What hygge is

Allow the Scandinavians to Teach You Their Joyous Ways in New Book

Some may remember 2017 as “The Year of Hygge.” The concept reached its warm fluffy arms far and wide throughout Europe all that year and the year before it. Scandinavia contains some of the leading examples of happy societies in the world today. Denmark time and time again proves itself to be statistically the happiest nation in the world. With free university education, universal healthcare, efficient infrastructure, paid family leave and the right to at least one month of vacation a year being just a few examples of how much Nordic people have their sh*t together, Scandinavia, despite its long dark days of winter has become one of the most enticing parts of the world to live in. 


Don’t worry though, there are books the rest of us can read on how to not be a grim cynical inhabitant of winter and on how to embrace the philosophy of comfort, togetherness and well-being instead.





With Thanksgiving and Christmas ( the most hygge period of the year) just around the corner, we’re about as ready as the next guy to build cosy forts, stick our dogs in there and roll up with a book and a cup of coffee and not leave ever.


“Hygge,” pronounced “heurgha” is kind of a huge deal in Denmark, however it  has no direct translation to English, although “hug” comes to mind. Meik Wiking, author of The Little Book of Hyggewho is also the CEO of the The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (yes it is real), tells us of its importance in describing it as a key indicator of any Danish social gathering. 


“We talk about hygge things coming up that we’re looking forward to; we point out when something hygge is happening right now, and then we like to talk about what a great ‘hyggelit‘ time we’ve had afterwards.” Did he just say ‘hygge-LIT’? “You hear hygge being talked about all the time – by everyone, no matter who they are. It’s like a form of Tourette’s.” 


So if you missed out on the hygge-hype last Winter, don’t worry you can always take part this year round. Here are a few instances in which you might find yourself trying to be like happy Danish people: Eating pastries in candlelight is hygge. Using your dog as a couch pillow is hygge. Chilling with friends around the fire pit is hygge. Not navigating a crowded sidewalk made out of snow ice and sludge is hygge. Seems pretty attainable.


Of course hygge exists outside of Denmark, but people don’t seem to have a name for it yet. Look no further for guidance than the best selling book in the arch of Scandinavian living, The Little Book of Hygge for tips on how to live a happier, more fulfilled life this season.


The Little Book of Hygge

Image Via Latte Lisa


Author Meik Wiking, who has been acknowledged by The New York Times as making hygge ‘a fully-fledged lifestyle category,” describes hygge as “comfort, togetherness, well-being…hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, it is about being with the people we love, a feeling of home, a feeling that we are safe.” 


This little instruction manual may be purchased here as a Christmas gift for a loved one or maybe to be the first addition to your new coffee table or bookshelf.


Also relevant to last year’s craze are the astonishing amount of books that have been published based around the nordic lifestyle ranging from design, architecture, food and well-being. Here are a few examples of the bestsellers, if you’re serious about getting serious about hygge:


1. How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets To a Happy Life by Signe Johansen



Image Via Amazon


2. The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering The Secrets of The World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell



Image Via Amazon


3. Making Winter: A Hygge-Inspired Guide to Surviving The Winter Months by Emma Mitchell



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4. Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark



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Featured Image Via BirchBox