Get Cozy With Hygge

A Ritual To Help In This Time Of Social Distancing

By Melanie Carden

Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is the foundation of Danish life. Loosely translated, it means cozy and content, but it’s so much more. In this winter series, I’ll explore this concept and offer suggestions on how to “live more hygge.” The word is both noun and adjective—something can be described as hygge (“this old, tattered blanket is so hygge”). Or you can make plans to hygge with close friends and family (“let’s stay in, play board games, and drink mulled wine”).

Denmark—long-known as one of the happiest countries—has built its culture around the importance of rejuvenation through moments of cultivated contentment. From burning candles in their workspace to curating cozy moments in all aspects of everyday life—they prioritize emotional well-being

Taking cues from Meil Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Copenhagen, and author of The Little Book of Hygge, I’ll cobble together bits of cozy wisdom to help us through this most challenging of winters. Hygge is a feeling, and it requires no expense whatsoever. A favorite chipped mug is just as hygge as a new one. Relish your faded favorites or treat yourself to a coveted frock—but make time in your life to rejuvenate.

Creating pockets of ambient light are at the core of hygge life. Avoid heavily perfumed candles. Opt for unscented or those lightly scented with pure essential oils to create space for authenticity. These handmade, eco-friendly candles from Satya + Sage offer a balance of ritual and beauty. Info:

Be still and imbibe in a small-batch spirit. Cooper’s Daughter—a New York-based distillery—offers this Black Walnut Bourbon. It is aged in American White Oak barrels but finished in barrels that stored black walnut syrup tapped from the distillery’s own trees. It lingers and is exquisite for fireside sips and tempting toddies. Info: available from

Hygge honors simplicity. Merino wool—durable, insulating, and breathable—brings unparalleled comfort to the hyggelig (hoo-ga-lee) life. These natural fibers require less washing and resist wrinkles—perfect for adventure, travel, or snuggling. Versatile selections, like this refined sweatshirt, help declutter your life, leaving you focused on the things that matter most. Info:

From the French press to inexpensive drip, coffee is 100 percent cozy. Sip with intention—savor it. Whether you use a dented family-heirloom carafe or this sleek Saeco Xelsis machine made for espresso aficionados —you’ll be on your way to achieving a hygge moment. Bonus: it offers 15 beverage choices, 7 profile options, and near-endless customization. Info:

To experience cashmere is to be transported into radiant, otherworldly bliss. I’m certain the gods on Mt. Olympus long-mingled over ambrosia, swathed in cashmere. Include a touch of cashmere in your hyggekrog (cozy nook) as a whisper to your soul: it’s time to be still and rejuvenate. This gracious wrap is a quiet exhale within modern-day demands. 

From Austria, with love. Stegmann has been handcrafting quintessentially cozy woolen clogs for 130 years. While we applaud Merino wool, the company makes sure that rarer sheep and their fine wools are protected and celebrated. Traditional clogs for men and women—but also a new, dare I say, sexy clog: the Liesel Skimmer.

Hunkering down for quiet time is a requirement of a hygge life. Watching movies counts, but bonus points if you welcome quiet endeavors—reading or board games. Get started with the many offerings at We Are Knitters.

Your comfort is paramount when you’re getting your hygge on. Slough off the day’s laborious tasks, curl up with some hot cocoa, and relax. Whether you grab your favorite pair of threadbare sweats or a sublimely patterned treat from Print Fresh loungewear—you’re in for a night of absolute contentment. Info:

Being warm—especially when Mother Nature gifts us the wonders of her rain, snow, and winds—is exceptionally comforting. The ingenious minds at Kickee Pants make clothes that eschew restrictive designs and this Sherpa blanket whose destiny is all things hygge. A hearty, hardworking blanket with a gilded-pinecone-wink toward the great outdoors.

Self-care comes in essential forms (nutrition and fresh air) and the outermost ripples of healing and soothing. Hygge encourages the joyful afterglow of indulgent moments. Sweet treats are very hyggelig—as is a bit of pampering. Antipodes of New Zealand and their Aura Manuka Honey Mask is a skincare anomaly: immediate skin-softening results. 

You know what’s “extra hyggelig?” Outdoor activities and then hunkering down for some R & R. Aktiv’s sustainable Scandinavian clothing provides such an adventurous balance. Featuring ruggedly elegant options for adventure, Aktiv is one-stop shopping for men and women alike. They offer snuggly Nordic slippers and leg warmers, too—perfect for post-hike hot toddy time. 

Sitting with friends, sharing tea—simple, yet restorative. Quiet Sunday afternoon on your own? Light the flame under the kettle and brew a perfect mug of steeped tea leaves. Ensure a steady flow of distinctive blends; allow Sips By to curate the finest selections for you. Info: