How To Hygge
Set Up a Warm Glow
With crackling flames and gentle, glowing heat, fireplaces are the heart of a hygge setting. If you don’t have one in your home, you can find electric fireplaces that look realistic and are just as comforting. And, if that’s not an option, replace harsh electric lights with soft, glowing candles—real or artificial, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Just make sure all flames are out before leaving or going to bed. Fairy lights or other low-lit mood lighting can also help set that warm fuzzy mood.
Play Soft, Soothing Beats
Music can be a powerful mood-setter, so your hygge-inspired occasion is the time to play your favorite relaxing, mellow tunes. Think acoustic melodies, folksy music, or slowed-down versions of your top songs, and keep the volume low so it doesn’t interfere with conversation. Spend some time making a cozy music playlist before you welcome your guests. Or, for anyone with acoustic guitar or piano skills, this is the perfect time to serenade yourself or others.
Whether it’s soup, pasta, chili, or something else hearty, create a simple, go-to comfort meal that feels like a warm hug. If you don’t know where to start, try reaching out to a friend or relative for their homemade recipe, or search for a recipe online that matches your skill level. Stress shouldn’t be a part of your hygge gathering, so if the thought of cooking from scratch spikes any anxious feelings, consider asking friends to help with the meal or order takeout.
Make Warming Drinks
There’s something about holding a hot mug with two hands that gives off all the snuggly vibes. Hot chocolate, tea, coffee, apple cider, and bone broth are just a few drink options that pair perfectly with conversation Try your hand at making a batch of hot chocolate and serve buffet style with a selection of toppings your guests can choose from. Or run to the store and serve pre-made drinks. And, hot drinks were made for dipping, so have cookies, marshmallows, or crackers on hand to pair with each sip.
Break Out the Snuggly Blankets and Pillows
Soft, plush fabrics have a way of naturally creating feelings of comfort, so pull out every fuzzy blanket you own and ask your guests to bring theirs too. If your dining space is too small for your group, consider setting up on a carpeted floor with pillows to sit on. Encourage everyone to wear comfy feel-good outfits and even top them off with cozy hats, like the JanSport Tall Beanie.
Play Board Games
Movie nights with our pals can be a lot of fun, but playing board games instead can spark conversation and foster feelings of closeness and connection. Only have a deck of cards lying around? Card games work just as well and can be customized for any crowd. A quick internet search can teach you a new way to play, and it’s a great way to enjoy some tech-free fun.
Put Phones Away
Encourage your guests to be present and fully enjoy the gathering by putting phones—and the endless notifications, doom-scrolling, and distractions, away for a few hours. Part of the hygge concept is being present and appreciating the small joys in life, like simple conversation with those you care about. If your pals are always on their phones, gently ask them to stay off screens or turn off their notifications for the gathering, unless absolutely necessary. You can also mention this in the invite to your gathering too so they come prepared.
Dive in to Reflection
Self-reflection can encourage feelings of peace and help relieve anxiety. Be receptive and supportive to vulnerability, and use empathetic language to inspire an atmosphere of trust. If you want to stimulate reflective conversation, try using thoughtful prompts or questions. For example, you might ask everyone to reflect on their growth from the past five years, or where they see themselves in a few years from now. Try looking up some prompts on the internet and see where the conversation goes. You could also ask the group to journal on some of these too. Make it a fun practice that’s welcoming and open.
The hygge inspiration doesn’t have to end when everyone leaves. Now you know what hygge is and what it stands for, you can embrace these ideas solo. Find ways to practice those warm and fuzzy feels wherever you are and let that cozy mood comfort you.