Adult coloring books are a super easy, accessible way for people to let off some steam, relax, and clear their heads. With her previous writing about adult coloring books, as well as her participation in the creation of The Real Art Therapists of New York Coloring Book, Tribeca Therapy’s Director of Creative Arts Therapy Heather Mayone Kiely was recently featured in an article on NBC’s TODAY on the benefits of adult coloring books.
Speaking to TODAY’s Jillian Ortiz, who explores “The Best Adult Coloring Books for Relaxation” in honor of National Coloring Book Day, Heather explains that, while she recommends adult coloring books to some, there is a “limit on their use.” As Heather notes, “As a therapist, I always like to acknowledge that a lot of things can be therapeutic other than therapy. But at the end of the day, if you are struggling and feel like you are not living your best life, there really is no substitute for sitting in the room with an actual therapist.”
While no substitute for therapy, coloring books can be helpful because they’re non-intimidating, which means they can be used by anyone regardless of art “skill” or comfort level. Heather has previously recommended coloring books for people who are overburdened, overscheduled, and need to find some time for themselves, as well as for people who have just been through acute trauma as a way to cope.
Despite the ease of picking up a coloring book to work on for just a few minutes or even a few hours, not all coloring books are created equal. Certain coloring books benefit certain people. “For example,” as Heather says, “some coloring books have very small detailed images that would really appeal to some people but to other people would totally stress them out! Other coloring books have bigger images that you can draw/add to rather than just coloring in for people who are in the mood to be a bit more adventurous.”