Book Review: The Little Book of Hygge

The Little Book of Hygge seemed to take America by storm a few years ago. In typical fashion, I just bought the book. I admit I am behind the fads, but I was still interested in how the Danes seek to secure their happiness. I have often noted in these world surveys of happiness, it is the Danes who are the happiest people on Earth. Wow! They must have some secrets in this Hygge lifestyle that I needed to know about.

So, what exactly is Hygge? Well, come to find out it’s simply the embrace of universal values that are lived out well by the Danes. Some of these values include:

  • Being with the people we love
  • Feeling safe
  • Embracing home
  • Access to the great outdoors too
  • Good design

The list can go on and on actually. It is not something that is unfamiliar to Americans in the least, but more difficult to secure for ourselves given the difficulty in balancing all that must be done by Americans to get through the every day with working as much as we do and keeping up with our busy family life.

What I appreciated was looking at all of these various elements through the lens of a different culture and country that allows for these universal values to flourish given much of what Americans have to spend time earning for themselves is given by the government – albeit the people are paying taxes for this support. Without having to scramble so much to work so hard there is more time for a hygge lifestyle to be embraced.

At the very least, we can observe ways that other cultures make room to care for themselves and create a happy life in their communities. Much of it is dependent on the time we have to create such an atmosphere, but even on a limited time and budget, finding ways to care well for ourselves and those we love is important. Whether it will always lead to a happy state strikes me as a fallacy, but, let’s face it, the author is trying to sell a bunch of books so he too can have more resources to enjoy more Hygge.

So, give it a browse — even if only at your local bookstore and take an idea or two that strikes you as interesting.

May the Hygge be with you! May we all create our own little Hygge!