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You may be running out of creative ways to keep yourself entertained, especially with this final stretch of social distancing. And if you're feeling a bit more stressed and antsy than usual, it's time to pick up a childhood favorite: coloring books.
"Coloring books have been shown to reduce stress and promote relaxation due to their inherent qualities, such as the ability to remain present and focused on the image and provide temporary relief from life stressors," Martha Dorn of The Art Therapy Project, a nonprofit organization in New York that provides art therapy to trauma survivors, previously told Shop TODAY.
While Dorn noted that coloring books are not art therapy, she pointed out the therapeutic qualities of the books and their ability to help relieve stress. "Similarly, the images in coloring books are premade, so the creative energy is placed into the catharsis of repetitive coloring strokes to complete the image," she explained.
To help ease your mind and help relieve stress during these trying times, we rounded up some of the best adult coloring books. Sit back, relax and enjoy a little creativity!
Best coloring books for adults
This book is full of soothing patterns and simple prints that you can mindlessly fill in without feeling overwhelmed by the intricacies of staggering designs offered in other books.
While we're sure any coloring book can help alleviate stress, the designs in this one were designed to reduce stress. Just pick up your favorite colored pencils and enjoy!
This coloring book is a tad more R-rated, but sure to bring on some laughter. It's filled with funny illustrations that include insults and yes, "bad" words.
If you're less interested in laughing and more interested in self-soothing, this relaxing coloring book for adults is for you. Switch off and let your creativity loose in the flow of floral illustrations!
The next best thing to drinking coffee is coloring it! This book is perfect for coffee lovers — it's filled with endless pages of arabica beans and coffee-related things. Sadly caffeine-free, this book is bound to calm you down when you need it.
What's better than having a "Harry Potter" movie marathon? Relaxing with a "Harry Potter" coloring book while watching all of your favorite movies!
This adult coloring book by Johanna Basford, who is known for her intricate designs, will take you beneath the waves and deep into the ocean. Each page includes beautiful illustrations of exotic fish, coral reefs, barnacle-studded shipwrecks, pirate treasure and more.
Another creative and fun option from Basford is her classic Enchanted Forest coloring book. The whimsical adult coloring books is a fan-favorite due to its quality pages and beautiful prints.
This calming coloring book is chock-full of fun illustrations and "lovely images to set your imagination free." You'll feel relaxed and fresh in no time.
10. How Aunts Swear
Although the title may seem family member-specific, this book is full of the "clean" versions of foul words that are sure to get a good chuckle out of you. Just grab your favorite coloring pens — and a glass of wine — and relax!
This adult coloring book is a perfect pick for animal lovers. It's full of many intricate designs, so it might bode well to use this one if you have the time to dedicate to coloring in the lines.
For more stories like this, check out:
- I found out why this paint-by-numbers kit was on Oprah's Favorite Things list
- Up for a challenge? These 1,000-piece puzzles will do the trick
- 20 boredom-busting board games even adults will love
This article was published on Aug. 2, 2019.