I Want to Hygge Like It’s 1999

By Troy Headrick

I’ve traveled a lot but have never been to Denmark.  I see this as a shortcoming, especially since I’ve long been intrigued with that Nordic country. 

I’ve embedded a Deutsche Welle video on “hygge,” a fascinating Danish concept, one that shapes Danish culture and worldview.  If you want to know more about the Danes and what makes them tick, watch the clip. 

Pointless Overthinking has a very international readership, so I’d like to hear if there are “hygge” equivalents in other places.  If not, why not? 

If, like me, you can’t get enough of Denmark and the people who call it home, check this out.


Troy Headrick’s personal blog can be found here and his business page can be found here.

28 thoughts on “I Want to Hygge Like It’s 1999

  1. I love hygge thing, and I think it is where the word ‘hug’ comes from? You will notice, that all things ‘hygge’ have nothing to do with cell phones or internet. Turn that stuff off, light many candles, and this time of year we can have some warm glogg. Sounds pretty good to me! 🙂 Thanks, Troy!

    1. Hi. I took your advice and got off the internet for the past three days, which is why I’m late in responding. Yes, the Danes seem to have figured things out. Americans could learn a lot by looking around to see how others live. Warm glogg sounds nice! Thanks for dropping by and take care.

  2. I love this! There’s a new apartment building close to me called…Hygge and I’d been wondering why it’s called that. Now I know! Interesting gimmick for this building. Although, to be honest, I think if you’re going to find hygge anywhere in the US, I’d bet on Portland to place in the top finishers, so maybe they were on to something with the naming.

    1. The Hygge apartment complex! I wonder if those who live there are more mellow than others. Are you talking Portland, Oregon, or Portland, Maine (or some other Portland)? I’m guessing Oregon. I’ve heard the Portland in that part of the US is cool, but I’ve never been there. Thanks for the commment and take care.

      1. Yup, Portland, Oregon. Good ol’ PDX! You should definitely pop in for a visit someday, but no hurry…we aren’t exactly at our best these days. 😬

      2. Portland, Oregon, would be a cool place to visit. The closest I’ve ever been was Northern California, the San Francisco area. Portland has been in the news a lot recently for lots of good reasons. Again, thanks for being a part of this conversation.

  3. As a Dane, I know that hygge is a broad concept that can be applied to almost any situation. Often my husband and I share the joy of hygge with our neighbor, who we are also related to, as we are godparents to her youngest son.

    We share practically everything about life together daily, and often it includes lit candles, a warm atmosphere, and many hours of interesting conversation.

    1. I’m so sorry that I never traveled to Denmark. It’s on my list, though. Thanks for sharing your story and knowledge about Hygge. Your life sounds wonderful. Americans (and people from many parts of the world) could learn a lot from the Danes!

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I felt a sense of hygge just reading (and watching) this, Troy. I only spent one night in Copenhagen, but it was so lovely. We of course went to the Tivoli! Also, I have the book from the video, and your post has inspired me to curl up with a hot mug of tea and peruse its pages. Sending hygge vibes your way, my friend. 🕊

    1. It sounds like a great trip! Amsterdam, a place I’ve been to many times, is about as close to Denmark as I’ve gotten. Thanks for sharing your Copenhagen experience. And “Hygge” to you too!

    1. Are you sure you aren’t Danish? Do the Turks have a version of “hygge”? Is there a Turkish equivalent? Thanks, Betul, for the comment. I hope grad school is going well and that you are enjoying being a TA.

      1. I can’t think of an equivalent and I think we are not as calm as a nation, as you will know. But I think the concept still exists!
        Everything is going well with me. The semester finished. How are you?

      2. I’m good. Our semester hasn’t yet ended but will soon. How much longer on your PhD? Are you doing your dissertation yet? There was one Turkish phrase that I especially liked. (I’m trying to think of it now.) You say it to workers when you pass them doing some hard job. It translates as “May your work go easily for you.”

      3. Oh that phrase is Kolay gelsin and it is the one phrase that I wish English had. It is very convenient. I want to say more than ‘Hi’ to the workers outside.
        I wrote most of my PhD and am revising now. But I also need to find a job, so I don’t know when it will finish exactly.

  5. I did a bike trip from Berlin-Copenhagen a few years ago, and so got to see a little bit of Denmark and meet some of the people – like the lovely lady and her little kids who escorted me to the door of my B&B when I was completely lost (and about to lose it), and the lovely guy at the B&B who offered to mend my bike better than I had! Copenhagen seems very different from the rest of the country – as NY is from the Carolinas and London is from Yorkshire – but all the people seem, broadly speaking, happy in themselves as well as nice to look at!

    I’m not really into hygge unless I’ve been out for a blast on my bike or a run first, got good and cold and can then appreciate the virtues of being still, snug and warm. Troy, if you’re interested in finding out more about the Danes (and the Swedes, Norwegians and Finns), I’d recommend Michael Booth’s book ‘The Almost Nearly Perfect People’, which is a Brit-in-Denmark’s take on why they are so bloody perfect over there…

    1. Your bike trip sounds fantastic. I’ll check out the book you mentioned. Fun fact: The Dutch are the tallest people in the world on average, and I would imagine the Danes are not far behind them. Holland is the closest I’ve ever been to Denmark. I’ve been to Amsterdam about a dozen times. I found the Dutch to be extremely attractive, so I can imagine that the same might be true of those who reside in Denmark. If I somehow lucked into being given a Danish passport, I’d be gone from the US in less than 24 hours. Having spent about twenty years living in a variety of countries, I know that the Americans have a lot to learn from other peoples and places. Thanks for the comment. (And I still love your user name!)

      1. Thanks – well I’m still in my 50s and a bit s***, so I probably won’t change it any time soon! Liked the fun fact, but here’s one in return – apparently there was a bit of a vogue for Danish men as sperm donors a few years ago (and maybe ongoing) as they were so hot, tall and healthy. I also remember lots of massive German teenagers coming over to stay with my friends on exchange visits as far back as the 1980s (I had somewhat smaller French visitors chez moi) and a recent holiday confirmed that there are lots and lots of giants in Croatia! Keep up the good work on PointlessOverthinking – it’s a very inspiring platform!

      2. Your fun fact tops my fun fact by a good mile! People from that part of the world are definitely and undeniably attractive. Americans, unfortunately, are too tied to their automobiles to be attractive. They spend lots of time driving around and too little time using their feet as transportation, with the result being obesity. Your comment about Croatia is interesting. Denmark and Croatia of two of the few European countries I haven’t visited. I lived in Poland for nearly three years and found the women to be beautiful there. So the Slavs have their own claims to being beautiful people. Cheers.

  6. I’m from Norway and we have «kos». We also use the Word «hygge», but «kos» is what we really love😂 same concept as the Danish.

    1. Cool! Thanks, Serenity Siren. I’m glad you stopped by today. I don’t think I get many commenters from Norway, at least not that I’m aware of. You come from a beautiful country too!

  7. I love taking nature walks, I think natural environments heals people inside out and are therapeutic :). Lovely blog post Mr. Headrick, I enjoy reading about travel experiences and other cultures.

  8. Hygge is a very interesting concept, and from the video sounds like it helps to focus on what’s important. I have always been drawn to Norse mythology and have been learning Danish for the past two years. Maybe a subconscious awareness of hygge encouraged me to these interests?

    I’m not aware of any such similar concept in New Zealand but certainly think it would be helpful in slowing down, and simply being where we are.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. 😊

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