What the heck is HYGGE?

Another fun-size book

Hygge (pronounced “HOO-gah”) is the Danish word Oxford dictionary defines as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being”

This book explains the concept of hygge and why it’s the secret which makes the good folks of Denmark happier than the rest of the planet. Feeling suspicious? Read on.

But first I have a confession: one of my pet peeves is the goal of being “happy” and overuse of the words “happiness” and “happy” in general. For example, I frequently hear people say: “I just want my children to be happy.” From my perspective, happiness is temporary and even circumstantial. I prefer “joy” because in my opinion, it denotes an overall, deep and abiding sense of peace and contentment, regardless of the situation. Even though THAT word is prominently featured in this book, I’m not letting it deter me from my job here, which is to review books and share them with you.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Moving along…

My fascination/obsession with all things “home” began a few years ago thanks to The Nester and her BRILLIANT first book “The Nesting Place”. Her newest release “The Cozy Minimalist” (October 2018) made the minimalist in me feel seen and heard like never before. Decorating for the seasons, not the latest holiday has really helped me look forward to each new season instead of dreading the packing/unpacking of themed plastic tubs that go in and out of the attic. This is where “hygge” comes in!

Doesn’t everyone want their home to feel comfortable and inviting ? I know my favorite homes/people to visit are the ones who make me feel welcome and at ease. “The Little Book of HYGGE” is more science-y and research-y than Myquillyn’s books, but it’s definitely a great book if you are already motivated to simplify and slow-down. The graphics are wonderfully basic and inspiring. And what other lifestyle book advocates candles, cake and coffee, putting your phone away and not discussing politics???

Author Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and his little book has definitely struck a nerve. There are over 4 million posts on Instagram with the #hygge hashtag and the book is an international bestseller translated into more than 30 languages. According to Wiking, “Hygge to the Danes seems to be what freedom is to Americans…it’s ingrained in our cultural DNA.”

I’d love to know what you think of this book!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


  1. Your voice is so strong in this writing, Betsy. If I didn’t know you, you’d still be someone I’d want to sit down and have coffee with. Hygee is a word I’ve seen often reading The Nester’s IG posts. In my mind I pronounced it “hi-gee” which I didn’t like because it sounded too much like hygiene. So, though it’s petty, it’s kept me from exploring the concept further. Now that I’ve read your review, I’m over that. Thanks for another great review! Please keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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