3 Science-backed Reasons Why Adults Love Coloring Books 

It’s no secret that adult coloring books have become a very popular phenomenon in the past several years. This phenomenon has helped reintroduce casual art making as a pillar of health and wellness, and we wanted to share 3 science-backed reasons why coloring is so effective in supporting your self-care routine. 

  1. Promotes self-soothing: In a position paper, Richard Carolan and Donna Betts of the American Art Therapy Association wrote that coloring books “provide a controlled, contained use of art for self-soothing purposes and their success-oriented nature is conducive to fulfillment of the need for instant gratification. They can be completed with minimal risk.”

  2. Induces a childlike state: The act of coloring stimulates different areas of the two cerebral hemispheres which activates motor skills, vision, logic, and creativity while reducing the activity of the amygdala, which is the center for emotions that is afflicted by stress. Simply put, coloring allows us to focus on the details of mixing and matching, the precise hand movements, and helps us to go into our childlike state, where imagination was most active, and we were creative, less stressed, and freer. 

  3. Invokes nostalgia: As clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, PsyD, explained to Cleveland Clinic, “Adults typically choose forms of activities they loved as children for their adult recreations.” Coloring books definitely count, and many people remember coloring as a practice embedded in their childhood. Adult coloring may be powerful exactly because of that nostalgia, an extra layer of joy other mindfulness trends don’t provide. 

Coloring relieves us of life's pressures momentarily, and while it is more palliative than a remedy, it allows us to de-stress, which alleviates tension internally and aids in better sleep, lower blood pressure, improves digestion, a better mood, and much more.