As summer comes to an end, it’s time to fall back into some cozier habits. Get to know this Danish practice that’s sure to last past the holiday season.


When fall and the holiday season approaches, it’s hard not to think about the Danish tradition of hygge that’s become popular in recent years.

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish practice of embracing positivity and enjoying the little things in life. It’s truly a simple concept and not a lifestyle move; rather, it’s a way of living. There is no direct translation of hygge, but the closest thing we have to it is coziness.

With a focus on joy, togetherness, socializing, and feeling warmth through different activities, hygge is the epitome of what is experienced with family and friends during the fall and winter seasons.

So how can you create hygge?

It looks different for everyone, but it’s simply what brings you happiness and a positive outlook on life.  Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Make your home as comfy as possible.
  • Find a new, cozy coffee shop to enjoy with a friend.
  • Curl up by a fire with fuzzy socks and a good book.
  • Do fun holiday activity with friends/family.
  • Show people you love them.
  • Host a low-key dinner party with friends and family.
  • Dig through old family photos for a good laugh.
  • Try a new comfort food recipe.
  • Light candles & enjoy a romantic evening with your significant other without electronics/TV.
  • Take a walk & enjoy the nature around you.
  • Savor the holiday decorations & festive lights around town.

So is hygge right for you?

Perhaps you’re feeling stressed out as we enter the fall and holiday season, or maybe this year was a particularly rocky one for you.  Embracing hygge and adopting it into your life will seriously change it for the better. You’ve got nothing to lose!

This tradition works…the Danes aren’t consistently at the top of the United Nation’s World Happiness Report for no reason.  And hygge isn’t something we should do only during the colder, more miserable months. This is a practice we should seriously consider all year long.

While we may not be able to control events that are happening around us, we can control our reactions to them, and that is exactly what hygge aims to do.

Adapted from the original article.

Emily Holdorf, MS, RDN is a Scranton, PA-based private practice dietitian on a mission to empower others to live a healthier, happier life.  By emphasizing a non-diet approach to eating, Emily helps individuals form a better relationship with food by focusing on why there’s room for every food in moderation. Find out more about about Emily at EmPowered Nutrition.