The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
Updated: May 12
Written by the CEO of The Happiness Institute in Denmark, The Little Book of Hygge attempts to translate the concepts of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) from Danish to American English, something that doesn’t translate overly well, but basically, means something like “cozy” or “comfort.” Hygee, according to the author, is the main reason that Danes are the happiest people on the planet, and it is something they practice in daily life, both at work and at home.
The concepts provided in the book are simple, and yet suspiciously difficult (I suspect) for Americans to achieve. We are not an overly cozy people in my experience, especially in the current political climate. But perhaps if we made some effort we would be more apt to be happier as a whole. The key to happiness, it seems, is to slow down and enjoy the moment, enjoy your friends and loved ones, and have a coffee and a piece of cake. This is oversimplified, but it’s the gist of it. Hygee creates little pockets of warmth in one’s life, though the author admittedly states that this can also make it difficult to invite new people in.
Hygge is all about atmosphere and experience, something the book presents again and again in quaint and cozy variations. Curling up with a good book is another way to experience Hygge, and this book gives a good overall presentation on the concept in demonstrable form. Pour yourself a coffee. Grab a blanket, and curl up and read this book during a thunderstorm and you will have a physical example of this elusive word.