During the "healing boom" of the late 1990s, Japanese media promoted calming products as a way to deal with the stresses of contemporary life. Such emphasis reflected a longer-term cultural shift toward using media as tools of personal mood regulation. In this essay, I explore how contemporary Japanese literature has reconfigured its affective appeals to both compete with and reflect upon this mood-regulating culture, ultimately leading to the emergence of what I call "ambient literature." I then situate this literature within larger debates about infantilization and self-care in contemporary Japanese media.