Meditation? It works for some. For others, the idea of sitting quietly with your own thoughts is more stressful than the thoughts themselves. The truth is, meditative practices can take many forms and it’s important to find what works for you. One meditative practice that has become popular in recent years is adult coloring books.
Adult coloring books are a great meditative activity that can be done anywhere, anytime and for an affordable price. All you need is a great set of images, a solid set of colored pencils or markers and some quiet time. Note: We did not say any artistic skill is required — because it’s not!
Adult coloring books have been trending for a few years and for a good reason. They engage your mind and creativity while also providing a soothing, relaxing, hands-on activity. Take one on a long flight to pass the time or share it with friends for a soothing group activity.
If you think coloring books are just for kids, it’s time to experience the new world of adult coloring books. Beautiful, intricate and fun, adult coloring books are about to become your new favorite way to spend an afternoon.
1. Creatively Calm Studios Adult Coloring Books
Choose from three soothing books in the Creatively Calm Studios Adult Coloring Books set, which includes animal, scenery and mandala-themed books. Made with thick and sturdy paper, the books won’t bleed even when using markers and gel pens. Each book includes three levels of difficulty, giving users the ability to start with basic images and work their way up to more intricate designs.
Pros: Customers get access to the Creatively Calm Coloring Club, which includes free bonus weekly images for a year.
Cons: The pages are double-sided, which can cause some bumps depending on the coloring instrument used.
2. Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults
The author of the bestselling Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest adult coloring books is back with Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book for Adults. Johanna Basford is the leader in adult coloring book art, with her intricate designs inspiring millions of adults to use coloring books as their latest de-stressing activity. The crisp ivory paper provides a soft backdrop for the vivid images and the untextured paper is ideal for shading and gradient work.
Pros: Lost Ocean includes pages that fold out to create extended pieces of art to color.
Cons: Many of the images have small and intricate areas that require fine tip coloring instruments.
3. Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animal Designs
From every part of the planet, this adult coloring book from MantraCraft delivers animals in all shapes and sizes for your coloring pleasure. With small, intricate details available for the experts, or wide swaths of open space for those looking to fully zone out, MantaCraft’s animal coloring book backs enough variety to satisfy everyone. Single-sided pages mean no bleeding through to an image underneath. We also like that the book offers a variety of skill levels.
Pros: Boats 50 different animals at varying levels of coloring difficulty.
Cons: Some details can get pretty intricate and the book might not be suitable for users with bad eyesight.
4. The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People
This option is a pocket-size coloring book designed to help you relax and find calm on the go. Take it to your next appointment to pass the time mindfully in a waiting room through 70 intricate designs. Combine the power of meditation with creative action using this anti-stress coloring book. Fans will also like to explore the other designs offered in this series of coloring books.
Pros: Small size makes it easy to carry everywhere.
Cons: Binding is a little tight which makes coloring near the spine difficult.
5. Harry Potter Coloring Book
Attention magicians and muggles, your favorite new coloring book has just arrived by train on Platform 9 3/4. The Harry Potter Coloring Book is filled with images of Hogwarts and its inhabitants, including Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the Weasley crew. Fans can add their own artistic touch to scenes like the sorting hat ceremony and the Quidditch Cup. Major moments from the books and films are included, like Harry facing off against Lord Voldemort. The intricate and elaborate designs will cast a meditative spell that Potter fans of all ages and skill levels will enjoy.
Pros: The book includes 16 full-color pages to help kick start inspiration.
Cons: Markers will bleed through the double-sided pages, but gel pens and pencil crayons are safe to use.
6. Disney Dreams Collection Thomas Kinkade Studios Coloring Book
Whistle while you color with the Disney Dreams Collection Thomas Kinkade Studios Coloring Book. Known as the Painter of Light, Kinkade became one of the most commercially successful artists of the late 20th and early 21st century, thanks in large part to his stunning Disney paintings. The book includes 63 paintings from Kinkade’s extensive Disney collection, including images from The Jungle Book, Sleeping Beauty and Lady and the Tramp.
Pros: Each image features a black and white image to fill in and a full-color picture to display Kinkade’s vision.
Cons: The book is smaller than most coloring books, which can make it difficult to color.
7. The Splat: Coloring the ’90s
Kids of the 90s, rejoice! A coloring book just for you has arrived thanks to The Splat: Coloring the ’90s. The adult coloring book acts as a great nostalgia gift and can be enjoyed by teens and young adults who have recently discovered some of the best shows from Nickelodeon, including Ren and Stimpy, Hey Arnold, Rugrats and Rocko’s Modern Life. Including more than 45 designs, each page includes one image with a quote from its corresponding series on the back.
Pros: The heavyweight paper is slightly rough, making it ideal for pencil crayons and gel pens.
Cons: Markers are safe for use, but customers may want to include a blotter page between pages.
8. Mandala Coloring Book For Adults
The Mandala Coloring Book For Adults is not only filled with a wide variety of beautiful mandala designs of all skill levels to color, but it’s also the most user-friendly book on our list. Thanks to its hardcover design, the book can be used without the assistance of a table, making it a great option for road trips, as well as rail and air travel. A spiral binding along the top means no more forcing pages to lay flat. We also like that each page is perforated, making it easy for artists to remove their new masterpieces for display once it’s complete.
Pros: The book includes a blotting paper to ensure that pencils, pens and markers won’t bleed through to the next design.
Cons: The heavy paper can lead to feathering or smearing.
9. Color Me Stress-Free (A Zen Coloring Book)
There’s no end to the sources of stress each one of us faces on a daily basis, and sometimes we need a way to unplug and ease our mind. This coloring book is specifically designed for stressed-out adults looking to unwind with some creativity. It has different sections designed to help deal with different stressors, including work, relationships and finances. If you’re looking to dial in to process a specific area of your life, this book has you covered.
Pros: Relaxing, beautiful drawings designed to help you unwind no matter what’s stressing you out.
Cons: Hand-drawn so some lines are asymmetrical.
10. Color Me Happy (A Zen Coloring Book)
Art therapist Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter came together to create this coloring book focused on happiness. Designed for busy adults, the book is packed with over 100 joyful images split up into different sections to help you transform anxiety and stress into happy creative accomplishment. Like the other books in this series, Color Me Happy is divided into different themes.
Pros: Beautiful images, high-quality paper that can hold colored pencils and pen ink.
Cons: Book cannot lay flat due to its size.