When was the last time you picked up a finely sharpened colored pencil and began shading in an illustrated image that brought you joy? If you haven’t thought about coloring since kindergarten, you’re missing out on the comfort that comes from such a simple, low-stakes hobby. Adult coloring books may not be self-help books, technically speaking, but they can do you a lot of good.
The many science-backed benefits of coloring include relaxation and stress reduction. A 2018 study in the journal The Arts in Psychotherapy even found that art therapy can help reduce pain and anxiety. Another reason adult coloring books are all the rage these days is that they provide a screen-free escape from reality that makes you feel like a kid again. And the beauty of this hobby is that there’s no wrong way to color (read: you don’t need to be a skilled artist), so leave your self-judgment at the door.
Find a topic that piques your interest—you can draw inspiration from the best books of all time, books for your zodiac sign, books by female authors, and romance novels—and then choose from among these 20 highly rated adult coloring books. Most of these selections have well over 1,000 five-star reviews from happy colorers who have found peace in the process of putting colored pencils to paper.