How to get your 'hygge' on - 5 tips to living a fuller life the Danish way

Denmark ranks as one of the top happiest counties in the world.
The Danes’ successful pursuit of happiness is based on the lifestyle concept of hygge.

Pronounced HOO-ga, the Danish word doesn’t have a direct translation in English but roughly translates to: comfort, cosiness, conviviality and contentment.

Hygge is enjoying life's precious little moments, sharing comfort with family and friends. 

Here are five ideas to get more hygge to your life:

1. Gather with friends and family.

According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute and author of the bestselling Little Book of Hygge: Danish secrets for Happy Living, Danes are the most social of all Europeans, with four out of five socialising with friends, families or colleagues at least once a week. “While you can hygge by yourself,” Wiking writes, “hygge mostly happens in small groups of close friends or family.” Hyggelig evenings often takes place in someone’s home rather than at a restaurant, with everyone taking part in cooking and cleaning.

hygge in your life

2. Create a hyggekrog, or cosy nook.

It’s the place in your home where you can settle in with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea. Your hyggekrog doesn’t need to be fancy. Just a corner of a room, with a comfy chair or a few cushions, soft lighting and a warm blanket.

5 ways to get more hygge in your life

3. Play more, live lighter, share laughter 

Beauchamp says, “Play more. Remember what it’s like to be seven. Have more questions than answers and don’t put everything into words. Sometimes just feel things and be. Be quiet more often.”

hygge life

4. Make something.

Knit a hat or a scarf; cook a stew; bake a loaf of bread; paint; draw; build a fire. Crafty activities allow you to slow down, savour the moment and stay centred in the present. Don’t worry about the results of your creativity; the more rustic and handmade it looks, the better.

hygge life, make something, chunky knitting

5. Stock a hygge emergency kit.

When you’re having a rough day, are feeling too tired to socialize or just need some soothing time alone, you’ll have what Wiking calls “a fast track to hygge.” He suggests filling a box or cupboard with comfort essentials like candles, quality chocolate, a favorite book, treasured letters, a photo album and a notebook and pen.

hygge emergency kit