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 of the best meditative practices that has become popular in recent years is adult coloring books.
Adult coloring books can be used for stress relief 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!
As we leave school and reach the independent stage of our lives, it’s easy to feel like our learning days are over and that our brains are packed with all the knowledge we need to succeed. However, that’s sometimes the problem. Our brains are too packed with what we already know and not open enough to what we don’t.
Many benefits of coloring for adults help battle this conundrum. Here are a few of them:
- Reduced Stress and Anxiety – One of the main reasons that coloring is so closely linked with meditation is that both activities can have a relaxing effect on your amygdala, which is where memories are stored, both good and bad. By reducing the pressure on our mind with coloring, we can improve the levels of mindfulness and calm we feel.
- Improved Skills – Coloring is not just about staying in the lines. It’s also about selecting the best color, where to color first and what to do with the artwork once it’s complete. These aspects of coloring require multiple parts of the brain to work in unison for the best results.
- Better Sleep – Avoid blue light before you sleep by spending time coloring rather than scrolling. Whereas electronic screens can have a negative effect on your melatonin levels, coloring books do not.
- Increased Focus – There’s a healthy balance of focus required for coloring. It’s not a case of closing your eyes and hoping for the best. It does take concentration and precision but not to the extent you’ll find it stressful. If anything, you’ll find the activity reduces your anxiety levels.
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. Below are 16 of the best adult coloring books you can buy on Amazon, including a wide variety of inspirations and difficulties. There’s a coloring book to suit everyone, so pick yours and enjoy.
1. Caffeinestar Drinking Animals
Sometimes the act of coloring in is the goal alone and so the image you’re creating doesn’t matter too much. But even so, why waste the opportunity to produce a random, funny picture that might not otherwise be appropriate in day-to-day life? For example, why not color in animals sipping on a range of beverages? There’s a whole range of creature combos to choose from in this coloring book, such as a giraffe drinking a cosmopolitan or a bear digging into a champagne rum cocktail. The silly humor makes it almost impossible to not like this coloring book. It’s sure to turn frowns upside down.
Pros: The recipe for the relevant drink is included on each page.
Cons: All the drinks contain alcohol.
Caffeinestar Drinking Animals
2. 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.
Harry Potter Coloring Book
3. Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animals
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.
Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animals
4. Stoner Coloring Book
You don’t have to actually be a stoner to enjoy taking a trip through Edwina Mc Namee’s Stoner Coloring Book for Adults. Whether you smoke or not, it’s guaranteed to be a colorful and creative experience. By combining unusual groups of objects and characters, such as pizza, cats, cakes and mushrooms, this book will have your imagination racing as you relax into coloring. Each of the 25 outlined illustrations are printed single sided to ensure premium quality and no ghosting into the next masterpiece. Grab some snacks, get comfy, and color away.
Pros: It’s also available as a spiral-bound book, so the pages lay perfectly flat.
Cons: The same creatures and objects are featured in many of the colorings.
Stoner Coloring Book
5. Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure
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.
Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure
6. 50 Shades of Bullsh*t
Put your manners to one side and bring out your potty mouth with Alex Flemming’s 50 Shade of Bullsh*t. Clearly this coloring book is all fun, games and a lot of bad language. Find your daily frustration release through the pages of this book by laughing at the wording, enjoying the coloring and channeling your energy into creating. This is perhaps not one for the easily offended, but really, it’s completely harmless and lighthearted.
Pros: Packed with humorous, lighthearted banter.
Cons: The pages are not perforated and can tear when removed.
50 Shades of Bullsh*t
7. The Mindfulness Coloring Book
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.
The Mindfulness Coloring Book
8. 100 Flowers
Enjoy flowers without the limit of lifespan by coloring in the pages of Jade Summer’s 100 Flowers: An Adult Coloring Book. All your favorite blooms are included, from tulips to orchids and many, many more. Whether you color them in their life-like color or not is up to you. This is a quality coloring book for adults which will bring hours of floral relaxation.
Pros: An all-pleasing mix of less and more detailed areas to suit all coloring levels.
Cons: It’s completely flower-focused with little variation.
9. Tattoo Coloring Book
If you’ve ever caught yourself daydreaming of becoming a tattoo artist, here’s your chance. The Tattoo Color Book for Adults is filled with 30 artistic tattoo designs that cover the most desired tattoo themes. From sugar skulls to the universe, crowns, flowers and more, this book has outlined images for all levels of experience, ready to be colored in. Who knows, you might find the inspiration for your next skin doodle?
Pros: All the most popular tattoo themes and designs are included.
Cons: The quality of the paper isn’t to the same standards as the illustrations.
Tattoo Coloring Book
10. Disney Dreams Collection Thomas Kinkade Studios
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.
Disney Dreams Collection Thomas Kinkade Studios
11. Coloring Book of Shadows
Color your way through the year ahead and plan out your to do’s and appointments with Amy Cesari’s Coloring Book of Shadows. This 55-page creative planner is packed with creative opportunities to personalize your book with colors, notes and thoughts. Along with monthly calendars and weekly organizers, this coloring planner for adults includes moon phase information, magical spells and a beginner’s guide to witchcraft and astrology, too.
Pros: There’s plenty of space on the pages for your own notes.
Cons: The hardcover and paperback versions are less durable than the spiral-bound option.
Coloring Book of Shadows
12. 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.
The Splat: Coloring the '90s
13. Mandala Coloring Book
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.
Mandala Coloring Book
14. Creatively Calm Studios
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.
Creatively Calm Studios
15. 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.
Color Me Happy (A Zen Coloring Book)
16. 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.