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What are adult coloring books?

Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Reading on April 18, 2023

    What are adult coloring books?

    Although it might sound strange at first, coloring books are all the rage among adults these days. Yes, you’ve read that right. Grown-ups are coloring pages left and right. Of course, the reasons for such childlike behavior are many. From stress relief to bedtime routines, colored pencils and pages with abstract images or curse words are becoming more and more present in our everyday lives. So, let’s talk a bit more about them, shall we?

    The purpose and benefits of adult coloring books

    Before we list some of the best adult coloring books out there, we should explain why they are so popular. In essence, these are activity books meant for stress relief and self-care. They come in all sizes and themes, from psychedelic mazes to curse words written all over the page. Moreover, they are made from high-quality paper, allowing you to use different art supplies, including crayons, gel pens, watercolors, pastels, etc.

    Both men and women with lots on their minds use coloring books during stressful days or before going to bed. Namely, unlike electronic devices, coloring books don’t disrupt our sleep. Instead, they help us relax, fall asleep faster, and enjoy more hours of deep rest. Stress-relieving coloring books are also solid solutions for people with depression and self-harmful thoughts. Then again, they make perfect Valentine’s Day or birthday gifts for your partner or friend.

    The overall benefits of coloring

    Be it a nature-themed or swear word coloring book, it can help you with the following:

    • Relieve stress
    • Relax muscles
    • Improve sleep and fatigue
    • Decrease body aches
    • Consolidate heart rate
    • Improve respiration
    • Ease feelings of depression and anxiety

    The difference between an adult coloring book and a regular coloring book

    Since they both consider coloring, a logical question would be to ask what’s the difference between child and adult coloring books. Well, in essence, they serve a similar purpose. The idea behind them is to provide individuals with a stress-free experience, regardless of their age.

    However, unlike children’s coloring books, adult ones don’t feature whimsical cartoon characters, animals, or superheroes. Their pages are comprised of abstract images like paisleys, flamboyant flowers, or even a bunch of curse words in some cases.

    Popular adult coloring books

    In the following, we’ll describe the most inspirational coloring books for adults out there.

    Color Me Happy by Lacy Mucklow

    A licensed art therapist, Lacy Mucklow is the person behind a wonderful adult coloring book, titled Color Me Happy. The book consists of four sections, each with different themes and art designed for you to color. It’s also handy due to its portable size, meaning that you can carry it around with you and use it any time you feel the need to blow off some steam.

    Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow

    Next up, we once again have a piece by Lacy Mucklow. In Color Me Calm, you’ll get a nature coloring book as well as a geometrical, spiritual, and animal-themed one. It’s perfect after or pre-meditation, and it’s, like the previous title, easy to carry around due to its small size. The paper is high-quality, meaning that you can switch between various art techniques.

    Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford

    If nature coloring books are your thing, Johanna Basford should be your go-to author. In Enchanted Forest, she provides us with twenty art pieces of all things nature-related, ready to be filled with any color you find fitting. The designs are sophisticated and artsy, and they have that mystical charm of an enchanted forest beaming through them.

    Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

    Just like Lacy Mucklow, Johanna Basford is a household name in the world of adult coloring books. She is a New York Times best-selling author, and it’s easy to see why. All you need to do is get one of her adult coloring books, and you’ll enter a wonderful world waiting for you to enrich it with the colors of your mind. Secret Garden is, alongside Enchanted Forest, her best work so far.

    The Mandala Coloring Book by Cindy Wilde

    If you’re looking for a large print coloring book for adults, Cindy Wilde’s The Mandala Coloring Book is what you should definitely check out. It’s full of beautiful art ready for you to doodle over it while relaxing after a stressful episode. From animal faces to natural landscapes—it’s all present in this coloring book, making it a perfect gift for yourself or someone you care for.

    Color Therapy: an anti-stress coloring book

    A collection of designs by Cindy Wilde, Laura Kate-Chapman, and Richard Merritt, Color Therapy is yet another perfect example of an adult animal coloring book. The creatures look like they are straight from Narnia or some similar fantasy book. And yes, fantasy is a perfect word for this coloring book, as the designs are truly otherworldly and fascinating to color.

    The Coloring Book for Adults: Inspirational Quotes by Blue Star Coloring

    Sure enough, animals and flowers are great. We can color them and their shapes all we want and feel less stressed and anxious. Nevertheless, you can take things one step further by coloring inspirational quotes. Coloring lines like “No Bad Vibes” or “Enjoy The Simple Things” can make all the difference. So, grab your copy of this Blue Star Coloring book and enjoy your day.

    The Flowers Coloring Book by Thaneeya McArdle

    Coloring books can become your creative haven—a safe place for you and your thoughts when things aren’t going the way they should. One such safe place can be found in Thaneeya McArdle’s The Flowers Coloring Book. Let your mind disappear in her flower designs as colors bleed through each other, and you escape the harsh reality and venture into a peaceful place between the pages.

    Enhance your coloring routine with Speechify

    If you’re someone who enjoys coloring as a hobby, you might be looking for ways to enhance your experience and make it more enjoyable. One way to do that is by incorporating audiobooks into your coloring routine. With Speechify audiobooks, you can listen to a wide range of books about art techniques, that can help you improve your artistic ability. You can also choose from a variety of other genres, such as New York Times and Amazon best-selling mysteries, romance, or even non-fiction, if you’re looking for a more exciting and engaging experience while coloring.

    Whatever your preferences, Speechify audiobooks offer a great way to make your coloring routine even more enjoyable and immersive. Add an extra layer of relaxation to your self-care routine and incorporate Speechify Audiobooks into your coloring sessions today by signing up and claiming your first premium audiobook for free.


    Do adult coloring books have to be for adults?

    It depends. If the coloring book is full of curse words, they shouldn’t be handed out to children. Nevertheless, if it’s a nature-themed or animal coloring book, it’s okay to give them to kids, even if the designs might be a bit abstract for them.

    Cliff Weitzman
    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.