7 Stress-Relieving Colouring Books To Keep You Busy Through Lockdown's Quiet Moments

The Mindfulness Colouring Book/Pac Macmillan

It's easy, especially during times of stress, to look back lovingly at the days of yore, back when you were a kid with not a care in the world save for a grazed knee or being assigned a Spice Girl you didn't want to be. No offence Emma Bunton, but WHY did I get Baby EVERY time? One of childhood's greatest pleasures is cracking open a fresh pack of felt tips and trying to stay in the lines. Luckily, there are plenty of colouring books for adults to be enjoyed, and I've listed some of my favourite below. Because there's nothing more relaxing than an hour or two spent with your newly-sharpened coloured pencils.

We all know colouring is fun, but did you know there's evidence out there to suggest it's beneficial for your mental health too? For example, one 2017 study undertaken by researchers in New Zealand found that there were noted therapeutic benefits for adults who engaged in colouring. "Colouring participants showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety," the authors wrote. "We conclude that daily colouring can improve some negative psychological outcomes and that it may provide an effective, inexpensive, and highly accessible self-help tool."

Right now it's Mental Health Awareness Week, meaning its a great time to find some activities that help reduce your anxiety levels and improve your mood. And considering the whole world is stuck in lockdown due to COVID-19, finding moments of joy is more important than ever. Here is a list of colouring books that you might find to be a simple, relaxing, and enjoyable way of doing just that.


The Colouring Sessions

Music giants Sony launched this special and unique collection of much-beloved album covers to be coloured in by music lovers and fans alike. This collection includes classic album sleeves from artists including Foo Fighters, Little Mix, Elvis, and Carole King, all of which are free to download and print from their website. So get your colouring kit out and blast the tunes to really get the creative juices flowing.


'Secret Garden'

Secret Garden, created by Joanna Basford, is a treat for the eyes and stretches your mind more than other colouring books might. As a part of the process, readers must find nine special symbols hidden in the book in order to "unlock" the castle gate at the end.


'The Mindfulness Colouring Book'

Intricately illustrated by Emma Farrarons, The Mindfulness Colouring Book is filled with swirly, beautiful, elegant drawings to help you twirl away the stresses and practice a bit of mindfulness. Now what's better than that?


'F*ckity F*ck F*ck F*ck'

Colourful both in terms of both language and content, F*ckity F*ck F*ck F*ck incorporate two of the most joyous stress busters of all: swearing and colouring. Here the two concepts are married here in a stunning fusion of creativity and expletives.


'Dream Cities'

Of all times to be able to whisk yourself off into a colourful world of imaginary cities drawn by Rosie Goodwin, now is it. Think whirly swirly imagery, cute cityscapes, and happy seaside scenes.


'Harry Potter Colouring Book'

Attention all Potterheads, this colouring book is as incredible as it sounds. Illustrated to a super high level, this book can immerse you in all things Potter and contains intricate line drawings used in the making of the Harry Potter movies. Here you'll find pages filled with magical creatures as well as iconic scenes from the films, from the Sorting Ceremony to the unforgettable final battle between Harry and Lord Voldemort, as well as items such as The Quibbler, Quidditch World Cup posters, and the Triwizard Cup.


'Geometric Mandalas'

An ideal way to help order a disorderly mind and declutter your thoughts, this delightfully organised set of 50 mandalas (geometric configurations of symbols) is ready and waiting for you to colour in.