5 Books That Will Keep The Winter Blues Away

By: Krystin Morgan

Winter descends upon us every year, bringing chilly weather, long nights and dark days. It’s easy to let it affect your mental health. According to Mental Health America, about 5% of the United States is affected by winter blues in any given year, and a whopping 80% are women. 

To beat the blues, it may help to think of winter as a time to hunker down, relax and reset. We share five cozy, comforting books to keep the blues at bay—a warm cup of cocoa in book form. 

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May 

Part memoir, part study in the art of “wintering,” Katherine May’s book explores how to get through the winters in our lives, whether figuratively or literally. With a focus on rest and retreat, May takes readers through a journey of finding the beauty in a difficult season. You may find yourself embracing winter, however it appears in your own life, and appreciating it for the solitude and introspection it brings. 

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking 

What better way to enjoy the coldest season than by embracing the Danish idea of “hygge,” the sense of coziness, comfort and contentment? Author Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, takes readers through the meaning of hygge and how the Danish have cultivated it to become known as the world’s happiest people. Snuggle up by the fire, grab a cup of hot tea and your favorite scarf, and learn the best way to make the most of life, whichever season you’re in. 

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Winter is the perfect time to step into solitude and silence to dream about what’s next. Shonda Rhimes, creator and executive producer of shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” shares her story of transforming from fearful and introverted to living a life of “yes.” It’s the perfect dose of inspiration as you settle into a winter cocoon and fantasize about spreading your wings in the sunshine. 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert 

Creativity is an excellent antidote to the winter doldrums. Elizabeth Gilbert dives into her own creative process, sharing insight into inspiration, curiosity and fear. She provides a how-to guide to get in touch with your own creative side—even if it scares you. Who knows, you may even find that it’s the perfect time to dive into a new creative pursuit or pick up a long-forgotten hobby. 

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 

Finally, if you prefer fiction, Ove and his neighbors are just the injection of hygge you need. Chronicling the adventures of a misanthropic, irritated man on a journey to (begrudging) happiness, this book introduces you to a cast of characters who will feel like friends. You’ll laugh, cry, and come away feeling like you’re wrapped in your favorite quilt. 

As the winter season approaches, take some time to prepare for the colder months with these cozy reads that’ll help you embrace solitude, ignite your imagination and cultivate comfort. Settle in with your comfy socks and let the magic of winter unfold. 

 Krystin Morgan is a writer, career consultant, and talent acquisition professional living in Seattle, WA. She’s spent 15 years helping grow tech companies and now spends her time consulting and writing

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