Hygge: The Best Kept Danish Secret to Coziness and Happiness

Melissa Martin, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Certified Pilates Instructor |

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is the coziness factor of it all. I look forward to it all year long- the big fires, warm pots of soup, homemade cookies, candlelight, blankets, fuzzy socks, and holiday movies. There is a peace and comfort that comes with just the anticipation of these things as the weather cools down, and for good reason. The Danish have mastered the art of being cozy and take it so seriously that they have whole institutions that research this concept and teach others how to implement more if it in their daily lives. They call this hygge (HOO-guh), a Danish and Norwegian term that describes a mood of coziness and "comfortable conviviality" with feelings of wellness and contentment. Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, bestselling author and international speaker, has studied and written extensively on this topic. The Danes are said to be the happiest people in the world, and hygge is a big part of that. He created the hygge manifesto on how to get started creating more hygge and happiness in your life. The upcoming holidays are the perfect time to add these elements into your home and life.

The Hygge Manifesto

  1. Atmosphere: Focus on creating a cozy, inviting, and happy atmosphere in your home specifically by lighting candles, building a fire, and dimming the lights.
  2. Presence: Be in the here and now. Unplug from phones and technology and focus on just simply being in the present moment.
  3. Pleasure: The most fun part of hygge! This consists of yummy coffee, baked goods, and treats that bring a sense of comfort and warmth.
  4. Equality: Fostering a sense of “we” over “me”. Focusing on working together as a team and looking out for one another instead of just ourselves.
  5. Gratitude: So much research has shown the health and psychological benefits of intentional gratitude when practiced every day. Studies have shown that writing down up to 3 things you are thankful for before bed is an actual treatment for insomnia.
  6. Harmony: The Danes are a very culturally humble people. You are accepted simply for who you are and discouraged from bragging about your personal achievements.
  7. Comfort: pacing yourself, taking breaks, focusing on relaxation as an important part of your day.
  8. Truce: Doing your part to help eliminate drama, such as political disagreements, and instead enjoying time together with friends and family.
  9. Togetherness: focusing on togetherness and building memories together. Reminiscing about these sweet times and memories.
  10. Shelter: your tribe is a place of peace and security, a place to fall back on and for those to rally around and support you. Focus on building this tribe and the sense of belonging it brings.


These are some easy steps to get started on your journey to more coziness and happiness in your life. If you’d like to read more about it, check out The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking to dive even deeper on the subject. Wishing you the happiest and coziest holiday season!