I did not buy into the adult colouring book hype, when it came into fruition a while ago. Of course when I was a kid I would use colouring books, painting by numbers and all sorts of fun, crafty things. But you know, I grew up. Like everyone else. I wasn’t interested in these things anymore. I wanted to listen to music, play video games, go out with my friends. Then I got even older (ugh!) and I had to do college work, find a job and grow up a bit. And now at the tender age of 25 I’m right back to where I started. 

I’m not sure when and why colouring books came back into style but more specifically, colouring books for adults. But when I first heard about it, my instantly reaction was simple “meh”. I had no feelings either way. It wasn’t something I was going to invest in; I didn’t have the time or the patience and I didn’t buy into the whole “it calms you down and de-stresses you” thing. Like, with my incredibly anal and organised Type A personality, I’m more likely going to stress myself out by not being neat enough.

Then I bought one. And my thoughts were confirmed. This was crap. This is not relaxing. This is not de-stressing. Either everyone else was just saying it was to look “relevant” and go along with the crowd or I’m just not wired the same as anyone else. So that was that, my colouring book venture was over.

Until last year, I was sent some gorgeous products from Ryman Stationery. I was able to pick out a few products and lo and behold… I chose a colouring book. Why? I don’t really know but I had seen these gorgeous Enchanted Forest and Jungle colouring books everywhere. They were stunning, I’ll give them that. The illustrations are incredibly detailed. This colouring book sat in my drawer from after writing the post until a couple of months ago when I bought myself some felt tip pens and actually gave it a go (pencils annoy me).

And I was pleasantly surprised and how I felt about it. This wasn’t so bad after all. It’s actually quite nice. I’ll stick some music on whilst I do it as well. Was my mind changing? Yes, it was. I think I just hadn’t found the right book, wasn’t in the right state of mind or using the right materials in order to actually enjoy adult colouring books. But now that I have, my mind has completely changed. And here’s a few reasons why. 

  • I found out that my Mum loves colouring too. Which I never knew about her. So we can both use this book and well, that’s nice.
  • She also told me that every time she went round to see her granddad (my great granddad), he was always colouring. Which is lovely. Another little story I never knew and it seems like a bit of a family hobby.
  • It is actually quite relaxing: It’s certainly helped me switch off a couple of times. The concentration involved doesn’t allow for you to think about much else, really.
  • And it gives me something to work towards. We all know I like goals and achieving things. Well, just because a colouring book isn’t some massive achievement, it doesn’t mean I’m not still working towards an end goal: of getting that picture finished. And it’s incredibly satisfying when you get there!

So there’s my experience with adult colouring books. I’d love to hear your thoughts about them. Love them or hate them? Do you find it relaxing?


  1. I was really into adult colouring at one point. I loved getting my pencils out for hours and colouring away. I found it so calming and relaxing (until my wrists got sore) Love the look of your one, I have the animal kingdom one and a Disney one I know you’ll love x

  2. I’ve always held back because I have absolutely no artistic skills whatsoever, but it does kind of appeal. Maybe I’ll give it a go. It’s lovely that it ended up meaning more to you than just colouring.

  3. I really enjoy using colouring books but I always feel like my lack of artistic talent holds me back. I never know which colours to use where, which can be a bit stressful haha! But they are a great hobby for chilling out, particularly when you don’t want to spend too much time looking at screens. Also I really love your family connections to colouring, that is so lovely!
    Beth x

  4. I was always terrible at staying in the lines when colouring in growing up so it’s not something I’ve ever really been eager to do but I’ve literally just had an epiphany and I think I’m going to give it a go actually.

    My mum signed up to an adult colouring in book subscription and it helped her lots with her bipolar, if she was on a ‘high’ she would colour in and it would calm her down, and slow her down and just take her to another place for a bit. Very therapeutic, I imagine! I loved this post, Jenny!

  5. I love colouring – it is something that I find really calming. I actually get my students to colour in a lot (they are year 5s) – it’s a really good time to just talk to each other. I have the enchanted forest one!

  6. I got a geometric colouring book a while ago, very similar in style to a colour by numbers, and whilst it was fun to begin with, I now find it annoying because I don’t always have the right coloured pens/pencils to work with. I think I might have a look for another book though because I did find it relaxing and I liked listening to audiobooks when I did them.

  7. I have so many adult colouring books but I just never seem to find the time to colour them in. This post has renewed my love for them though, and I’m going to make a concerted effort to get at least one picture coloured in this week!

  8. I feel the same way when the fad first came about! I thought it was a bit silly – since when do adults have the time to do colouring in. And I’ll be honest I have to have absolutely nothing to do and I have to be really calm before I start because I find colouring in to be really stressful I absolutely have to stay in the lines and I will stress over the colour choices for wayy too long! But, I’ve found that using kids books like the Where’s Wally colouring book help with calming me down because it feels less pressuring because it’s for kids. It’s weird logic but it works for me.

  9. Like you when they first became popular I didn’t really have any strong feelings either way about them, but the more I see and read the more I want to give them a try. I have been saying for months I will treat myself to one and I still haven’t! I love colouring alongside Leo when we get his colouring books out and I really enjoy it so I know I will enjoy an adult one too. I think felt pens would be my preference too, they just give a neater finish.
    I love your picture , the colours on the fish are so effective 😃 Great post Jenny

    Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com

  10. We are totally on the same wavelength girl 💖. I spent many happy hours at the weekend colouring in my new book. It’s super relaxing and my new favourite way to zone out with my music on. Your picture is so pretty, love the colours and all the detail. Fab post Jenny! 😘 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  11. I love coloring and always have 😀 Even through college I never really grew out of it. So I love adult coloring books! That is super awesome about you and your mom and great grandpa colored as well!

    I like to color while listening to Audiobooks! I am a very fidgety person and coloring gives my hads something to do while my brain is busy.

  12. I have quite a few adult colouring books. When I said I was depressed a got a lot as Christmas gifts ha. I can’t say they relax me as such as I get caught up in having the perfect picture, but they distract me from other things and that’s good for me.

  13. I was the same when I first heard about adult colouring books but then my mum got me one from a TV show as a joke (I am heavily invested in many TV shows) and one night I started doing it after I was having a rough night and it really helped. Like you said it provides distraction from your life as you have to concentrate on the colouring and calms you down. It is also really addictive haha. I love it when I have completed one, I make my mum look at it a good 10 times haha. xx

  14. Although I don’t particularly like colouring (as I see it’s an aspect of my job and I prefer drawing!) I do totally understand the therapeutic value of this. Plus the artwork in some of the colouring books are fantastic! x x x

  15. I do enjoy them, but I’m not a big fan of crayons. I’ve hated the feel and texture they leave behind on whatever I’m coloring. I’m okay with colored pencils, but since I grip the hell out of them, my toes quickly hurt afterwards! I see you’re using markers, the thinned tip kind, have you had any issues with those? Like does the “ink” seep through the paper like regular markers? Cuz I could invest in those, I’m just a marker kind of girl honestly! Lol

      1. Ooh, yup! I’m gonna have to find some now! Something that I like more are like “fuzzy” or velvet posters, you have to use markers for it, but I find the designs better because they have that black barrier all around, less likely to make mistakes! That’s how I eventually got my nana into coloring! Now my aunt gets her beach theme coloring books! 🙂

  16. Adult coloring books are NOT my thing. They are too detailed usually, so coloring them is not at all relaxing. I prefer kids coloring books still. However, I have discovered that I prefer coloring with markers. It’s not as pretty, but it FEELS so nice. So right now my preference is any coloring book with the smooth marker pages, rather than the traditional cheap coloring book pages.

  17. I tried it last year but I’m awful at letting myself just relax. I feel like I always have to be doing something worth while. Maybe I’ll give it another shot though

    Tori  |  JustTheBeginning-x.com
    Latest blog post: Is SHEIN.co.uk a scam?

  18. I love coloring books! 😊 I’ve got one at home and coloring it when I find a time. It’s relaxing indeed. Enchanted Forest, I love an idea! 😊

  19. I have the enchanted forest one and I love it. I haven’t picked it up in a while, but I know what you mean about the gorgeous pictures. If your a Harry Potter fan I’m pretty sure I’ve seen one just like the enchanted forest 🙂

  20. I have so many of them, yet I have maybe only coloured a few pages. I like the idea of them, but I always think that maybe I should be doing something a lot more useful with my time.

    Saying that the odd occasion I have actually sat down and coloured has really helped relieve some stress and anxiety.

  21. I hate coloring,and this is coming from a person who draws a lot. But I have to admit that I am intrigued by it, especially the one with the plants and forest. Maybe I’ll try this some other time.

  22. That’s really interesting to hear about your family stories, how lovely that colouring runs in your family. I know what you mean about colouring books though. They seem so time-consuming and there’s always something else I want/need to be doing, which kind of negates their purpose. That said, Flora loves them and will be bringing some on holiday. That would be the perfect time for me to try again – I’ll let you know how it goes, haha! x

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  23. Like you, I’ve had a colouring book sitting in my draw for years. And, also like you, I’d put off getting into it because I assumed I was too much of a perfectionist to enjoy it without getting stressed. I’ve recently gotten back into journalling and letting myself go wild with the creative side without worrying too much about the end result, and that’s working really well, so I think I might give it another go. I love your idea of listening to music alongside it, too; that definitely sounds relaxing!

  24. I got really into them when they first came out, but then I actually started to find them a bit pressuring as I had to finish a spread THAT day or I was failing, but I had no time. I do still have loads of books to use though, so I’ll give it another go at some point 😊
    Amy xx

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