How to Hygge: A Guide to the Danish Art of Coziness

Cue the pumpkin spice lattes, fuzzy socks and chunky knit sweaters: Fall is finally upon us. With the air getting cooler and the crunch of leaves beneath your feet, there is this indescribable longing for blankets, tea and all things cozy. That’s what makes it all worth it right?

Language can be both a blessing and a curse; being confined by Webster’s dictionary, cozy and warm do not do this feeling justice. Luckily, the Danish got their vocabulary right, with the term Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga). While there’s no direct translation to English, Hygge is defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” In other words: how to do autumn and winter right.

Hygge is a lifestyle embodied in the curation of a warm atmosphere while enjoying the good things in life, surrounded by kind people. What’s perfect is how it can be unique to everyone; we all have our favourite hot drinks or pastries, and a nice book that brings joy even the third (or judgment) time around. Hygge can be as simple as unplugging for an evening and cuddling next to a fireplace in your favourite sweater. Your favourite sweatpants can even be Hygge, and, yes, the Danes have a word for that too! Hyggebukser is that pair of pants you would never be caught dead wearing in public but live in at home.

In essence, Hygge can be whatever makes you feel good. Being rooted in Scandinavian tradition, it does deter from the use of electronics. Personally, I’ve practised by running a bubble bath and putting on my favourite facemask. Yet, you don’t need to be confined to the indoors; taking a hike through the forest, or even climbing Mont Royale to watch the sunset can ground you again, helping you to recharge.

With midterms around the corner and the dawn of the cooler days, I think we can all benefit from this Scandinavian way of life. Practicing self-care is an essential during this stressful time of the year. Here are some Hygge essentials to get you started:

This chunky merino wool blanket -  Amazon, $23.99 - $117.99

Cable Knit Blanket - Zara Home, $169.00

Fireside Faux Fur Blanket - Anthropologie, $98

Merletto Mug - Anthropologie, $18.00

Le Creuset Rustic Mug - Indigo, $16

Kate Spade New York Order's Up Mugs (Set of 4) - Indigo, $45

Wildflower Candle - Urban Outfitters, $29

Melted Pillar Candle - Urban Outfitters, $29-$34

Extra Long Copper Firefly String Lights - Urban Outfitters, $74

Faux Fur Round Pillow - Urban Outfitters, $59 or 2 for $89

Faded Velvet Cushion - Zara Home, $49.90

Shag Throw Pillow - Urban Outfitters, $82

Happy Hygging!

All images obtained from noted links above.