Decorative image of comfort foods for hygge living, plus cute plants and a hot cup of tea
Homemaking

Why Is Hygge So Popular? How Hygge Can Help You Find Peace

Why is hygge so popular still, years after its peak? Wasn’t hygge just a home decorating fad, or does it still have a deeper meaning for those practicing it?

Hygge is so popular right now because it teaches us to be content, and taps into emotions like happiness and nostalgia. Cozy homes and calm environments make us feel protected and calm, and can ease our anxieties about an ever changing world.

If you’re wondering how hygge can help with so many issues in our fast lives, keep reading! I’m going to explain why the hygge lifestyle is still important, even in 2020!

Why is hygge so popular? Because it nourishes our souls, like this warm cup of coffee and this oversized sweater.
A cup of coffee with creamer is one of my simple pleasures.

What Is Hygge?

Before we go any further into this post, I want to let you know that some links may be affiliate links. That means that I make a commission when you make a purchase after clicking on a link. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, and helps support this website.

Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word that is pronounced hyoo-guh. Some say that the hygge lifestyle is one of the reasons Denmark is constantly named one of the happiest countries in the world!

This trend was first popularized in America with the 2017 New York Times bestselling book “The Little Book of Hygge“. Written by Meik Wiking, this book captured something that Americans have been craving: community and peace.

Hygge is about creating joy in the small moments of our lives. Instead of overwhelming ourselves with the constant pursuit of money and the need to feel busy, hygge calls for us to slow down.

Hygge embodies a quality of coziness and comfortable living. It’s the act of seeking contentment. And isn’t that such a subversive thing to do in a culture that only recognizes wealth as worthy of respect?

This movement is also about increasing well being in your home, family, and community.

This defining characteristic of Danish culture is about so much more than candles and blankets.

It positively changes the lives of those that embrace the hygge lifestyle!

Decorative image of match sticks and Christmas decor for hygge living.
Christmas is one of the most hygge holidays.

It may not be immediately obvious how hygge can help repair America’s broken relationship with relaxation.

Hygge has an imprecise meaning, one that is defined by the individual. It’s based on what makes each person feel happy and protected.

There is a stark difference between stressful American lifestyles and the hygge lifestyle.

The way that hygge helps people shows that this is more than just an Instagram-worthy attempt to make your home more beautiful.

That’s right: hygge actually impacts our mental health and wellbeing. And when it’s done right, it can make one’s home and life healing and nurturing.

Decorative image of a woman sitting on a couch with a marble coffee cup and pillows and blankets surrounding her. Her blonde hair is draped over her shoulder. She is wearing a light brown sweater and black overalls with black tights and long socks.
Comfy clothes and soft blankets make your home more welcoming.

How Hygge Can Help You

Hygge has many benefits! From emotional benefits to creating a loving atmosphere in our homes, the hygge lifestyle is all about wellness in everything we do.

The hygge lifestyle causes us to feel and accept positive emotions. It calls for us to seek inner peace and even childlike happiness without feeling silly or judged by others.

We can seek happiness, calm, nostalgia, nurturing, contentment, and protection in a hygge environment.

A hygge home is important for anyone that deals with anxiety, depression or stress.

It can bring a family together in ways that don’t feel pushy or contrived.

Why is hygge so popular? Hygge allows people to ask what they truly want in life, and then encourages them to act on that desire.

Hygge lifestyles help to build healthy friendships and relationships by creating more intimate ways of communicating.

Finally, the hygge lifestyle encourages mindfulness in our hobbies, decor, and relationships.

Decorative image of a woman in a white sweater, surrounded by eccentric string lights. She's holding a cup of dark tea and looking at a map of Europe in an old book.
Spend time enjoying your hobbies to live the hygge life

The Emotions Of Hygge

The hygge home works with our desire to feel emotions that we usually suppress in order to survive in a cruel and fast-paced world.

When we allow ourselves to seek out these emotions, and actively pursue them, true wellness is the result.

So many Americans are emotionally constipated. They struggle with authentically feeling emotions, whether positive or negative.

Hygge gently encourages us to process the emotions in our lives, while increasing the chances that we will experience positive emotions.

Decorative image of a woman with a flower crown. She has blonde hair and is wrapped in a flannel blanket while standing outside.
Wrapping up in a blanket is an easy way to embrace hygge

Happiness

A hygge home is a happy home.

In a home of cozy comfort, you can start to remember the simple things that bring you joy.

It also allows you to tap into the childlike happiness that simple comforts bring.

Don’t you remember how happy you felt as a child when you were wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, or wearing cute bunny slippers?

The hygge lifestyle boosts serotonin during winter. I think that’s a big reason that this trend is so powerful during this cold season.

In Nordic countries, this boost of serotonin is even more important. It’s a survival strategy to help cope with lower vitamin D levels, extremely long nights, and super short days.

Decorative image of The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. It is sitting on a bed covered in blankets, candles, a succulent, a cup of coffee, and a cork board.
Read books about hygge to get a better idea of how it’s done

Calm

After a long day at work, would you rather come home to a messy home with few comforts?

Or would you feel better coming home to couches draped with blankets, warm slippers, and a cup of hot chocolate?

These simple pleasures help us to find calm in our crazy lives.

Decorative image of a woman with her hair in a pony tail. She is peacefully reading a hygge book by a decorated Christmas tree.
Reading is such a simple way to be cozy

Nostalgia

Sometimes the most comforting things come from activities and pleasures from our childhood.

Old movies, old books, and old hobbies can bring us back to a time when we were cared for and we felt secure.

Embracing that hunt for nostalgia can make our lives hygge.

Decorative image of sheepskin blankets, a white sweater, and green leaves of a house plant
Soft fabrics and indoor plants are definitely hygge

Protected

A home that is a haven from the outside world makes us feel protected from those things that stress us out.

When we leave our worries outside the front door and come into a place of rest, we can truly begin to shed our stress.

I cannot overstate how important it is for us to feel protected. It’s good for our mental health, and essential for the emotional development of the children in our homes.

And for anyone that has dealt with trauma throughout their lives, having a space that is protective and protected gives us space to begin processing that trauma.

Decorative image of a mother and daughter sitting in front of a fireplace. The fireplace is decorated with white stockings and wicker baskets. Behind the daughter is a tan and black cat. Mom and daughter are both drinking hot cocoa.
Spending time with family and pets is essential to the hygge life

Nurtured

A hygge home is as nurturing as a loving mother.

In many ways, our homes should embody a mother’s love. There should only be things that make us feel loved, important, creative, and special.

Why is hygge so popular? Because finding simple pleasures nurtures our souls.

Decorative image of a minimalist but cozy bedroom. The bed is next to a trunk with many books on top of it. The sun is shining into the room.
Your home can be minimalist or maximalist. Any home can be hygge

Contentment

Happiness goes up and down every day, but contentment is stable.

The hygge lifestyle encourages you to be happy with who you are. It meets you where you are at, and allows you to find joy in ways that suit you and your personality.

You don’t have to throw away everything in your house and meditate.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on new decor.

All you need to do is find joy in your hobbies, and maybe make some yummy tea.

It’s about the pursuit of your individual happiness, and how that makes your whole life seem so much better.

Decorative image of a woman sitting in front of a huge window looking out into a snowy forest. In front of the window is a bed with many plush pillows and brown blankets. The woman is wearing a brown beanie hat and drinking coffee.
Staring out a big window into nature is so peaceful

Peace

What makes you feel peaceful?

What helps you to slow down and enjoy life again?

Hygge is about making those activities the center of your life.

Obviously you can’t shirk all responsibilities. But you CAN take on fewer unnecessary tasks.

Snuggle under a blanket and spend time with your family.

Decorative image of a cat relaxing on a comfortable bed.
Cats are super hygge!

The Benefits Of Hygge

So we now know that the hygge habit has many emotional benefits.

But how can hygge help us in other ways? Can hygge help us to be more authentic? Can it heal broken families? Let’s find out!

Decorative image of a candle lit dining table during winter.
A romantic candle lit dinner will bring people together

How Hygge Can Help Anxiety

Our mental health is impacted by things we never would have expected.

Colors, smells, and sounds can all make us more anxious.

Hygge is about choosing calm, soft, soothing and comfortable things in all facets of life.

Choosing low-stress environments means promoting a lifestyle that is anti-anxiety.

Further, spending time with our loved ones can help with anxiety, too. But how we spend time with them matters.

Why is hygge so popular? Because hygge activities that are low stakes can help a family come together and ease anxieties. For instance, reading together, or doing a puzzle together, can be helpful activities.

And the fact that hygge encourages us to embrace the things we love to do, without judgment, means that we don’t face as much anxiety about doing the “right” things.

You’re allowed to enjoy hobbies that someone else might think is weird, because it brings YOU joy.

Decorative image of a fireplace and logs for the fire. On the wall is a few decorative plates.
Enjoy good conversations by the fireplace

How Hygge Can Help Depression

At the heart of mindfulness is the idea that we would all be happier if we focused on the present moment.

Mindfulness is now a common practice for those with depression. It isn’t a cure-all, but it can help with other therapeutics.

There is also something peculiar that happens to many people with depression.

We stop caring about the things we once loved.

When I am depressed, it’s impossible to get me to engage in a hobby. Ask my husband, who tries every time to get me to care about drawing or working out.

But in time, when the depression begins to fade, I then face another issue.

Decorative image of a flat lay with acorns, pine branches, pine cones, and a coffee cup full of hot cocoa. The spoon is gold.
Drinking hot cocoa can bring back some child like happiness

A fear of being judged for going back to the hobbies I had just said I hated.

Depression skews how we see the very things that will help us to dig out of our depressive hole.

But in a hygge environment, where I feel protected and safe to explore the activities I love, it is easier to go back to old hobbies again.

People with depression also tend to isolate themselves.

But spending time with our loved ones is one of the greatest ways we can boost our mood.

A big reason hygge is so popular during winter is because of seasonal affective disorder and vitamin D deficiencies.

The shorter and colder days can make anyone gloomy and miserable. In Sweden, for instance, 20% of the population is estimated to suffer from SAD.

This is part of why hygge developed in these dark and cold countries. To help people survive through the scariest and emotionally darkest part of the year.

Decorative image of home baked bread dusted with flour on a white and blue blanket. In the foreground is a bunch of yellow flowers.
Home baked bread holds more love than anything store bought

How Hygge Brings Families Together

A chaotic house is one where none of the parts are working in harmony.

A hygge house is calm, one where the family checks in with each other and works together towards goals.

Hygge families also have traditions like family game nights, Christmas activities, and eating dinner together.

These hygge activities bring families together and make them stronger.

Decorative image of a tray with a book, a vase of fresh flowers, and coffee with creamer. The coffee cup has a geometric design in gold.
Spend time enjoying the small things you love every day

How Hygge Helps People Be Themselves

Only you get to decide what makes you feel cozy, happy, and content.

So you decide what feels hygge and what doesn’t.

In your home, in your protective space, you can do whatever makes you happy without judgment.

Being able to pursue your happiness is so important to our mental health!

Decorative image of The Hygge Life, Embracing The Nordic Art Of Coziness. This is a Japanese book. Next to it is an old fashioned camera.
Photography is just one of many hygge hobbies

How Hygge Encourages Mindfulness

Once your space is cozy, then you have the job of embodying hygge in your actions and thoughts.

Being present in the moment and aware of how you are feeling is how you can keep the essence of hygge going.

If you do something you thought would make you happy, but actually makes you anxious, a mindful person can cut that activity out and never do it again.

Decorative image of a woman putting orange preserves on homemade bread for breakfast. On her tray is fresh orange juice.
A lovingly made breakfast can start you off feeling loved

How Hygge Helps Kids To Enjoy Their Childhood

For a fulfilling childhood, free play is encouraged and so important.

Danish children generally aren’t overscheduled like American kids are. They aren’t rushed from soccer games to piano practice to group play at the park every day.

Free time allows children to develop their minds in the way they always have since the dawn of humanity: through play and imagination activities.

Decorative image of tea with a lemon slice in it, resting on a rustic wooden tray. Beside it is an old book and a dark red apple.
Hot tea and a good book can solve many societal problems

How Hygge Is Good For Our Health

Americans spend so much time in front of phones and TVs. All that blue light is literally making our lives shorter and more miserable.

Why? Because exposure to blue light alters our natural sleep cycles.

But hygge activities keep blue light away from our eyes and help us to relax at night.

Instead of watching TV, try hygge activities like reading books, playing a board game with family, or taking a walk outside.

Decorative image of a couch with many blankets and pillows. In front of it is a table with a magazine, candles, books, and a big potted plant. Behind it is a rustic wooden bookshelf with many books, and a window.
Being cozy can happen anywhere

Why Is Hygge So Popular?

Now that we know some of the huge benefits of the hygge life, we can think about what these benefits are addresing.

What is hygge the cure for?

Decorative image of a woman wearing gray heather leggings, fuzzy red socks, and holding hot cocoa with a million marshmallows.
Embrace comfortable clothes

It Battles Against A Toxic American Lifestyle

I don’t understand why, but Americans glorify stress. If you’re not rushing around all day, every day, then you’re lazy and not worthy of respect.

That attitude, frankly, sucks.

Even kids don’t have the time to enjoy their lives and childhood anymore. They’re too busy with hobbies they are forced to take part in to sit in the grass and be amazed by shapes in the clouds.

For Americans, being rushed is seen as a morally good thing. Isn’t that insane? We are making ourselves miserable for no good reason.

The hygge lifestyle cures this attitude by showing us how pleasurable it is to slow down.

Decorative image of beautifully made coffee, a houseplant, and a brownie with nuts. Some of the nuts are arranged to look like a mushroom, and it's very cute.
Spend time enjoying good food with loved ones

It Encourages Us To Embrace “Less Is More”

“Less is more” doesn’t mean you have to be a minimalist.

In fact, most hygge decor is decidedly NOT minimalist.

But it means you take the time to enjoy hobbies instead of simply accumulating more things to do.

Why is hygge so popular? Because hygge encourages you to take the time to read, rather than continue to grow your to-be-read pile.

Decorative image of light tea on a saucer and surrounded by fabric.
Simplify your life so you can enjoy what you love even more

Hygge Makes You Slow Down

Have you ever felt cozy while you were rushing around?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

When your goal is to feel cozy and comfortable, you slow down by necessity. This means you don’t feel the need to rush around and do a bunch of stuff for no reason.

Hygge is about prioritizing the things in your life that bring you joy or allow you to enjoy things.

So I’m obviously not telling you to quit your job. But can you turn off your work calls when you get home? Do you really need to check your email before bed?

Wouldn’t you be more productive at work if you took the time to chill out every night?

Having a purpose in life doesn’t mean always being active.

A million hobbies will not fulfill you the same way that enjoying your family and really diving deep into your hobbies will.

Removing items from your to do list will ease anxiety. And we all need to ease our anxiety!

Finally, you need to learn how to say no. Learning to say no will remove emotionally draining responsibilities from your life.

Decorative image of black coffee on a decorated wooden tray. Next to it is a bible opened up to Jeremiah 4. There is also a blank notebook and a house plant.
Spend time on the pursuits that matter most to you

You Realize What Is Important In Life

Will the world come crashing down if you stop going to dinner parties that you dread?

Will your kids have a worse life if you let them quit that sport that they hated after the first year?

I encourage you to remove distractions from your life that keep you away from the experiences and people you truly love.

Decorative image of a romantically lit meal with candles, string fairy lights, wine, and grapes.
A dinner attended by close friends opens up many cozy conversations

Hygge Isn’t New, But It’s More Important Than Ever

If you have ever rushed from one activity to the next, you know how amazing it felt when you could finally slow down and do something for yourself.

Our lives are too fast, too stressful, and too emotionally draining. Being stressed all the time is making us sick, tired, and miserable.

It’s time to stop. It’s time to slow down, and simplify our lives.

This is why hygge is so popular, and so freaking important.

Decorative image of French hygge: a croissant and delicious coffee.
It doesn’t take much to feel protected and comforted

Start Your Hygge Journey Right Now

It’s easy to start being hygge! You can bring in a few inexpensive items and activities and up the coziness of your space today.

Hygge is all about safe environments, people you are fond of, and tasty food or drinks.

So try doing some of these things:

Decorative image of a table with candles and a rustic, wooden reindeer decoration.
Enjoy holiday traditions that bring people closer together

Lighting Candles

A candle lit room is cozy and romantic.

If your relationship is going through a rough patch, a candle lit dinner can help to reopen communication.

The warm lighting in a room is relaxing, and much better for our eyes than the bright lights we usually deal with.

Making Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate and other warm drinks like coffee, tea, and mulled wine are so yummy and cozy on a warm day.

Decorative image of a coffee cup filled with a latte. It's on top of a cookie and on a windowsill.
Bake cookies with your children to get them to enjoy hygge pursuits, too

Using More Blankets

Fuzzy blankets, plush throws, anything you can wrap yourself up in when you’re chilly. Having more blankets around your house means that even with guests over, everyone can wrap up.

Reading Good Books

A good book warms the soul. It’s entertainment without the damaging blue light. It’s educational, and allows us to escape our stressful lives a little bit.

Hygge definitely embraces a little bit of escapism every day.

Decorative image of a white cake in the shape of a snowflake and dusted with sugar on top.
Share pastries to bring people together over food

Turning On Soft, Inspirational Music

Music can help drown out the worries of the world and help us focus on the calming activities we have chosen to do.

For some activities, it may be better to choose music with no lyrics.

For others, some music you can sing to can help lift your spirits even more!

Eating Comfort Foods

Chicken noodle soup is one of my greatest comfort foods. I reach for it whenever I am stressed out.

Figure out your own comfort foods, and keep them ready for when stress strikes.

Usually our comfort foods are those that we loved most as children. A recipe our mom or grandma made can bring us back to those warm moments.

Decorative image of a snowy cabin on a hazy, gray day in winter.
When it’s coldest outside, the warmth of your home is super important

Wearing Comfortable Clothes

Take off those tight jeans and put on some pajamas! Throw on a big, oversized sweater and some fluffy socks.

Wearing clothes that don’t restrict your body can be incredibly freeing, not to mention super comfortable.

Having Fun

Anything that is fun for you should be embraced.

If you have the most fun while reading, get a book out!

If your favorite time of day is when you get to play video games, set even more time aside for that activity.

Do more of what you love. That is the law of hygge.

Decorative image of a coffee cup by a window. The coffee cup says "make today awesome".
Embrace the hygge lifestyle today!

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