Hygge has been called everything from "the art of creating intimacy," "coziness of the soul" and "the absence of annoyance" to "taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things," "cozy togetherness" and, my personal favorite, "cocoa by candlelight."
Denmark consistently ranks among the happiest countries in the world, and many attribute this largely to the concept of hygge. Pronounced "hoo-ga" or "hue-guh," hygge is an atmosphere and a feeling involving comfort, well-being, and cozy warmth. In this breezy and charming guide to this delightful Danish philosophy, Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, introduces the components of this key element of Danish culture - candles (lots of them!), fireplaces, intimate home-cooked meals, atmospheric lighting, warm drinks, cake, etc. He also explains the history and science behind the concept, and provides tips (and recipes!) for incorporating a little hygge into your own life. As we suspected, "taking a break with a good book is a cornerstone in the concept of hygge." Yes, please! (AG)