Crayon those freelance blues away: 10 stress-busting grownup colouring books

Stress management is one of the most important parts of being a freelancer: you can’t do your very best creative work when you are overstressed. Knowing a few tricks and tactics to send stress packing is all in a days’ work - and hitting ‘reset’ might be easier than you think.

Steve Buckley /

Steve Buckley /

Colouring books for grown-ups have become fashionable. But the truth is, my mum has sworn by colouring-in to alleviate stress for as long as I can remember – she practically invented it. Here are a few books that meet with her approval... all for less than five pounds.

Crayons, felt tips and paints all work well with these books – the gorgeous drawings are presented single-sided, with the reverse left blank, so you won’t suffer the felt tip bleed-through – that is the scourge of many a childhood colouring session. Enjoy, de-stress and be happy!

1. Dream Catcher: Life on Earth

For relaxation through art therapy, you can put your trust in Christina Rose. Gorgeously detailed illustrations, side-by-side with positive, life-affirming comments on the power and beauty of the natural world around us.

2. Indian Summer - A Jewelled Journey through Indian Pattern and Colour: Volume 6

Switch off, unwind, and unleash your inner creativity as you lose yourself in the flow of decorating these Eastern flavoured patterns. If The Beatles did colouring in, this is what they’d have coloured.

3. Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge

Fancy a weird and wacky colouring challenge? Sounds ace, right? Artist Kerby Rosanes presents this masterpiece of the genre with pictures to colour, drawings to complete, spaces to scribble, and missions to find stuff amid the animals, landscapes and shape-shifting aliens. Top drawer.

4. Really COOL Colouring Book 2: Cool Cats: Volume 2

Feline = feeling good, so a cat-based colouring book was inevitable, wasn’t it? And undeniably relaxing. Bravo, artist Elizabeth James, bravo.

5. Mum's Beautiful Colouring Book: Wonderfully relaxing artwork

With a total of 40 patterns and nature scenes to colour in, this book is a wonderful way to unwind and relax…also available in ‘Dad’ with butcher, more angular patterns.

6. Anti-Stress Colouring: doodle & dream

A de-stressing and calming collection of intricate patterns created specifically to focus the mind on the moment, and help you ‘be here now.’ Again, each of drawing is accompanied by inspirational quotes.

7. The Mindfulness Colouring Book: Anti-stress art therapy for busy people

Exquisite scenes and intricate, sophisticated patterns, with encouragement to meditate as you colour yourself happy.

8. The Wild Colouring Book: Creative art therapy for adults: volume 1

Thirty hand-drawn templates showcasing a year of nature in the British Isles, with plenty of flowers, plants and animals to spot.

9. Colour Karma

Charming collection of patterns and mandalas: colour your stresses away for a bargain price.

10. Diabolically Detailed Colouring Book (Volume 1)

If you need something a bit more challenging to help you ‘turn off the monitor,’ go for this book that reckons you need a black belt in colouring to complete it. 30 designs to test your crayon-manship.


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