How to Hygge

by | Feb 2021

Hygge concept with open book and cup of tea near burning fireplace


Danish lifestyle concept is perfect for Minnesota winters.

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; and togetherness.


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.) 

Shop Hygee

Local shops have you covered.

Abode & Co
3375 Plymouth Blvd., Suite 220; 763.205.2709;
Comfy clothing and décor

10050 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.541.1188;
Blankets, candles, indoor plants and flowers, pillows and more

The Buzz Coffee and Café
187 Cheshire Lane; 763.208.0567;
Bakery goods (made from scratch)  and hand-crafted beverages

The Foursome
3570 Vicksburg Lane N., Suite 100; 763.473.4667;
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;
Ice cream!

Lunds & Byerly’s
3455 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.268.1624;
Bakery goods and ready-made comfort food

Robinson Lighting Center
151 Cheshire Lane; 763.476.9555;
Lighting (more bright ideas)

Due to COVID-19, be sure to confirm the businesses’ availability.


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