Adult Coloring Books: The New Art Therapy

Art therapy is a therapeutic process in which art is either created or analyzed to help treat various mental and emotional issues.  It is a widely accepted form of therapy in hospitals, clinics, schools and with private practice therapists. With the guidance of trained art therapists, people can increase awareness of self, learn to cope with symptoms of stress and trauma, and enjoy the pleasure of making art.  We like adult coloring books because they are easily accessible and affordable.  Although you may not have the help of a trained art therapist with you while you color, you can still benefit greatly from taking the time to create art for the purposes of self-expression, stress reduction and increased emotional awareness.

Our tips to increase the therapeutic benefits of your coloring book experience:

  • Choose a calming location, such as a quiet room or your favorite café.
  • Before coloring, think about your current mood and what you want to accomplish by coloring.  Are you angry and want to feel calmer?  Are you happy and just want to enjoy the moment?  Are you stressed and need something relaxing to reduce the tension?
  • Think about the colors you decide and why you want to use that color.  Does the color blue make you feel calm?  Does the color red remind you of a favorite moment?
  • Consider adding music to the environment.  Art therapists often choose relaxing music, like classical music or jazz, but you can choose your favorite genre.  Consider making a “coloring time" playlist.
  • Don’t let the lines on the paper limit your creativity.  Don’t just color, add to the design on the page.
  • Put your cell phone and other distracting electronic devices away.

Some coloring books we like:

Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns, by Blue Star Coloring

ColorIt – Colorful Flowers: Adult Coloring Book with Relaxing Zentangle Flowers and Patterns, by ColorIt

Color Therapy: An Anti-Stress Coloring Book, by Richard Merritt, Cindy Wilde and Laura-Kate Chapman