These dark, cold winter weeks set the perfect stage for living a more hyggelig (hygge-like) life. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish lifestyle concept. Its Scandinavian origins and our northern climate make the hygge model especially appealing to Minnesotans. We’re on board. Here’s how you can be, too.
According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, hygge is about an atmosphere or an experience that promotes intimacy and coziness via candlelight; a comfortable nook; relaxed clothing; blankets, pillows and vintage style décor; steamy comfort foods and warm tea, coffee or mulled wine; books; nature;
Candles are central to much of hygge because their soft glow creates a sense of intimacy and calm. Electric lights can emit a similar effect if chosen specifically to provide lower pools of light. Scandinavian lamp designs by Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton are particularly popular with hygge enthusiasts. If eyestrain is an issue and you occasionally need brighter light, consider installing dimmer switches, so you can lower your lights for those special hygge moments.
Minnesotans know how wonderful a warm fire can be after a day on the slopes or snowshoeing. Extend it to an outdoor firepit or fireplace, a steaming hot tub or patio heaters for outdoor gatherings. For indoor types, stock up on lap blankets, soft pillows and reading materials. A basket of cozy socks is an incredible treat for guests, who’ve removed their shoes.
Casual is key to the hyggelig life, something many work-from-home folks have become accustomed to. Keep it minimalist with an emphasis on layers. Add a variety of cardigans, scarves, wraps and warm socks, and you’re set.
Minnesotans know comfort food. Cooking hygge meals is about taking time to create a warm dish and enjoying the process—a type of mindfulness. Turn off the TV, ignore social media, light some candles, light a fire in the fireplace, sip a glass of wine or a cup of tea and savor creating a nourishing meal. (Try our soup recipes—perfect for savoring a hygge-inspired meal.)
Local shops have you covered.
Abode & Co
3375 Plymouth Blvd., Suite 220; 763.205.2709; abodeandco.com
Comfy clothing and décor
10050 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.541.1188; bachmans.com
Blankets, candles, indoor plants and flowers, pillows and more
The Buzz Coffee and Café
187 Cheshire Lane; 763.208.0567; buzzcoffeeandcafe.com
Bakery goods (made from scratch) and hand-crafted beverages
3570 Vicksburg Lane N., Suite 100; 763.473.4667; thefoursome.com
Wigwam socks and cozy sweaters (for him to own and you to borrow!)
Honey and Mackie’s
16725 County Road 2, Suite 106; 763.225.6682; honeyandmackies.com
Lunds & Byerly’s
3455 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.268.1624; lundsandbyerlys.com
Bakery goods and ready-made comfort food
Robinson Lighting Center
151 Cheshire Lane; 763.476.9555; robinsonlightingcenter.com
Lighting (more bright ideas)
Due to COVID-19, be sure toconfirm the businesses’ availability.