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Why I’ve changed my mind about adult colouring books

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. jazziepickles says:

    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

    1. Awh I’d love the Disney one!

  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.

    1. You definitely don’t need any skills to colour!

  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

    1. If you feel that way you should just go crazy with colours!

  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!

    1. A colouring book subscription sounds brilliant! So glad to hear that it helps her so much xxx

  5. I love colouring and find it so de stressing, I definitely need to find time to get back into it again!

    Emma – http://www.lifeofemmax.co.uk

    1. Glad you’ve found it to work for you!

  6. 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!

    1. Awh that’s cute! 🙂

  7. I own one or two colouring books, but don’t have any time to colour in. I used to do it a lot at uni, but need to find some more time to colour and relax.

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

  8. I should really start again, I own so many colouring books

    1. Why not!

  9. I have one and love it xx

  10. Emma's Library says:

    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.

    1. Get yourself some new pens too!

      1. Emma's Library says:

        I would but I have far too much stationery to do that!

  11. 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!

    1. That’s quite ambitious! I find it takes me forever!

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