Hygge: The Danish Attitude That Can Change Your Life

Hi, there! Welcome to Hygge Wellness. I’m Sam, a corporate attorney-turned-Certified Health Coach who helps busy people discover intuitive eating, practice self-care, and master healthy strategies so they can live free of diets, restriction, and take out boxes. 😉

I named my health coaching business Hygge Wellness because the amazing Danish attitude speaks so clearly to my approach to food, fitness, and self-care.  Read on to learn about hygge [hoo-gah], how it relates to your health, and my philosophy on all things wellness. Visit my About page for more info on who I am, what I do, and who I help.

So, what is HYGGE?

People always ask me, “What is hygge?” or “How do you say that… word?!”  Hygge [pronounced: hoo-gah] is a Danish term that generally translates to “coziness” in English.  But really, hygge is so much more than coziness.

Hygge is a Danish way of life. An attitude.  A way of being, really.

Generally speaking, hygge can also be described as:

  1. Being cozy and enjoying the little things.
  2. Relaxing and de-stressing.
  3. Practicing self-care and mindfulness.

Hygge is all about enjoying the little moments in life.  But in order to enjoy those moments, you have to take the time to enjoy yourself. We can’t just work, work, work and then wonder why we’re all so stressed out. We have to slow down & practice self-care, too.

Also, considering that Denmark is consistently ranked the #1 happiest country in the world, it’s worth looking into whether hygge has a part in it.  If you want to know how hygge makes you happier, check out my blog post.

Hygge + My Wellness Philosophy

Hygge perfectly relates to my philosophy on health & wellness.  I work with my health coaching clients to ditch the diet mentality in exchange for simple, sustainable strategies.   I don’t believe the answer to healthy eating or consistent exercise lies with a pill, cleanse, 30-day challenge, or restrictive diet.  There are simpler ways to live well.  By really taking care of yourself, like hygge encourages us to do, you will listen to what your body is telling you it really needs.  Once we clear all the noise and clutter from our lives, we can see clearly what we need and want.  And it’s not another diet.

You might think that you’re an emotional eater, that you have a weight problem, or a late-night snacking problem. You probably beat yourself up thinking, “If I could just stop doing X, then I would be skinny…happy…healthy…fit, and if I felt that happy/healthy/fit/skinny, then my life would be all fixed!”

Do you feel that way?

Because I know so many of us have felt like that at some point. Like many women, I used to put that much pressure on myself to feel & look a certain way.  I felt like I didn’t have control over my life if I wasn’t the right weight, fitness level, or look.

But that’s where something like hygge, or self-care, comes into play.  It’s actually not at all about late-night snacking or your inability to “control yourself”. It’s about filling yourself up in other ways — ways that really fulfill you and bring you joy — instead of looking to outside sources (I’m looking at you, peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s…)

There’s a reason there are millions of diets out there! Because none of them work.

They slow down your metabolism and create an unhealthy relationship with food. They make you miss out on parties with friends, your grandmother’s famous cookies, and your co-worker’s last day happy hour.

Luckily for you, I help people find a way to care for themselves, their bodies, and their minds in ways that actually work.  I teach you strategies that you can use in everyday life — with kids, a corporate lifestyle, a new baby… anything life throws at you!

You can learn more about how we can work together, and schedule your free 30-minute connection call with me, here

How Can You Get Some Hygge in Your Life?

Getting hygge at home means cozying by a fire or on the couch and reading a book, drinking some tea while you relax in your favorite chair, or enjoying a homemade treat or meal with friends or loved ones.  My cousin described her version of hygge as the feeling you get on a snow day or a holiday when it feels like the whole world has shut down.  You stay home, relax, and spend time with those you love.

But hygge doesn’t just have to be done at home.  The attitude and general idea can also be practiced outside or at a friend/family member’s house.  Regardless of where you hygge, my unofficial research shows that hygge really can make you happier.

As an attorney, I know firsthand how much those of you working in corporate America could use some decompression & relaxation.  So maybe you can’t cozy up by the fireplace at work…but you can slow down, practice breathing or mindfulness techniques, take short & active breaks, and learn to relax both while at home & after.  You can also be a better employee when you’re at work by practicing these strategies at home.  In other words, by finding a healthy work-life balance.

So you want to learn more about this amazing Danish attitude?  Here are a few additional resources to check out:

Blog Posts:

4 Ways Hygge Can Make You Happier

5 Reasons You Need to Practice Self-Care

Cozying Up with The Little Book of Hygge [book review]


“A Year of Living Danishly” by Helen Russell – the book that inspired the brand.

“The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking – Preorder now! This book is being released in January 2017.


The Year of Hygge – The Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy – The New Yorker

Hygge: A heart-warming lesson from Denmark – BBC News

Why We Should All Embrace the Danish Art of ‘Hygge’ – Telegraph

Is the secret of happiness contained in this Danish word? – PBS News

Denmark’s Definition of Hygge

Hygge Supplies for Home:

The MOST relaxing blanket that you can heat up & enjoy the amazing lavender scent.

Notebook Set for journaling, gratitude lists, sketching, etc.

Gorgeous Candles – Denmark is the #1 user of candles in the world and much of it has to do with getting hygge!

Fuzzy Blankets are a must.

Your favorite scent can really boost your mood.


This page contains affiliate links to some of my favorite products. Thank you for helping keep Hygge alive! 

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