Hygge: 11 Danish Secrets to Happiness

hygge: 11 danish secrets to happiness


With all this talk about organizing, decluttering, and being mindful, Hygge pops up all over the place. Hygge is the Danish way of decluttering and organizing – with the bonus of being cozy. It fits in with mindfulness, being comfortable (inside of yourself and outside of yourself), and appreciating the world around you. Be in the moment. Be grateful.

Hygge, pronounced “Hoo-Ga,” comes from the Norwegian word “well-being.”

Some Words associated with Hygge are:

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Institute of Copenhagen as well as the author of the book The Little Book of Hygge. She is a wealth of information on Hygge. Her writing has gems scattered throughout. She says, “Danes are good at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.” She called Hygge “Coziness of the soul.”

Author Dr. Mike Ruscio interviewed Wiking about Hygge. You can read the interview transcribed here: and you can listen to the podcast/radio interview here.

Wiking said “And I work at the Happiness Research Institute, where we essentially try to answer three basic questions. One, how do we measure happiness? Secondly, why are some people happier than others? And ultimately, we hope to answer the question, how do we improve the quality of life?”

Wiking talked of how Americans see freedom perhaps the way Danes see Hygge. The way we (people in the United States) view freedom is inherent (or should be). Danes have an innate sense of being kind to themselves and those around them. They try to make the most of their daily lives.

As my friend Laura once told me about life, “This is not a dress rehearsal.”

You can check out the World Happiness Report. It’s an ACTUAL THING, and it’s fantastic!
Click Here for the World Happiness Report.

Danes have the happiest workforce in the world, and most of them receive 52 weeks parental leave (and five weeks vacation.) They mostly work from 9-4, and they never stay at work late – always going home to their families.

2. Danes burn more candles than anywhere else in Europe. (So buy some!)

3. When everyone cooks together, that’s more Hygge than when one person cooks and everyone meets at the table. Bake and cook! Danes make delicious pastries and love to cook slow – stews and soups.

4. Every Hygge home should have a cozy nook – to read, drink tea or coffee – what kind of table you are touching, or plate you are eating out of matters. When you get home from work, try an herbal tea, a book, soft blanket, comfy couch or chair. (As opposed to dinner on the couch watching Dexter on Netflix.)

5. Danes bike everywhere: There are more bikes than people in Copenhagen. Bikes create less car pollution, more exercise, and less money spent on cars, gas, and auto maintenance.

6. They eat lunch at 11 am.

7. Danes eat oatmeal (porridge) for dinner as well as for breakfast.

8. People in Denmark dress for the weather. They layer up. Layers keep them warm, and as we know, this feels better than being out in stockings and inappropriate shoes.

9. Make a craft with friends or alone. Example: knitting. Knitting is COMPLETELY cozy and relaxing. I agree! https://mindfullyknitting.com

10. Light the fire. Have a wood burning stove.

11. Turn off electronic devices every once in a while.

All these things seem to create a life of balance and harmony.
Hygge means building trust, embracing imperfection. (Wait. Is imperfection ok? What?)

Materialism came up in my research. It seems that Danes understand that once you cover your baseline expenses, being connected to other people is what creates happiness, not more money. In the United States, Income is generally associated with happiness. The happiness report shows that “happiness” in the United States has been dropping.

Alfred Marshall, the author that wrote the Principles of Economics book in 1890, discussed the concepts of Diminishing Marginal Utility. He wrote, “The additional benefit a person derives from a given increase of his stock of a thing diminishes with every increase in the stock that he already has.”

I thought it was so interesting that Denmark has some of the highest taxes in the world. They believe the higher taxes create a better society (which is a post for another day – however they do have a stable government, low level of corruption, and access to high-quality education and health care.

Healthcare. Healthcare. Health. Care.

In the interview between Wiking and Dr. Rosio, Wiking said, “And in terms of having a single-pay system, in terms of healthcare, that universal healthcare should be provided for all. It should not be something that is down to the individual to choose insurance, and so on. We definitely see a trend there, that if you have universal healthcare, of course, it reduces worries, of course, it reduces stress, and of course, that improves quality of life for all.”

Nordic countries tend to cultivate a decent work-life balance.

Mindfulness and Hygge are similar. Although one is looking inward (mindfulness) and one is somewhat outward (hygge), the ideas and feelings are alike.

Celebrate experiences over possessions.

My most favorite takeaway from hygge?

Gratitude. Have some. Be thankful. Feel it. Mean it.


This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more on the disclaimer page. Please know I will never promote or suggest any product that I haven’t used and/or continue to use, and that I enjoy using in my own life.


10 Hot Gifts for Cool Moms

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10 Hot Gifts for Cool Moms: The Ultimate Guide

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more on the disclaimer page. Please know I will never promote or suggest any product that I haven’t used and/or continue to use, and that I enjoy using in my own life.

We all want to give something unique, don’t we? I’m sure shopping for a gift for me isn’t that simple – I want for nothing and need nothing. I’m not a girlie-girl – no jewelry, no make up.

It isn’t easy coming up with a list that doesn’t have jewelry, make-up, kitchen items (YES, I love to cook, and YES, I love kitchen gadgets, but that doesn’t mean I want anything extra for my kitchen.)

Also, since I am trying to minimize the amount of “stuff” in our lives, the last thing I want to do is add more “stuff” to my mom’s life!

Here are some of the craziest gift suggestions I found when looking around searching “Gifts for Mom.”

Kitchen gadgets galore – breakfast sandwich maker? Fondue set? Instant pot (yes, yes yes, they are AMAZING! And if you want one for yourself, check it out here – but please don’t buy a device for your mother that if she doesn’t use she will feel guilty about!)

Mason jar jackets (I’m not kidding, this was on a “best gift” list). Kitchen thermometer? (If your mom needs one so badly, just buy her one – but let’s not make it your you-are-the-best-mother-ever-and-I-thoughtfully-purchased-this-thermometer-to-show-my-deep-love-for-you gift.)
Hot dog toaster (again, not kidding), ice cream machine, bread maker, the list goes on.

Faux fur slippers, tassel earing kits, picnic backpacks, paper shredder (that’s an utterly sentimental way to remind mom of identity theft on mother’s day, right?), dust mop slippers…

Ok, you get the idea.
So here is MY list of thoughtful, hand-picked items for the mom in your life! (Or for yourself? Perhaps you can email this post to someone in your family?)


10 Hot Gifts for Cool Moms!

1. Yeti coffee mug

I LOVE MINE. This travel mug will be the only one she needs. She can get rid of all the other messy, old, and broken ones she has in her house. Keeps the coffee or tea HOT, and the colors are amazing. If I were a glutton, I would ask to have another so I would have two instead of one – But I only really need one.

If you want to go over the top, add in this handle, which I have as well. I cannot tell you how amazing this thing is.

2. Infuser and Essential Oils

If your mom doesn’t already have an infuser and oils, just do it. It’s the MOST relaxing way to spend an afternoon, evening, or any time in the house. It’s also a natural way to deodorize the bathroom if your mom doesn’t like the chemical smell of most deodorizers.

If you know she loves aromatherapy, and you want to go all out – Young Living is the way to go.
This brand is hands down the best smelling oils I have smelled so far in my 49 years…

For something more “beginner” minded – a set of Rhada Beauty oils are pretty incredible too. We also use these at home – (I mix lavender and lemon a LOT.)

And for the infuser? If you use one yourself, you know that when you use a small infuser, you wish it was bigger. The bigger it is, the less you have to refill with water.
We have to refill the 130ml way too much. 300 ml is a good size.


But hey, if you think she would like it bigger – go big or go home.

3. Candles and Soaps


Can anyone ever have too many candles? I don’t think so. I LOVE getting candles that smell good (not anything with a chemical smell – I’m a candle snob.)

My daughter and I are OBSESSED with this scent. YUM.

Goat milk soap:

We use ZumBar in our house, and we love it. It’s a fun time when we finish one bar and get to choose which flavor is next. The aroma is terrific enough to make the bathroom smell fresh and fragrant without any harsh odors or chemicals at all.
My favorite is the patchouli-scented soaps.

But if your mom isn’t into Patchouli (we either are or we aren’t, never met anyone that couldn’t decide!) – they have some more basic – for example, lavender scents too.

4. Frixion pens

OMG. OMG. OMG. Changed my life! Erasable pens. And Moleskin notebooks. If your mom likes to write, and if your mom loves to keep lists, and if your mom is “into” pens and paper – you have found your perfect gift.

I also bought the Frixion pens in colors.

I use them with my Moleskin notebooks, and it’s AMAZING!

5. Craftsy Unlimited

Is your mom into crafts? Gardening? Give her a subscription to Craftsy. She gets to watch unlimited courses in whatever she desires. I have taken knitting and gardening courses through Craftsy, all well produced and highly informative.

Try Craftsy Unlimited, let her watch everything free!
Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at Craftsy.com

6. Click and Grow

Wow. Imagine being like me and mostly killing off plants as opposed to anyone even remotely being able to walk into my house and say, “Oh, your plants are beautiful!” I’m not a gardener. (I did buy the Craftsy course, but I haven’t dug into that yet (pun intended).

Click and Grow. The company has created these little units that have a light source built in, you put water in for a month, and your food grows. You can also plant flowers in there, but I am so fascinated with the thought of having a small pretty white container that grows food! The smaller one (Smart Garden 3) comes with three basil plants so you can get started right away. No chemicals. The perfect amount of oxygen, water, and nutrients –

There is a larger one (Smart Garden 9) that holds nine plants and comes with three basil plants, three mini tomato plants, and three salad green plants.

Let me repeat.

8. Evernote and Evernote Essentials.

I can’t make a gift list for ANY occasion, for ANY person and not add Evernote. If your mother isn’t using it yet, and she can use digital devices (phone, computer, tablet, etc.) this is an extraordinary gift. Brett Kelly wrote THE book on Evernote – Evernote Essentials. The two together, BAM – best present ever. (It would be for me if I didn’t have it already!)

9. Bose noise-canceling headphones

Ok. Maybe this is another “thing” but especially if your mom travels? These are amazing. They change the way flying on an airplane feels. Also – a noisy house? Noisy neighbors? These are fantastic. My pair is eight years old and still work like a dream. They come in black and silver.

If the headphones don’t do the trick- consider a Bose Bluetooth speaker instead. If your mom likes music and is listening to something from an unworthy device, this is a beautiful idea. The speaker also comes in some fun colors.

10. Theracane

Ok. this is a weird one. It looks strange. Does your mom keep stress on her shoulders? This device is AMAZING. I keep mine behind my desk at work – and specific people know they can come to use it when they feel a knot coming on. We call it “the green thing” but it’s officially called Theracane. Incredibly effective, and so so simple – one of those things where you wonder why you didn’t come up with the idea yourself.

And that’s my list. Now, what am I going to get for my mother this year? Any suggestions?

7 Habits of Insanely Productive People

habits of productive people | setting goals and creating habits | productive people and habits

Craftsy Unlimited FREE 7 day trial at Craftsy.com

7 Habits of Insanely Productive People

You don’t need more time in your day.  You need to decide – Seth Godin

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more on the disclaimer page. Please know I will never promote or suggest any product that I haven’t used and/or continue to use, and that I enjoy using in my own life.


30 Ways to Declutter Your Home This Weekend

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This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more on the disclaimer page. Please know I will never promote or suggest any product that I haven’t used and/or continue to use, and that I enjoy using in my own life.

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