I can’t remember a time when art wasn’t a way for me to feel centered. It nourished my soul in ways other tasks couldn’t. Drawing, doing make up, illustrating my comic book Helios: Femina–creating allowed me to focus, relax, and refresh. To this day, along with practicing mindfulness and meditation, I find my peace in picking up a pen or marker or brush, and I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Enter adult coloring books. If you haven’t seen or colored your way to relaxation yet with one of these, you’re missing out. I mention them in my 5 Ways to Find Inner Peace post and have looked near and far for books that have a therapeutic edge. Because holiday season is just around the corner and can be incredibly stressful, AND we all need a little more down time in our lives, I’m sharing 5 must-have books that will blow your mind in the most soothing way. ^_^ These make great gifts as well!

Keep Calm and Color On

1. Keep Calm and Color On – This book is not only gorgeous, but it can also be personalized. When you flip through the pages your name is trickled throughout with beautiful quotes. One of my favorites within from Robert Lasardo is, “Creativity can release you from the limitations that the world has constructed around you.” This is one of the most detailed of the books, forcing you to forget your surroundings and really focus on intricate mandalas throughout. The cover image for this post features one of the pages within.

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle

2. 100 Things To Draw With A Triangle – I love geometric shapes, that’s not hard to tell from the design of my site, so this book immediately drew me in (no pun intended!). Less of a coloring book, this book gives you stunningly simplistic pages of just a few triangles to represent mountains, spaceships, stairs, antlers and you’re supposed to fill in the canvas with whatever drawing your mind thinks up. There is no right or wrong, no lines to color with in, just a canvas and a prompt where your wildest imagination can take over.

Tangled Treasures

3. Tangled Treasures Coloring Book – If you would consider your coloring skills to be comparable to the days of elementary school, then this book is for you. It intros with art tips about complementary colors, how to shade and combine hues, and different tools and techniques to elevate your scenes. It’s an escape from the often more symmetric and structured pages of other coloring books with a whimsical, earthy feel. Not only will this book (loaded with single sided pages so you can preserve your finished pieces if desired) calm your nerves and allow you to destress, it will also teach you new skills along the way.

Doodling for Bookworms

4. Doodling For Bookworms – Another book to doodle and color in, this one is small enough to fit in your purse. Soo useful if you’re trying to get your morning zen on the train or bus on the way to work. It covers just about everything frequent reader would want, from comical Shakespearian quotes to drawings of literary villains. Illustrator Gemma Correll even has a similar doodle book for cat lovers! You could get lost in these books for hours.

Color Me Calm

5. Color Me Calm – This book has sold out consistently over the last year, and for good reason. Similar to Keep Calm and Color on this book is full of massive mandalas, but it also has pages upon pages (there are well over 100) of detailed landscapes and geometric patterns. The complexity of each is the perfect meditation at the end of your day. And I love how each page has a singular design so your finished piece is clean and bold and a clear example of what you’re able to create. Color Me Calm also comes in a mini book that’s barely bigger than a CD case–this is your ultimate travel buddy.

Have you tried adult coloring books yet? What do you think?

<3 Mish

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