What is hygge? www.theshortesttallman.com

What is hygge?

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Hygge: the other white meat

Hygge: the best thing out of Denmark since those cookies

Hygge: The funnest sounding word you’ll say today

I first was introduced to hygge when we saw Frozen on Broadway. The show was incredible. As is the norm, there was a bit of a plot adjustment for the live show, as well as a whole new scene and song. It was hysterical, a real showstopper of a scene with some of the most engaging and energetic moments of the show.

Anyway, the song is titled, “Hygge,” and you simply must look it up right now. It’s very funny. But it does indeed sum up hygge fairly nicely. I posted the Vevo on YouTube below at the bottom of this post, for your convenience!

When I saw the show, I about more or less forgot about the new scene shortly thereafter. Not that it wasn’t memorable, but #momlife. Anyway, I found this at the library over the summer: The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets of Happy Living. It called to me, I swear it.

As you can see, I read this over the summer! I had a rather hyggelig day at the beach, Green Lake State Park near Syracuse, NY, to be specific.

So I still haven’t really talked about what in the hell hygge is! Hygge, my friends, is a concept that seems to have originated in Denmark. Denmark is, in fact, a rather cold place, as it is situated within Scandinavia.

From what I can gather from this book, the Danes have become quite well adapted to a long cold season, and they have mastered it through a little cultural phenomenon referred to as hygge. Hygge is a feeling of coziness. It is when you are curled up in a blanket with a good book and a cup of tea or whatever you fancy. It is slow cooked meals. It is a specific kind of lighting that encourages a feeling of warmth and relaxation. And, notably, it includes lots of heavy desserts!

The Little Book of Hygge was a fun and easy read, more or less a guidebook for explaining to non-Danes what hygge is, why it is, and how to achieve it.

This is my first winter since learning about hygge, and I’ve been trying to incorporate what I’ve learned into my routine. Adding some elements of hygge into your life is a great way to embrace self-care strategies. If you live in the north especially, the winters are long. Even if you don’t feel like you struggle with seasonal affective disorder, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the dark and dreary winters can get many- if not most- of us down.

Here are some basic hyggelig tips:

  • Candles and soft lighting;
  • Essential oils that are calming (lavender is perfect);
  • A hot drink to enjoy slowly;
  • Movie night (#netflixandchill);
  • Comfort food! This is a great time for trying out a new recipe that will take a little while to make. Crockpots are very hygge!
  • Read a book! Not on a blue light-emitting device, though;
  • Board games are über hygge;
  • Knitting, crocheting, brush lettering, doodling can all be hyggelig!
  • Any activities that allows you to be immersed in the moment in a comfortable setting will do!

In a nutshell, having a stick up your butt is anti-hygge.


I highly recommend you check out The Little Book of Hygge! ‘Tis the season, after all. It is the perfect antidote to the stress we Americans often throw on ourselves (because let’s face it, it is often self-inflicted). The Danes are onto something for sure.

By the way, it’s pronounced “hyoo-guh.”

Any other hygge tips?

PS- there is a Hygge Parenting book! No, I have not read it, but yes I am intrigued and I hope to soon! Have you read it? What did you think?