What is Hygge and How Can It Help You Survive Winter?

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) isn’t a new brand of almond milk or a type of yoga; it’s a Danish lifestyle practice aimed at coziness, contentment, and well-being. If moving to a warmer climate isn’t part of your desired retirement lifestyle, or you’ll be making a trip up north, there are ways to love and enjoy winter. Even in a place with a cold or wet climate, hygge can help anyone feel warmer and comfortable in small ways. You can experience hygge with something as small as a cup of hot cocoa or an extra blanket. Here are some ways hygge can help you survive this winter.

Stay Warm

Whether you’re warming up for retirement or just warming up, make your home cozy. Comfortable clothing is a must-have for achieving hygge, and sweaters and slippers can make you feel at home even if you’re traveling during the holidays. If you’re hosting, a lit fireplace can make your home look the part and create a cozy space for friends and family to gather around. Add some aesthetic and functional throw blankets to the couches, and your living room is instantly more hygge.

Eat, Eat, Eat

Save the dieting for summer and indulge a bit in comfort foods during the winter. A hygge diet consists of hot drinks like coffee, hot cocoa, and hot apple cider. Baking cookies and cinnamon buns are also highly recommended. Staying in and making a hot meal like spaghetti and meatballs, chicken pot pie, or French onion soup is very hygge.


Hygge is also an aesthetic, made complete with candles, pinecones, and lots of blankets. During the long winter nights, candles can create a hygge atmosphere. Denmark burns more candles per year than any other country – 13 pounds of candle wax a year per capita, in fact.[1] Sure, they’re technically a fire hazard, but they’ll make your home look much more inviting than overhead lights would.

Share the Hygge

More than a collection of things or a temperature, hygge is a feeling. Winter can become an anti-social season when people don’t want to leave their warm house or brave the roads, but there are benefits to having company during the winter months. Hosting a few friends to share in your coziness and disconnecting from screens is also part of creating a hygge atmosphere.

If you’re stuck inside this winter, you can make the most of it by getting hygge and getting ahead on retirement planning. Having a solid plan is important for meeting your retirement goals, whether they involve retiring earlier, maintaining your current lifestyle in retirement, travel, or creating a legacy. Whatever your retirement goals, we can help you create a plan. Come talk to us, so we can start learning about your retirement planning goals and start on a plan to help you achieve them.

[1] Wiking, Meik. The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.

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