Why Should You Consider Adult Coloring For Stress Relief?

Over the past few years, the adult coloring trend has exploded. Certainly Adult Coloring For Stress Relief is why I do this and promote it! In the past 6 months, I’ve noticed a huge shift in the coloring book displays at 2 local businesses in my town. Not even a year ago, I couldn’t find decent coloring books for adults at Michael’s, or Books-A-Million.

A few weeks ago, I went in to Books-A-Million, and right in the front of the store they had created a HUGE display of coloring books. (The still don’t have decent coloring pencils and gel pens, so I will continue to get my items like that on Amazon).  Even Michael’s had a front of the store display, when just a few month prior I couldn’t find any decent coloring books.

I took a few pictures at Books-A-Million just to share how serious they are about this new hobby for adults.

Adult Coloring for Stress


Adult Coloring For Stress

So, why should you start coloring? I’m going to share a few thoughts I have on why this is a great hobby for you to start!

  1. It’s relatively inexpensive to get started! Some hobbies can be very expensive to start. Consider things like horseback riding, collecting rare items, golfing, skiing, and even scrap-booking. Of course, the more you color, you will want to get better pencils & gel pens, and more complicated or varied coloring books. There is a HUGE assortment of coloring books by Creative Haven. These coloring books will cost less than $6.00. You can start with a set of inexpensive colored pencils, which you can purchase for around $3.00. I will be honest though, for me, those pencils seem to be a little waxy and the color isn’t as vibrant. I have found a set of pencils on Amazon for less than $20, and they are my go-to favorite. It’s a 24 Colored Pencil Set by PrismaColor(the SAME set will cost you $40 at Michael’s. I used a coupon for this set at Micheal’s and it cost me $27.00.  I was not happy when I got on Amazon later that day and saw I could get these for under $20.00.
  2. It’s relaxing! I’ve read articles lately on sites like Huffington Post, Fox News, and even CNN about the relaxing benefits of adult coloring! There is debate between “real” art therapists and others on whether adult coloring gives benefits of mindfulness or meditation. I do find it interesting when simple concepts com forth “experts” like to come forward and poo-poo on these trends. I’ve read several articles supporting the concept that adult coloring promotes meditative and mindfulness emotions. Bottom line: it’s relaxing. I’m not an art therapist and I’m not a psychologist. What I know is that coloring has been enjoyable for me, and I can be very stressed and start a coloring page, and within 20 minutes, I’m feeling relaxed. That’s not scientific. Just my personal facts.
  3. It’s Fun! I totally enjoy picking out vibrant colors and making my pictures unique. I belong to a few coloring groups on Facebook, and it’s really fun to connect with others and see what they are coloring. It’s fun to get new coloring books. It’s fun to get new pencils and gel pens. It’s fun to color with my grandchildren.
  4. It’s Portable! Coloring as a hobby is easy to take with you wherever you go. Scrap booking is a hobby which is hard to take wherever you go. There are to many pages and pieces. With coloring, it’s as simple as a coloring book, and a small container for your gel pens or pencils. I’ve taken my coloring with me in the car, (it’s really nice to color on a long trip when someone else is driving). I’ve taken my coloring on an airplane. It really makes trips go by more quickly.      Adult Coloring For Stress
  5. Family Connection! I have my coloring books, pencils, gel pens, and art supplies all together, and bring them out to enjoy a nice family connection. Whether it’s with your children, or your grandchildren: coloring is something you can do together as a family. I have a friend who colors with her fiance. They work on pages together. A few weeks ago they were flying to another state and they passed the time by coloring together on a nice book by Johanna Basford, The Secret Garden . (which by the way is my FAVORITE coloring book).
  6. Share Your Hobby with Friends! Let’s get SOCIAL! I own a wellness center, and we have coloring parties! Everyone brings a food dish and their coloring books & pencils! I even have coloring wall-paper at the center. It’s always a nice time of community. It’s a reason to get together, laugh and connect.
  7. It’s a time to UNPLUG! Whether you color by yourself, or with friends: this is a great time to get away from electronics! Give yourself a break from being tied to your cell phone or computer! I’m not saying there is anything wrong with your cell phone or computer. Let’s face it: we depend on these things SO much and it’s a nice change to get away from these things. (or at least for me it is)
  8. You may discover your creative self! Many “art therapists” may criticize coloring because I’ve read a few to say it’s really not clinically therapeutic because you are coloring between preset lines and not able to express your creativity. I don’t agree with this. You get to choose what you color. You are able to choose what you color with. You are able to choose the colors. What I have found is that as I started with coloring books, I’m now expanding what I do, and I’m coloring free hand now, and looking into more creative modalities.
  9. Almost ANYONE can do it! I say almost anyone, because obviously, if someone is totally paralyzed or a more medical debilitated state: those would be true obstacles. I’m a nurse, so I take into consideration not everyone can color. I have written an article on coloring for those who have had a stroke. I’ve also done research on coloring for someone receiving chemotherapy. So, unless there is a medical reason why someone doesn’t have the capacity to color…you can color! There are easy books, and more advanced books. You can even print off FREE coloring pages and use crayons. Just try it!
  10. Adult Coloring For Stress Relief! Being super stressed as an adult is more intense than needing to relax! I personally found this to be a great stress reliever. It doesn’t take long to get relaxed and my mind is able to enjoy it and release the stress of the day!
  11. BONUS: You Don’t Need A Reason!  I’ve spent today reading many of the articles written about adult coloring. I’ve read many positive articles. The ones which are skeptical about adult coloring have honestly all been from “specialists” who are trivializing this awesome hobby. Honestly, as a wellness coach, their behavior and negativity is stemming from some type of insecurity that you need to have all this scholarly education to be able to determine if something like adult coloring is or is not therapeutic. Well…the data speaks for itself. Millions of people who are coloring and really enjoying it…CANNOT BE WRONG… So, ditch the naysayers, and just try it! You be the judge! You don’t need complicated analysis of this fun hobby. You don’t need permission or affirmation from an art therapist or clinical psychologist to start the wonderful adult coloring hobby. Just do it!

I can tell you personally, I’m thoroughly enjoying my new hobby. It’s now part of my well-being journey.

I’d love to hear what books you’ve picked out. Join me over at Coloring Me Joyful on Facebook!