The Danish concept of hygge has taken the world by storm. Danes are consistently ranked as some of the happiest people on Earth*, and with the longstanding cultural practice of hygge, it’s not surprising! Before getting too far in our quest for cozy, comfortable happiness, let’s learn how to say it, so sharing this concept with friends and family is easy!
What is hygge?
Hygge is a Danish concept that isn’t really translatable into just one word. Hygge is more of an overall feeling of coziness, contentment, and well-being by enjoying the simple aspects of life and by surrounding yourself with environments that promote that feeling. Properly defined, hygge is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”
How to pronounce hygge
Hygge is pronounced hoo-gah, but don’t make those vowels too long, pals! The vowel sounds in a lot of languages don’t have an exact match—much like there isn’t an exact word in many languages for hygge. Don’t get too hung up on the pronunciation—that wouldn’t be hygge at all!
While you can feel hygge anywhere, from on your bike to in the library, it’s easiest to experience it in your home. A few subtle tweaks will have you feeling hygge in no time. You can make similar adjustments to your office or other personal spaces to bring hygge into all areas of your life.
There’s no need to redecorate your home to have it fit a certain aesthetic. Hygge is about feeling safe, cozy, and comfortable. It may mean adding a few extra pillows and blankets to a basket or lighting a fire in the fireplace more frequently; but don’t redesign for a look that doesn’t feel like you.
Another element that is very important to hygge is the incorporation of nature into the home to remind people of the beauty and wonder of the natural world. For some, this may mean sheepskin rugs, wooden furniture, and pine boughs. Your interpretation may include fresh floral bouquets or even welcoming a furry family member into your home.
One component of hygge that is surprisingly overlooked in many households is lighting. During the daytime, keep curtains and blinds open to let in as much natural light as possible. In the evening, swap out overhead lights for lamps. In Denmark, people go wild for candles to light the dark nights. If that’s not your thing, the Desert Mist™ Diffuser offers a beautiful, warm, flickering light, reminiscent of a candle, with the added bonus of up to 10 hours of diffusing your favorite essential oils on its intermittent mode.
As we’ve noted, hygge is about comfort and happiness. For many, the right soundtrack can be key in creating that feeling. If you have a record player, try digging through some old vinyl for a bit of nostalgia—and to show people how truly hip you are—and spend a weekend spinning vintage tunes. You could also collaborate with friends to make an epic playlist of favorite songs. If you want to cozy up on the sofa and listen to a completely comfortable selection compiled by Young Living members from all over, try our sweater-weather playlist.
Perhaps one of the most hygge things you can do is bring out the yummiest foods to share with family and friends. Don’t fret over the occasional extra calories, or better yet, indulge with treats that you know are made with good-for-you ingredients, including cheesy sweet potato bites, dark chocolate gingerbread truffles, or cinnamon fruit dip.
The feeling of sipping a warm cup of herbal tea or hot cocoa while nestled in a big blanket reading your favorite book: that’s hygge at its best. Try adding a drop of Vitality™ oil to your herbal tea or try this Lavender hot chocolate recipe to elevate your hygge experience.
You’re not alone!
Integral to hygge is connecting with family and friends. When we invite guests into our homes, we often bear the burden of cleaning, cooking, and entertaining. Hygge recognizes that the feeling of happiness comes from being together, not over fussing. Ask friends to bring leftovers, pull out whatever happens to be in the fridge, and enjoy time with one another; loads of laundry can wait! Try diffusing blends like Joy™ or Gathering™ to help add to the intimate setting.
The only thing you need to know about dressing for a hygge lifestyle is feeling comfortable. That doesn’t necessarily mean your rattiest pajama pants and the slippers you maybe should have thrown out a few years ago. You should also feel happy and confident in your appearance—ready to take hygge out into the world.
Stay warm and content in cuddly sweaters, woolen socks, and pants whose waistband never digs. To add to your peaceful, easy feeling, place a few drops of Lavender essential oil on a washcloth or dryer ball the next time you do your laundry.
Friends and family
As we noted above, being with loved ones can be one of the greatest elements of hygge. Whether they join you for weekend brunch, an evening walk, or a picnic, time with your favorite people is the best way to make you feel hygge. Don’t forget your furry friends in your time creating connections. Being with them helps build oxytocin—the love hormone—which is perfect for hygge!
We want to reiterate: Hygge isn’t about being lazy, but it is about placing effort and energy into the most important things. To wit, cleaning out the office is less important than fostering relationships with dear friends. Extravagance is unnecessary for inviting friends or neighbors over for playing games or watching movies. Remember to share responsibility with your guests: Maybe whip up something easy, like our Thai mango soup, and get to enjoying each other’s time!
Keeping your gatherings small can add to your experience of hygge. Being able to connect over conversation with a few choice friends helps you shake of the stresses of everyday life. Help everyone feel relaxed and calm by filling the room with the sweet, serene aroma of Stress Away™ in your diffuser.
There’s no doubt that we’re huge fans of hygge! For other tips that can help you cultivate the comfortable, happy feelings of hygge, try reading up on essential oils for happy people, as well as ways to cozy up with Clove.