Earlier this year, during a weekend getaway to the mountains, a friend of mine brought out a bunch of coloring books and crayons. No, there were no kids around—the group was all 20- and 30-somethings—and for a few moments, we looked at her like she was a little insane.
We finally gave in (it was either that or Monopoly), and after a couple of hours, we all felt more relaxed than we had in a long time. And a little more creative, too.
Turns out, adult coloring is a thing—a thing that has been around for several decades but has just recently gained mainstream popularity. The activity, experts say, has a brain-quieting, stress-reducing effect on always-on professionals.
Think about it: When was the last time your mind stayed focused so intently on something that wasn’t a screen? Plus, as psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala tells The Huffington Post, coloring “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.”
From beautiful seascapes to Ryan Gosling illustrations (yes, really), pick one you love, then tell us how it goes on Twitter!
Intricate Patterns and Designs
1. Joyful Designs Adult Coloring Book by Joy Ting
2. Posh Adult Coloring Book by Andrews McMeel Publishing LLC
3. Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations by Souris Hong-Porretta
4. Color Me Stress-Free by Lacy Mucklow
5. Stress Less Coloring: Paisley Patterns by Adams Media
6. Mandala Designs Adult Coloring Book by Peter Pauper Press
7. The Mindfulness Coloring Book by Emma Farrarons
Animals, Nature, and Cityscapes
8. Animal Zentangles by Zhena Khasha
9. The Art of Nature Coloring Book by Adams Media
10. Creative Haven Owls Coloring Book by Marjorie Sarnat
11. Creative Haven Art Nouveau Animal Designs Coloring Book by Marty Noble
12. Creative Haven SeaScapes Coloring Book by Patricia J. Wynne
14. Fantastic Cities by Steve McDonald
15. Dia De Los Muertos Coloring Pages by Chiquita Publishing
Fun and Slightly Ridiculous
16. Dinosaurs With Jobs by Theo Nicole Lorenz
17. The 1990s Coloring Book by James Grange
18. Tattoos Inspired Coloring by Parragon Books
19. Unicorns Are Jerks by Theo Nicole Lorenz
20. Colour Me Good: Ryan Gosling by Mel Elliott
21. Color Your Own Famous American Paintings by Marty Noble
Adrian was The Muse’s very first employee (ask her about the early days!) who built the Muse editorial team from the ground up. Then, as Editor-at-Large, she launched new content products and shared expert career advice with Muse audiences online and off. When she’s not Musing, you’ll find her planning her next dinner party or international vacation. Say hi on Twitter and Instagram.More from this Author