What is Hygge? Why is Hygge popular?

You’ve probably seen a lot of YouTubers talking about Hygge. You’ve likely seen #hygge on Instagram and Pinterest. Below I explore why I think it’s the right time for Americans to meet hygge.

Hygge has been drawing in introverts and homebodies alike. People love trends and, here in America, we’re at a point in our society where people are tired of a lot of things. We’re worn out.

The news has been consistently depressing for over a year. We’re constantly being told we’re eating wrong, cleaning wrong, sleeping wrong, working wrong, doing everything wrong; and there always seems to be someone happily asking for likes and follows as they point out what a hot mess we are.

I love blogs and podcasts and YouTube channels, but I’m also tired of walking away from every alternative-media consumption with a list of things to do so my life is more like that person’s. Even the most relaxing, tranquilly filmed morning routine results in my feeling inadequate because I didn’t get up at 5am to casually walk my dog in cute running shoes that are #sponse.

In an era where everyone with an internet connection has the ability to broadcast their opinion, it’s hard not to see these people as doppelgängers for the old toxic-you-aren’t-good-enough-being-you messaging we used to primarily get from magazines and TV.

But over the past ten years, since I cancelled cable and stopped buying magazines, I’ve willingly followed an army of content creators. Well-intended people who often don’t realize they are wagging their fingers at us for not living life the way they’ve edited themselves to appear to be living, in the form of sharing tips, hacks, routines, unboxings, and sponsored content. My to do list is never longer than when I binge on lifestyle videos. 

Earlier this year, I quit Facebook and Twitter, which embarrisingly gave me a 24 hour mini-panic that I had willingly made the mistake of deleting myself from the international database. Within a week I felt so much happier about myself and my life, just as I did when I quit TV and magazines. Over this holiday break, I unfollowed a plethora of content creators on all platforms and found some new edutainment options to replace them with.

The annual New Year’s diet/fitness season of shaming people into buying products and memberships has already begun to show up in my cookies and inbox. Just in time to catch us when we’re still feeling vulnerable from the holiday stress we’re still shedding. Last year, every content creator was pushing smoothie bowls and grain bowls. I just want to eat a cinnamon roll without feeling guilt.

So this has been my long-winded way of saying that it’s the perfect time for American culture to embrace hygge. Hygge is about slowing your life, being present during your relaxation time, unapologetically enjoying pastries by candlelight, quiet time in the comfort of home with those we love, and doing all of this snuggled up in a cozy blanket with a warm drink. It’s time America.

For too long we’ve all believed the lies that there is something wrong with us. That the answer is to be more disciplined and structured. To work harder and longer. To create a rigid routine and conquer our to do lists. To be everything to everyone, while punishing ourselves for not living up to standards someone else told us we should have.

What are your thoughts on Hygge? Have you tried it? What works for you and what doesn’t?


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