Adult Coloring Books Just Got High Tech

Coloring books for big kids are the hot new thing right now, but carrying around a large book and pack of colored pencils isn't necessarily the most inconspicuous thing in the world. Never fear: adult coloring book apps are here, perfect for when you're on the go, hiding in your cubicle at work, or pretending to respond to emails. Not only is this an entertaining activity that takes us back to our youth, but many are saying that coloring can help reduce stress in adults. It's like wine, except you won't get drunk.

The concept of art helping to reduce stress isn't some hippy dippy BS. Research has found, for example, that art therapy helps decrease symptoms of physical and emotional stress during the treatment of women with cancer. Yet another study found that just one hour of art therapy brought a great deal of comfort to adults with cancer, who felt better able to continue on with treatment. How amazing is it that something so simple can bring so much relief?

I found five adult coloring book apps on iTunes and tried them out. All of these are free, and most of them were a jolly good time.

1. Colorfy

Free, iTunes and Google Play

Colorfy has an overall five star rating and well over 20,000 reviews on iTunes. Choose from florals, mandalas, and more, and color the stress away. It lets you zoom in for easier access to the teeny tiny parts. Look how pretty mine is.

2. Recolor

Free, iTunes

When I opened Recolor, it automatically went to a page with ice cream. So I was more than satisfied. I found this one very simple, straightforward, and user-friendly.

3. Pigment

Free, iTunes

Pigment takes a lot more skill. Whereas the first two apps let you color simply by tapping the area (and the whole space fills in), Pigment treats your finger like an actual pencil, and you shade in the area manually. You have to zoom and move the picture with two fingers, because coloring is done with one finger — which explains the sporadic marks on my work of art. I did this for about a minute and a half before I started hating myself.

I personally want mindless entertainment; but if you prefer an app that reallllllly makes you concentrate, you'll love this. Everybody's different!

4. ColorTherapy

Free, iTunes

ColorTherapy is like Christmas morning. After realizing they even offer pictures of celebrities, I picked Elvis and went to town. Then we made out.

5. Enchanted Forest

Free, iTunes and Google Play

Enchanted Forest has a simple user interface and offers a nice selection of both simple and more elaborate designs. This flower pattern was funsies, and the vibrant colors make my eyes happy.

If downloading adult coloring book apps on your phone isn't quite your cup of tea, don't forget that you can take it to the iPad! Nothing makes you feel good quite like art.

Images: Fotolia; Megan Grant/Bustle (5)