WTF Is Hygge and How Do I Embrace It More?

Denmark, we love you. You’ve given us Legos, Prince Hamlet, your namesake pastry and, now, your secret to happiness: hygge.

So, what is hygge? Pronounced “hoog-uh” (rhymes with sugar, kinda), hygge is a Danish concept about seeking joy in whatever situation you find yourself. While it doesn’t quite translate to English, a lot of people like thinking about it in terms of coziness—it’s curling up in your comfiest sweater with a book next to a warm fire. Or maybe it’s dinner by candlelight, or just that sensation of feeling totally at home (even if you’re not at home). Cozy, right?

How do I practice it? The philosophy of hygge is about creating stress-free atmospheres. So maybe that means placing candles around your home, adding fluffy pillows to your couch or infusing your house with the smell of Christmas. If there are things in your home adding stress, try de-cluttering with the Konmari method. Ahhhh, so much better.

OK, now what? Hygge is something that you can continually work to create. If you’re curious about taking bigger steps into your coziest, happiest life, there are plenty of books to read on the subject (we love How to Hygge by Helena Olsen and The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell).

While you do that, we’ll be over here with a big glass of wine. So happy.

RELATED: Quiz: How Happy Are You?

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