How to ‘Hygge’: 8 ways to master the Danish art of living cosily

Winter in the UK might spell drizzly, pitch black mornings and a general dampening of our spirits. But thanks to our Danish counterparts, the hibernating season is looking up.

Surely you’ve heard of ‘Hygge’ the buzzword sweeping the lifestyle world and promising to transform our winter for the better?

While the phrase is tricky to translate into English, it can loosely defined as a sense of cosiness. It’s all about contentment achieved from small, fulfilling pleasures and quality time with friends and family. And the Danes strive to achieve it all year round.

It’s pronounced “hoo-guh” - a lot like the sound you might make when clearing your throat.

Confusingly it’s an adjective, verb and noun all in one. But put aside your reservations, because considering the Danish are the happiest people in the world, there’s obviously something in it. Especially as a staggering nine new books dedicated to the topic have been released this year (from The Little Book of Hygge to Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness).

“The rest of the world seems to be slowly waking up to what Danes have been wise to for generations – that having a relaxed, cosy time with friends and family, often with coffee, cake or beer, can be good for the soul,” Helen Russell, author of The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country told the BBC.

“Hygge seems to me to be about being kind to yourself – indulging, having a nice time, not punishing or denying yourself anything.”

So how can we achieve this elusive sense of Hygge? Here are 8 simple tips to live more Danishly this winter.