconds it was on, and washed off easily. I wish I knew what to put in it to make it more oily or sticky, to get those great results I read about!

The theme of this box is Affirmations, so besides the affirmations on the flyer, there was a GCG Studios Custom Affirmation Decal with some quotes to spark your day. I did like a couple of them, so I propped this up on my mirror, as I would rather draw in lipstick (j/k) on my mirror than paste this up.

Also included are CM Armstrong Bath Bombs¬†from an Etsy seller. (They used to be called bath salts or fizzies!) I haven’t tried these yet, but I will, when it gets cooler. These are a treat, and I can’t wait to see what color they turn the water…or me.

bath bombs

Not to forget jewelry! Katie Leigh Designs Diffuser Bracelet is plain wood beads on a stretchy cord, with one faceted stone in the middle.

This is called a diffuser bracelet, in an organza bag, and is meant to absorb and diffuse oils throughout the day.

Which leads us to Sweet Olie Stress Blend Essential Oil , from another Etsy seller.

essential oilsThe brochure says it is¬†ylang ylang, geranium, and marjoram essential oils, but I got a different one: bergamot, patchouli, ylang ylang, blood orange, and grapefruit. I was disappointed I didn’t get the geranium one, as that is a very old-fashioned flower with a long history that I would have loved to try in an oil. Patchouli is one scent I don’t care for at all, so although I didn’t have any kind of reaction, and the oil looked good, I didn’t wear it for long.

Fortunately, the bracelet already has a very clean light scent on its own that I did like, and I often sniffed it during a very trying afternoon trying to install new software.

red tea cream

Now, my favorite:¬†ZirYabs Red Tea Face Cream. This is another one from an independent business at Etsy. It has what I would call a good-for-you smell – as if you wandered into the beauty department of Whole Foods. I’m not wild about the smell, but it was interesting, similar to Burt’s Bees Carrot Soap.

carrot creamBut the best part is how easy it was to apply – almost like an oil, with no tugging.

And it made tiny lines less noticeable! Wow. I’ll use this and look for more.

Who doesn’t like an elephant tin? That would be¬†Sincerely Different Tension Balm.

This smells like a good candle to me. I’m about as highstrung as you could find, so I’m not sure if it relieved tension, but I enjoyed trying it a few times.


  • Your Tea Tea Face –¬†9.46 oz. ‚Äď $25.00
  • Affirmation Decal – $5.99
  • Bath Bombs – $5.00
  • Diffuser Bracelet – $12.00
  • Stress Blend Oil – $18.00
  • Red Tea Cream – 2 oz, $12.75
  • Tension Balm – .5 oz, $10.00

That’s a total of¬†$88.74 for a box that costs $34.95, plus $4.99 shipping. The value is there! — but I personally feel the price is a little high for a monthly box. What do you think?

Final Thoughts

Buying anything for yourself is usually a happiness-boosting activity on its own for most of us. Getting things in the mail is even better. But considering Therabox as a therapist run business, did it succeed in bringing me more happiness?

I was disappointed that the Tea Face didn’t seem to work properly, but also happy that I finally had a chance to test it out. And I loved the Red Tea Cream. I decided I prefer to choose my own scents as far as oils. I would never have found these products on my own, so it was a nice introduction, and that’s what good subscription boxes do!

I think this box could do more to follow a helpful psychology route. For instance, it seemed to be more about aromatherapy than affirmations. I would have liked some information on how to use affirmations every day.

I thought about what I would like to see in a box that has therapy goals. Maybe a new tea? Something cozy to wear? Nail polish? (sorry, I love nail polish and all the colors!)

What do you think? Do you get any subscription boxes? What would you like to see in the next Therabox?

Check out my first book (What Do Women Really Want? Chocolate!) and my second book (Love Me or Go to Hell: True Love Cartoons). And Like my Facebook page to get notified of new cartoons.

All rights reserved, and content including cartoon is ©Donna Barstow 2017. Contact me for fees and rights if you want to use any of my cartoons in your next project. Thanks!








Therapy in a Subscription Box? I Tried it Out!

Donna Barstow

Cartoonist for LA Times, Parade, WSJ, Glamour, PsychCentral, Barron's, Weight Watchers, and textbooks & Chicken Soup books. Author and editor of 2 cartoon books and a Barnes & Noble calendar.

I both write and draw all my cartoons. You are warmly invited to share the link to this cartoon. The full-size cartoons are all copyrighted, so please email me at pen.drawing AT g mail (squish it) for rates for use in textbooks, prints, presentations, publications, or websites. Email me AT pen.drawing @ gmail. com. (Squish the address.)

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APA Reference
, . (2017). Therapy in a Subscription Box? I Tried it Out!. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 9, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Sep 2017
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