A practical and inspiring guide to the Nordic way of life

book how hygge johansen

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If you have not heard about hygge then where exactly have you been the last few years??

Hygge swept onto our shores from our Scandinavian and Nordic neighbours and it shows no sign of leaving anytime soon.

Since then there have been numerous books written to help us non Scandi/Nordic dwellers embrace this philosophy. I was, therefore, very excited and very ready to love Robert’s offering How not to be a Boy.

If you think that Scandinavian and Nordic life is all about blonde wood, IKEA functionality and ABBA, then be prepared to learn something new and found out why the Scandinavian and Nordic countries are regularly rated as the best countries to live in.

What is How to Hygge about?

How to Hygge is designed to be a guide to the various aspects on hygge, with practical suggestions on how hygge can be incorporated into your daily life. Part lifestyle, part cookbook, each chapter focuses on a different component of hygge.

The book begins with an explanation of what exactly hygge is (a difficult task as there is no real direct translation into English), with an insight into how people live in Scandinavian/Nordic countries and how this contrasts with life in the UK (the author having moved from Norway to London).

Areas covered include embracing nature, outdoor pusuits, self-sufficiency, fika (coffee and cake!) cooking, home decor and personal relationships. There is also a number of hygge inspired recipes included in the book (think comfort food at its finest).

Some parts of hygge do not always translate well to a UK setting-I’m not sure taking up cross-country skiing as a way of getting to work will take off-but the author is able to present hygge in an accessible way and make allowances for the differences in landscape, climate and general way of life between the UK and the Nordic countries.

Highlights of How to Hygge

The best part of the book is how it combines being a general lifestyle guide with a being a Nordic based cookbook. You really do get value for your money! The author is also a chef and a food writer, which makes the inclusion of recipes feel authentic. The recipes are simply to follow and, as they have a definite ‘comfort food’ theme, they are likely to appeal to a wide audience.

The book is also genuinely inspiring without being preachy. The aim of the book is not to claim that Nordic countries have all the answers or that hygge is the answer to all of life’s problems. It simply presents a different way of looking at certain aspects of your daily life that you may not have done before, either because there was no real need to or the opportunity never came up. Most people in the UK probably did not learn to ski before they could walk for example, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to embrace the unique landscapes of our own country and encourage our children to do the same.

Why should a teacher read How to Hygge?

This book helps to highlight the rushed and busy lives we often lead, children included.

By focusing on some of the simple things in life, schools can start to bring the positive aspects of hygge into their schools. Slowing down, embracing nature, learning useful skills, forming positive relationships with other people, are all ways teachers can help students by using principles from hygge.

If you want more help with introducing hygge into your classroom then read my blog post Hygge Your Classroom.

The best part of How to Hygge

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe!

Where can I buy How to Hygge?

Most good bookshops and of course Amazon.


I hope you enjoyed this brief look at How to Hygge. Be sure to leave your thoughts on the book in the comments below and remember to share this post to help other teachers!

how hygge johansen
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