Procrastinate Creatively: The Best Adult Coloring Books

Coloring isn’t just for kids! But you probably already knew that. Recently, this glorious activity has become rather trendy, capturing the hearts of the young and not-so-young. We don’t know about you guys, but breaking out the crayons definitely raises our dopamine levels. Not only does it allow us to reminisce about our childhood (or the days we spent coloring princesses in high school – don’t lie, you did it too), but several studies have shown that there are various creativity and stress-relief benefits associated with the pass time. But the best part of the fact that coloring has become trendy? The amazing array of options that have developed in adult coloring books.

But first, let’s do a little recap of the benefits – why should you still be coloring? Well, for starters it promotes coordination. With all the typing and time spent in front of computers in the twenty-first century, our motor skills don’t always get the attention that they deserve. Taking a little bit of time to make sure you color inside the lines keeps your fine motor skills sharp as a tack, and it also keeps your hand-eye coordination and brain function in tip-top shape. Are we saying that coloring makes you smarter? It certainly won’t hurt you (unless you’re coloring instead of doing your homework)…

But if you’re coloring as a method to de-stress from homework/finals/job/life? This is definitely a good thing. Art therapy has been around for years, and coloring is an easy way to join in the fun even if you can’t paint or draw. Plus, the repetitive motions let you zone out for a little bit and give your brain a break. Forgetting about the world and your worries for a few minutes every day sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Don’t forget about sparking your creativity. The day-in and day-out can be a little stifling to our creative spirit; creating an orange polka-dotted elephant says “society, your rules do NOT confine me!” You never have to color inside the lines, and you don’t have to make your picture real-life correct. Trying something completely different, or even just giving yourself permission to give Cinderella a red dress instead of a blue one can be incredibly freeing, opening that locked up gate in your brain to let out all of your other crazy, creative thoughts.

Now for the best part: our round up of some of the best coloring books for those over 5. You can buy giant generic books from the dollar store, pages of popular children’s characters for between $5-$10 from places like Target or Walmart, or you can check out these crazy awesome books for a little bit of added inspiration.

Secret Garden

book 1

Color Me Drunk

book 2

Day of the Dead Coloring Book

book 6

book 3

Indie Rock Coloring Book

book 4

book 5

Dapper Animals Coloring Book

book 7

World Traveler Coloring Book

book 9

The Anatomy Coloring Book

book 11

book 12

Vincent Van Gogh Coloring Book

book 13

book 14

Color Me Calm

book 15

book 16

Rachel Knuttel

Contributor, Indiana University Major: Elementary Education Her heart belongs to: sunshine, words, cats, Harry Potter, marching bands, libraries, & endless cups of tea. Her guilty pleasures: going to bed early and eating way too much fancy cheese (and not believing in guilty pleasures)!

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