The Beginner’s Guide to All Things Hygge

by Shyana Fisher

Doesn’t everyone love curling up with a cup of hot cocoa and cocooning themselves in blankets? There just might be a word for that. Hygge, pronounced “hoo-ga,” is a Danish term that is all about feeling cozy, content and enjoying the simple things in life. It is a crucial part of the Danish lifestyle, and we might want to take some notes considering Denmark is always on the list of the world’s happiest countries!

This lifestyle trend was all over the news in 2017, but has since died down in America. Most Americans, however, practice hygge without even knowing it. Some of the key components to living your best hygge life are as follows: 


Lighting a candle always makes me feel like I am on top of the world. It just gives off the best energy and makes you feel homey and warm. I can remember coming home for Christmas or Thanksgiving and absolutely loving when my mom would light the candles around the house. It just makes everything feel a little better. 


I don’t have a fireplace, but I do have a corn stove and for the purposes of hygge it counts. Warming up around a burning fireplace as the snow and ice melt off your boots? Total hygge move. 

Comfort Food and Hot beverages.

One of the most important parts of following a hygge lifestyle is eating well. I think of hygge as the feeling you get in your stomach when you’ve just been outside in the cold and you drink a nice warm cup of cocoa. Also mac and cheese, and soups. This is literally the best “diet” ever. 

Throw blankets, cozy sweaters and cabin socks, oh my!

This is also very hygge. The Danes are big fans of wrapping yourself in warmth and who are we to say no to that? Some of the best blankets in my opinion can be found for less than $10 at Walmart or Target, so there is no excuse to miss out on this. (American Eagle also has frequent sales on cabin socks and sweaters) 

Movies and “togetherness.”

So hygge isn’t all about you as an individual. It also includes getting out and doing things with friends and family. This can make you feel warm and cozy too! Watching a movie with family on a cold night, piled high with blankets and popcorn? Sounds great! Going for a walk all bundled up with a few friends? Also hygge. 

If it’s comforting, cozy and wholesome, it’s probably hygge. 

One of my favorite things about hygge is it discourages you from following strict rules! You can make hygge for yourself however you want. So, go out and pick up a few blankets and create your own hygge hideaway, or just make your favorite pie recipe. No matter what, if it’s comforting, cozy and wholesome, it’s probably hygge. 


A version of this originally appeared in “Comfort” The Teller November 2019 Issue #8

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