Colour me happy – the benefits of colouring books for adults


Colouring books are no longer just for kids – more and more adults are taking up colouring as a hobby.

Who doesn’t love getting totally absorbed in doodling and colouring in pictures? The good news is you don’t have to be restrained to Disney Princess and Peppa Pig books. Adult colouring books have experienced a surge in popularity in the UK last year, regularly dominating Amazon’s top ten non-fiction list.

Michael O’Mara Books specialises in colouring books for adults and published their first in 2012, producing 40 different titles in 2015. Meanwhile Johanna Basford’s adult colouring book Secret Garden published by Laurence King Publishing has sold more than 11 million copies worldwide.

But why are they so popular? Artist Mel Elliott has produced around 20 pop-art and celebrity colouring books since 2008. She says sales starting picking up in 2012 and she now sells books all around the world, both in shops and online. While many of her customers are women, she’s found that some of her titles are also popular with men, such as Colour Me Good Record Sleeves and Colour Me Good Modern Art.

She said: “I think colouring books for adults are popular because colouring is such a relaxing activity. It also forces us to look away from our screens which can sometimes be a hard habit to get out of. It’s nice to be able to do something with your hands and it allows people who aren’t naturally artistic to create something beautiful, or their own fan art of their favourite celebrity.”

Eve Menezes Cunningham, an accredited counsellor at the Feel Better Every Day Consultancy, agrees: “Anything that helps get us out of our ruminating minds and into the present moment is great for helping us de-stress. For many, these books can help, choosing pretty colours and just allow yourself to go with the flow.”

Fancy giving it a try? You could start with Richard Merritt’s Art Therapy Range, Johanna Basford’s nature-inspired books or Mel Elliott’s quirky celebrity books. Happy colouring!




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