You can't have missed the hype around hygge in the last year. The Danish are apparently the happiest nation in the world, and this is in a large part attributed to one specific element in their lifestyle: hygge. While there isn't a word for it in the English language, loosely translated it describes a feeling of relaxation and living well through spending time with friends and family and all things cosy (such as candles and comfy clothes). Sounds pretty nifty and suitable for our hectic lives, right? Read on for my top recommendations of books to pick up so you too can have a hyggelig 2017!
The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking
Written by the Research Director of the Institute of Happiness, out of the three books featured in this post this is the one most rooted in research and stats. It's filled with tips and tricks to achieving hygge, many of which are really not that hard to achieve as long as you make sure you actually do them. Things that stood out to me in particular included creating a hyggekrog (a place in the home where you'd love to snuggle up in a blanket with a book and a cup of tea), non-scented candles, and the importance of feeling close to nature. There are also delicious recipes included within this little tome of happiness, a month by month breakdown to show you how you can achieve hygge all throughout the year, and even a series of ideas to create hygge on the cheap – so it's achievable for anyone at any point in their life. Read my full review here >>
The Little Book of Hygge is published by Penguin and retails for £9.99.
How to Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living by Signe Johansen
The cool-toned cover of this one perfectly emulates its content. With a grey and blueish design this is less the cosy side of hygge, but rather the stylish Nordics one. Filled with scrumptious recipes (such as Cardamom Doughnuts With Orange Blossom Honey and Smoked Chicken With Beets, Grains & Lentils), tips for design and lifestyle, and stunning photography, this book while also introducing the reader to the Danish concept is the more sophisticated older sister to its more colourful younger siblings. It is almost the next step up from The Little Book of Hygge; once people understand what it is and why it can bring happiness and relaxation, this is the how to guide to leveling that up. Worth it alone for the beautiful imagery woven throughout, and I'll be returning to this one again and again for the scrumptious recipes.
How to Hygge is published by Bluebird and retails for £14.99.
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Soderberg
Finally, this book by Marie Tourell Soderberg falls in between the other two in that it has a lot of research/background to hygge like The Little Book of Hygge as well as gorgeous Instagram-inspired imagery and design like How to Hygge. It's the heftiest tome of the three but through plenty of spacing around the text and beautiful photos on each page, never feels like a chore to browse and read. This books feels the most personal one of the three, with recipes by people the author knows (easier and more simplistic than those in How to Hygge but sounding just as delicious) and personal anecdotes and stories from people woven throughout the pages. I also loved the additions of handy hygge phrases, the secret snow letters craft, and the hygge dictionary.
Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness is published by Michael Joseph and retails for £12.99.