What is “hygge”?

 This white pillow on a simple chair is the epitome of hygge


Although “hygge” (pronounced hue-guh) was named Collins English Dictionary’s runnerup word of 2016, you may not have heard of it. Hygge is a Danish word that means a feeling of comfort or coziness. It’s about realizing your feelings in the moment and creating peace. That could mean peace with your friends, your family, or your house.

It evokes a feeling of intimacy and warmth, and focusing on being present. It can be a noun, verb, or an adjective.

But I still don’t get it

It’s hard to boil down into one word, but there are synonyms like comfort, coziness, simple, happiness, satisfaction, contentment, charming, fulfillment, and familiarity. Since there is no one word to exactly define it in English, the closest we can get is synonyms. But that’s part of its charm, to me!

To me, it is a big white blanket, making a cup of tea every day in a beautiful mug, lighting a pretty candle, a trip through the IKEA display rooms, or reading by lamplight.

How to incorporate hygge into your life

All the things above are perfect examples of hygge that you can do. Add a peaceful, thoughtful activity to your day and make it routine. It becomes a beautiful habit that improves your mental health and well-being over time. The key is to be thoughtful and appreciative. Every day you are surrounded by art, so incorporate things into your routine to make your life feel artful. It carries the implication of intention, so be intentional with incorporating these things for a more positive day-to-day life.

What do you think about hygge? Is this a new term to you? Does it describe your lifestyle?