The 12 Best Adult Coloring Books

A peaceful activity that you can take anywhere

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Adult coloring book

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Coloring books shouldn't just belong in your childhood memories—with the number of adult versions available these days, they can be an activity of the present, too.

No matter your level of expertise with art and coloring, coloring books can have a meditative effect on people in any age group, from refocusing your energy into the present moment to providing an escape from daily stressors. While painting or drawing can be intimidating to some, coloring is a more accessible form of art therapy —whether or not you want to color in or outside the lines. 

We researched the best adult coloring books on the market to add a splash of creativity and a sense of calm to your daily routine. 

Our Top Picks
The abstract designs, flora and fauna, and thick paper give you the tools you need for a mindful color session.
Posh Adult Coloring Book:
Posh Adult Coloring Book at Amazon
Unwind and get lost in the swirls and stars; this book is called the creative alternative to counting sheep.
Secret Paris:
Secret Paris at Amazon
These double-sided pages will give you plenty of opportunity to find your inner “artiste” and unwind.
With 21 different graphics—all adorned with hilariously explicit captions—you’ll laugh your way through coloring therapy.
Mandala is the Sanskrit word for circle, and coloring these circular designs can be a form of meditation.
The Mindfulness Coloring Book:
The Mindfulness Coloring Book at Amazon
Bring this pocket-sized coloring book with you everywhere and enjoy one of the 70 kaleidoscope style designs.
Vogue Colors A to Z:
Vogue Colors A to Z at Amazon
The Vogue Colors A to Z has vintage Vogue covers from 1912 to 1932 so you can transport yourself to a whimsical, playful time.
This gorgeous book boasts immersive scenes of invigorating cities like Tokyo and London as well as imaginary cities.
Fantastic Planet includes “natural mandala illustrations” in addition to the scenery from mind-blowing locations around the world.
Color Me Calm:
Color Me Calm at Amazon
Designed by an artist and an art therapist, this special collection has therapeutically-themed chapters.

Color & Frame In The Garden Coloring Book

in-the-garden

Gardening—or even just spending time in a garden—can be incredibly peaceful, but if you don’t have a green thumb (or the space to garden), consider coloring one for yourself. This spiral-bound coloring book will be a constant companion no matter where you are; the abstract designs, flora and fauna, and thick paper give you the tools you need for a mindful color session. Get creative with 64 pages of art.

Posh Adult Coloring Book: Posh Adult Coloring Book: Soothing Designs For Fun & Relaxation

With strategic patterns and line work intended to still the mind and get you into a place of calm, the Posh Adult Coloring book has over 100 designs to get lost in. Unwind and get lost in the swirls and stars; they call this the “creative alternative to counting sheep.” Try using this book after a long day so you can slip off into a peaceful slumber.

Secret Paris: Secret Paris: Color Your Way to Calm

Steal away on a quiet morning to the enchanting streets of Paris—in your mind, that is. If you can’t hop on a plane to stroll along the Seine or hide out in a boulangerie, you can envision it in your mind’s eye while coloring your perfect Parisian day. Try coloring this book while sitting on your porch with a cup of tea, and maybe some toast with Bonne Maman jam. Très serène. The 96 double-sided pages will give you plenty of opportunities to find your inner “artiste” and unwind with an escapist-style coloring activity.

Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book

adult coloring book

Need to vent? Yell out some expletives? If yelling isn’t an option, try coloring them instead. Calm the F*ck Down is known as the “irreverent” adult coloring book full of abstract designs aplenty. With 21 different intricate graphics—all adorned with hilariously explicit captions—you’ll laugh your way through coloring therapy. Big bonus: these are all single-sided designs, which means you won’t destroy a design underneath your current masterpiece, because nothing is printed on the backside of it.

50 Mandalas for Stress Relief Adult Coloring Book

Though adult coloring has been shown in studies to decrease stress and anxiety across the board, mandalas have been the only distinguished design proven to amplify those effects (read: coloring a mandala is potentially much more soothing than coloring a smiley face or a picture of a dog, though those will still be nice to color as well). Mandala is the Sanskrit word for circle; coloring these circular designs can be a form of meditation. As Verywell Mind reported earlier this year, “an increasing body of clinical trials suggests that meditation may reduce stress, combat depression, reduce pain, and lower blood pressure.” Coloring, meet meditation: these mandalas might be your new paper chill pill.

The Mindfulness Coloring Book: The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People

Bring this pocket-sized coloring book with you everywhere; in your purse, on your train commute, traveling by plane, to your bedside table, to a café, or to the park. 70 patterns featuring “kaleidoscope” style designs will help you get out of your racing thoughts and onto some stillness on paper. 

Vogue Colors A to Z: Vogue Colors A to Z: A Fashion Coloring Book

Do you get your feelings of calm from Coco Chanel, destress with Dior, and find balance with Balenciaga? Get yourself a fashion-forward coloring book. The Vogue Colors A to Z has vintage Vogue covers from 1912 to 1932—so chic—so you can transport yourself to a whimsical, playful time. These pages are perforated, so if you’re pleased with your mindful handiwork, you can tear them off and frame them.

Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined

Dreaming of a phone-free vacation or travels to somewhere new and beautiful? Visualize it now with this “you are here” style coloring book. This gorgeous book comprises immersive bird’s eye view scenes of invigorating cities like Tokyo and London, as well as imaginary cities made into “architectural mandalas” which can help you relax and meditate. Fans of this book appreciate the quality of paper—which allows you to not just color with pencils, but use other mediums as well (hello, watercolor!).

Fantastic Planet: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined

Go beyond the Fantastic Cities and get lost in the mesmerizing images and scenes of Fantastic Planet (they’re created by the same incredible artist!). Like the Cities iteration of this series, Fantastic Planet includes “natural mandala illustrations” in addition to the scenery from mind-blowing locations around the world: “lush jungles, teeming reefs, desert landscapes, fruitful orchards, sun-dappled forests, spectacular waterfalls, majestic trees, tulip fields, animal migrations, and much more.” You’ll get an eclectic mix that will give you plenty of options to choose from, no matter what landscape you prefer to color.

Color Me Calm: Color Me Calm: 100 Coloring Templates for Meditation and Relaxation

Designed by an artist and an art therapist, this very special collection has “therapeutically-themed chapters,” that include mandalas (surprise!), water and wood scenes, geometric and natural patterns, flora and fauna, and designs themed on spirituality. This book does something pretty special; it “offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment.” That’s a great way to make some lemonade, right? 

Balance: Angie's Extreme Stress Menders

This coloring book is a bit on the “advanced” side, if you will, so you can get wild with fine-tipped markers, colored pencils, or brush tipped markers—whatever’s calling to you right now. Let the 50 “delightfully detailed” patterns and designs take you out of your anxious, stressful thoughts and into the present moment. These graphics are all printed on one side of the page, meaning you don’t have to worry about bleed-through to the other side (and into another design)…meaning one less thing to worry about in general! As far as designs, the author pulled out all the stops to make sure you’re feeling calmer as soon as possible, so you’ll find plenty of mandala designs in this book.

World of Flowers: World of Flowers: A Coloring Book and Floral Adventure

Best selling coloring book artist Johanna Basford created the loveliest garden for your mind. Boxes of flowers, dazzling apothecaries, floating gardens, and whimsically florid designs allow you to take your mind off work, family, money, and your to-do list. Center yourself with this romantic and charming set of patterns and images that will allow your creative side to flourish (see what we did there?). The World of Flowers coloring book (and floral adventure, lest we forget) has 80 pages and measures 10 x 10-inches, giving you a good amount of space to let the colors flow while your mind finds a bit more ease.

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2 Sources
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  1. Cleveland Clinic. 3 Reasons Adult Coloring Can Actually Relax Your Brain. Updated May 27, 2020.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. 3 Reasons Adult Coloring Can Actually Relax Your Brain. 2020.