21 Stress Reducing Healthy Recipes

When cortisol levels spike in reaction to stress, keep these stress reducing recipes nearby so you aren’t tempted to reach for the chips and cookies.

Fighting stress with food is a tactic that is easily available to anyone, it doesn’t require any fancy supplements or powders and can help you feel better from the inside out. Many of us though, including myself, reach for sugary comfort food during times of stress! While I don’t deny that my favorite dairy free ice cream makes me feel happy, I know if I were to stay on a steady diet of vegan junk food, it will eventually do more harm than good! Instead of reaching for sugary comfort carbs, make these healthy recipes that contain stress fighting ingredients that not only taste great but will make you feel better.

If you make any of these recipes we would love to know! Tag @badtothebowl on social media.

Disclaimer: This post is not a substitute for medical help. If stress is becoming too much to handle, I do recommend contacting your local counselor to seek attention.

Kale Edamame Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing from Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen contains kale which is a fiber rich food perfect for balancing blood sugar and reducing spikes in insulin levels. Lemon contains vitamin c, which also can aid in reducing stress levels.

Walnut and Cinnamon Vegan Coffee Cake from Very Vegan Val not only tastes good but contains walnuts which have been shown to reduce cortisol levels related to stress and also improve the levels of good cholesterol.

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Donuts from Strength and Sunshine is a healthy stress busting comfort food! Cinnamon has been shown to help regulate blood sugar which in turn can calm your anxiety and depression. Sweet potatoes contain both vitamin A and vitamin C both of which are known for their antioxidant superpowers!

Oatmeal Cookies with Bananas, Cranberries and Walnuts from Veeg is not only a comforting cookie but a nutritional powerhouse! Bananas are rich in potassium which can aid your mood and walnuts contain valuable omega-3 to boost brain power!

Strawberry, Kale and Avocado Salad from Veggies Save the Day contains strawberries which contain Vitamin C and Kale which is high in fiber. Both foods are thought to reduce stress and anxiety.

Crystallized Ginger from The Belly Rules the Mind contains minimal ingredients and is a must for reducing inflammation and stress.

Cinnamon Ginger Turmeric Tea from My Vegan Minimalist is not just a stress reliever but an immune booster as well! Bursting with fresh flavor, this tea is the perfect way to find calm.

Easy Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard from Veganosity is easy and full of good for you nutrients. Leafy greens add fiber and lemon adds a touch of vitamin C.

Vanilla Turmeric Golden Milk Latte from Kitchen Treaty is full of anti-inflammatory goodness. Turmeric contains a natural anti-inflammatory agent, curcumin, which can help mitigate depression and anxiety.

Sweet Potato Brownies from Rhian’s Recipes are indulgent, rich and fudgy. Sweet potatoes are a healthy starch full of copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, and potassium all very helpful in fighting anxiety.

Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro Sauce from Soup Addict are a flavorful side dish that has turmeric spice, known for anti-inflammatory properties and cardamom is known to contain powerful anti-stress compounds such as thiamine and vitamin C.

Easy Sweet Creamy Customizable Healthy Oatmeal from Veggie Inspired is full of healthy complex carbohydrates from whole grain oats. Oats promote serotonin production, which is the antidepressant hormone in the body.  Start the day calm with this bowl of oats!

Lemon Ginger Turmeric Bites from My Healthy Helper are sweetly spiced raw energy bites with the fresh flavor of lemon and the inflammation fighting power of turmeric.

Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas from Avocado Pesto contains mood boosting ingredients with both squash and spinach!

Fresh Herb Walnut Pate from Active Vegetarian contains superfood walnuts which can aid in the reduction of bad cholesterol in the body, improve metabolism and act as a mood booster!

Spiralized Sweet Potatoes with Ginger Peanut Tempeh from My Darling Vegan contains the stress beating ingredients of both sweet potatoes and ginger! Ginger has been known to increase serotonin levels which can lead to decreased stress.

Banana Bread Donuts from Vegan Dollhouse are full of good for your ingredients! Bananas contain tryptophan, which increases brain serotonin and, according to some studies, can be an antidepressant for mild-to-moderate depression.

Creamy Carrot and Ginger Soup with Turmeric from the Clever Meal contains both ginger and turmeric which aids in both digestion and mood improvement.

Kale Pesto Pasta from Seitan Beats Your Meat contains the leafy green kale which is a fiber-rich food that is gut-friendly and can play a role in lowering stress.

Ginger Avocado Dressing from our own blog contains avocado which is known for it’s stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fats that may help to lessen anxiety.

Sweet Potato Pizza Bites from Sunnyside Hanne are stress reducing gluten free bites of bliss!


  1. What a genius idea for a post! Speaking as someone who did “reach for sugary comfort” last night I can’t wait to cook my way through these gentle stress relieving meals.

  2. This is such a wonderful round-up of recipes! Thanks so much for including my salad!

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