Can Coloring Truly Help Adults With Stress and Anxiety?

Can coloring truly help adults with stress and anxiety

A Coloring Book for Adults?

I don’t remember where I first saw that adult coloring books actually existed – and no, not the “adult” you may be thinking.  These are coloring books with intricate details that are created exclusively for adults.  I posted an article about this new genre of creativity on my Facebook page and received an amazing response.  There were dozens of people that noted how much they enjoyed coloring!

When I was little I loved to color.  If I was home sick from school, my mom would bring out my crayons and coloring books and we’d pass the time (also keeping my mind off of being sick) coloring.  My dad would come home from work with a new coloring book sometimes too.  It was such a treat.

As soon as my boys were old enough to color (and not teeth on the crayons) I took full advantage of scooping up coloring books filled with their favorite characters.  Little did they know that these were for me too – hehe.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

Back to present day – as soon as I read about these special coloring books I felt compelled to visit the nearest book store and see what they had to offer.  I was amazed at the variety available! This was the first book I purchased (yes, I said first…)

I picked up some colored pencils and the fun began!  Little did I know that the type of colored pencil truly makes a difference.  My husband was a little skeptical about this new-yet-old-found hobby of mine, but that didn’t hinder my search for the best colored pencils I could find.  So yeah – the best ones I found were Prismatic pencils and they are ex-pen-sive when compared to the ones I purchased in haste with the coloring book or the usual Crayola colored pencils I stock at home for the boys.  I found the least expensive pack of Prismatics, and I do have to say, there is a definite difference in vibrancy of the color.  The pencil lead itself is softer which I feel affects the final product.

Sharpie markers or gel markers are also popular to color with.  My package of Sharpies just arrived and I am so excited to try them out!

Once I finally found the time to sit down with my coloring book, pencils and a glass of wine, I just colored.  And to me, it was therapeutic.  Adult coloring books are more detailed.  Coloring in that detail helped me to focus on something other than the normal stressors going through my mind.

Do They really help quell stress and anxiety?

Richard Merritt, an illustrator of The Creative Therapy Colouring Book, says that coloring is a much-needed distraction from stress…the experience can transport us back to easier, childhood days.

I became engrossed in the design.  Coloring became something that I looked forward to doing once the kids were in bed.  One night my youngest came downstairs, unable to get to sleep.  He asked if he could color with me, which ultimately started a new activity that he and I could bond over.

The San Jose Mercury News recently counted coloring books as part of an “ever-growing list of kid things co-opted by adults (video games, mini golf, Legos, Pez dispensers),” but adult coloring books are often marketed based on their therapeutic value.  Now I wouldn’t replace traditional therapy, should it be recommended, but coloring definitely eases the mind and is relaxing.

Don’t know if coloring is up your alley?  There are so many free coloring pages online allowing you the freedom of not having to jump into purchasing a book.  Here are some sites with free adult coloring pages.  All you have to do is print them and color!

Already know you are hooked and ready to get more serious?  Click on any of the book covers below for more information:

My newest favorite book is this one:

Cats in Paris Coloring Book

Do you like to color?


About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

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32 thoughts on “Can Coloring Truly Help Adults With Stress and Anxiety?”

  1. I’ve seen a few of these adult coloring books too. I’ve not purchased any yet but I do draw and color that. I do think it’s relaxing & it takes your mind off things too.

    1. Leslie, they do! Check out the free color page links in the post and see if it’s something you’d like!

  2. I have to try it, the idea of it itself makes me feel better! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Xo

    1. Thanks Chrissa! What’s so funny is that coloring is such an “old” concept but who would’ve thought that adult coloring would become as popular as it has!

  3. Brittany

    Glass of wine and a coloring book sounds like a great way to unwind at the end of the day! LOL

  4. Danielle

    I’ve been seeing these coloring books everywhere and I really can’t wait to get my hands on one. It seems so soothing.

    1. Danielle, they are the best! You can get them at book stores or online…I highly recommend them 🙂

  5. I love these. They were great this for bridesmaids to do while we were getting ready for the big day (lots of down time between hair appointments) and they really kept me out of my head when I was flying the last time. I have quite a bit of anxiety when flying and they forced me to think about something else.

    1. Danielle, that is such a GREAT idea for bridesmaids on the wedding day – and for your flights.

  6. I know it does help anxiety because its helped a million times! The more detaisl the coloring books have the better to help me focus and forget about my stress.

    1. I noticed that too Jasmine – the amount of detail in each coloring page corresponds with focusing and relaxing.

  7. Kylea Johnson

    I love coloring or doodling when I am stressed. For me it is great for taking a minute to refocus and take my mind off of things for a brief moment. Plus the patterns in Adult coloring books are amazing!

  8. They really do help! Such an amazing discovery. I still brought colouring books with me on vacations to colour on the plane. My sister and I probably looked incredibly childish in our mid-20’s colouring kids colouring books on the plane! It was a great way to pass time and yes RELAX!

  9. I totally think they can help with stress and anxiety. This week, as I was making decorations for my son’s party, I felt the stress just melt away. Being creative and focusing on something other than all our adult worries really is calming. I’m going to print out some of the free pages. Thanks!

  10. I love them, they especially help me when I’m flying because I can focus my nervous energy somewhere else. I recently found coloring postcards which are even better because I can send my master pieces instead of keeping them to myself. I love stabilo pens to color with!

    1. Coloring postcards?! Where did you find them? I haven’t heard of the stabilo pens, I will have to check them out 🙂

  11. I’ve been wanting to get on the adult coloring bandwagon, but just haven’t had time to get around to it. I have down days often and I think something like this would be worth a mind time out 🙂 Definitely headed to download some pages!

    1. Kristyn, all the more reason to print up those pages and make time for yourself. You’ll be so glad that you did!

  12. My neurologist recommends them for people with TBI’s… I just look at the pages and get overwhelmed by all the details. haha!

  13. Nancy March

    a mental health support group got me started on adult coloring,now im doing it at home ,cant put it down

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