So you’ve noticed the rise in popularity with colouring books for adults. Friends and colleagues have mentioned them. Shops, supermarkets and leading websites all offering various incarnations. Social Media. Even meet groups dedicated to congregating and sharing their experiences. Heavily mentioned across the globe via leading news agencies: BBC, CNN, USA Today.

Why though? Where has this surge in popularity come from?

One reason for this increasing momentum is purely that people are drawn in by the simplicity and beauty of being able to colour in again, being able to release the inner child. Surely we all love colouring in for a little nostalgia? A genuine excuse to unleash a little creativity whilst aspiring to a mantra like state.

Johanna Basford, Scottish Illustrator, regarded as a founder of the genre, has sold over 20 million of her books. In an Interview with The Herald, Johanna explained:

“When you’re in that flow you’re caught up in the moment. That’s how I feel when I’m drawing. People get a sense of tranquillity when they’re colouring in. They would probably get the same feeling from drawing but a blank sheet of paper can be intimidating.”

One other major contributor is, Art Therapy. Whilst there are various definitions of what Art Therapy is, the use of colouring books doesn’t offer the whole approach but does touch on some of the benefits. In essence it’s an approach that can be used by anyone and anywhere to try and improve their emotional state and wellbeing.

“Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.”

British Association of Art Therapists

“Art therapy has the unique ability to unlock emotional expression by facilitating non-verbal communication. This is especially useful in cases where traditional psychotherapy has been ineffectual. Art and art making are inherently perceptually and sensory based and involve the brain and the body in ways that verbal language does not. Art therapy provides an alternative means of communicating for those who cannot find the words to express anxiety, pain or emotions as a result of trauma, combat, physical abuse, loss of brain function, depression, and other debilitating health conditions.”

American Art Therapy Association

Art Therapy in its full form involves a trained therapist, a professional who can harness both artistic ability as well as expertise as a therapist, combining the two to deliver therapy through a creative process. If you are overwhelmed with emotional difficulties and stress then a combination of therapy and books is always better.

Don’t get us wrong, adult colouring books have been known to help many people, but depending on your situation, it may be best used in conjunction with a trained therapist.

The use of Colouring books has derived from the processes of Art Therapy. People of varying levels of stress are finding them a positive tool for self-expression and mindfulness.

By colouring in patterns and shapes, it is comparative to meditation and elevates us into our own little world – away from our worries.

Many people use colouring in as a way to “switch off” at night, a distraction from electronic devices, a pre-sleep ritual to ease them into the world of ZZzzzzzzzz…..


So for a fun and inexpensive way of finding some relaxation (that doesn’t involve an electric screen), take a look at some of our reviews, grab yourself some Pens/Pencils and a beautifully illustrated book, and get colouring.

Why not start with the said mentioned Johanna Basford?

Her work is mesmerising. Beautifully intricate detail. Imagine the satisfaction of being able to add colour and enhance what in Black & White is already a work of Art!

If you feel overwhelmed and need support, there are many trained professionals and organisations out there that can help, one of which is the UK based organisation; MIND. A fantastic organisation that may be able to offer you help and advice