Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Coloring for adults, does it really help anything?

The only reason why I ventured into this seemingly redundant trend of adult coloring books, was because I saw a report interviewing an artist, Johanna Basford, who created a few of the popular coloring books. In the segment, it was described how this form of art was therapeutic, especially for those with cancer, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and dementia. I was absolutely intrigued, seeing as how I have two of those diagnoses, but I wasn't exactly sold once I saw the price tag of $10.25, for the Enchanted Forest. I figured, why not buy a children's coloring book at the dollar store and call it a day? Once I opened up the beautiful book and saw the amazing designs, it hit me. It wasn't about just coloring, it was about slowing down and becoming almost entranced in the moment of beautifying a blank page. 

I immediately picked up three books, Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford ($10.25), Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford ($10.37), and Fantastic Cities by Steve McDonald ($11.13), at Barnes and Noble. I chose these particular books, because after reviewing the drawings, I decided I wanted different "levels", meaning different amounts of detail. I grabbed a pack of colored pencils and proceeded to test the "calming effect" during an anxiety attack, which mostly occur at night, for me. 

As expected, I experienced a full blown anxiety attack around 10:30 pm that night, but instead of doing my normal "grounding" routine, I grabbed the Enchanted Forest and began coloring. After a while, I forgot that I had started because of an anxiety attack. I noticed how much more calm I was, which I believe to be because I was focusing more on the art of coloring instead of what was happening. Now I'm not saying these books are absolute miracle workers, but they definitely help. 

I "labeled" each book by a particular "level", as previously mentioned, with the following rubric, (pictures included):

Easy - Enchanted Forest. It wasn't lacking detail, that's for sure, but compared to the other two, I felt it was a more simplistic version. There are less intricate adult coloring books. I checked. 

Medium - Lost Ocean. This one was particularly detailed with the ocean scenery, animals, and whimsical drawings. It seems to consist of smaller "areas", for lack of a better word.

Hard - Lost Cities. If you are having a difficult day, need to really relax, or just want to color an EXTREMELY detailed picture, this one's for you. It has thee tiniest designs of the three I own, and to be perfectly honest, I didn't see another quite as unique as this one. 

All three are absolutely amazing, and I've found that they each help me during different episodes, or just because I want to color. I truly recommend trying out adult coloring. They have a multitude of themes now that this epidemic has truly taken off. From Harry Potter to sugar skulls, from Deadpool to mandalas, curse words to owls, there is a coloring book for everyone. They even have "pocket sized" ones for your daily travels. Adult coloring books can be found at Target, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Barnes and Noble (which is where I purchased mine), and Walmart. These are just the stores I've noticed noticed adult coloring books, but there may be more. 

Have you guys tried any adult coloring books? Which one(s) are your favorite?


  1. I bought 2 colouring books recently, but only done a little colouring in them. I bought a tattoo colouring book and the Game of Thrones colouring well as a pack of pretty colouring pencils.
    Really enjoying it so far.