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Using Hygge to Get Through the Winter Blues

With all the extra snow we got this week, you may be feeling the winter blues a little more. If you’re feeling extra down, try incorporating a little hygge (hoo-gah) into your life. The hygge lifestyle originates in Denmark. A hygge lifestyle incorporates feelings of togetherness, comfort, wellness, and being cozy. Meik Wiking, the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen claims hygge-living is the secret to the Danish art of happiness. He discusses the concept of hygge in his book, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. In “The Hygge Manifesto,” Wiking introduces 10 ideas to incorporate hygge into our lives:

1. Atmosphere - Turn down the lights.

2. Presence - Be here now. Put away your phone.

3. Pleasure - Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cake, candy.... Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

4. Equality - ‘We’ over ‘me’. Share the tasks and the airtime.

5. Gratitude - Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.

6. Harmony - It’s not a competition. We already like you. There is no need to brag about your achievements.

7. Comfort - Get comfy. Take a break. It’s all about relaxation.

8. Truce - No drama. Let’s discuss politics another day.

9. Togetherness - Build relationships and narratives. ‘Do you remember the time we…?’

10. Shelter - This is your tribe. This is a place of peace and security (Wiking, p. 30-31).”

For more detail on these ideas, check out the resources below.

How do you like to hygge?


Wiking, Meik. 2017. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. Harper Collins Publishers. New York, New York.

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