Colouring could be just the therapy you need to manage stress

Colouring for grown-ups is officially a thing. But not just a trendy thing — it’s believed to be incredibly therapeutic.

Experts say colouring helps to calm the amygdala, the part of the brain that controls our emotions and senses. It may also provide a mental escape by transporting us back to the carefree days of childhood.

It’s certainly much cheaper than an hour on the therapist’s couch. If you fancy trying some grown-up colouring, here are 10 of our favourite adult colouring books.

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom

Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom

Freelance illustrator Marotta grew up in rural Wales and her love of wildlife is reflected in her colouring book, which incorporates animals, plants and flowers in her intricate patterns. Batsford, £10

fill-me-in by Moose Allain

World of Moose colouring book

The World of Moose is a place for all ages and it provides plenty of opportunities to draw and doodle as well as colour should you be unable to control those creative urges. World of Moose, £10 

The Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons

The Mindfulness Colouring Book

Photo credit: Emma Farrarons

Emma Farrarons’ colouring book is described as “anti-stress art therapy for busy people” and it’s small enough to fit in your handbag or pocket — always at hand for when you need a few minutes to de-stress. Amazon, £6

The Mandala Coloring Book by Jim Gogarty

The Mandala Coloring Book

Mandalas have been used as a symbol of peace and tranquillity for centuries so it’s no wonder they’re popping up in colouring books everywhere. This one has 100 pages of mandala designs and comes with expert instruction and helpful design tips. Amazon, £11

Natural Wonders by Patrick Hruby

Natural Wonders colouring book

Hruby’s illustrations feature forests, flora and fauna and are translated into 32 black-and-white line drawings. The back cover has each of the images in their original full-colour versions for reference and each page is perforated along the top, should you wish to display your work of art on your wall. Amazon, £6

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The Midnight Colouring Book by Richard Merritt

The Midnight Colouring Book

This unique colouring book has an elegant black, white and red colour scheme and features beautiful designs with birdcages, clocks, acrobats, playing-card patterns and many more visual treats — at a bargain price. Amazon, £4

The Secret Garden by Johanna Basford

Johanna Basford is an illustrator and “ink evangelist” who creates intricate, hand-drawn illustrations inspired by the flora and fauna surrounding her home in rural Scotland. Amazon, £9

Colour Me Good Benedict Cumberbatch by Mel S. Elliott

Colour Me Good Benedict Cumberbatch

Mel Elliott’s “I Love Mel” pop culture colouring books cover everything from Cara Delevingne and Ryan Gosling to redheads, record covers and horror movies. To keep all the Cumberbitches happy their main man has been added to the range. Amazon, £7

Really RELAXING Colouring Book 1: Playing with Patterns by Elizabeth James

Really Relaxing Colouring Book: Playing with Patterns

You just have to go with the flow with the Really Relaxing Colouring Book series, which is, of course, the whole point of art therapy. Amazon, £4

Colouring for Grown-ups: The Adult Activity Book by Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen

Colouring for Grown-Ups: The Adult Activity Book

Described as a “caustically funny book of games with a decidedly adult twist,” this isn’t a colouring book you’ll want to share with the kids. It offers an ironic look at modern adulthood with all its stereotypes and challenges, including a “Dodge the Debt Collectors” activity maze and “Life Partner Laboratory” to create your soulmate. Amazon, £5

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