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Lykke: The New Hygge?

Author: Lisa Soeno

Last year Meik Wiking’s Little Book of Hygge took the world by storm. It seemed like everyone was lighting candles, sipping on hot chocolate and snuggling down under sheepskins. Sales of cinnamon swirls spiked, and editor Lauren even confessed that she fully embraced winter as a result of hygge. So when I learnt that Wiking had a new book out, The Little Book of Lykke, it fell straight into my virtual basket.

Lykke, pronounced ‘luu-ka’, is the Danish word for happiness. Wiking reckons there are six building blocks to achieving a lykke life: togetherness, money, health, freedom, trust and kindness. He’s travelled the world, literally, in the pursuit of happiness, and in his book he explains how to find a little more lykke in our lives.

Here’s some tips from the book that struck a chord with me.

Love thy neighbour

Wiking waxes lyrical about the importance of knowing your neighbours. It made me think how engrained I have become in our community. Living opposite a park and playground means we often bump into other families that live on our street. Lyra regularly accompanies our eleven-year-old neighbour on dog walks. I’m practically on a first name basis with the ladies in my local post office (Asos returns will do that to you).

Interestingly, Wiking also says there’s an advantage in living in a defined community, for example a cul-de-sac is more inclusive than a normal ‘through’ road. I’ve lived on both and I’m pretty sure that whilst we were house-hunting I was subconsciously drawn to houses on cul-de-sacs, possibly for this very reason.

Detox digitally

I do realise the irony of this, bearing in mind you may well be reading this on your phone. However it always makes me wonder what the world is coming to when I see people out with their other halves/their friends and everyone at the table is on their phone…

Wiking talks about an experiment carried out by the Happiness Research Institute (of which he is CEO, obvs) about the effect of Facebook on happiness. They found that the participants who gave up Facebook for a week felt less lonely, more sociable and more satisfied with life in general. I guess it’s common sense but something to bear in mind every once in a while.

Buy experiences, not things

This resonates with me because when I look back and think about our happiest times, they are nearly all memories of holidays or day trips or weekends away. As such, if I’m lucky enough to be asked by family for suggestions of what to buy the kids for Christmas, I will definitely be asking for pennies to spend on experiences rather than material goods.

Which brings me on to the last time that I experienced lykke. It was Sunday afternoon, Lyra was rolling down the side of a hill and laughing her head off, Jenson was babbling in his pushchair and crinkly leaves were swirling all around us. If you’d passed me a hot chocolate and a cinnamon bun I would probably have died and gone to heaven.

So all in all, I bloody loved the book and I think I love Wiking even more. He’s self deprecating, honest and funny. You can’t help but get caught up in his enthusiasm for lykke and his love for Denmark, reportedly the world’s happiest country. Wiking, if you’re reading this, please may we have a guest post from you on these pages?

When was the last time you felt truly happy? Were you hooked on hygge and will you be embracing lykke? Anyone else a Wiking fangirl?

  • The Little Book of Lykke
  • The Little Book of Hygge
Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
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22 thoughts on “Lykke: The New Hygge?

  1. I love the concept of Hygge so I am definitely up for embracing Lykke! I love Denmark, I have been every year for the past few years and I think that will definitely continue x

  2. I read ‘The year of living Danishly’ at the start of this year – an excellent book about a British husband and wife who had the opportunity to live and work in Denmark for a year. It is full of both Hygge and Lykke and I fully embraced these concepts after reading it. My sister bought me the Little book of Hygge for Christmas last year, so I’m very tempted to follow on with the Lykke book too. I’m shamelessly drawn to pretty book covers anyway, but I’m sure the contents will be as delightful as the cover 🙂

      1. Ooh thanks for the link – its now on my birthday list! Literally just about to move from an Edwardian house to a crazy 70’s house. No idea what to do with it, this book looks perfect for inspiration!

  3. I had my hygge wedding last year that your lovely sister blog featured! But I am also a Wiking fangirl and am ready to embrace Lykke. These things just make life nicer x

      1. Yes please!! Also I think we should be best friends because you recognised the reading and mentioned my flower girls whose outfits I think most people were bemused by but were one of my fave things! Xx

        1. I was reading your write up thinking ‘Yup me and Hannah would definitely get on’. The venue, Rowen and Wren decor, ‘First Day of My Life’, the flower girl booties 😍

  4. Love Hygge and I’m fully on board with the concept of Lykke too! Interesting about the digital detox – I quit Facebook 18months ago (much to the horror of friends) and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I deleted the app at first for two weeks and then completely deleted my account and it felt like a weight had been lifted. I still have Instagram and Twitter, but I’ve become more conscious about how often I check them and I make a real effort to put my phone away when out and about with friends and family.

    1. Wiking would be proud Jo G. Did you not have second thoughts when Facebook said ‘Are you sure you want to delete your account? So-and-so will miss you’?!

      1. Haha! The irony of that being that the three people it said would miss me, one was my husband and the other two were people I hadn’t spoken to in years! I felt like we’d all survive me not being on FB lol.

  5. Just reading about this book makes me happy (or should that be Lykke?!) Definitely one for the Christmas list (if I can wait that long). I completely agree with spending money on experiences rather than things. I love to shop as much as the next person but nothing makes me happy like making memories with the people I love.

  6. I read Hygge last year (did anyone not?) and this year I’m reading Lagom by Linnea Dunne, which is about the Swedish equivalent. Definitely worth a read!

  7. Lisa, I am so on board with experiences over things! I’ve been umming and ahhing over birthday presents for Jovan that won’t get on my nerves.

    The house is already full of ugly plastic, and there’s only so much storage to hide it in. This has given me the encouragement I needed to buy less toys and more outings without feeling bad that he will be disappointed on the day xx

      1. We’re kind of making Disney on Ice a winter tradition, so maybe that again. I saw an advert for Peter Pan panto too which looks good, and maybe one more but undecided yet. He would prob like a Legoland trip but I don’t think I can face it now its getting cold…

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